Hello Friends and Family from 18.02 N, 28.07 W.
The update has been delayed due to my inevitable seasickness the first few days. Back on my feet again and feeling great, so onward with our
Our start of the ARC was just as exciting as one can imagine. Pulling out of slip #12 toward the Las Palmas Texaco fuel dock for Diesel before we set
off to the holding area, brought us front and center with the celebration. Pedro busy with the fuel pump as others crowded around to watch and listen
to the festivities.
Hundreds of spectators brought the experience to a high. The entire Marina was on ear to the Native Music and the announcer as he wished farewell
to each and every sailboat that cruised by to the starting point. Skippers and crews waving, dancing as they blew their horns. As we slipped out away
from the fuel dock it was our turn to hear the “Farewell Northern Winds!! Come back and see us soon!!” We were on our way to the hurry up and
wait... wait.... wait... as 230+ yachts gathered at the Las Palmas Port Entry until that final 5...4....3....2...1 and BANG... the race was on!
Our first day at sea... barely within eye shot of a few competing yachts while discussing our strategy - out of no where a Nimrod Aircraft flew just a few
hundred feet overhead and just to starboard. The following hour discussions posed what country and What were they looking for? Could it be “The
Another day at sea.... another adventure. Calm waters and sunny sky’s brought Captain Bob out of his Toy Chest with the “Guaranteed to Work”
Fishing pole and lures. Mounted the bracket and assembled the pole, line and reel and stepped away as Jason gave it his best shot. Hours later
and still seated in the push-pit... Coke in hand (dedicated beyond belief) Jason waited.
Day 2 Discussions of Hurricanes... Nope... not quite the weather we all were expecting, quite the opposite in fact. Promises of sunny sky’s, calm
seas and following winds were simply not there. Our daily chat around meals was at best an attempt to guess what “Delta” was going to do.
Plethora of information to go on with NOAA, Herbie, ARC, SATc, Nobletec... but the Best report was hearing from brother John. Keep it coming!! We’ll
have to post your notes on the website when we return. They are hilarious!
Jason... still waiting, nothing but boat bites.
Day 3... Boats break. It’s Water-maker day! Confidence is high that Bob the Builder can get the job done and that Turbo-Taylor will be his right hand
man! No generator, no engine, no leak can beat that team! But then again... Why did the generator quit working when they tackled the Water-maker?
In the end, hot and tired they won the fight... fixing both in record time!
The lure strikes... the line runs and the clicker is louder than ever! Jason waiting paid off! When asked what kind it was, he said; “The Infamous,
Elusive...Green Fish!” None of us have a clue what it was though some say it was a shark - but it was green and it was ugly. Back it went.
Day 4 Getting to know your crew.
What do you do when your boat is your home and over a watch one of your crew (DeClerq) says “It’s amazing how many people have let me race their
boats and break them - 9 total and one a borrowed J23 from a nice old man – and it sank in the North Channel!”
Our thoughts; you can’t give him the float test... he is our top racer, so the “Crasher” is under close observation!
Day 5 When not to make Thanksgiving Dinner
During rough seas, pitching and beating as we claw off Delta, we opt to push off Thanksgiving Dinner to Friday. The day is spent reviewing weather
data and wondering if we should turn to the Iron Horse coping with the washing machine eye of the Hurricane or linger south chancing light winds.
The Crasher votes to head West into Delta. The answer is easy then.... grab the wind and sail south!
Day 6 What a beautiful day! And what better time to pull out the Spinnaker. Jason heads down to the Tool room as Crasher prepares to open the
hatch and release the Sail from above. Not a moment to soon for that Tool Room, AKA Fruit and Vegi storage. Jason was met with two netted
hammocks of some pretty foul smelling gunk, dripping down upon the sail bags. The day quickly turned into an overall wash down as we rid of the
nasty stuff and cleaned the entire boat from Bow to Stern inside and out. Showers for all as we prepare to sit down for our Thanksgiving dinner made
by Chef DeMattia... Captain Cook. Only thing missing; Football games and white powder replaced by dozens of Dolphins racing about our bow and
an evening of illuminated Phosphorescence all about the boat.
Another squall with strong winds and 8 miles deep. Turbo asleep and Crasher down but not out, Jason myself and Bob stare at the Radar screen as
time ticks away… we eye the different shapes of the rain clutter and Jason calls out... “It’s a dog”, Bob laughs and says no it’s a prancing camel... Kim;
"could it be the ghost of Crashers victims??"
