Of those people who have dreamt, planned or actually crossed an ocean there are still only a few who will have experienced that special feeling the great explorers felt whilst sailing the southerly trade wind route. Those who have were probably boat owners or their friends, so it would have been difficult to achieve this otherwise… Until now!
The Atlantic Rally. Setting sail from Las Palmas the voyage to St Lucia takes around 3 weeks to complete, The race across the Atlantic to Rodney Bay in St Lucia will start on 22nd November. If the North East Trade Winds behave you can expect it to take around 14 days.
The amazing atmosphere in Las Palmas builds as start day approaches. Yachts flying flags from all over the world converge on Las Palmas marina in the days running up to the start. There are seminars, talks, safety kit demonstrations plus lots of parties all organised by the race organisers.
It will get hotter and hotter the closer you get to the Caribbean and you will arrive in St Lucia perfectly acclimatised to a warm tropical Caribbean welcome. And parties! Lots of parties Caribbean style.
You will see the big deep blue ocean close up, a 360 degree horizon for about two weeks!, dolphins, maybe a whale or two, sunrises,sunsets, the odd other boat. You will meet some kindred spirits and likely forge friendships that will last long past the voyage. You will log about 2700nm and get some great ocean sailing experience.
Las Palmas is a capital of Gran Canaria, one of Spain's Canary Islands off northwestern Africa. A major cruise-ship port, the city is known for duty-free shopping and for its sandy beaches. At Playa de Las Canteras, a coral barrier lines the beach and shelters swimmers. The annual Las Palmas de Gran Canaria carnival brings together flamboyantly costumed performers, music and dancing.
Saint Lucia is an Eastern Caribbean island nation with a pair of dramatically tapered mountains, the Pitons, on its west coast. Its coast is home to volcanic beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages. Trails in the interior rainforest lead to waterfalls like the 15m-high Toraille, which pours over a cliff into a garden. The capital, Castries, is a popular cruise port.
Day 1: Joining day
Join the boat Get your belongings packed away and relax. Time to settle in and get to know your crew mates finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. There are always some great pre-ARC parties to enjoy along with the warm sun of Gran Canaria.
Days 2-4: On board training
We will spend a couple of days getting to know the yacht and cover safety drills, safety briefings and training sessions. We’ll be working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! There are seminars, talks and safety kit demonstrations. By the end of the period, everyone on board should feel comfortable on board – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day.
Pre-departure social events
The ARC is famous, not just for its wonderful sailing but for the extraordinary atmosphere that surrounds it. Crews from all around the world are converging to share a month at sea together, and the ARC organisers put on some very special events.
Days 5-23: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the ARC 2018!
We set off for the main event, in the company of other yachts. It is an incredible spectacle with so many yachts so close to together. Pretty soon however, the fleet spreads out and we can expect to find ourselves in the front quarter of the fleet for most of the way. We’ll be pushing just hard enough to have fun and overtake boats near us, We will be racing but this is all about having a wonderful sail across the Atlantic Ocean. We can expect it to take around 17 days, although we could get there quicker or slower, depending on the winds and weather at the time. You will experience the magic of life on the ocean and will soon become proficient with all aspects of ocean sailing. There may be lessons on sail repair, splicing, diesel engines, celestial navigation, spinnaker work and who knows what else. There will also be lots of time for you to rest, read, contemplate and enjoy this unique experience. Finally, the wonderful mountains of St Lucia will appear on the horizon and our crossing will have been completed.
We will certainly have some serious R&R in St Lucia first, but then we will surely head off for some day sailing and exploration while we wait for the rest of the fleet to arrive.