December 4th 2012- Notes from the Atlantic- DAY 8 AT SEA –


How I would like to describe Troskala´s atlantic crossing so far? Today,has been excatly a week since they left. I would love to say that it has been like every sailor describes, but actually is not.

In the past year since I decided not to cross, I have heard from nearly every sailor ” Carlotta, do you know that you are doing the hardest part? Bay of Biscay, Portuguese coast and down to the Islas Canarias is much harder than the Atlantic” -Hmm, I do not think so-“In the Atlantic you get pushed by the lovely and light trade winds, you just lie there, sunshining, playing the guitar and you hardly need to touch the sails”.. ja, ja  -Not this time, I am afraid-  🙂

The poor things have been faced with forces 9 -8 in the first night and between 6-8 the remainder of the days. So far, I think that their Guitars, Ukalele and armonica that they are carrying will have to wait . Last night a freak wave came in the cockpit and Oliver lost his new Kindle where he just downloaded all the books for the crossing, including the Yachtmaster’s bible 😦

Main thing is that the boat is safe and sound and on a good note they are doing amazing speed and a very good course! Troskala is making an average of 130 miles per day at a speed of 6 knots, I have not had  a chance to find out their sail plan but I believe that at least have 2 reefs in main and also genoa, in order to balance the Hydrovane.

Oliver just sent  a 2 lines email from the sat phone and apparently the boat is being hit quite vigorously but all 3 are pulling together and standing strong in good spirits! The wind that they are getting is more than the windpredict in the fleetviewer shows.

Really recommend the fleet tracker, is a very good peace of mind and a great tool. Quite addictive too, is like a video game but with real people. Also beacuse I know quite a lot of the boats, is really funny to see their progress and read their logs.  Please find the link below (since Oliver last post it, THE ARC has changed the link), this is the latest.

Troskala is a light green icon to odds the end of the fleet, he is now heading SW to odds more the rumb line and tomorrow will start heading more west. Weather wise is looking lighter conditions for the next few days, however still they are getting 3-5 metres swell and confused seas coming from the beast that is lying on the west of the Azores.

I wish I could relax and enjoy his passage but I can not, when I know that is hard for them beacuse I know, how is like out there, when we experienced the gale in Biscay and my last sail from Madeira to Gran Canaria, the last day, the wind picked up too quickly while  I was on watch, not wanting to disturb Oliver, we picked up to force 7  cofused seas, 3-4 metres swell and It was such the weaher helm that I had to steer the tiller, lying down with my 2 legs for 8 hours as it was too dangerous and too late for Oliver to go on deck , head to wind to reef, so Hydrovane could not work in an unbalance boat…my fault for not making Oliver aware of the situation…

Still, I think with sailing, you have very very highs with amazing experiences and very very lows, when you think why am I doing these?? I am sure that it would be the same for them in this passage and it will be all worth it at the end!

Anyway, I completly trust the boat and the skipper and I am sure that they will be very proud of them selves for being the smallest boat in the ARC 2012 and making such a great progress, 1860 nautical miles to go only !

I will update you again next week with more news. In the mean time, we all wishing them fair winds and safe crossing ahead.

4/12/2012 @ 20.00 HRS UTC

18º02 ´45 N

28º 55´ 68 W

Miles 840

Engine hours, I would guess just for the departure (maybe one) 😀






8 thoughts on “December 4th 2012- Notes from the Atlantic- DAY 8 AT SEA –

  1. Carlotta. Oliver and crew are doing amazingly well in these challenging conditions, and despite being by far the smallest boat, they are not the last and they have every prospect of finishing unlike quite a few others. At least they shouldn’t run right out of fuel like you did before reaching Porto Santo!
    Keep going guys, and we are full of admiration for you.

    1. Thank you so much Tim for your support and comments. Yes they have been quite challenging conditions but now everything seems calmer and in 2 days they will be half way. I am also following Rafikis blog and position, they seem to be having lots of fun and catching a lot of fish. Is nice that James and Emily are enjoying too. They are an amazing family and hopefully we will get to catch up more with them in St Lucia as in Las Palmas we were all too busy to spend some quality time together. Is shame that we did not get to see you in Porto Santo and yes hopefully this time they will not run out of fuel..I can see that ahead there is not much wind…but things can change and they can still catch up! I will mention to Oliver when I see him. Best wishes to you both and It was a pleasure to meet you. Thank you also for your birthday wishes, just seen the post! Carlotta xx

  2. Amazing stuff Carlotta! Yes you did the very hard bits but as you say the crossing is not always as predicted. Heather left Gran Canaria on her Arc trip some years ago in a F8 for 3 days so she knows! The fleet viewer is on my screen tucked away behind my work all the time-very additcive! Every morning I get up and we toast Troskala and crew with our cups of tea. They are doing so well and with such a safe boat they could do very well, especially when time correction and handicaps are worked out. I see Oliver has crossed south of the rhumb line today – maybe to try to get better wind or currents. All the very best wishes to him and the crew – we’re rootin’ for you! Go go go Troskala!

  3. Hi we’re really enjoying following Troskala and Rafikis progress having found you via Rafiki’s blog (we bought their Nicholson 31 off them a year ago). We’re hoping to do the same one day when we eventually sell our house and downsize. I’d love to know how you get on with a guitar on board as we’d love to take one when we sail away. Do you have a steel or nylon string, and if it’s steel I’d love to know if have rust or tuning problems? Can’t wait to see pictures of St Lucia, and loved you videos. Nina Fenner

    1. Hello Vince & Nina and a very Merry Christmas to you both.

      Thank you for following us and Rafiki; they are such a lovely family and have been so kind to us. It is a shame we are now in different places for Christmas but we expect to meet up soon.

      I recall Cally and Rob speaking very fondly of the Nicholson, they have a photo or her in Rafiki that I was admiring. You have a fantastic boat with such a history. We looked at Nicholsons but could never find the right one. Do you think you will sail on the Nicholson when you come round to doing the journey?

      Well, in regards to the guitar it has steel strings and last night I found that the A string was pretty rusty so will move to Nylon as soon as possible. Nylon is better for the fingers anyway so it is a blessing. Yes, take the guitar. Last night if you can imagine I was sitting in the cockpit drinking some coconut rum and playing a few cords; it does not get much better.

      I will be posting some photos shortly and all I can say to you both is keep the dream going, before you know it you will be doing likewise.

      If there are any questions you have please let me know.

      Have a great festive break and I hope we can meet with you both in the future.

      Best wishes,

      Oliver & Carlotta

  4. CONGRATULATIONS have followed yr progress on the fleetviewer and it must be a great feeling to have done it, where to now???? the world is yr oyster.
    all the best

    1. Thank you Nick for your kind comments. Thank you also for following us it is so nice to come back and find comments from people who have followed.

      Yes, where to now? We have decided to take is easy for two weeks in St Lucia and will then decide whether or not to go north or south, there seems to be so many options.

      We will let you know how we get on but for now we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

      Best wishes,


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