Saint Lucia

We’ve arrived! Go to ‘Gallery of events/South America/Saint Lucia’ to see what we got up to immediately after touching ground having crossed the Atlantic.

Saint Lucia was a great island! Very pretty, friendly locals and a VERY different way of life… Ya Man

Here we shared Christmas and New Year with new sailing friends, this made crossing the Atlantic very special and this was definitely a festive season to remember!


Being around 8 weeks since we departed, and it being my birthday, I thought it time for a BUM SCRUB  One might say about time, others would just laugh!

As movement was restricting, meaning it is not as smooth as it used to be, I could feel the difference between what was once a nice clean’ smooth’ BUM and now — a BUM that needed a scrub …

Being BIRTHDAY BOY I was obliged to put on the gloves and get out the scouring pads, like usual, no cleaning agents were used — only water applied.  Up and down, left to right, sometimes in circles, tackling some hard patches and some difficult to reach areas, some were stubborn, however with extra effort, all was eventually clean – WOW, it looked and felt good :-0

Struggling for air now it was time to stop, and even with the help of Josh, yes yes of course, we were cleaning the underside of Mad Monkey…  no barnacles to see, but a few small crustaceans were found like the norm!

Once cleaning had finished we were welcomed by Helen to our 1st English breakfast with shampoo’ – a birthday boy treat to remember!


We found Majorca and had mixed opinions  —  Beautiful coves and scenery  —  Lot’s of steps and churches!!!  —  Josh found Magaluf  —  and then we prepared for IBIZA!

(Every story has a great ending…)



22nd July 2017 – Departure Day -1

With the check list almost complete, it was down to the last 3 remaining items.  The satellite phone was registered and tested, all worked well.  The trackers messaging service was turned ON and Josh was well happy to have 121 ‘simple’ texting to his friends back home anywhere in the world.  This only left the SSB to be checked and emails / GRIB’s downloaded… well, I believe Meat Loaf made the words… 2 out of 3 aint bad!  The modem failed which means we have no email or GRIB’s for our 1st legs (unless we download via satellite phone if required).  Regardless, many thanks to Jane, (Stewarts wife) who’ll send it for repair and hopefully it’ll be returned by crew when they arrive into Sardinia in a few weeks’ time.

1800hrs came and offerings of Mount Gay rum arrived, who would have guessed we liked a little tipple!  The drinks flowed and the departure party began, followed by a curry and an early morning to bed… just shy to 0100hrs I do believe!

The morning arrived…

Written by Skipper Mark


23rd July 2017

WOW WOW WOW!!!  Wot a send off!

With 32 family and friends as well as our 3 crew members we couldn’t have received a better send off…  Many travelling 100’s of miles to say farewell and offer Bon Voyage!

Estimated to start around 1100hrs our 1st surprize family member (my father!) arrived @ 0945hrs, I guess he had to arrive 1st time on-time 😊 with other family and friends following shortly after.  Pimm’s was prepared by Helen and champagne was popped till 1300hrs when we started our grand voyage..  a 2 year circumnavigation visiting 42 countries, Boy o’ boy, we never dreamt our send-off would be as WOW as this!

Helen, Josh and I want to thank everyone of you that attended and indeed those that rang to send best wishes, the phone was pretty hot all morning!  We really appreciate your support and best wishes and it’ll be great to see you during our travels if you have the possibility…

We slipped at 1300hrs and entered the Solent, what was a dry morning (weather wise that is!) suddenly turned in a squall with driving rain and winds to 35Kn, we had a wet and windy initial 3 hours but then it all changed, actually we made 0.5km in the following 6 hours – but backwards!  Later the winds did return and we entered into a lumpy sea with sporadic gusts, a really unpleasant 1st night we have to say…  5 sail plan changes, wet and bendy… however always with smiles…  roll on the Pacific!

A very memorable day and the reward for the last 4 years preparation

Written by Skipper Mark

Santa Marta – Colombia

The first stop of World ARC 2018! After a fun sail there with strong and constant winds, we had a week to relax in Santa Marta enjoying a city tour, sundowners, a coffee plantation tour, a beach party and lots of steak!

We believe Santa Marta is an up an coming tourist resort for non-Colombian residents, the development going on there is impressive! We felt like celebrities as we were introduced to journalists and photographers upon arrival!

Santa Marta – Colombia

Santa Marta… The first stop in our World ARC adventure! The place where you get surrounded by armed security when going to the gas station and find steaks the cheapest dish on the menu.