Dark and raining evening.... time to hit the sheets and get some Zzzzz’s.
So keep tuned for future updates.
Signing Off 23:15 25-11-05 – Kim
I t has been a wonderful cruise these last few days... following winds and sunshine give the perfect setting for leisure sailing. Crasher and Cap
are at the Helm discussing timing strategy as Turbo works on his computer. I listen in as I lie back in the cockpit taking in the sun and enjoying
Richard Bransons’ autobiography. Blankie is down in the Saloon breaking the still air with burst of laughter as he watches “The Incredibles”.
10:30 A daily event for our crews’ entertainment - Jason sets lure and the others watch and listen. This time the action takes a turn... Jason fly’s out
of his seat for the position... spots it flopping about only to find out it is a Turn Gull plucking the lure from the sea. Crasher decides it’s a perfect time
to practice his skeet shooting as the others wonder when green peace will be surrounding our boat. The Lure was saved and Jason again cast it
out for another try.
14:30 Jason quietly asked me if I had some Blankets to cushion him as he lays against the Lee cloth. When asked what the problem was, he
stated; “that canvas is like sandpaper against my skin and not a very high thread count either!” We all burst out laughing as this tattooed Harley
Davidson Manager complained about comfort and is now known appropriately as “Blankie”.
FOUR MEN and a Lady
06:00 Early morning. Just a fly on the wall as I hear voices passing about the forward bunks... “wakie, wakie, hands off Snakie”... followed by a loud
burst of laughter from the Starboard cabin.
07:00 I step through the companion way to find Jason standing port-stern with line and fish in hand looking about for the fillet board. “Do you have
a sharp knife Kim?” Jason says as the Boat heals over sharply. Up comes the fillet knife and off comes the head. Minutes later two nice pieces of
filleted fish with promise of more by sunset. After hours passed, and thoughts billowed in the breeze, it became apparent a larger, more macho fish
snapped the lure while Blankie was in the Head.
In the evening and after a fantastic dinner created by the one and only Captain Cook, gourmet every day – we settled down to an evening at the
Movies. The voted flick... Caddy Shack. If you haven’t seen it... check it out... what a hoot.
Has been a cloudy evening and by 0400 the sky opened up to a beautiful array of stars and planets, brighter than any other night. We expect the
morning will bring another day of sunshine and hope for the perfect trade wind to set our Spinnaker.
Time to wake up the guys, its now 0700. Next on watch; The Crasher and Blankie. Sounds like a B-Flick. For those of you who know... boats can
be a little snug with just enough room to squeeze through. In the Galley the kettle is whistling and Bob dumps the coffee grinds into the press as
Crash goes for the mugs. Now the common way might be to take the mug off the top of the stack, but Crasher doing what he does best... grabs the
handle that is smack middle releasing all those above and below to spill out, all the while the water kettle whistle is waking up the entire boat.
Another Day begins........ stay tuned. -Kim
Smiles from 15.29N, 41.06W... 27knots True Wind Speed and 12.5 Speed Over Ground!
Enjoying the ride and looking forward to another 3 days of the same! Boat interior day temps reaching 38.7 leaving the Cockpit with Bimini overhead
as the gathering place for fresh air and conversation.
Everyday becomes a little hotter and Blankie looking a little limper. I am ready to go for a swim while eyeing the yellow life-ring like it is a tractor tube
ready to take the wake. Crasher is scheming of ways to gather another quarter knot while Captain Bob affirms that this is not just another junk-yard
day racer. Turbo suggesting they move the Spinnaker guy up a bit to relieve the pressure and saving the sail. JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE RACES...
Captain Cooks Secret Recipes
21:00 Dinner was an event this evening as Captain Cook was working away at yet another of his ‘Clandestine Creations’. Sly Turbo Taylor weaseled
his way in as Sous-chef slicing the cabbage while sneaking a peek at Cap mixing his secret ingredients.
I began to set the cockpit table for dinner when I noticed Crash and Blankie grinning like two boys with their hands in the cookie jar. The hatch above
the galley illuminated by the lights became the perfect resemblance to a 13” TV as it mirrored the workings below. When asked what they were
laughing at they said; “we’re watching our own version of Naked Chef, though not quite as satisfying!
The only thing resembling curves is the tops of their heads”.
