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Partaking in the ARC+ 2023: Why?

·1275 words·6 mins
ARC+ 2023
Nuvem Mágica
Table of Contents
ARC+ 2023 - This article is part of a series.
Part 1: This Article

Ahoy there, star-bound mateys ✨

Crossing an ocean is an incredible experience, not least because of the nights at sea. On calm, starry nights, gliding across the water, you find yourself looking around and questioning whether you are still on Earth or whether you have embarked, in reality, on a cosmic voyage 🪐.

Travessing the Atlantic ocean was a big dream of ours and, like all real adventures, we knew it was going to take a great amount of preparation and that we needed to factor in the multiple risks. Risk management was therefore present in most of our discussions and safety was what drove us to sign up for the ARC+.

We tried to encapsulate everything we learned in one single post but, by the time we finished outlining it, we found out we had enough content to make twelve! Thus, we decided to create an ARC+ series, to tell you about our experience preparing for, and then crossing, the Atlantic.

🤔 Why join a rally? And why ARC+, you ask?

We have mentioned that safety was a major factor in our decision to sign up for a rally, but what do we mean exactly? And why join the ARC+ specifically? The World Cruising Club has, quite literally, decades of experience organising these crossings, which meant that we could expect support when it came to:

  • Understanding the challenges other sailors had in previous years
  • Getting Nuvem Mágica ready for the crossing
  • Getting specialized Training
  • Community and getting to know other cruisers
  • All things administrative
  • Safety preparations

📋 The Rally Handbook - a gold mine of information

A few months after registering, we received the Rally Handbook, and we were amazed. From safety equipment to provisioning tips, those pages had just about everything you needed to know. It was so useful, that we read it not once, or twice, but three times! The “Preparations” section was by far the longest, and contained information on the following topics:

  • Checklists: for every aspect of the trip;
  • Safety Equipment: namely the requirements for the rally and details on the safety inspection, as well as general information on safety gear;
  • Crew: how to choose a crew and what training should they have;
  • Personal preparations: how will you keep in touch during the crossing? Have you checked whether you are physically fit for the adventure? Are you fully insured? What clothing should you bring?
  • Boat preparations: power management, spares, medical emergencies and MOB, among other points;
  • Offshore passage tips: fuel and water planning, provisioning, fishing, keeping watch, and many other topics.

🧯 Safety taken seriously

In addition to telling us how to prepare, the World Cruising Club offered safety inspections to make sure that the requirements were met. Most convenient was the online pre-inspection, which we did with Roger Seymour.

We had a very pleasant call with Roger. We went through the list of requirements and, for each item, Roger would either ask us to show him the specific piece of equipment, or would test us by asking questions pertaining to specific scenarios. More than a test or an inspection, it was a friendly and fruitful conversation between sailors.

Once in Las Palmas, Roger came onboard and we checked the missing items off ✅.

🏋️ Training

Your registration to the ARC+ includes de facto training, be it via the online seminars in multiple languages, the additional materials on your World Cruising Club personal account or thanks to the multiple workshops in Las Palmas.

We registered for all of them:

  • “Management of Emergencies”, by Chris Tibbs (ever heard of his RYA Weather handbook?)
  • “Rigging”, by Neil Brinsdon
  • “Downwind Sailing Tips”, by Chris Tibbs
  • “Blue Water Fishing”, by Fergus Dunipace
  • “Satellite Communications - Common Problems”, by Ed Wildgoose
  • “Provisioning”, by Clare Pengelly
  • “Emergency Navigation”, by Stokey Woodall
  • “Route & Weather Guide for the Atlantic Crossing”, by Chris Tibbs
  • “A Guide to the Atlantic Night Sky”, by Stokey Woodall
  • A Double-Handed Workshop, where double handers (crews of 2 people, typically couples) exchanged ideas and tips
  • A liferaft deployment demonstration (although we did miss this one due to a hiccup with our Volvo engine turbos, more on that in a future post)

👯 Community support

Crossing with other boats is in general a good idea, since this means you will have several boats close to you during the crossing. The ocean is a very remote place, and having more boats increases your chances of getting assistance, should you need it.

We knew this was going to be valuable, but we didn’t know how imensely valuable yet (stay tuned for the posts on LEG1 and LEG2).

🧑‍💼 Administrative support

As any sailor knows, getting in and out of marinas and countries can be a difficult and burocratic process. The World Cruising Club assisted us here as well, by facilitatting the check in and check out procedures with immigration and customs.

🧐 ARC vs. ARC+

Finally, we joined the ARC+ rather than the ARC, because we thought that stopping in Cabo Verde (instead of sailing directly from Las Palmas to the Caribbean) would break the trip into more manageable parts. The added benefit was that we got to meet up more times with our buddy boats 😉🍻.

Source: World Cruising Club website

📜 Keep following our ARC+ Series

Follow us on sailing.nuvem.magica to get notified of the release of the next posts in this series!
  1. Partaking in the ARC+ 2023: Why?


    You are on it, it's this post 😅. Thank you for reading it.

    Let me read it!

  2. Provisioning and Cooking


    Food makes everyone happy. How to keep 7 people well fed and how to use cooking as a way to get everyone to share and collaborate.

    Someone said cooookies? 🍪

  3. Medical Preparation


    There are no hospitals at sea. What are you going to do? How are you going to prepare?

    Is anyone here a Doctor? 🚑

  4. Rigging, Sails & Engines


    Stuff happens at sea and consequences can be high. That's a given. How do you minimize the risk of them happening?

    When 🛢️ WD-40 and 🩹 Tape are not a fix for everything

  5. Safety


    Establishing a safety culture onboard.

    "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

  6. Offshore Communications


    The world has changed drastically with the introduction of Starlink to offshore sailors. But what if it fails?

    "Let's get sailing with Space Internet!"

  7. LEG 0: Getting to Las Palmas


    The adventure before the adventure.

    "Maracujá Mágica!"

  8. Last preparations before the ARC+ Rally departure


    You know, until you have crossed the starting line, there is always a million things that can happen and for 36 hours, we thought we wouldn't make it anymore.

    "Tell me everything!"

  9. Ready, set, go! LEG 1 begins


    The atmosphere is something else. LEG 1 was something else.

    "🪭 The Tale of the Symmetric Spinnacker"

  10. Mindelo, Cape Verde


    Mindelo, Santo Antão and the people of Cape Verde are simply beautiful. We loved our short stay and wished it could have been there longer.

    "Maracujá Mágica Party 🪩"

  11. LEG 2, Cape Verde to Grenada


    The longest leg of the rally.

    "Harder, Better, Faster, Strong, LEG 2 is a GO"

  12. Arriving in Grenada


    We did it! We crossed the ocean, wow!

    "Land Ho!"

  13. Retrospective


    Rewind, reflect, breath. What we've learned and what comes next.

    "Life is a beautiful journey"

📚 Resources you may find useful

ARC+ 2023 - This article is part of a series.
Part 1: This Article