A Liv(ely) update  – 13 Days into the ARC

Day 10: Being rocked to sleep or tossed around so you wake up – there is a fine line between the two

More than half way there! The crew onboard Arcona 400, S/Y Liv is powering through and are now more than half way through their journey, a milestone that has been celebrated with cake! Is there any other way to celebrate? For daily updates head over to LivSailing on Facebook!

The crew was in a very good mood last night… but then the wind picked up and the waves started to build again, and rather than being rocked to sleep we were tossed around. Imagine living in a tumble dryer – that is what it felt like inside the boat, making it super hard to get some good rest.

Not sleeping is really tough, so during the day we were focusing on recovery – recovery and carbs: pizza was on the menu. Although making it wasn’t the easiest, because not only do the waves make it hard to sleep it also makes cooking a logistical challenge as you can’t set anything down without it rolling/flying away.

In the afternoon the wind subsided to 20 knots and we decided to try hoisting the spinnaker to get some more speed and more stability. It was a good idea – in theory. The kite caused the boat to rock and snake even more and after a broach and many close calls we decided to take it down.

Day 11: Half way there

Today we reached a big milestone – the half way point! Only 1350 nautical miles to go, that’s the equivalent of two Fastnet Race. We celebrated with Alma’s apple cake!

We had leftover batter from yesterday’s dinner so lunch was a real treat, a Swedish classic: Raggmunk & Lingonsylt. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure it is a kind of shredded potato pancake that is eaten with bacon and lingonberry jam.

Most days the weather is nice and sunny, the grey days are the exception. What do experience every day though is squalls. A squall is a sudden, sharp increase in wind speed lasting minutes, contrary to a wind gust lasting seconds. They are usually associated with active weather, such as rain showers, thunderstorms. Luckily squalls are very visible on the radar and we are now so used to them that we have a super-efficient routine. The main thing is that you have close all hatches and portholes quicker than Sonic the Hedgehog or you will have an aquarium inside the boat. Once the rain shower is over you have to do the Sonic routine again to avoid a sauna in the boat especially if you are cooking. The squalls have a 6th sense for when we are cooking it seems and always decide to show up in the middle of us making dinner.

The spirits are still high on board even though we feel a bit sleep deprived and we are getting better at coping with the waves, although they are putting a spanner in the works for our fishing venture. The only fish we have caught are fly fish that have landed on the boat!

Dag 12: The new normal

We have found our grove onboard and have adjusted to the new normal. We are slow starters in the morning but then the mood improves gradually during the day. Around dinner we are all very happy campers.

A lot of time is spent cooking, it is such a time consuming activity, especially when you have to be two for every task. You can’t even make a cup of coffee or do the dishes yourself. As soon as you set something down it flies away due to the waves. Not even our anti-slip mats work.

But you get used to everything, waves are the new normal and we have really levelled up our team working skills.

This is our current watch schedule, sunrise is around 7 and sunset at around 18.

06:00 – 10:00 Sanna
10:00 – 14:00 Martin
14:00 – 18:00 Jonas
18:00 – 22:00 Sanna
22:00 – 02:00 Martin
02:00 – 06:00 Jonas

Day 13: Finally

The waves are finally getting smaller, and according to the forecast both the seastate and the wind will go back to more normal levels. It’s amazing how much easier everything feels already.

Today we finished the last of our fresh fruit: some very delicious melon, sadly the pineapple had gone bad. It is so hard to know which things will last and what will spoil quickly. So now we have about a week to go without fruit – guess we are gonna have to stock up on vitamin Sea instead.

The wear and tear the weather has caused on the boats has been extreme, and every day we are hearing about the problems of other boats. One person has passed away and two crews have had to abandon ship. There are also many who have had to turn around and seek refuge in Cape Verde.

In that sense we are doing really well. Sure our spinnaker pole is 125 cm shorter and one down haul broke. The only thing that is causing a bit of a headache are the instruments, but hopefully we can do a more thorough analysis when the weather is calmer – we have to find other ways to pass the time besides cooking.

Written by Hanna Ericksson

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