On 23 November little ibex crosses the starting line at Mindelo, Cape Verde as one of the first boats of the ARC+ fleet. The wind is perfect for such a start and now over 2,000 nautical miles are ahead of her to reach her destination on the other side of the Atlantic: Rodney Bay in St Lucia.
The first few days the wind is amazing and little ibex is flying across the waves. First with a genua / main sail combination and then she switches to the poled twin headsail wing-on-wing configuration with 2 spinnaker poles. The ride is rocky, and food intake is limited, as waves are still around 3 – 4 m high. Even a bird comes to rest on the stern of the boat.
And then the wind gets weaker and weaker. She hoists the light parasail which still pushes her forward. Oh, look, now she has sailed already 1,000 nautical miles. But the wind gets even weaker and eventually for some hours it dies down completely. The sea looks like an alpine lake without any waves at all. Really beautiful, but not helpful if you want to reach a destination that is still many hundred miles away.
Time to fish. She prepared her fishing gear including a colorful bait and drags it behind the boat. Within 30 min she has a nice catch and can prepare multiple meals.
While waiting for the wind to pick up again, she reads books on the Caribbean and beyond. Not sure yet what she will do next. So many interesting places to visit in the Caribbean. Let’s see where she can go due to the COVID-19 restrictions in the different countries.
Finally, the wind picks up again and the boat creates a nice bow wave. Ideal for a school of dolphins to play.
Little ibex finally sees land and arrives in St Lucia on 9 December at 1607 UTC after 16 days and 7 minutes at sea. It is almost unbelievable, but this little mountain animal has crossed the Atlantic and sailed over 2,000 nautical miles. She is proud of herself and would like to party. But this needs to wait for at least another 48 hours as she is only allowed to leave the boat after the result from another COVID-19 PCR test is available. Therefore, she starts the celebration with a rum punch on board.