Stephen Bourne is the owner of Ineffable, the Rapido 60, which he sailed from Las Palmas, Canary Islands to St Lucia in the Caribbean. from 1-15 December 2018 with his crew. Below, Steve shares his fantastic story and adventure in Part III.
In Part III below, Steve shares his fantastic story and adventure describing life aboard Ineffable, the weather and the Queen of the Oceans!
Life aboard Ineffable
Captain Mark immediately set the watch system and it took a few days to realise that if you don't nap when off-watch you will be tired while on watch!
We fell into a routine of cooking, cleaning and sailing - and delightfully mundane stuff like reading, playing cards and other games. And, of course, there was the daily exercise routine performed by Elodie and Luna on the nets to rounds of applause, sometimes at 15+ knots!
There was even the occasional drink.
But, it must be said, having a fairly dry boat and decent off-watch naps makes a lot of sense as everyone is out of their normal sleep patterns. Being mid Atlantic, decision-making needs to be as sharp as possible at all times.
Night watches can be a bit exhausting as we only had a few nights of moon. It was so pitch black out there that you simply sail by numbers with occasional sail setting.
To maintain what vision we had, bright lights, even for just a few seconds, were a complete “no no”!
But the stars!! The enormity and beauty of the universe hits you. Surely we are not alone?! Looking up at this vast other ‘world’ one becomes hypnotised… and then, back to reality to check the sails, instruments, AIS and radar!
We soon learnt that clouds are often nice and fluffy by day with a little extra breeze under them.
This makes for pleasant high speed sailing but at night, for some odd reason, they can turn into squalls with rain and 35-40 knot gusts. Not so pleasant!!
Looking back on it, with this really sensible night sailing policy, we could have carried a lot more sail at night. It was a great lesson.
Tactically we had huge help from Johannes, who was on shore near Vienna, with daily weather updates and advice on the best routing. The winds became quite light as we went south-west down the African coast so it took some time before we could finally make the big gybe to head for St. Lucia.
Going towards the Cape Verde islands is not all a bad idea. It made us feel like we were nearly ‘there’ even though there was about 2,100 nm to go!
Catching the ARC racers
Steadily we caught up and overtook some of the slower ARC boats which were sailing in a range of 4-10 knots. The monohulls were rolling a lot in the cross swells as typically you have a swell from the trade wind and a separate wave from the current wind. Meanwhile, trimarans do not roll!!
The speed we overtook them was a tad embarrassing as often we were in the 12-17 knot range but, if the truth be known, there was a bit of smug satisfaction being on a really fast boat!
Rapido – Queen of the Oceans
You simply have to sail a Rapido 60 to realise that she is the Queen of the Oceans for a long journey.
You rarely get wet and the boat is such a stable platform that the mundane daily tasks of cooking, cleaning, showering and yes, using the head (have you ever used one rolling and crashing at 35 degrees? Not a nice experience!) are not stressful at all.
I just love and trust this boat so much. It is an honour to own it.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience with an amazing bunch of people. It was so safe and comfortable while offering a speedy fun ride!
Love it? Hate it? Or just get used to it? Monohull sailing means being together in the cockpit and saloon.
A Rapido, by contrast, has amazing space that allows one to be private, social or somewhere in between.
The Rapido offers an aft helm deck with settees, separate cockpit, saloon, the forward sun deck, the nets and cabins. This fact can really add to the crew’s psychological well-being as we all need our space from time to time.
We did 3,222 nm in 13 and a half days which is really quick considering the light winds and overly cautious night sailing with two reefs and the stay sail.
The key take away for the voyage was the absolute need for careful preparation.
When you combine a great, caring crew with an amazing captain, who all muck in together, you have the makings of an ineffable journey.