“Fishing for Dummies” and “Catch and Release for Idiots”
Morning cruise at less knots made for very good fishing opportunity and Blankie was fast asleep with his new found padded bunk so I decided to give it
I went out and set a new lure this time with a 3” hook. Letting out the line, I set the ticker. A few hours later while below I hear a voice yelling from
above “you’ve got a bite”!!. I run up and I see it splashing about and began bringing it in. The resistance was far stronger than I ever imagined. The
reeling was getting increasingly difficult with rod bending beyond belief. The winds picked up over the now tumultuous sea and our speed quickly flew
to 15 knots. The fish starts jumping about revealing a flash of silver fin slicing the water line........ Now this IS a BIG Fish Story! With prevailing winds
jetting us along at 15 knots, only ORCA could keep up!
Guys will be Guys
08:00 Needing a few more fish for dinner, I find Cap N’ Crash are out on deck scavenging for what Flying-fish made unfortunate landing on deck last
night. Only 1 was found as I find the two of them fighting over it, Bob burst out laughing and says “You keep it, it reminds me too much of an old friend!
Overboard it went.
Crystal Sky’s and Tired Eyes
07:00 Sailing wing & wing with the Boom far out to Port and the Reacher extending to Starboard, Captain Bleigh finds the night shift snoozing away.
Waking them up, he directs them to bed. He begins his check of the rig... when out of his mouth he says “!^%$$#?!” as the Shackle from the Topping
Lift is banging the boom resembling the liberty bell. Our fist racing wound! ...center boom, port side...now respectably called “200 lashings”. Captain
Bob: “Didn’t like that Boom anyway! - and you’re all about to meet “little Miss Watch Commander, aka torture timer”
23:00 Cap and Crash are on watch, sitting in the cockpit when I hear them jump up and start looking about. “Get a light!” Cap says as they try to spot
the beast that snorted at Starboard. I run up and ask “what is it?” as they search the water below. Bob says “it snorted like a moose!” and Crasher
says,”I don’t know... maybe it could have been the flying fish snorkeling by saying “nah, nah, na-nah-nah”. Cap swears it was a whale. I think it may
have been the air that they were passing from the dinner the night before.
Keep posted as we cruise into the second half, over and out - First Mate Kim
Good Morning from the Crew of Northern Winds!
December 1 - definitely getting warmer every day. Of course we’d go swimming if we weren’t sailing so fast! We could always take the boards away
from Turbos’ legs and hit the wake skiing.
The good wind continues and we juggle our sails to make the best of what we’ve got, but of course things happen. We had a small tear at the
bottom of our 1.5 Sym, and as Crash would say... “Happened in our 70 knot gust...just as we were bringing it down!” Forward Deck light on, we
repaired it - then stowed it as we brought out the Reacher. Onward we went!
Coffee at sunrise ~.
One thing Northern Winds has is a plethora of snacks and junk food for evening watches. Cap & Crashers morning discussion revolved around
how sick they felt after eating that shortbread ‘cookie’ they had last night. I go about the snack stow to find the two packages of Scottish shortbreads,
but to no avail. “Where did you put them?” I asked. They look at each other and burst out laughing; “We ate them all!”
Four Men and a Lady –
Four times the laundry as our life lines are blanketed with Men’s shorts and cabins are lined with socks hanging from end to end. The sock thing I
don’t quite understand... as it is hotter than hell and who wants to have clothing on.
Crasher goes walking about smelling like a moldy kitchen rag as his clothes are washed on a rainy day and left to ferment on his bed.
As if we don’t have enough roughage in one day!
Closed quarters with Captain Bob as Cook... is only the beginning of what some would consider the makings of “The Perfect Compost”. Cabbage,
Onion, Barley and Beans are staples around here. Bob orders up leftovers for breakfast....beans with onions! I suppose if we run out of diesel, we
have a means of gas.
Not too shabby, 3rd war wound in 11 days-
10:30 No better way to exasperate one then to sail Dead Downwind with wing and wing – main sail slapping and popping violently.
During a crystal clear evening while on watch, Jason notices something trailing off the main leach. Flashlight in hand he finds a Batton sticking out
about 15 feet on the verge of shooting into the sea. All are awakened and we bring in the Genoa and lowered the main to where Jason can reach
and successfully remove the batton. Our best recovery yet... and no affect on our speed.
Sleepless nights and boat bites
Jason continues to fight sleep deprivation and head knocks in his lower passage bunk. Unable to find a comfortable means for Zzzzzz’s, we find
Harley Man “Blankie” has managed his mattress to the floor. Could be a Hammock at the Soggy Dollar Bar
I learned today via the website that not all of our pictures are posted… only about half were. So stay tuned for our website update when I return.
