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Showing posts from November, 2021

Halfway there!

Its now official - celebratory lunch with Panetone cake as we are halfway! Busy day all in all - rope masterclass with James for the B team and Squalls hitting up to 35 knots so lots of action. Food prep in the kitchen interesting - more of the flying rather than frying nature! Ruth suggesting a take away tonight ... Passed close to Ossiana another ARC boat today - lovely to see someone nearby. Hailed them on the radio and think the race is on  Update on the Limericks There was a young sailor named Chris Who never gave an adventure a miss So he decided to fish BBQed us a Mahi- Mahi dish And said boy this life is just bliss Love to everyone Helen

Rockin' and Rollin' to the West

Ruth II and her crew are now really Rockin' and Rollin' to the West across the Atlantic as the strong Tradewinds have set in behind us! We've had winds of 20 - 27 knots (Force 5/6, occasionally 7) for the last few days mainly from the East with increasing sea swells of 2 - 3 meters with a rain squall last night. We're almost halfway across the Atlantic now with about 1,400 miles sailed and 1,534 miles to go to St. Lucia. Busy manoeuvres on deck at times such as when we gybe to change direction due to wind shifts requiring lots of co-ordinated teamwork in these windy conditions. Not conditions to go fishing, but lots of flying fish depositing themselves on the deck of Ruth II. Helen even managed to save one last night while on watch, returning it to the sea while it was still alive, despite the greasy scales! Still plenty of time to talk, read, sleep after night watches, for Liam to figure out how to work his new voice activated Go Pro, as well as chat to other ARC bo

Season 2 begins!

We are now one full week at sea and to steal Chris 's words, Blog Season 2 begins and my turn comes around again .Since last Sunday when we sailed over the line in 5 knots our Wind has gradually built to a steady 22kn and we have gone from flat calm to proper Mayo Surfing conditions ! The gradual increase in wind has suited us all and having ignored our lee cloths at the start we now jump in and pull tightly ! We have now sailed over 1200 miles and estimate that we might pass halfway tomorrow (will have to be extra creative with dinner ) The fleet has now really spread out although this afternoon we have been in contact with a Finish boat less than 15 miles away who called for a chat on the radio and as usual it got around to fishing and he offered his recipe for Microwaving Flying fish that land on deck !! I thought I'd share therefore some shots from dawn this am with Liam checking we are going fast enough and John inspecting a flying fish that landed overnight (but didn

Settling into the Trades.

With almost one week into our trip, the trades have finally settled in, and us with them. We are now entering the "middle days" phase - where the routine of life on board dominates, and everything slows down. Brian though has been particularly busy - he is both our bread chef and communications officer, taking our daily SSB net call. He notes the position of all the other boats telling us who is where, and what winds people are experiencing . Our own strategy is to try to find a sweet spot between north and south where we can fly our new trade wind sail, but so far the winds have been too punchy. We are sailing wing on wing - and have just reefed in for the evening, losing a knot, but anticipating an extra five knots of breeze and another meter of seas overnight. One of the pictures I attach is of sunset last night. It has all changed up a few gears weatherwise today - the trades are in , seas are building, wind is 18 - 20, and we are happily rocking and rolling our way t

Friday - Heading West

Getting warmer and windier with turning to run with the trade winds imminent, crew all well and good to go - see photo.   Personal triumph of wrestling an enormous (disputed but judge for yourselves) fish this morning. Oh and the night sky: that really is something. In the dark on watch, there is a sensation of hurtling through space with the stars all around - just magnificent. PS email sent to daughters, looking forward to a reply (and seeing all again)! John

Another Glorious Day!

Glorious day. Blue skies. Flat sea. Hardly a cloud in the sky. Meaning no wind. More like the Med than the Atlantic.   Cleaned the boat down early morning. Still no wind. Going nowhere slowly, so had a Pilates class on deck (sea-lates) followed by a swim! Third Atlantic swim. Trailing ropes to grab onto for safety. Such warm Atlantic water.   Haven't seen a boat for about 2 days now, but hearing chatter on the VHF from other boats out of sight.   Saw dolphins on the port side. Then later hooked a marlin! At least human body size, 2m length, and minimum 50kg we reckoned. But some guessed 150kg, but you might not believe us. He broke the 100lb fishing line and escaped with the squid lure. Caught a small bonito later, which we dropped back. Then to complete the fishy-fishy day, two sharks cruised by. Different fins, darker and shaped differently to the dolphins with a different movement through the water. Very pleased we hadn't known they were out there before the swim!   Ligh

