Yacht Fathom - Setting off from England in May 2016 on a single-handed voyage somewhere a bit warmer

Atlantic Crossing – summary

Some thoughts on the crossing after a few days to catch breath



** The shortest distance between Mindelo, Cabo Verde and Bridgetown, Barbados was 2,020 nautical miles. Fathom’s ground track was 2,068 nautical miles.

** 120nm was about the daily average for the trip (5 knots boat speed)

**I never once felt lonely or wished I wasn’t onboard. Time seemed to go quickly especially the first week which flew by. I think the secret was having a regular structure to the day as I explained in previous posts. Practising celestial navigation was great fun and a good time filler.

**I was surprised how well I managed to sleep during the first week when I never really felt tired. It was a different story during second week where the squalls make it hard to sleep for long and regular trips to the deck to reef were required during the night.

**The Kindle was brilliant with an endless supply of reading material. Also enjoyed listening to podcasts downloaded before setting off – particularly Desert Island Disks and BBC Friday Night Comedy.Would like to have fished more but didn’t risk deploying the fishing line when the tow generator was out in case of an almighty tangle.

**The tow generator performed very well when the wind was in excess of 15 knots. In tandem with the solar panel it meant the batteries stayed nicely charged and the fridge could remain on 24/7. Below 15 knots of wind it created too much drag which slowed the boat.

**The Aries self steering gear worked flawlessly. A few drips of light machine oil every couple of days kept her happy. I didn’t have to touch the tiller once during 2,000 miles and in the messy seas and 40 knot squall Aries carried on unperturbed.

**The engine was never started from the moment of departure Mindelo to arrival Barbados. All the energy and propulsion requirements were fulfilled from the sun and the wind.

**I always seemed to be washing up or have a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink.

**I ate well and tended to cook a large pot of something every couple of days and keep a portion in the fridge for the next night.

**Baking bread and cake went well and the smell of them cooking was always welcome

**ah yes the race… Arwen was first in on Saturday morning. Ribouldingue and Hent-Eon arrived on Sunday morning (they both started a day later), Fathom on Monday morning and Sturmschwalbe Tuesday lunchtime. We tried to calculate the final results using duration of voyage, waterline length/hull speed, displacement and sail area. It gave the following results

   1st Ribouldingue, 2nd: Hent-Eon, 3rd: Arwen, 4th Fathom, 5th: Sturmschwalbe

All the boats are so different it is near impossible to find a fair way to calculate the overall results satisfactorily so we declared ourselves all winners!

**Would I do it again? Yes without doubt.

Posted on 25 Dec in: Atlantic Crossing (No Comments)

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