Caribbean 1500 First Arrival, and Sunny Skies at Sea!

As we approach the seven-days-at-sea mark in this year’s ARC Caribbean 1500, the lead boat, Wings, a Hylas 54, is less than 400 miles out from Tortola. Tal Lira, on the other hand, has made their arrival as planned in the Bahamas after four days at sea.

“Just to inform you that we arrived yesterday evening,” Pauline informed Rally Control this afternoon. “We are on our way to Bluff House Marina and we would like to thank you for your hospitality during the last week!”

Pauline also reported in that they’ve had contact with Morning Haze, the Canadian yacht also bound for the Abacos, and expect to see them arriving sometime today. 

The four and five day passages for Tal Lira and Morning Haze, respectively, represent a nearly two-week advantage on the time it would have taken to transit the ICW and cross the Gulf Stream near Miami, as is the more common route to the Bahamas during the annual southerly migration. While the ICW is a deservedly popular route on it’s own, for those looking for a quick and easy way to go direct to the Bahamas, doing with the ARC Bahamas fleet – which re-launched next fall in conjunction with the 1500 – is an option to consider.

As for the yachts bound for Tortola, the breeze has finally relented and the sun is shining. After five boisterous and fast sailing days, everyone is now getting a chance to peel off some of those layers and dry out their boats. 

Solstice, though a bit tired, took a chance to wax philosophically about their passage in yesterday’s blog.

“We really are having a blast,” wrote crewmember Tom. “What a great feeling to be out on the big blue sea in control of your own destiny and making things happen. I love sailing! As Ray said today with a big smile on his face, ‘There are just a few times in life like this. Isn't this a beautiful day.’”

Meanwhile Wings, who leads the fleet in both position and enthusiasm for sending in logs from at-sea, wrote today that the weather has finally eased off, to Dave’s apparent chagrin.

“Dave is depressed that we've lost the high winds and the big waves that gave us our speed over the last three days,” Wings wrote. “On the other hand, two members of the crew (who shall remain Anonymous) are delighted to be able to move around the boat without being catapulted across the cabin.”

The calm seas, though they’ve cost Wings a bit in speed, have had their own advantages. 

“This morning, in celebration of calm seas, Pat decided to cook a huge amount of bacon. Everyone who sails would admit that there is something very special about the smell of bacon the morning. Even Bob, who is trying hard to be a vegetarian, is drooling around the cabin, muttering that our attraction to fried bacon is primal and it must be something to do with how closely related we are to pigs.” 

Life at sea certainly has it’s highs and lows.