We have had some great shots that compliment the logs we've submitted. I will keep submitting them in hope they get posted.
08:00 Days on easy street as coffee sipping sailors are itching to change spinnakers. 1.5 is raised and off we go, picking up another
2 knots. With 13 days at sea and after you change sails the dilemma is ‘What now?’. Off to get the buckets and hose, rinse down needed.
Sitting below working on some music files, I hear Captain Bob say to Crasher; “What is all this?” as they begin washing down the deck and come
across my orange peels tossed into the windward side in lieu of the Leeward. Something about the games we play at sea ~ watching some make it
over and the humour when they return to hang on Crashers clothes.
Another day with the Bottleneck Dolphins had us all about the bow while several started jumping 8ft into the air, one landing on his tail. Just a day in
the life of a dolphin racing the biggest and badest of them all.
12:00 Noon on a Hot day
Jason is sunning up on the Bow when he notices that the Spinnaker Halyard is chaffing at the top. Jump in to action, Spinnaker doused. Drew
Straws and Blankie earned the Bosun award. Up he went - Duck Tape to the rescue and the race is on again!
04:00 Great Day for Fishing!
The lure was set and did get a few bites but it wasn’t until later in the day that one took it. Was great fun – brought it in where Bob stabbed it through
the head with a knife, only after whacking it twice with the Winch Handle. And it was still fighting us making it difficult to manage, but we did – right up
to the carving board, while I held it still, he cut off his head and damn if that fish didn’t keep on moving, from both ends! Just like a good woman, gets
the last word!
09:00 Pig Rinds and Coffee Grinds
As you all know… we have plenty of snack food on board. Cyn and I picked out enough for over 3 weeks and going through the last box now. Chips
Ahoy seem to be a favoured one. An 8 cookie package was devoured by yours truly – the Captain Cook - with the exception of one that landed in my
mouth after a good wrestle.
Has been 12 days at sea… and other than the affects of Bob’s cooking – the crew is redolent of rotten eggs in sweaty sneakers. Showers are well
appreciated but short lived as the days are long and HOT. True wind speed of 22 knots ~ there really is a God. though a women would have had
sweat smelling of something irresistible.
Talking about overboard, I saved the coffee grinder today from the infamous “Float Test”. Cap couldn’t get it to work and Jeff ‘Turbo’ Taylor and myself
had to explain “treat it like you did the fish… then it works! – But don’t use the winch handle.”
Well as I am about to sign off, Jimmy Buffet playing in the background I hear the four guys in the cockpit discussing shifts and showers. Turbo spouts
up and says, Ill sacrifice the sleep, I need the shower!
Until tomorrow, sending some warmth your way
-Kim and Crew of Northern Winds
I t was very exciting to see the ‘position report’ today as we see our standing as #1 in our class and 7th overall! Last night we put out the 1.5
Spinnaker the entire night, opposed to a more conservative route. It paid off and it continues to excel as we move into the afternoon hours today with
top wind gust of 28 kts.
We’ve limited Crashers time at the helm… no sense loosing the race before we win it! Although if Crash were at the helm this entire trip – and
Murphy wasn’t hiding in the Hull, then we just may have broken a record! All the while our top Bow-man, Jason has to manage the sails while Jeff
takes over the helm during Crash’s play hour. Captain Bob is keeping all in check and close to reality by baiting them with promises of Burgers and
Beer when we arrive. I resign to the Saloon to stow anything free to fly, as we take on significant increases in wind and strong gust.
It started this morning when we awakened to a nasty squall and arguably bad enough to take down the Spinnaker, but opted to alter course and
keep it up another hour in hopes the winds past by. It was a good decision and we gained a knot and half
during that time though it was pretty intense.
Last night we had an awesome dinner prepared by Jeff ‘Turbo’ Taylor! And if I could get the pictures to download, you’d see how we are living like
Kings & Queen. One thing we are not hard up for on Northern Winds is Gourmet Food and Premium Snacks!
At our half way crossing, several days ago – we were in some pretty tumultuous waves and short swells with strong South-westerlies that forced
our undivided attention to sailing as we pushed ahead. This meant that our Thanksgiving Dinner and Champagne would have to wait. We did have
our dinner the next night, but have yet to cork the Champagne! The boys also managed to get into the reserve 6-pack of beer we were saving for our
arrival, though only a few were tapped before they were caught.
