December 2019

Daily blog from Dan.  As Fatboy Slim once said, “Eat, sleep sail repeat” (or something like that). Despite being almost two weeks in, the  I0pm, 2am and 6am alarms never fail to confuse the crew.  There are increasing murmurs, perhaps premature, of what people will do when we get to St Lucia. What will come first, the cold beer or shower? I am not totally sure what is more important right now but the lingering musty smells suggests the latter.  With only 4 days to go and sitting narrowly in second place, the abilities of the crew are being tested. Concentration is key throughout the days and nights to keep the boat moving steadily towards the Caribbean. At this rate a Tuesday arrival would be greeted to large amounts of enthusiasm. Morale and spirits within In the crew remain high. Any slight variation to the normal routine sparks excitement and curiosity. There

Has it been another week??  Well, we prayed for wind and, here we are, sitting with two reefs in the main and a storm jib up (a spinnaker down), still hitting 10-12 knots. For the last 4 days. Who knew there were so many different things on a boat to collide with?? Waves look and feel like 10 metres but am reliably informed they are only 4-5: they'll be 15 by pint two at Spinnakers in Rodney Bay no doubt . Looking back on calm seas and 5 knot winds with a bit of nostalgia. The squalls also began in the middle of the Atlantic

ARC 2019 - Day 15. After the squalls passed we carried on in the right direction. As the wind started to weaken our Art division started to take over - playing music, taking pictures and trying to translate stories to a mix of English and French.The distance to St Lucia is now reasonable enough to start making plans. For most of the crew it's all about eating something other than freeze dried food and drinking beer. The more we talked about it though the weaker the wind became so eventually we had to stop.  We shall not miss that flight home - we will be there! Our ARC 2019 campaign is nearing its end.- Jan, Darek and Franek writing for the Jua Kali Report. Come and join Global Yacht Racing for ARC 2020 https://globalyachtracing.com/events/arc/

Rain rain go away, and don't come back! ARC 2019 Day 13 has without a doubt been the wettest day so far for Jua Kali.Multiple squalls came through overnight bringing all of the wind and rain they could muster. Some were avoided but most we decided to take and stay on course.These continued well into the morning and although the rain has now stopped it is still pretty windy!Unfortunately overall these probably slowed us down significantly for the past 24 hours, hopefully the competition had similar conditions otherwise we may have lost out a lot.Still, life goes on. Everyone is happy watching the miles tick down, about 700 to go now! Talk is beginning about what everyone wants to eat first once on land, a conversation that is sure to continue for the next few days until we arrive.Quote from the crew: "I will complain, the weather is meant to

Day 12. The last 24 hours, sailing with a reduced wardrobe of sails, started with praying for more wind. (We had 12-15kts the guys just wanted more - Alex) We were so desperate to catch some that we've developed a semi-god "Baba Gayu" from one of our crew members. We sacrificed half of our food to make him happy enough to bring us wind!It worked, but came with a price as a lot of rain came in the package. After that everything became better ending up with 30kt gusts in the middle of the night.We are now fishing using home made lures out of an old bit of line. Not sure if it will work or not but whatever, we are just happy to be here!We passed the 1000nm marker to St Lucia. Now it's getting to us that completing this trip is really happening!- Franek writing for the Jua

Blog today is from Harry.  So it's Day 12 onboard the good ship 'EH01'/ Race4Rene. Wind is still strong, and we have managed to speed our way to 2nd place in our category with just under 1000 miles left to go!  It has been an eventful few days at sea. First mate Elliott has been teaching us his favourite French swear words, because as a group of young men we didn't quite have enough ways to insult each other. Miki has developed a new bout of Miki flu and won't shut up about it. He has resorted to sleeping amongst the sails in his new illness boudoir. We released a message in a bottle! We wanted to do this as a symbol of hope that no matter how isolated you might feel, there will always be someone to talk to. Fingers crossed this will be found in years to come and they will get

Day number 11 at sea. Sometimes the ocean feels very very large (because it is) but something will happen to make it seem small. EH01, our friends/competition, passed close enough behind us that we could almost wave to each other! Then, when calling them on the radio, it turns out that another boat (on the RORC Transat) was in range of us. This boat was called Kali which led to some considerable confusion! All in all, the we are all eager to get to the finish now but we are taking things fairly easy. As long as we are going fast we are happy, but we don't need to constantly push faster! - Members of Watch B writing for the Jua Kali Report

So today is my turn, the Skipper's, to write the Race4Rene blog and what a trip it has been so far. Before the start of the ARC the team came to Cowes and did 4 days of training and then two more afternoons before the race start. I was immediately impressed how the guys picked up the skills needed to help them race across the pond from having never being on a yacht before to taking up this challenge for such great causes. Each member has been putting their own stamp on the jobs at hand. My biggest concern at the start was the amount of helming under kite each of them have had; which would be the larger part of what we would be doing. The first few nights without the help of the moonlight was hard but now they all jump at the chance to helm in the

Day 10. The Universe continues to misinterpret "What could possibly go wrong?" as a challenge instead of a rhetorical question. Still, we try to invent solutions for sailing without symmetric spinnakers. So maybe we are not there yet, but we are still trying!In the meantime one of our crew members became 55. Good way to celebrate in the middle of the ocean, almost exactly half way to St Lucia! Baptiste (first Michelin star on a yacht) made muffin cake and a perfect dinner just to make the day special.- Franek writing for The Jua Kali Report.P.s. I would like to wish a very happy birthday to my little brother Hendrik whose birthday I am missing for the 3rd year in a row due to the ARC! Have a great day kiddo, see you soon. - Alex

Blog is from Ivo today.  I started off the afternoon shift today saying “what do I have to write about in the blog today, nothing has really happened”, which serves me right really.  Starting from yesterday afternoon, the wind hole that we found ourselves in for the previous few days had started to fill in and breezes were beginning to pick up. This was welcome news indeed, especially considering that the instruments were gloomily extrapolating from our sea snail pace that we were likely to still be bobbing around in the middle of the ocean come Christmas time.  Traditional greetings such as “Good morning” or “Hey how’s it going” were slowly morphing into things like “10 knots mate, 20 apparent” as people emerged from the hatch onto deck, normally accompanied by a grin and a smug brag about the top speed of the boat surfing down the swell.  Whilst daylight prevailed the mood kept