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Old 25-08-2015, 08:31   #1
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Is It Rude To Tag Along



Hi there
We are planning to cross the Atlantic from the Med at the end of this year and need some advice. Can we do it on our own at the same time or should we pay the money to join Odyssey or Arc. Are there other alternatives I don't know about?
Being new to a long passage crossing and having no idea about the start and finish with marinas are we better off to just pay the $3000 AU and go with a group. My issue is that is a hell of a lot of dollars when I know thousands of people and boat cross every year or am I being naive. We are trying to get two crew organised to share the passage with us as well.


Would love to hear how others have done it and what's the best way to go. Part of our consideration is we are very flexible with our departure date so want the best safest but economical way if possible.

Thanks
Reet

Miss Catana
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Old 25-08-2015, 08:37   #2
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Miss View Post

Hi there
We are planning to cross the Atlantic from the Med at the end of this year and need some advice. Can we do it on our own at the same time or should we pay the money to join Odyssey or Arc. Are there other alternatives I don't know about?
Being new to a long passage crossing and having no idea about the start and finish with marinas are we better off to just pay the $3000 AU and go with a group. My issue is that is a hell of a lot of dollars when I know thousands of people and boat cross every year or am I being naive. We are trying to get two crew organised to share the passage with us as well.


Would love to hear how others have done it and what's the best way to go. Part of our consideration is we are very flexible with our departure date so want the best safest but economical way if possible.

Thanks
Reet

Miss Catana
You could tag along (some do) but you'll find that trying to get a slip in any of the marina anywhere near the starting point for the ARC is very very difficult.

Yes the ARC costs money but there is a lot of value for money. They do a compelte safety inspection on your boa to ensure that your boat is capable of the crossing and you pick up a lot of good points from the other sailors.

We'll be crosing inthe autum of 2016- and we will pay to go with the ARC
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Old 25-08-2015, 08:57   #3
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Unless you derive benfits from these sorts of events... and there are benefits... you needn't pay and are perfectly free to be sailing the same route departing at about the same time. If you have trouble any vessel is required to offer assistance as you would to any vessel in need of it.

Of course finding a berth in the period before the start will understandably be difficult. But you could simply start from another port such as Mogan or even another island and "join" the fleet.

NB that after a couple of days boats will be pretty disbursed and you may not even see them... some faster, slower taking different routes looking for better wind...

If your boat is ocean going, in good condition.. then I say go for it if you feel that it makes the passage a bit safer.... and it arguably is.
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Old 25-08-2015, 09:12   #4
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Your blog is fabulous!!!!!!!!! Love reading it and your photos are super!
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:13   #5
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Rude? Not at all. The rallies don't own the oceans or the routes. They have piggybacked on the experience of earlier cruisers, and the famous navigators before them who mapped out good times and routes for crossing the oceans. The rallies leave from the same ports, and at the same times that cruisers have always used. And those selections were all made because they provided the best probability that cruisers would have decent weather and a fair passage.

If you need the comfort and security of an organized event then join, but you should feel absolutely zero guilt at crossing the ocean at the same time and on the same route without any affiliation. As others have noted, facilities availability at either end could be tight because of the rally, but otherwise no problem. One could argue that by concentrating the groupings as much as they do that the rallies are rude, putting a strain on resources that didn't used to see that strain because of a natural dispersal of passage timing and endpoints.
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:28   #6
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Pros for going in on your own--

1. You will save the rally fee $$$
2. You get to choose your departure time based on the weather.
3. You get to leave from/arrive at a port which is not overwhelmed by the rally.
4. You have less chance of running into someone.
5. No 'safety' inspector is going to make you spend a lot of money on equipment you are very unlikely to use.
6. You will not get caught up in 'rally' mode and press the boat too hard trying to outdo the other boats--you go at a pace which is comfortable for your boat and crew.

Cons on going it on your own--

1. You will miss the parties
2. You may miss the comradeship.

Don't make the assumption that being in the rally will provide you more support on the passage. You are on your own once you leave in either case, and joining one of the transatlantic SSB nets will give you plenty of company and information.
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Old 25-08-2015, 11:31   #7
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

We waited until the ARC left Las Palmas before we went in ... just stayed in Lanzarote and enjoyed the beaches while waiting for the cocktail parties to end and the ARC to set sail I DID NOT want to be out there when all those boats left in a mad dash. If you've ever tried to buddy boat, you'll understand how the sense of safety in numbers is false.


By the way, we saw a ton of freighter traffic on our crossing. Keep a good eye out!