The Day Formally Known as Day Four

Dear Diary, The day broke with a whirlwind 15 degree alteration in course to pass some traffic port to port. Excite! Skip deployed the new tradewind sail just before dawn - a race/rally/passage/crew morale winning sail. The day then went as such; Tradewind, back to main & genoa, one reef in, snooze, one reef out, tradewind up, dinner & a sundown cup of tea. Fishing report for the day consisted of just a single bite but we cast again at dawn with a tuna in our sights... As the days start to amalgamate we have decided to get pretty liberal with our previous conceptions of time. John has suggested we store up our 'Fridays' and 'Saturdays' for when we get to St Lucia. Our week now runs Sunday - Thursday. Thus giving us a straight run of Fridays & Saturdays for when we arrive. Yours, Chris

Pilates has started

Doesn't get much better than this! Lesson on the stars with James last night - Venus, Seven sisters, Sagittarius.  Beautiful dawn, another sunny day. Starting to feel the swell now. Pilates at 11 ( 7 stations so one person looking out for the boat!) followed by a refreshing Atlantic swim at 4000m depth. Excitement building as we set up the tradewind sail - hopefully wind filling in tomorrow. Limerick of the day.... There was a dashing Arc skipper named Liam  Who liked his boats with a broad beam  He kept calling them Ruth  Some act to follow 's the truth  And now we're sailing to the Caribbean on our dream Helen

Day 2: Little wind but great fishing!

Day 2 : Mon Nov 22 - Little wind but good fishing! After a great firework display on Saturday night and a fantastic send -off of about 150 boats yesterday from Las Palmas, on-board life beginning to settle down on Ruth II. Little wind, but great sunshine and flat seas as we make our way south towards the Cape Verde Islands, where we are forecast to pick up some trade winds. Some pilot whales spotted off our starboard side this morning, sextant practice and instruction later on in the morning, but the real highpoint of the day was going fishing. Chris & Margaret decided to try out the (older) fishing rod this afternoon and Chris caught a beautiful large Mahi Mahi, estimated 6-10kg. Chris reeled it in and James got it on board and then filleted the magnificent fish. Lasagne is cancelled for this evening and we're having fresh Mahi Mahi instead! Brian

Over the start line

Well the day has finally arrived! We had a lovely calm morning Liam and I even got a swim in ( last for a while ) we started at 1pm fabulous atmosphere heading out ,Sarah was great to take our team photo! The conditions are lovely. The wind is southeasterly 10 knots ! We have had our first lunch and no complaints so far ! The boys going to see how long we can watch the rugby.  Skipper is about to reveal the watch roster! Ruth 

Some Pictures so far

Covid Clear

 Well we have passed our final test and all clear to travel! Today the plan was to lie by the pool and rest up but needless to say there was a couple of last minute items to pick up ! Carpet cleaner staples and celeriac were at the top of the list . Now we are almost all on board and the plan is for a quiet evening one drink in Sailors Bar with the other Irish boat  Vienneta and then a quick meal ! We have swapped sat phone nos with Graham our brother in law who is coming across in his  brand new beautiful swan  . Chris our youngest crew member remains calm and quietly excited  

Last Shop!

 Yesterday was all about the last fresh shop ! Coneys and kneafseys  attacked it with military precision I doubt there is an Orange left in Las Palmas ,Today is last PCR leaving cert results seem much easier !  Ruth

Almost Ready To Go!!

 Bags packed 4 days to go to departure , fruit cakes,  included. Chris and I last to join the crew  tomorrow  Can’t  wait !! Fingers crossed  we all get over the last hurdle  with final PCR on Friday !Rest of the crew settled well into Las Palmas today !  Ruth

10 days to Departure of ARC 2021

      With 10 days to go until start of the ARC 2021  excitement is building among the crew . We are all departing to Las Palmas At various stages next week. James is there already today he got a great view while changing the anchor light (see below ) . When we arrive we will have some last minute food shopping to do, various seminars to attend,  a final  mandatory PCR  on Friday and  and then fingers crossed on  Saturday 20 th we all move onto the boat . We depart  at 13.00  Sunday 21 st ! We hope to be posting updates on our crossing every couple of days from then on until we arrive in Saint Lucia.