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Atlantic Odyssey Day 22: More Arrivals, News from the Fleet

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Martinique arrivals


Dehooké, the French Beneteau First 40 owned by Frédérik Giraud and Alice de Montoussé, was the first to enter the Cul de Sac du Marin at dawn, and docked quietly on pontoon 5. 

Pascal Guiraudou bumped into Fred and Alice at 07:30 am,  they were taking their garbage to the trash bins of the marina. They had obviously carefully sorted and kept everything on board during these 3 weeks of sailing.

Fred and Alice from DEHOOKE


Next was Alytes, the Lagoon 400 owned by Fritze and Heide von Berswordt, crossing the line at 11:00. They were welcomed on dock 5 the crews of The Larrikin and Song of the Sea, and champagne corks popped for this occasion.

Champagne for ALYTES

Mina, the 9 year old daughter of Fritze and Heide, was the first child of this Atlantic Odyssey to reach Martinique. Congratulations! She received a special present from the Tourism Office of Le Marin.


Tourism office welcomes Mina, the first child to reach Martinique

German Land in Sicht

Heute, am 08.12.2014 gegen 07:15 UTC sehen wir die ersten Lichter Martiniques!

Nach einem weiteren spektakulären Sonnenaufgang fahren wir unter Motor durch die Flaute gen Le Marin.
Die nächsten Stunden werden wir mit der Vorbereitung des Landfalls verbringen. Festmacher vorbereiten, Fender aus den tiefsten Löchern kramen, den Hafen informieren, Aufräumarbeiten etc. Also ein paar arbeitsreiche Stündchen.

Dann zum Zoll, um uns anzumelden. Janne wird uns fluchtartig verlassen,  da er einen Flug nach Barbados erwischen will, wo er noch Freunde trifft. Wir hatten den größten Spaße mit dem Junge (44J) von Aland und freuen uns schon auf ein Wiedersehen in Thailand oder auf den Alands in einigen Jahren.

Ingo wird noch ein paar Tage an Bord bleiben und Martinique genießen.

So, jetzt geht es an die Arbeit. Mehr dann nach dem erfolgreichen Landfall.

Alle sind ein wenig elektrisiert. Mina ist glücklich, der Skipper auch 😉


Om, the Lagoon 400 S2 from New Zealand, owned by Antonio Pasquale, arrived in the afternoon in the marina, after a quick stop at anchor once the finish line was crossed to have their first Caribbean swim. The youngest members of the crew, Indra, Tosca, Anita, and Connor, also received a special gift from the Tourism Office of Le Marin.

And last but not least, the yacht Gavroche reached the marina at sunset just in time for the second Caribbean party held in front of the marina office.

Young crew of OM receive gifts from the Tourism office

We have sailed through the finish line at 1312 local time. Crew safe and happy, boat safe and in good order.

Before the finish I did congratulate Christian Pera, Connor Young, Anita, Tosca and Indra Pasquale for their  first crossing of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. I am very proud of them.

This is my fourth crossing and by far the most rewarding.



And last but not least, the yacht Gavroche reached the marina at  sunset just in time for the second Caribbean party held in front of the marina office.

The rest of the fleet


6 December: Oh what a night.

Red and green should never be seen, so my mother used to tell me it’s a fashion faux pas, and more recently I learned it means a ship is headed straight for you (red and green nav lights at the same time).

It also applies to radar images showing the super squall we encountered during the day today. It was one of the biggest yet and was approximately 12 x 8 miles in size. No avoiding it so we sailed through and weathered the 35K winds and teeming rain for an hour or so.

From there things didn’t get much better, dodging squalls the rest of the afternoon and into the evening. Changing sails and course to try make the best of it, till around midnight something strange happened. Normally the squalls track from 30 degrees to the right of the ground wind. We started having some track in different directions and soon realised we had squalls from the south heading towards us as well as squalls from the north.

We use waypoints to mark and track the positions of the squalls to calculate their direction and speed to see if they are on a collision course with us.

The ones in the north looked more ominous as they were constantly lit up with lightning. A nervous few hours with lightning all around us and above us. At one stage Sephina took a near hit and the watermaker turned itself on due to the power surge. Backup nav computer, sat phone and gps were all in the makeshift faraday cage (the oven) in case we lost ships electronics. The electrical storm to the North was an amazing sight. I was watching one cloud 5 miles distant. It just sat there motionless for over two hours. Big and black, around 10 miles wide and every minute or so it would release lightning from it’s centre. Always the same place, closest to the sea, but not like any lightening I’ve ever seen. It was more like an ark welder welding metal. A thick yellow line of electricity vertical and it seemed 1/4 miles thick, turning on for 5 seconds then turning off. Elsewhere in the cloud were the usual fork and sheet lightening which looked tame compared to the arc. Natures power is awesome and intimidating sometimes…

After dealing with squalls and this for 20 hrs I was exhausted and eventually left Sephina in Jen and Aviad’s hands to slowly motor on course and hope it passes over while I crashed out at 0300. In the morning things cleared and finally we had a great day’s sailing with Sephina romping along at 8-9K in the 15-20K southerly. I think the strange weather last night was caused by the low pressure system a few hundred miles north of us that had a trough running down to where we were located. Not much fun but the sailing and sunshine today has left that behind us.


A chat with the stars.

Let me just put pressure on the fact that this is the 23d day with no stable ground, 7eleven, reception or even an emergency exit. And still, as a city girl from a country allowing anybody to live as a king, I am satisfied.

I’m calm, and I’m content with what I have available. Sure, a shower would be cool, but I’m fine.

Now, we do have lots of chocolate onboard and I text with my mum every day, so I guess I’m not exactly a saint yet… but I’m still amazed that we indeed need so little to be happy.
The sailor lifestyle is hereby recommended. Even just as an awakening.

Today we had no wind. Tried to parasail, but it was hopeless. Motorsailing at the moment, with “charging” as the excuse. Waiting for the night winds.

So, back to my night shift thoughts.
What’s up, Orion? Greetings, Cassiopeia!
I’ve made some new friends and they seem to have some great secrets within.
Waiting for the moonrise.
Magic is present.

Gazel Rebel

French Du plaisir d’avoir la pièce de rechange

Il n’a échappé à aucun des participants de l’Atlantic Odyssey que la sargasse, ça agace, s’agglutine dans nos quille safran embase moteur et hydrogenerateur. Quand on en est là, le sillage du bateau ressemble à un jacuzzi modèle tropical et la vitesse chute de 1 à 2 noeuds.

Après la gaffe, l’aviron d’annexe permet le nettoyage du safran, malheureusement le connecteur de l’hydrogénerateur a morflé dans la bataille. Mais une fois de plus la réduction des stocks et le flux tendu ne sont pas la norme sur Gazel Rebel. Pierre qui en avait déjà pété un cet hiver en avait commandé deux à tout hasard. D’où le dicton : sur Gazel Rebel, quand tu pètes un truc, commandes en donc deux à l’avance et tu feras marcher l’industrie française (qui pourrait quand même fabriquer des connecteurs plus solides!).

Pour le reste 240 miles en ligne droite sous spi à 8 noeuds c’est comme La Grande Motte – Porto Cervo (Sardaigne), deux villes de standing très contrasté…

Update from Papy Jovial 

One of the yachts sailing in the ARC contacted Atlantic Odyssey Rally Control to say that Papy Jovial were hit by lightning last night and all electronic equipment has failed.  They only have a handheld GPS and a VHF that works. However, they wanted to assure everyone that they are all alright onboard and expect to arrive in Martinque on December 9th.


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