Matt
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Old 25-08-2015, 12:05   #8
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

The Miss certainly doesn't need to land in St Lucia with the rally. Any windward island would be fine. And they don't need to depart at the same moment the rally does... But it's no biggie being out there with a few hundred boats going your way.. and you can get weather info and so forth on VHF or HF radio along the way.

Tje safety inspections are not a bad idea and hopefully you never will need the safety hear. But it's prudent to have it and know how to use it and these events will have weather and safety seminars which are worthwhile... and are part of the fee. Crashing the parties would be in bad form, but this may be not a motivation and I suspect not.

There is a lot to see in the Canaries... and seeing is what cruising is about.
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Old 25-08-2015, 12:35   #9
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

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Originally Posted by The Miss View Post

Hi there
We are planning to cross the Atlantic from the Med at the end of this year and need some advice. Can we do it on our own at the same time or should we pay the money to join Odyssey or Arc. Are there other alternatives I don't know about?
Being new to a long passage crossing and having no idea about the start and finish with marinas are we better off to just pay the $3000 AU and go with a group. My issue is that is a hell of a lot of dollars when I know thousands of people and boat cross every year or am I being naive. We are trying to get two crew organised to share the passage with us as well.


Would love to hear how others have done it and what's the best way to go. Part of our consideration is we are very flexible with our departure date so want the best safest but economical way if possible.

Thanks
Reet

Miss Catana
The ARC is full this year. It's full every year by Easter. There's no problem AT ALL about being a "Narc" (= not ARC). You just follow along. 200+ boats go in various classes... essentially they all go on the third sunday in November. It's full cos they can't make it any bigger - they're limited by how many spaces they can carve out of the marinas at Las Palmas and St Lucia.

The ARC makes sense for first timers cos it kinda feels "safer" if there's others within range or just over the horizon. And i suppose that sorta must be true ultimately. Although there again, it might be an idea to go a few hours or so later so they don't run you down.

The ARC make sense for repeat/expert transat sailors because it starts from Las Palmas and without having that ARC entry.... you can't stay much if at all during the run-up season from August to late November. And remember - the smart money sez that you get to the Canaries in August ... and stay there till you leave. You DON"T try thrash down there in late Autumn cos it's potetntially worse weather or sometimes MUCH worse weather. And ... Las Palmas marina is so cheap (council, summink) that it's cheaper to pay arc fees and stay in LP ...than to stay in almost any other marina in the Canaries.

Plus of course, there's lots of transat types, adventure central - perhaps nowhere else on the planet are so many long-distance boats gathered together in this colourful, exciting and oftn scared-as hell kind of way.

The seminars: You'd have though that after 25+ years of organising transat trip, they'd know loads and LOADS of stuff about doing transats. But meh, not so, not really. There's been precious little collection and collation of data of the style that even in quite small qtys allowed Cornell to produce World Cruising Routes. Since ownership passed from Cornell, (and probablt befoee then...) the 15 or so seminars on downwind sailing tactics, on navigation, on 2-handed sailing, on provisioning, and other useful subjects ... are all produced amd planned by the individuals tasked with the subject from year to year. The resulting IP isn't owned by the ARC at all. And their info is hazy and badly-collevted. You'd have thought that they'd have loads of super-valuable info at their fingertips, but no, not really. It's not as a co-operative friendly group. building on the knowledge base each year. It's run as a race, some clases explicitly racing, and others well, they're racing classes too! Imagine going on a jolly rally and then being told you were 198th overall. But we weren't racing. Oh that's fine, but you're still 198th overall. Some others get DQL cos they crossed the startline wrong,. Jeez.

But anyways, each year in LP is fun and frantic chaos. There's the parties and have you got tickets? well who's got the tickets? We gave them all out with the entry pack didn't we? Not for this party. Each "party" mostly involves manky red wine and plastic cups. And there's late arrivals, each boat has to be "inspected" and "passed" before being allowed (?) to leave (although i suppose you could just oh what the heck - we'l follow anyway) and rushing about buying last minute stuff.

So, eventually, a brass band turns up, everyone argh rushes out of the marina 2 hours early, off to St Lucia. The second day you see no other boats all the way across. Ok, perhaps one or two, until arrival. If there's a problem, you can email via Satphone top the organisers. Although I did this with a medical query and they din't answer at all. Bit useless - loads better having a shoreside pal.

And then you arrive in St Lucia to find that the winner was here several days ago,or even a couple of weeks ago, and they all left, cos it was a huge boat 80 or 90 feet, 2nd was similar, they all left as well in fact the boat has another charter already. Oh. And several other large boats, also not there cos they too dumped all the transat guests on the day of arrival thankee very much for the $5000 each and we're off to Antigua Week.

