Latitudes 40 Summer 2015

Page 23 LATITUDES Wolfram, Hubert Hirschfeld & Peter

Charlie and Cathy Simon

How have you crewed your boat and why? Crewing your boat the right way for you, is both extremely important and individual to each boat. Cathy and Charlie who often sail double-handed decided that for them doing six hour watches each worked well. “We’ve learnt that you can always force yourself to stay awake, but it’s the off time which is important. Setting an alarm every 15minutes helps if we’re tired.” For Hubert, company on board is important as he explained: “Well, to play cards you need three! But the more crew you have, the better the company and comfort onboard.” The rally also opens opportunities to introduce others to sailing and some of the wonderful destinations that World ARC visits. Michael on Polaris was clear on this point: “One of my goals was to bring friends and family on board. I don’t always get the chance at home so this was the perfect opportunity. I like having a team on board.”

What skills have you learnt during World ARC? Sailing over 26,000 nautical miles is undoubtedly going enhance your skill set. When asked the question, skippers struggled to pinpoint specific areas however a trend was evident. Russ and Laurie simply quoted that “Patience, and your sailing abilities just sharpen constantly.” In agreement Charlie says “Lots of things used to seem difficult however now they are second nature. If you want to set the gennaker, you set the gennaker.” With their desire to sail their boat fast, often arriving in port ahead of the fleet on many occasions, it wasn’t a surprise to hear from the crew of Chika-lu that “sail repair” was a skill that had developed on board!

How would you advise those preparing for a circumnavigation? Russ and Laurie “over prepared” their catamaran prior to the start of World ARC. In doing so they summarise with “Time in port for us was more important than money. If you value your time in port, don’t scrimp on getting the boat ready to go. Bring spares for everything that might break. Prepare yourself and boat on how you want to spend your time.”. When asked, Michael was very clear stating that mentally preparing will allow more enjoyment en-route. “Before departing, understand that It’s a mistake if you want to make comparisons of every stop. You cannot compare.”

What equipment would you recommend? With the huge array of equipment and brands on the market, what is the best for a circumnavigating the world? With their experience, skippers gave a brief insight into the key equipment which can make a circumnavigation more comfortable. For Michael on Polaris “We never expected the amount and need for SSB during the circumnavigation. A great backup! It’s very important however to install prior to other equipment to ensure a good grounding. I would also thoroughly recommend a hydro generator and watermaker.” For Charlie and Cathy two key features, a large water maker and fuel tanks, gave them piece of mind during the remote destinations visited. “We never had to worry about running out of fuel or water during the entire circumnavigation. We would recommend both.”

Following a long discussion amongst the crew of Chika-lu, the following equipment was concluded as being the most important to them during the last 15 months. 1) A very good autopilot is necessary – we have a Raymarine model 2) Correct installation of SSB and AIS with time to test the equipment - the ARC from Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia, could be a good playground for this. 3) Our hydro generator (Watt & Sea) has been brilliant. 4) A small Spinnaker with a heavier cloth is better than a large spinnaker with lighter cloth. You need to be able to use it in wind strengths of 20-25 knots.

What are your onward sailing plans after World ARC? Chika-lu will continue her sailing adventure and Hubert would like to explore the Mediterranean. “My plan is to take the boat to the Med. in 2016. I’m always curious of the next stop and looking forward to continuing the adventure.” Michael has decided that they will take time cruising the Caribbean before sailing Polaris back to Germany taking time to see friends and family giving the boat a rest. For Russ and Laurie, the Pacific Islands were truly a highlight of the rally. “We’re thinking about a half rally again, however this time spend more time in the South Pacific exploring the multitude of islands.” Charlie and Cathy would like to continue the fleet aspect of sailing for the time being. Along with three other boats in the fleet, Celebrate will sail with ARC USA alongside the start of ARC Europe in May. “We’re joining ARC USA to return to Portsmouth VA before the hurricane season. From our experience of World ARC it will be a fun way to make the trip home.”


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