ARC Channel Islands Leg 1: Dolphins and rainbows
It was an early start for the fleet as they slipped lines at 0500 and headed out of Dart Harbour to make the most of daylight for their 73nm passage to Guernsey. Once out of the harbour the fleet were treated to a beautiful sunrise on their port side with a rainbow to their starboard. Sadly Spontanee had to return to Darthaven with engine problems, they are hoping to re-join the rally if they manage to repair it. With light winds being experienced across the fleet the same forecast for much of the crossing this was a wise decision.
Martijn from Eclipse kicked off the birthday celebrations for his father Marcus with a radio check, to ensure they could hear a spectacular rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’. There were then reports across the VHF of several dolphin sightings. The whole fleet were treated to multiple visits from dolphin pods throughout the crossing.
As forecast the winds increased during the middle of the crossing, with average winds of F4 experienced across the fleet, Charles and Linda on Sun Kosi a Jeanneau Sunfast 3200 experienced fantastic sailing conditions, with their boat speed regularly reading over 8 knots.
Others were slightly more unfortunate with the wind conditions, with very little wind and on the nose for the whole crossing, meaning they had to motor sail. Fenris was the first boat to arrive in St Peter Port, shortly followed by Eclipse and Fourforty. “We were pleased we managed to stick to our passage plan” said Howard. All boats were moored in St Peter Port by 1930 with Moonshadow the last boat to arrive, having had an enjoyable crossing.
Once docked the participants gathered at the Guernsey Yacht Club for a well-earned dinner, swapping stories and comparing conditions from their crossing.
by World Cruising Club