Travels Diary

Behind the scenes of a transatlantic crossing

27 November 2014 | | Reading time 3 minutes

Last Monday was given the starting signal for the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers 29th edition. For those who don’t know the ARC, it’s a rally for sailors from all over the world and linking Canary Islands to Caribbean. This year, no less than 1,020 participants, divided on 176 boats (including 25 catamarans!) were on the starting line.

As you can see on the map below, alongside the ARC takes place the ARC +. ARC + gives participants the opportunity to start 2 weeks sooner and to stop at Cape Verde.

Last Wednesday, 5 days before D-day, I went to “take the temperature” of participants…

I immediately felt the effervescence upon my arrival at the crowded marina of Las Palmas. A few days before the starting signal, everyone is active in a serene atmosphere. Everyone resolves the last small technical problems. They must prepare and tidy up all the food, and make sure they are not forgetting anything. Some are going to run to feel physically fit while others prefer staying quiet on their boat to study charts and weather forecasts. Some children are playing on the pontoons…all this in a very friendly atmosphere!

With friends and families, many of the participants will cross the Atlantic for the first time. To my surprise, I met rather confident and relaxed crews, all very eager to tackle the Atlantic. I’ve to say that crews all seemed well prepared. During the two weeks before the start, various seminars and demonstrations on various topics (weather forecast, safety, liferaft, heli hoisting …) are offered. No time to get bored! Not to mention the fun parties because the ARC is also and especially a friendly and festive gathering.

An overview of the last days’ program.

One year ago, Alex presented some participants on this blog. It’s my turn to introduce some of the 2014 ARC adventurers!

Marteen and his family onboard the Lagoon 450, 99 bottles (Netherlands). (for the anecdote, Marteen assured me that the name of the boat did not correspond to the number of bottles on board … but just a reference to a song).
A 100% male crew for the Lagoon 450, Blue Waves (Poland)
Reinhard on the right with his crew onboard the Lagoon 450, Wiki (Germany)

Not to mention the other crews onboard Lagoon cats:

Lagoon 450, BearBaloo (in reference to “The Jungle Book”)

Lagoon 560, Blue Ocean

Lagoon 400, Chili

Lagoon 450, Ooroo 1

Lagoon 450, Ripples II

Lagoon 400, Sasquatch

Lagoon 380, Songbird of Weymouth

To follow the crews live: