The big adventure startet on April 29th, 2016. Torsten and I took our flight from Hannover via Paris, Charles-de-Gaulle, and St. Martin to Tortola, Beef Island. Around 23 hours of travelling. The hardest of those: 3 hours waiting for the flight from St. Martin to our final destination. Sunshine outside, warm temperatures and we are enclosed in the airport building. But no complaining, by tomorrow, we will have sunshine and wonderful Caribbean weather!
Finally, we got on our little, tiny plain. Humidity about 95%, temperature 30°, and no air-condition.
We arrived late at Nanny Cay. Seaside was waiting for us. Everything okay. No apparent damages. Torsten breathed a sigh of relief. I was just overwhelmed by Seaside´s largeness and wonderful design. I was designated the stern cabin on port side. First night on board – wonderful, good sleep until 6 am in the morning!
First idea, going outside and enjoying the rising sun. To bad, it was raining cat and dogs. Have a look:
But we are sailors and sailors shouldn´t be afraid of water – as long it doesn´t enter the boat! So we decided to set sails towards Virgin Gorda. Nice sailing at 10 to 12 knots, close-hauled. Good position to do some sewing at the leech of the Genoa. The first night at sea we anchored in Little Trunk Bay. It was calm but somewhat wet: Rain was coming back! For dinner we drove with our dinghy to an atmospheric beach restaurant, Coco Maya. With delicious, however little things to eat. On Saturday we sailed again towards Beef Island with the hope to pick up Jan, our new crew member, from the airport. But he wasn´t on the plane and, as we know now, would never come to join the Seaside Team.
On Saturday, May 1st, we were back to Nanny Cay Marina and it was time, to get the Seaside prepared: Mounting the radar reflector, preparing the Cutter jib and so on.
Larry, our American crew, joined us on May 3rd. Just in time for the out-haul of the Seaside to clean the undersides. So there won´t be any excuses of sailing slow!
Time to work – time to party: The Seaside Team at Peg Legs Beach Terrace at Nanny Cay Marina. Get together Party with the other participants of the ARC Europe and USA. 9 teams came back from the world circumnavigation with the ARC among them met Dagmar and Jens Garlin with their XP44 Garli´X. Torsten reaquainted with Petra, the skipper of the HR42 Viva. Claus, Lutz, Reiner and Torsten met Petra during the ARC 2015. So the sailing circuit is really small especially within the ARC Events.
May 7th: The day of the start to the ARC Europe / ARC USA. Fair winds, sunny weather and 40 boats preparing to be the first crossing the line. But the Seaside got it: We were first tightly followed by Garli´x and the Advanced A80 Apsaras. The latter one being a real racer well equipped with young, Asian doing the hard work of grinding and keeping the boat running! They took over first position quite easily and since then leading the fleet to Bermudas.
The Garli´x trying to surpass the Seaside setting their Genaker, being called „Monster“. Unfortunately, having served for such a long time around the world, the material was worn out and the Monster became history.
Surrounding the westerly corner of Tortola Island we were still second position with Garli´x and Testarossa in direct pursuit. Apsaras wasgaining more and more distance to the rest of the fleet. However, they will only arrive at Bermudas some hours before us.
Due to the weather forecast Torsten decided to take an easterly track to avoid the high pressure zone and winds directly form the north.
Sailing impression from the Atlantic with moderate waves. A relaxing way to get to Bermudas. During the day, the three of us took the position at the helm as it comes. Quite easy doing with the autopilot in gear. Here: Larry at the wheel.
For the night Larry had chosen the early shift from 9 pm to Midnight. I took my 3 hrs shift from Midnight to 3 am. Torsten always on standby – napping in the cockpit. At sunrise, Torsten checked the weather forecast. Due to the light wind conditions he decided to set the Code Zero. It stayed up almost the whole time during our passage giving us the extra 1 to 1,5 knots to stay ahead of our follower who were breathing in our necks
Scary times and amazing sunsets during our trip.
On our second day Torsten was successful in catching a wonderful Bonito. Larry, alarmed by our shouting „Mahi, Mahi“ came out in the hope of seeing a tasty Mahi coming up. How was he disappointed to realize that it was a Bonito which he didn`t like. Later on we explained that calling „Mahi, Mahi“ was just a Seaside ritual to alarm everybody. Torsten created delicious appetizers, which I really enjoyed. While we were eating Tuna, Larry was served a typical German „Schnitzel“.
Tuesday, May 10th, we had the very best sail of all: good winds, sunny weather, gargling waters and only small waves the pleasure of all sailors!
Wednesday, May 11th, my :-). birthday. The first one without my family and friends all alone on the huge Atlantic (okay not so alone). I missed you all, however Torsten took especially care to give me a wonderful day. I could sleep in long, until 9 am! Getting finally out of my cabin I was surprised with a breakfast with plentiful and manifold things to eat, a fancy table decor and a present. Thanks Bettsi!
On Wednesday, the wind became calmer. But Torsten know quite well how to sail the Seaside. Have a thorough look on the picture to the right. With True Wind Speed of 9.4 knots we were yet sailing 7.3 nm per hour. But later on the same day the wind calmed down completely and we started our engines. Still 220 nautical miles to go.
Approaching Bermuda and St. George´s Harbor we had to call Bermuda Radio to announce our coming: „Bermuda Radio, Bermuda Radio, this is Seaside, Seaside – over“. Only few miles to go, the finishing line in plain view – unfortunately another ARC boat in front of us – we realized problems with the engine! Only slow motion for the last miles – how disappointing!
After passing St. David´s Lighthouse we had to call Bermuda radio again to get permission to pass through the so called Town Cut to enter St. George´s harbor a very narrow channel leading into the inner bay.
For we were the second boat to arrive we were lucky berthing in the town harbour, in the middle of small village live.
With our open-air office right next around the corner – on King`s Square with free WiFi in the vicinity of the Town Hall. Nowadays a World Heritage Estate:
On Friday, the 13th – good luck – we were invited to a Pirates Party a the St. George´s Dinghy and Sport Club. Picture on the left: Seaside´s Pirates, on the right Lyall, Jake and Victor from ARC Rally Control.
We also visited Hamilton. Now the Capital of Bermuda´s. A bustling little city with très chique young men walking around, wearing stylish Bermuda Shorts with long socks and fine leather shoes. Accompanied by an ironed shirt and tie!!!! (Unfortunately, we didn´t have the chance of taking a photo!) On the border front nice and expensive shops.
On Sunday, the day of the price-giving, Larry had to leave the Seaside and to join his wife back home. Luckily, Lutz joined the our crew on the same day. He arrived just in time for the price-giving ceremony which startet with a tasty Goosling Rhum Tasting at the Dinghy Club. After a sitting dinner with all participating crews, the tension increased: Who will be the winner of the first leg of the ARC Europe 2016?
Our new friends Dagmar and Jens achieved the first rank in Class A – congratulations! But the Seaside obtained the second place – not bad, isn´t it?
We received congratulations not only from the female Major of St. George Town but also from the Commodore of the Dinghy Club (Yes, it´s a woman, too!).#
What a happy ending of our first leg on the way over the North Atlantic back to Europe. Let´s wait and see what we will achieve on our next leg from Bermuda to the Azores.
Kindest regards to all the reader`s, thank you for your mental support, it is really appreciated.