We arrived at 0800 hrs after motoring the last 10 hours due to autopilot failure. Nothing too serious, the pin connecting it to the steering quadrant came off. Overall it took us just under 5 days as we departed Saint Lucia for a 1200hrs start line. We were also full of fish as we caught a 100lbs blue marlin on the way!

The first thing which struck us was the cheapness and quality of the food; unusually steaks became the most popular dish on the menu! In the mountains of Colombia they rear cows so this makes it a cheap commodity.

After spending the day on a tour around the city showing us San Pedro Alejandrino Village, a gold museum and a historic cathedral, our first rally event was the welcome party hosted by the marina and the tourist board; the attendance by local press, government ministers and army officials made us feel very valued and that our visit was helping the local community massively. However, we weren’t sure whether being surrounded by armed police boats were meant to make us feel safe?! Also, when the rally huddled together for a photo we didn’t expect to be smiling for 15 different magazines and news channels! Moreover, Nick (or death as the media called him) shot to fame as his interview got broadcasted on national TV).

Saturday was a great day as minibuses were organised to transport the World ARC fleet to Tayrona National Park were we would spend the day having fun by the beach, snorkelling, swimming, getting to know other rally competitors and enjoying a BBQ. Regrettably, the multihulls beat the monohulls in a tug-of-war competition.

On Sunday, Josh took a charitable visit to a local school where they run the “Fundemac step by step programme” whilst the rest of the crew continued with boat jobs and went food provisioning. The school visit was a real eye opener and highlighted the difference in European education. This school is run by a charity and takes mostly orphaned children from the Colombian rainforest who don’t have access to an education and often aren’t familiar with how modern civilisation works. The results are tremendous and we were welcomed by one ex-student who is now studying for a PhD.

The whole crew were looking forward to Monday as this was the coffee plantation tour in La Victoria. The experience started with 4×4 army jeeps transporting us up the rocky paths to the plantation 3000ft above sea level. Once there, both the complementary coffee and plantation tour was very informative. The setup is very traditional and few electricity cables in sight; we do question the health and safety standards though as we were guided past fast paced belts and chambers with fire roaring out of them!

The final day entailed the Skippers briefing and the farewell party. The food and the local entertainment were great and it seemed a fitting way to say goodbye to Colombia.

Saint Lucia

We arrived in St Lucia after our 20 day crossing, overwhelmed and ready to celebrate. We touched down on the pontoon just after 2000hrs, greeted by a representative from the tourist board and St Lucian government, a selection of yellow shirts and friends that we had made in Las Palmas who had beat us to the finish line. It wasn’t long until we finished our rum punches and hit the boardwalk to free ourselves from the strict drinking policy held on board, soon followed by a pizza and a few  (quite a few) more drinks!

One of the reasons we signed up to do the ARC was the comradeship involved, this is definitely illuminated when a new boat arrives having finished their passage. It’s almost quite emotional when neighbouring sailors’ crowd around the pontoon ready to take the lines and blow their foghorns when a new boat arrives to share all their stories.

As well as the numerous arrival parties, we have managed to get out and participate in the local events. We have enjoyed a catamaran trip to Anse La Reye to the fish fry where locals dress up in carnival gear and others cooked meat and fish on BBQs on the side of the road. Another event is the weekly ‘Fish Jump Up’ held just around the corner in Gros Islet, an event which can be heard from the marina! Essentially it is a big Caribbean street party put on by the locals with exceptionally loud music, drink and fresh food.

Once ARC 2017 finished with a fantastic and joyous awards evening, we left our berth in Rodney Bay and took a trip for a couple of days to Martinique with Dan, an Atlantic sailor we got on well with and let him sail with us. We feel this is a very well developed country and very similar to France. After this we sailed down to the beautiful Marigot Bay and anchored here for a night. Sheltered by the wind, blue waters, sandy beaches and surrounded by palm trees this is very much the picturesque Caribbean which lots of people talk about. The day after we had a minibus tour around Soufriere to see the volcano, mud baths and waterfall, again, very pretty! This was topped off with a drink in the local Rasta bar and a local haircut, which, was a new experience!

Christmas was spent on the beach with some of our sailing friends, playing beach games and enjoying the sunshine. We found a local chef to cook for us and deliver it to the beach which delivered exactly what we desired… A Christmas celebrated like the locals!

Next, we have New Year around the corner and we have booked into the local cocktail bar for a night which promises to be unforgettable; we are going with about 20 of our new sailing friends, many from different countries!