ARC 2015 – THOUGHTS FROM THE SKIPPER OF MAESTRO 40
Good vibes from the Atlantic crossing. The gang was great and took care of their own jobs. No wailing and gnashing of teeth even thought time to time the conditions were pretty strict, and 17 days in a small "cup" required a lot of patience.
The first three days were quite tough, the wind was confusing and waves came from many directions. Some people were sea sick and sleeping, it was difficult to do anything because of the hard rocking. In addition, one member of the crew was ill so others had to take his watch turns at night.
Little by little, however, as the journey progressed, the weather eased a bit ~ 15-25kn and the wind turned more toward the East and the boat movements calmed down considerably.
During the day, we used the mainsail as well as the gennaker and during the nights usually foresail & gennaker. When the weather eased a bit we took out the smaller "hard weather" gennaker to be used at night but for some still unknown reason the entire sail tore after 10 hours so badly that it was impossible to fix it at sea. This left us with a big gap in the sailing equipment because the wind and waves were too big for most of the race to sail with the big gennaker.
What comes to food during the trip I must say that the crew had two gourmands, Timo and Antti, and their food was pretty amazing. Pastas and risottos made up until the last days out of canned food were top quality. The fact that we ran out of fresh vegetables and bread after about one and a half weeks demanded even more from the chefs imagination. Yet, for example, a feta salad which had no salad in it was a very tasty lunch. We got quite a lot of fish, although only Mahi Mahi, no tuna. In total we caught nine Mahi Mahi that were either smoked or baked. That fish is certainly more suitable for baking than smoking so the smoking experiments shall continue this winter, when we get the right type of fish.
Also, some whales were spotted on the way. We were not able to identify the species but apparently they were feeding as they seemed to rush up from the sea with mouths wide open and returned back accompanied with big splashes. This was fun to look at from the safe distance of 500 meters. Another Finnish boat Mearra Nieida reported whales around the boat within "touching distance".
The technology onboard worked quite well, although some small surprises came up. The water-making machine worked very badly because of the suction pipe constantly taking in air bubbles and sometimes because the device was not working at all. We could not fix the machine during the trip so the pure water had to rationed drastically and showers were taken with sea water. Drinking water we luckily had plenty of so the last days we could take showers with mineral water. 🙂
The 3x50W solar panels on board generated about 100W/h per day. Mainly the computers and smoking oven were operated using the propulsion system battery pack via inverter. Oceanvolt's regeneration feature was used for about 20 hours in total and usually when the boat speed was more than seven knots.