So, we are now on our 11th day at sea having passed the mid-point of our passage across the Atlantic a couple days back. Our day-to-day routines have set in and we are used to life at sea. I wanted to see if I can paint a picture for you of what it is like out here as many of you envision something quite different, perhaps, than what we are experiencing.
First of all, life on a larger yacht has a lot of advantages over a smaller yacht as we have more weight thus more stability. the movements of the yacht are much slower and pronounced than with a lighter yacht. This translates into less 'slamming' back and forth but certainly doesn't eliminate it all. With our sails in a downwind configuration, the rocking back and forth is much more pronounced than heading into the wind. This rocking means we need to use our lee cloths in the bunk to keep from rolling out (although last night I got tossed out of bed three times!).
The rocking makes cooking 'interesting' too. In anticipation of this, we prepared some food and froze it ahead of time to make preparation time easier and shorter. Standing at the cooktop with a pot of water boiling in rocking seas has some risks despite the fact that the cooktop is on gimbals and moves to keep itself level no matter what the yacht is doing. However, for the first week we are using our fresh meats and vegetables. Our meals center around a lot of pasta and potato dishes combined with chicken, pork or beef. We 'kick it up' with some hot sauces and make sure there is enough left over for the folks on night watch to snack on too. So far no complaints about the food and we don't appear to be losing too much weight!
In case our passage takes longer than we planned we have plenty of emergency supplies in the form of canned (tinned) meats, vegetables and fruit. We also have lots of UHT milk in cartons and fruit juice. What we don't use on the ARC will be used over the winter months in the Caribbean. It's all good stuff that will not spoil and can be held for years if necessary.
Once in a while we fish, although not as much as we envisioned. We are not lacking for food and the fish we have been catching haven't been big enough to feed all four of us so we've been releasing them. The big reason we don't fish so much is that we are going at a really fast speed for trolling. Most of the time we are over 8-9 kts and the lure just skips across the surface of the water behind the boat.
There's some friendly competition going on with some other yachts in the race and I'm sure some beers and stories will be exchanged once we all make landfall in St. Lucia. In the meantime our main focus is just to do a great job of sailing this beautiful yacht across the Atlantic and enjoying the experience. As I write this article, we have 30 kts of wind and we approach 11 kts over the ground. With the Atlantic rollers and whitecaps around, it's exhilarating! This big HR is in its element rocketing along very confidently.
Well, I gotta get back to my kitchen duties, it's Art's World Famous Texas Chili for lunch and the crew is hungry (what's new?)
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