November 28th

A few days ago, we received report that a Bavaria 44, traveling independently from the ARC from the Canaries to the Caribbean, lost a man over board – only 400 nm from their destination. There were 2 people on board, a husband and wife. At the time of the incident, they were trying to recover their gennacker, which had fallen in the water, and the husband fell over board. The wife was after some delay able to raise a distress call and was subsequently rescued by a commercial vessel, but sadly the husband is still missing at sea.
Last night, we were given the coordinates for the search area, which we would pass through during the night. Therefore, we changed our watch schedule to rotate every two hours to ensure that all were alert to look for the MOB. On board North Star, the captain and crew talked through the plan of action in the event that either the MOB or the abandoned vessel were spotted. This morning we completed our track through the search area and we did spot and reported to the MCC, a piece of the spinnaker cloth in the water.
This is a tragic event, and we sincerely hope that the husband will be found. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and friends.
Position of North Star 14.18 N and 56.09 W, sog is 5.7 and cog is 278 deg.
/North Star

Status from a very comfortable crossing

Today is an exceptionally long day as we moved the ship clock from UTC-2 to UTC-4 corresponding to local time at Rodney Bay. But that is all good now that the wind is back! For the first time in weeks, North Star is surfing the 2-3 m waves in 7-8.5 knots. The Atlantic has now shown us a rougher side of herself and the crew is thrilled with the pick up in speed – less so while sleeping, as trying to position yourself in a way to minimize rolling is not always super comfortable – but hey, that’s life at sea.
One of the highlights of the day is our routine of afternoon tea/coffee, where the whole crew sits down together over something freshly baked from the oven or a healthier fruit version. Our supply of fruits and veggies has worked really well now with approx. 3 days to go. Marie will share some tips and tricks on how to store these to increase life span in a separate update. Status is that the citrus fruits are still doing well, while the toll on most of our fresh vegetables is visible. The melon count is down to 2 (from 4), after enjoying fresh melon yesterday. But scones has been voted for for today’s high-tea, which is surprisingly simple to mix together and bake while moving. So definitely something to recommend!
Today skipper has also been showered on the back of the boat. The sea water pump hooked up with a garden hose works fine. To complete the treat each shower is completed by a short shower in potable water from the water maker, a resource that skipper on other occasions watches over with the same scrutiny as battery capacity.

Windy and sunny greetings from the North Star Crew.

The trade winds arrived on the 27.11

As you have probably understood by now, it has been very smooth sailing (read: slow), as the weather gods have not blessed us with an excessive amount of wind… but during the night, the wind has finally arrived! North Star is now cruising along with 7 knots. We now have 611 nm left! We are all happy about the increase in wind, but it does make life on board inherently more difficult and your ability to balance is challenged (as well as your patience) to say the least. Every day tasks like baking bread, making a cup of coffee and chopping vegetables for dinner just takes that much longer – especially if it repeatedly ends up on the floor. Wooozaa. Another simple activity like taking a bath will also be a bit more of an adventure today compared to yesterday. All except Alex took a shower on the aft deck yesterday evening in calm seas, as she was cooking dinner, so today she will have quite the adventure of balancing the saltwater hose and shampoo in 18 knots of wind, all while not falling over board. We look forward to this entertainment 🙂
13.55 N and 50.27 W, sog 7.6 and cog 292 deg.
Lots of greeting from the North Star Crew (and the dolphins who finally came back to sail with us last night at dinner)

The 26th of November

After a few windless days we now have 8 knots from NE and we are moving at 5 knots at 280 deg on the rhum line to St.Lucia. Position is 13¤51 N and 48¤ 05 W and the temperature is + 30 degress.
It continue to be a very pleasant journey with light winds and sunshine and as said slow is good.
We expect to be arriving on the 1st or the 2de if we continue with this speed. The fleet is moving more or less with similar speeds and it is pleasant to communicate on the SSb radio.
Greetings from the North Star crew

Another day in the office!

