We are crossing the Atlantic with ARC+!!!

In November we will attend the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, ARC+ via Cape Verde to Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, with Mon Ami of Sweden.

ARC is arranged by World Cruising Club and this year is the 33rd year of the race. 300 boats is attending with totally approximately 1500 crew members onboard.

ARC logo segling över atlanten

On Mon Ami will Mats and Louise be joined by our daughter Sara and her newly married (25 Aug-2018) husband Bjorn. The 3 weeks Atlantic crossing will be their honeymoon. Together with parents in law(!) We think its very positive.

It makes a big difference to be four crew onboard instead of only two with night watch, sleep and to be able to fix problems onboard. Sara and Bjorn is perfect crew as they are medical doctor and military combat diver. – But I think we will need some more food!

ARC path over the atlantic
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Rodney Bay Marina, Saint Lucia, via Mindelo, São Vicente, Cape Verde.
Approximately 850 + 2150 nautical miles or one week + two weeks for a normal cruising boat.
Crossing the Atlantic from the Canaries to Saint Lucia via Cape Verde enables boats make the most of the north east trade winds.The Cape Verde islands are ideally placed for boats to sail south into seasonal winds; their latitude at 16º50’N is right in the path of the trade winds, promising a great sail for the passage to Saint Lucia.

ARC+ 2018 Itinerary

Date Details for ARC+ Cape Verdes
01 Nov  Rally office opens in Las Palmas
04 Nov  Last date for arrivals in Las Palmas
11 Nov Start of Gran Canaria – Sao Vicente leg (865nm)
16-18 Nov Arrival in Mindelo, Sao Vicente (Marina Mindelo)
21 Nov Start of Sao Vicente – Saint Lucia leg (2090nm)
3-8 Dec Arrival in Saint Lucia (Rodney Bay Marina)
11 Dec ARC+ finish line closes
12 Dec Prize giving ceremony in Saint Lucia

Every boat is welcomed to Rodney Bay Marina with rum punches, fresh fruit and chilled beer.  No matter what time of day or night, the welcome party will be ready for you!

Sample ARC+ Activities in Saint Lucia
  • Saint Lucia Tourism Authority welcome party
  • Anse La Raye Fish Fry
  • Familiarisation Tours
  • ARC lectures – Caribbean cooking and Caribbean cruising
  • ARC+ prize giving ceremony

Finally in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

We hade a very nice sailing from Rubicon, Lanzarote the 95 Nm to Las Palmas at Gran Canaria. With 15-20 knots of down wind we made 9 knots of speed with only the Genua head sail.

The waves was big but long and we had the sea from behind so we felt how Mon Ami had a down hill race at each wave.

Las Palmas is our end destination for this summer sailing. We will stay onboard for one week to do some maintenance and shopping before we fly home to Sweden.

Mon Ami will stay in the Las Palmas marina until the start of ARC+ the 11 November 2018.

We where number 3 or the almost 300 yachts attending ARC to arrive to Las Palmas the 7 June.

It’s raining?

We thought it was raining when we woke up the first morning in the marina.

Water was splashing on deck and in true the open windows above our master bed in the aft saloon of Mon Ami. When I came up in the cockpit I say a service employee who flushed the palm trees with water from a tanker truck.

It was quite cloudy in Las Palmas but still 25 C. Nice working climate for us.

We cleaned of the salty deck and especially all the inox. Flushed the 20Hp Honda on our 340 Highfield dinghy, with fresh water before we put the storage cover on. And unfolded our two new Brompton folding bikes to go shopping.

Shopping for Atlantic Crossing

We wanted to most of the long storage shopping before all the 300 yachts attending ARC arrives and empty the shelf’s.

We did all the shopping in HyperDino as they had free delivery service to the marina. We bought pasta, rice, toilet paper, wine and beer and much more. I this was not only for the Atlantic crossing. Especially not the alcoholic drinks. But we had learned that it’s much cheaper in Canary Islands than in the Caribbean. Totally 3 big shopping carts and one meter long recite to pay.

Tre young boys carried it all the food all the way in to the cockpit. What a great service!

Louise took away all the unnecessary packaging materials to reduce waist and to not get cockroaches onboard. And she did all the storage and even a list wats stored where.

Toilet paper is an excellent filler for packaging all storage to not slide around in the waves.

We will need to do additional fresh food shopping the days before the ARC race start the 11 November.