The Soda Pop is also on the way out. Crasher has made a huge dent in that too! So water based drinks will be the staple with ice-tea, lemonade,
coffee & tea.
Dolphins on this trip have been unbelievable! When they are travelling with us -there are 20 – 40 of them, unlike the coastal waters where we would
see 10+. Huge schools come about and race with the boat, under and around the bow and over each other. We have short videos we took through
the crystal waters and even some shots of them jumping way into the air 5-8 ft, right next to the boat. The other cool thing is their blow hole. As they
are so close, we are able to see how their air-hole opens when above the water and quickly disappears as they go back down. Also the dexterity and
poise they have as they move about one another. Truly one of the highlights of this crossing.
Well I have been in working for the last few days, so now at 13:30 I am going to go outside and see if I can bear the heat and get some rays.
9:00 Monday 5-12 Crash and Bob just coming on watch;
Crash appears to be cleaning up the sheets when Bob says; Crash, what are you doing”?
Crash says; “I see a hole and if we....”
Crash: “There’s not enough sail out. Just going to put the Staysail out – gotta fill the hole”
Bob: “The answer is absolutely Not”
Crash: “Well, just for a picture then” as he smiles and laughs
Bob: “Crasher! You are not adding more sail”
Turbor: “Ah, what’s going on up here?”
Crash: “Come here and see this, we have a hole...”
Bob: “The only hole we have is the hole in your head”
Turbo: “Don‘t get me involved, I am off watch!”
We all burst out laughing and we stuck with the Goose wing; Main, Reacher and Jib
4-12 Countdown, two days to go and last night was a dooozer! Wild winds of up to 38+ knots swirling over confused 2 meter seas.
The evening began with a star filled night. Hour later radar picked up a significant size squall moving directly toward us. We were dealt gale force
winds lasting over an hour. This wouldn’t be a problem if we didn’t have an “in-boom” furling system.
Typically we’d reef early in the day in anticipation of what might transpire in lieu of when something transpired. We certainly don’t want a full main up
with those kinds of winds. But in a rally – you want to use your main as much as possible so that you are competitive. When the storm appeared there
was no time to reef safely. Worse, it could have caused a major catastrophe. To top that off, the headboard car that takes the load when the main is
reefed broke off earlier in the week and with out it we’d take the chance of the entire main coming down under heavy load when reefed, so we were in
Hanging on and scrambling about to manage the boat, the squall eventually passed. 30 minutes later...another one and bigger. We did
what we could to out run it and eventually headed south to avoid it, still catching the heavy winds on the tail end that eventually brought
us to broach. We had traveled South an hour out of our way. This was the deal all night, though exciting at times, a sleepless night - the only one
remotely enjoying it was Crasher who was adrenaline filled from the speed we were getting and from the broach that had our hearts beating out of
The weather calmed this morning however it’s evident that tonight will be a repeater – so the main came down. We were getting 11-13 knots SOG
and with just a reacher, 7-8. And for those of you watching the tracking – now you know why we headed south.
We also caught another fish today! – a Baracuda. Not something any of us wanted to touch. Jason held it up and Bob clipped it free – no Baracuda
bites. Jason is our star fisherman with 5 fish caught. A few of us also managed to bring in a few. Just got another bite! Jason just jumped up from
watching “Sideways” to run out and bring it in. Will let you know on tomorrows log.
Wish us luck! -Kim and the Crew of Northern Winds
We begin our last day of the ARC with stars in the sky meaning Sun shinning gorgeous day ahead!
As you know from yesterday’s log, we opted to take down the main for a few hours due to the heavy weather. After just 4 hours, the main sail was
brought up well before sunshine, partly due to the squalls evaporating and mostly because none of us could tolerate being with out our main.
Furthermore our main stabilized our most often used sails, the Spinnakers. Up and Down changing sails really paid off as we cruise at an average
11 knots and taking the lead.
Out of the four Spinnakers we have (2-A’s & 2-Sym’s), only had one casualty… one Sym blew. In comes the Crasher - he not only blows them out,
he is a veteran sail maker and was there to repair! Up it went again. His motto: “You can’t have enough sail up as Speed is Stability!”
So onward we go, moving in for the finish line strategically changing our sails and approach giving us the best gain.
Approaching land – time to run and we will catch you on the other side!
Kim – Bob, Bob, Jason, Jeff Northern Winds #49
"5 Day Update"
"Pig Rinds &