ARC Europe – Thursday 17th June 2010

Position @ 1200 UTC

37⁰ 06.52 N 19⁰ 52.44 W

Nautical Miles travelled in last 24 hrs:- 144

Guess what we woke up to, wrong! the wind had backed at long last. Yes we still had the high seas and gusting winds up to 35 knots and being showered with water anytime the high waves hit us, but never mind we have a north westerly wind and we are pointing exactly where we want to go; there’s a result.

Next the bildge, oh dear as full as ever but no change in the numlber of waves covering us on a regular basis and by now have made contact through Christine and the rest of the fleet to find the majority of boats are suffering the same fate, so that is kind of good news. We may have areaswhere water seeps in but hopefully nothing nasty.

It never rains but it pours. our aternator has decided to packup so when the engine is on, no battery charging! Must get that sorted before we leave for Spain, so on went thne generator. Talking generators, our 600€ from St Martins local “B&Q” store has done us proud.

Late breakfast made up of left overs including pancakes went down very well then we planned for tonight. We had to pass accross the 4 shipping and seperation lanes that go around the coast of Portugal at cape St Vincent . According to the pilot books they can get very busy and after these lanes we enter the inner shipping zoneand then there are all the fishing pots that are about in this area. We decided to double up all the watches but particular during the 4 hours estimated to cross the shipping lanes..

I joined Chris at 2000hrs just as we came into the first of the lanes in the seperation zones. Bang! the radar just lit up, they were queueing up to enter the southbound lanes. We tried to call a number up but were ignored so we put out a couple of “Security” ( thye french word) but no one answered that either so we were on our own. there must have been a dozen or so tankers and freighters etc waiting, none of wich wanted to speak to a “Sailing Vessel”so we had to dip and dive and get accross as quickly as we could. We arrived at the middle, (No Mans Land) phew! half way across when Chris stood down and Padddy took over with me, very closely followed by Vince.Looking at the radar screen we only had 2 vessels showing but as soon as we started accross boats appeared from nowhere, my god where did they all come from. ! was on the helm and Vince on radar , again ducking and diving to get across at record speed, ships all around us and again, no body acknowledged our calls. Another ARC boat near us has AIS and was calling individual ships and he didt get repllies so we now knolw th e answer, haved our own AIS

We were clear by Midnight so broke out the hooch to celebrat seeing “Land Ahoy” the coast of Portugal and more importantly coming around the Cape St Vincent on our way to Lagos about 30 more milesto go. Bye for now

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