Today we finally silenced the engine after 24 hours. Maybe not quite for the right reason, as we suddenly could smell rotten egs in the aft cabin and when we inspected the batteries, they were very warm. So we stopped the engine urgently and of course at the same time as we were passing a russian research ship with a security parameter of one nm. Only the third ship we have seen since departure!
Fortunately, nearly at the same time as this happens, the wind decided to help us again on our journey the last 870 nm.
But back to the batteries. It turned out that this time it was the start battery for the engine which was seriously overheated. Our start battery and 12 volt bank have been acting up since the Canaries and it is time for finding a longterm solution when we arrive into St.Lucia. But until then one of our many backup plans are put into action and everything now works well.
In spite of this it was another nice warm day – we got wind, two freshly baked dark bread and halfway hamburgers for dinner.
So greetings on another starry night at 13.48 N and 45.39 W with sog 5.7 and cog directly towards St. Lucia.
All well on board, greetings from the crew of North Star

Thursday 23-11

A happy crew is always important but especially when you sail long distances and one way to accomplish this, is to have plenty of celebrations. And we use every opportunity, but yesterday became celebrations day, with both a birthday and passing the halfway mark to St. Lucia. So birthday song three times and even on the SSB radio, great American breakfast and North Star was decorated with flags and flying colors. Later at high tea we were served home made Carrot cake (my mothers receipt)and then later red wine and steaks. Who said that ocean crossings has to be hardship? Thanks to the North Star crew for making this a fantastic day.
Our position here at Friday morning running on engine at 0200 local time is 13.56 N and 43.18 W, sog 6.5 and cog is 285. Wind is ESE 6 and we have 1025 to go.
Windless greetings from the crew of North Star

New skills

I feel very fortunate to celebrate my birthday on 14.02N and 40.4 W in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. After I released Alexandra of her shift at midnight I enjoyed four hours of looking at the stars in complete solitude, just reflecting on the past and on the future. Not a bad birthday present!
Today was another quiet, nearly windless day. Our patience is being tested and we start to understand the true virtue of ocean sailing. We are currently sailing wing on wing during the night with 7 knots of wind moving 3 knots – with another 1120 nm to go. You realize that you just have to go where the wind takes you. You are no longer able to control time, speed or arrival time. So you go with the flow….and we are slowly learning this long forgotten skill in our modern society. So life is good.
Greetings from the Crew of North Star.

Ocean sailing in the middle of the night

Who can be so lucky to be able to celebrate your birthday at 14.02 W and 40.4 N in middle of the Atlantic? Yes it is me and when I released Alexandra at midnight I could enjoy four hours under a fantastic starry night. Four hours of complete solitude to reflect over the time which passed and the time to come. Not a bad birthday present!
Yesterday was another quiet nearly wundless day. Our patiency is being tested and we start to understand the true virtueof ocean sailing, here silently moving along wing on wing in 7 kn of wind doing only 3 knots. In a previous life we would be sailing under engine, being busy getting to somewhere! When sailing an ocean you have to go with the wind and not even attempting to taking charge.
Here we are and only 1150 nm to go, I hope it will last long.
Greetings from the crew of North Star

Big Swordfish were nearly dragging North Star along…

Yesterday was another slow day in paradise, crew enjoying the routines and eah other. That was until around 1630 were the fishing wheels started to whine loudly. We did not have any expectations as we have only catched weed and small dorados – but looking at the fishing rod, we realized this was different. We had to stop the boat and it took Eriks and mine collective strenght to wheel the fish in. All we realized was that it was putting up a tremendous fight and it was big. After a while it surfaced near the boat and it was beautiful multi-coloured swordfish at around 2.5 m. Fortunately we lost it a little later. If we actually had managed to get it on deck it would have been risky to try to kill it. But the important lesson for the crew and our Chief Fishing officer was that their is fish in the sea!
We are trotting along at 5 knot – very comfortable. Now we have gone further south to 13¤ 55N and 39¤30 W to avoid getting completely becalmed further north. Wind is 8-12 knots and cog is 290¤ taking us directly towards St. Lucia for the first time. We have 1259 nm to go.
Greetings from the North Star crew.

Seventh day at sea

Yesterday we thought we were in the doldrums near equator, where the wind is non existence. Imagen the Atlantic ocean as a swimming pool, totally flat. Yes correct, we have very little wind for the moment and yesterday we motored for a few hours in bare frustration. But I am sure the wind will come and then more. The grib files (weather forecasting) says Friday. We have sailed 672 nm since the start and today we will pass our 1/3 mark. The crew is in for a celebration – showers, dessrt and probably and sundowner as the exception to the non alcoholic rule. The mood is fine but the slow progress is not adding to the good spirit.
Our position is 14¤ 51 N and 37¤ 23 W, sog is 3,5 and cog is 310. It is blue sky and sunshine with 32¤.
Greetings from the crew of North Star