The locals call it 'bay of the rays.' It's a fishing village south of Castries (St. Lucia's capital), a sleepy place on the beach, quite the opposite of the hustle and bustle of Rodney Bay marina, where the ARC has taken over for a couple of weeks. It's crazier than ever in the ARC Village at Rodney Bay marina - just this morning, five boats crossed the finish line within minutes of each other, making for some excitement on the docks as the Yellow Shirts made space for them. With over 150 boats now in port, that space is getting hard to come by. But it's all in fun.
My favorite thing about big sailing events - whether boat shows, rendezvous', pot-lucks or rallies - used to be the boats. I love nothing more than walking the docks and looking at boats, and I like them all. Some more than others to be sure (give me an old classic over a modern plastic bottle anyway), but all of them nonetheless.
We left Annapolis early and drove up to Sparrow's Point, to the Old Bay Marina where I'd been twice before to help Rodney do some work on his Tayana 37. The boat had been hauled out for over 3 years, Rodney doing the refit himself between sculpture projects. Two years ago I helped him step the mast, when the boat was on the hard.
By August 8th, we were were back to sea, Inverness in our wake and Scandinavia just over the horizon! Arcturus was gliding along at 4-5 knots on a beam reach, full sail on the first full day in the North Sea. The sky was low and overcast (I expected we’d see a lot of that), and we could still see Scotland off the starboard quarter, though it was quickly fading over the horizon. Keith, the yard worker in Bangor, N. Ireland told us that “if you can see Scotland, it’s going to rain – if you can’t see it, it is raining.”
Note: Henceforth, our sailing content will appear on sailfeed.com, SAIL magazine's online site. We'll be posting summaries here, and you'll always see the 'SAILfeed' logo on the left so you know what's what. Just click the title (or the logo), and the full article is linked.
Cool, eh!? Now I’m inspired. Took me some time. And a cheese sandwich.
This story was about our last overnight passage on Arcturus, from Visby up to the Stockholm archipelago. I wrote it in my journal as it happened, then copied it here in the past tense, as I've been doing. It took place just before Sept. 1...
It was my last night watch of the summer on Arcturus. Mia and I are heading off to Portugal soon to sail Kinship (the boat we delivered with its owner trans-Atlantic earlier this summer) down to Las Palmas, so it wasn't my last real night watch, but felt like it in a way since I wouldn't be seeing my boat for a while.
Note: This was originally from my hand-written journal, written on 23 August. I copied it to the computer, changed it to the past tense and edited/added a few things here and there...
It blew hard in Visby the day we arrived. Unfortunately from the west, and right through the opening in the breakwater. The wind brought with it a very annoying swell that battered the empty guest harbor.
Note: This was originally from my hand-written journal, written on 19 August. I copied it to the computer, changed it to the past tense and edited/added a few things here and there...
We crossed through the Falsterbokanalen a few hours after leaving Clint in Malmö, officially entering the Baltic Sea ('Östersjön' in Swedish), by my estimation anyway...not sure where it officially starts or ends, but that seemed a convenient enough place.
August 11th, my last evening watch before we’d make landfall in Marstrand. I had one more dawn watch – 0500-0900 – the following morning. We were less than 100 miles from Marstrand.
It was easily the nicest day of the passage – blue sky, bright sunshine and shorts-and-t-shirt warm. A welcome reward after the ‘eventful’ night before.
It was just after 1:00 am on the 10th, on my morning watch. I had gotten the GoPro working again after it’s leaking incident, and – knock on wood – maybe it wasn’t broken after all. I left it lay on the portside shelf wrapped in a paper towel and a few of those moisture absorber things that come in clothing, and that you’re not supposed to eat. After reassembling it, it appeared to be in order, I hoped.
By August 8th, we were were back to sea, Inverness in our wake and Scandinavia just over the horizon!
Arcturus was gliding along at 4-5 knots on a beam reach, full sail on the first full day in the North Sea. The sky was low and overcast (I expected we’d see a lot of that), and we could still see Scotland off the starboard quarter, though it was quickly fading over the horizon.
Today is kind of the day Mia and I have been waiting for for almost five years now. Today we’ll set sail for Sweden, the final leg of our voyage ‘home’ that started in earnest in the spring of 2008 when we first laid eyes on Cybele, the boat we saw in Oxford and which I knew would be ours the minute I pulled into the parking lot where she was hauled out.
Note: This is an old post (sort of)...I wrote it four days ago in Oban, so it's kind of outdated, but I wanted to post it anyway. I'll catch up on the rest of the trip in another couple days before we sail for Shetland. This one was written in the cabin of Arcturus when we were moored just off the town's community sailing center, trying to figure out which direction to go.
The banner at the top of the website is what the boat looked like when we returned to Ireland last week. It looked a lot worse underneath - there was nine months worth of boatyard and parking lot dust (black, sooty stuff) all over the decks, and I'd forgotten how we had taken everything apart inside to leave it air out. It was two days until Mia and my dad had it cleaned up enough to feel liveable.
It's Day 4 at sea on the final leg of our Transatlantic on Kinship. We're about 189 miles out from Lagos now, sailing along almost dead-downwind with the full mainsail and the solent jib poled out to windward, making 6 knots in just over ten knots of breeze. There are the slightest hints of whitecaps on the water, but the sea is flat, the sun is out and it's rather comfortable on board.
Mia had a dream last night about my mom. In it, her family and my mom we're getting together somewhere (I think in Sweden). Mom was sick in the dream, and somehow Mia knew the date which she would die. But she outlived it. Everyone was worried that she shouldn't be out in public in her condition, that she wouldn't be able to handle the stress, that it would only make her worse.
So, thanks to those of you who attended my seminar today. Below are links to the four-part article series I originally wrote for All at Sea Caribbean magazine. The goal of the series was that after reading through them, the reader should be able to take and reduce a sun-sight - not the noon sight (which is unnecessary if you really know celestial), but an out and out sun sight taken at any time of the day.