What’s it like to sail across the Atlantic during the ARC rally?
Original post: Another World Adventures
Sailing across and ocean is a dream of many. And one fantastic way to do it is to join a crew taking part in the ARC rally, a 3 week transatlantic from Las Palmas to St Lucia.
It’s an opportunity to sail with yachts from across the world as more than 200 boats set off together to race and voyage to the Caribbean.
In 2021 with some help from Another World Adventures, some of our adventure seekers joined the wonderful crew on board Mizar 3 on their westbound voyage and more are joining them eastbound back to Europe.
This video is a sneak peek into life on board a 52ft yacht across an ocean.
A voyage to sail across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Atlantic Rally. Of those people who have dreamt, planned or actually crossed an ocean there are still only a few who will have experienced that special feeling of sailing the southerly trade wind route.
During the crossing the crew participate with full life on board including watches (day, night, steering and help with sail manoeuvres) and shared tasks for life on board.
The watches are usually 3 hours in the night and 4 hours in the day. Experience isn’t necessary but passion for adventure is a must!
Skippered by Francesco who speaks Italian, English, Spanish and a little bit of French but on board will be mostly English spoken. He’s a professional skipper since 1997 with worldwide experience and has sailed round the world with the Arc Millenium Odyssey in 1999 and has done 14 Atlantic crossing with guests on board.
Setting sail from Las Palmas the voyage to St Lucia takes around 3 weeks to complete, although if the North-East Trade Winds behave you can expect it to take around 14 days.
You’ll be one of eight guest crew on board a classically designed sailing yacht by Bruce Farr in Janneau style. It is a comfortable boat with 4 double cabins with their private bathrooms.
Or choose to sail eastbound on the return to Europe which usually goes in April from Saint Martin to the Azores and onto Spain.
We loved helping life-long sailor Yves Lermusiaux find the dream team for his first Atlantic crossing with this crew on the ARC 2021.
“There is something nearly meditative to be on the ocean, in front of the grandiose element and view of water all around you,” he said after 17 days of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.
Yves began sailing with dinghies in Europe. When he was 14 years old, his family owned a 420 near their home Belgium. Yves continued sailing up to his early twenties, mostly cruising around France during vacations. This December, he completed his first Atlantic crossing as crew aboard a 52′ Jeanneau Sun Odyssey.
In an article in Modern Sailing he talks of his favourite sailing experience so far was swimming around the boat during his transatlantic crossing this December.
“Not only were we hundreds of miles from any land, but we also had thousands of feet of water under us,” Yves recalls. “That is when you realize we are a little more than a drop of water, but not much more…”
Yves and the crew crossed the Atlantic with the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) from Las Palmas in the Canaries to Saint Lucia, finishing the crossing first in their division.
“It was on my bucket list for years, and as I just sold my company and had more time, the obvious question was if not now, but when,” he says. “So for all sailors thinking about it, go for it. But make sure to know where your [skill] level is. With the ARC this year, one individual died and two boats were abandoned, so make sure to have a good team. I found a great Italian skipper and we raced it all the way. We barely used the autopilot, only slept in increments of 3 hours, and were exhausted when we arrived. It paid off, as we won for the overall cruising category with over a hundred boats in it.”
Find out more about joining the crew for ARC 2023 here.
Or join them for the return to Europe in April/May 2022 and 2024 here.
Hi I’m Larissa, Founder of Another World Adventures. Welcome! If you’re planning an adventure you’re in the right place. Get ready to discover epic travel inspo and a collection of hand-picked trips from my trusted network of experienced adventure experts. Think unusual destinations, expeditions, slow, solo and sustainable travel and epic journeys on land and at sea! Ever got a question? Just get in touch, I answer every enquiry myself. Enjoy!