Posted by: asolare | 23/11/2009

Asolare Ship’s Log 2 – Sunday 22 Nov 09 – Race Start 1300UTC

163nm covered in 23hours
Position at 1200UTC was 26.05N 17.07W
(First 24Hrs (1300UTC-1259UTC distance was 171)

Start and Routing: ASOLARE made a good start – we hung back from the line and crept forward slowly so as to stay away from all the Yachts caught on the start line too early with very little room to manoeuvre. Following the start we were a little worried when we saw nearly all the other ARC yachts heading south east away from the acceleration zone but we stuck to our routing plan along with only 4 or 5 other yachts going in our direction. The Skippers decision to use the Acceleration Zones worked very well and we enjoyed a fast and furious first day and into the evening. We sling-shot ASOLARE round the island following Gran Canaria zone around to the West at ‘3 pistal shots’ and straight into the acceleration zone of Tenerife so as to avoid the wind shadow we were caught in during ARC 2007.

AIS – new to ASOLARE – the attached picture shows how powerful the system is. We could see an array of yacht-targets labelled by boat name. The photo is pretty impressive – but the AIS came in to it’s own last night when could select a target and know it’s speed and direction and exact lat and long. There was a very large Ship in the path of 5-6 yachts last night – we could all see the a red light but the vessel was tracking very slowly in the wrong direction – The AS I gave us this information along with the boat name so a quick radio call confirmed that the ship was engines off and drifting backwards.

We are now taking a SSW direction to get a little further south in order to catch the trade winds. As I type we have 22knots true wind, 15 apparent and making 8 knots with occasional surfing down a few waves – YeeHa!

Fishing: Fishing commenced on Sunday using ‘Fred’ – a bright Pink home-made lure from a pair of pink rubber gloves. Within 3 hours we had a very large catch – a yacht cut across our stern very close and Fred was lost. The line went straight back out – but this time we deployed ‘Bob’ – a bright green and yellow diving fish – but as yet no luck.

Wildlife: A land bird paid us a visit – landing on the radar dome before trying to enter the cockpit and saloon. As of yet – no sea life spotted.

Food: We have already had to change our menu plan due to the sorry state of some of our carrots! Sunday night we made a curried-carrot-salsa pasta sauce – which was surprisingly good. We have an electric frying pan on board which is saving us a lot of gas – particularly as we are generating power from wind and solar panels. On the Yoghurt front – we were given a yoghurt culture from yacht GHOST in Las Palmas – but the milk is still watery so we think it may be dead already. The challenge issued to all yachts to get a Basil plant across the Atlantic alive is in progress and our Basil plant is doing fine so far – kept out of direct sunlight and given bottled mineral water instead of pure water-maker water!

Radio Net: There is lots of chit-chat on both VHF and SSB. We heard that one Yacht has lost her rudder and is being towed back to Las Palmas. Most ARC Yachts seam happy to swap wind speed and direction along with speed over ground – and we thought we were going fast! Apparently one of the Catamarans got 17knots surfing down a wave in the Acceleration Zone near the Airport. It will be interesting to see if our tactics pay off in the long term.

Crew: All aboard ASOLARE are fine and well and enjoying the high tempo, wind speed and 8knots on white sails only!

Peter, Mark, Stephen, Clare and Sallyanne.

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