Diving in Museum Atlantic, Rubicon Lanzarote

Louise told me already last winter that there is a good diving site in Lanzarote. It’s a artist work with human statues on the bottom of the sea. A symbolic work with reference to the emigrants from Africa/Syria to Europe called Museum Atlantico and located outside of Rubicon on the southern coast of Lanzarote.

It was an fantastic dive to see the statues of refugees and dead bodies next to politicians in suits symbolically playing on a play yard.

Anchor drinks with new friends in Arrecife

Our next stop is Marina Lanzarote in the main village Arrecife. Marina Lanzarote is well protected from the prevailing winds. There are finger pontoons and that’s good in the +2 m tide water. Here are a shipyard with a 700 ton travel lift!!!We had very nice and friendly neighbors on the dock. One lime green racing yacht with a German couple, Gorm and Maren where also going to attend the ARC but in racing division. They reached 24 knots in speed on a practice sailing earlier the same day! Everything onboard there boat was in light weight and preferably in lime green color.Our next neighbors on the dock was the total opposite!The young family with Christelle from Australia and Sylvan from France with there one year old daughter Gaya had their old heavy boat for sale. They lived on a limited budget, where both apnea divers 32-37m deep, and invited us to yoga. We spend two evenings together. We had a lot of fun comparing our way of sailing. It’s practice to bring your own drinking glasses when you are invited to another boat. Louise and Mats had the mineral wine glasses from IKEA. Gorm and Maren had light weight plastic cups, green, and Christelle and Sylvan had re-used glass food cans. We had so much fun together. What a nice sailing company in Lanzarote.

La Graciosa Lanzarote

We have arrived to Spain and the Canary Islands have their own courtesy flag. We anchored in the natural park of Isla La Graciosa just north of Lanzarote. A yacht needs a license to enter the marina and the only bay where you are allowed to anchor is at the Francesca beach. We took the dinghy to the maria in the village to drop of our free passenger Maria. A security guard asked us immediately if we intended to stay. There where no problem after explaining that we only dropped of a passenger and will stay at anchorage. There are many day cruisers and tourist boats in the Francesca bay during daytime but and we are happy when the noise disappear in the evening. We where a handful of yachts at anchor at night fall. The steep volcanic walls of Lanzarote north edge where impressive in the sun set light.

Free passenger onboard Mon Ami

Immediately when we came to Salvagem Grande island was we asked if we could take a passenger onboard Mon Ami to Lanzarote. The guardians and the biologists are shipped to and from Salvagem by a Portuguese navy ship. Normally they stay for two weeks on the island but now they where informed that the navy ship will not come for another week. One of the biologists, Maria had to return to Cambridge UK and where not able to stay on the island for 3 weeks.

Maria was very nice and friendly to have onboard for the 135 Nm night sailing to Graciosa island north of Lanzarote. Unfortunately was she a bit sea sick despite the medical plaster she had behind her ear. Still she managed to tell us all about the Caraggas birds and her work in Cambridge and on Salvagem Grande.

The lonely dog on Salvagem Grande island.

We had read about the deserted island called Salvagem Grande and liked to stop there on our way from Madeira to Canary Islands.

Leaving Funchal, Madeira at breakfast time.

160 Nm south of Madeira, it took us 24 hours to go there this time by engine with absolutely no wind and flat sea in full moon shine.

We saw a sea turtle and some dolphins on the way.

Salvagem Grande is an very isolated island outside of the normal sailing routes and Mon Ami was boat number 20 visiting the island this year the 26 June.

Salvagem is a nature reserve park and you need a license to visit. Its guarded by two policemen and two nature wardens and a mechanical engineer and a dog. These people alters every second week but the dog stays. The dogs name is Salvage and she has lived on the island for more than 12 years. In her hole life she has only left the Salvagem island ones for the dentist in Funchal.

The lonely dog on Salvagem Grande.

The wardens and the policemen was very friendly and somewhat excited to get us as their first visitors after 14 days the first time on their shift.

Besides the guards, there is no people living on Salvagem. It’s some times visited by biologists who investigate the Cagarras birds in the island.

Now where 3 biologists on the island.

One of the nature wardens showed us around the island and we had a walk all the way up to the lighthouse that had guided us in the night sailing and was seen in 30 Nm distance.

The Cagarras Birds

We where told that Cagarras birds fights hard for a good place for their nests. After they are born on Salvagem they fly out for the sea and will come back on land for 5 years! They fly all the way down to South Africa and are monitored by a digital tracker that the biologists have ring-marked them with. After 5 years at sea

are they old enough to lay their first eggs and then they return to Salvagem and place their egg in the same nest as they was born! It’s amazing!