A Liv(ely) update  – 17 Days into the ARC!

Liv Sailing are now on the home stretch of this Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) with less than 200 nautical miles to go and they are expected to be in St Lucia by tomorrow morning. There is no fresh fruit or vegetables left onboard but Alma is keeping everyone happy and carbed up with homemade brownies! For daily updates head over to LivSailing on Facebook!

Day 14: Now we are talking!

For the first time during the pretty much have winds below 20 knots and a manageable seastate – fingers crossed because the rest of the week also looks good!

Sanna started the day by spoiling us, making fresh bread for breakfast. We then proceeded to tackle the work list, and when that was done (an extremely satisfying feeling) we decided to run the water maker: when it is this hot it is really nice to pour a bucket of 27-degree sea water over yourself and immediately follow up with a bucket of cold fresh water.

There is now not much variation to what is left in the pantry, as we mentioned we are out of fresh fruit and vegetables, so for lunch we had noodles and then pizza for dinner. For once we didn’t have any squalls interrupting our dinner preparations so we could spend time outside: using the oven makes it really warm down below.

Day 15: Christmas DIY and chocolate chaos

Even if we are feeling a bit tired we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel as we are less than 650 nautical miles from St Lucia.

Today we brought out all the Christmas decorations! Such a joy to be able to get to some DIY, the weather and sea state has prevented it thus far, Alma and Atle were at it all day.

On today’s menu was Pasta Carbonara for lunch and fried potatoes (the last potatoes actually) with salami for dinner. Even though the weather is much calmer you still have to be two people for most kitchen tasks: today we tried what happens if you leave an entire package of hot cocoa powder unattended on the counter… It really is quite amazing how much of a mess 1 kg of cocoa can make, all the tiny spaces it manages to find and the surfaces it clings to!

Day 16: Not alone anymore!

Today was the first day since the start of the rally that we saw another ARC boat. We have seen two freight ships, one superyacht and an Australian sailboat. We saw a faint tiny navigation light on the horizon, turns out it was Skye III, an Oyster 595 from Great Britain.

Today we also experienced our second broach: there was a sudden increase in pressure due to a squall, as the same time as two wave peaks collided and tossed our stern. It took a while to sort everything out and we had to furl the genoa, but after a few minutes everything was back in order and we could continue. Immediately afterwards Skye III called us on the radio (another first since we left Las Palmas) to check that we were okay – they had noticed our sudden change of direction – it is amazing how we all look out for each other!

An hour or so later we got another VHF call from our friend Lasse on Sandvita who were now also in radio range. It is really such a delight to be able to talk to your friends again, and to hear that all is well with them and their boat. After two weeks of radio silence it is nice to know you are not alone!

During our chat with Sandvita it prevailed that they were serving lemon cake for fika. This hit Alma’s baking nerve and she decided to make her famous brownies. We still don’t quite get how she does it – it shouldn’t be possible in the gas oven.

It was a day of more firsts: Axel had his first solo watch! He was on from 18.00-22.00 and the last two he was completely alone when all the adults were sleeping like babies.

It is really the home stretch now, and we are fighting with three other boats for the final podium spot in our class, with only 5 nautical miles separating us!

National pride will be on the line as Slingsby’s green and gold team race against the sport’s best athletes from seven other nations – Denmark, France, Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United States of America.

Day 17: Less than 200 nautical miles to go!

ETA Rodney Bay, St Lucia – sometime in the night between Wednesday and Thursday.

The days are passing faster and faster. We have our set routines but are quite tired after a tough journey. All that talk about down time, spontaneous naps and reading books that everyone talked about we have not experienced and we are all pretty keen to set foot on dry land.

Because we always seem to have squalls at dinner we decided to shake things up today and do pizza for lunch and noodles for dinner… Well, we managed to time lunch prep perfectly with a squall – so now we think the weather gods are playing tricks on us.

Alma and Atle got a bit jealous of Axel’s solo watch so tonight they all took the 18.00 to 22.00 watch together.

Tomorrow is our last day of this Atlantic Rally. First thing on the agenda when we get to Rodney Bay – have a proper shower – we are all feeling quite sticky.

Written by Hanna Ericksson

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