IN the marina at St Lucia, you will very likely get robbed. This is possibly because all the local boys not at work are thieves, and all the girls are prostitutes and perhaps thieves as well. Handbags, phones, computers all get stolen. Moe than once, a security guard asked me for money to keep an eye on the boat.

Prizegiving is 4weeks after departure so anyone who took over 28days due to well, yerknow, something going wrong and them needing real assistance well tsk, bit late, sorry. Only a third or fewer entrants hang about for prize giving. The main guy of the ARC who does the speeches is very dull to listen to, but he trudges through his dull speeches for many hours, every year...
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Old 25-08-2015, 13:08   #10
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Miss View Post

Hi there
We are planning to cross the Atlantic from the Med at the end of this year and need some advice. Can we do it on our own at the same time or should we pay the money to join Odyssey or Arc. Are there other alternatives I don't know about?
Being new to a long passage crossing and having no idea about the start and finish with marinas are we better off to just pay the $3000 AU and go with a group. My issue is that is a hell of a lot of dollars when I know thousands of people and boat cross every year or am I being naive. We are trying to get two crew organised to share the passage with us as well.


Would love to hear how others have done it and what's the best way to go. Part of our consideration is we are very flexible with our departure date so want the best safest but economical way if possible.

Thanks
Reet

Miss Catana
With the ARC, you leave 3rd Sunday in November. After that time, you could get into Las Palmas marina no problem... and there would be crew hanging about the marina there very ready and willing to crew for you.

The ARC isn't a sorta "hands off" thing - you don't actually "get" anything that reduces the cost of a transat. You still need all the spares and nav and provisioning and it's all blindingly common sense, like take some food that is ready to cook, take fun food like chocolate and take some food that doesn't need cooking.

I think the Odyssey bunch leaves on a more gentle muclti-stop route. There is also a french rally that goes via senegal and fr guyana.

You'd do well to get to Gibraltar soonish, pick a nice time to get down to canaries. A cheap place to hang out is Graciosa Marina on N edge of Lanzarote, no electric and water but 2euros a night. I'm going across probably from Lanzarote or maybe vua LP, and boat already in Lanzarote.
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Old 25-08-2015, 16:10   #11
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

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Pros for going in on your own--

5. No 'safety' inspector is going to make you spend a lot of money on equipment you are very unlikely to use.
Glad someone made this point. I've seen some ridiculous requirements from rally organizers, from excluding any yacht under 30' to requiring FOUR fire extinguishers aboard. How much sense does that make on a ferro?

Frankly, I'd rather make my own decisions about safety issues. There is no 'one size fits all' set of rules.
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Old 25-08-2015, 17:04   #12
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pirate Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

If you like being bossed about and need support for your social life.. Join the ARC... stand around each evening with a plastic cup of cheap plonk or beer(?) being bored shitless by people waffling on about technical trivia trying to prove they've more than one lonely brain cell.. bit like here sometimes..
Spend loadsa dosh on crap you'll never use.. you'll Love it...
If your independent and like to make your own fun and schedules.. Don't..
You really gain nothing.. they sail to early and as has been said before.. St Lucia is the pits..
Basically its like most organised events.. a way to screw you outa your hard earned cash..
But its amazing how many have 'Done the ARC' on their bucket list.. seems to have become a status symbol for some weird reason... a mutual back slapping bum kissing social group
Jeez.... I'm such a Bitch..
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Old 25-08-2015, 17:18   #13
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

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Jeez.... I'm such a Bitch..
Ain't that the truth, and don't you ever change.
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Old 26-08-2015, 00:27   #14
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If you like being bossed about and need support for your social life.. Join the ARC... stand around each evening with a plastic cup of cheap plonk or beer(?) being bored shitless by people waffling on about technical trivia trying to prove they've more than one lonely brain cell.. bit like here sometimes..
Spend loadsa dosh on crap you'll never use.. you'll Love it...
If your independent and like to make your own fun and schedules.. Don't..
You really gain nothing.. they sail to early and as has been said before.. St Lucia is the pits..
Basically its like most organised events.. a way to screw you outa your hard earned cash..
But its amazing how many have 'Done the ARC' on their bucket list.. seems to have become a status symbol for some weird reason... a mutual back slapping bum kissing social group
Jeez.... I'm such a Bitch..


Thank you for that breath of reality, Boatie.

The Miss: You probably don't even need to take crew, really, they are, after all, two other people for whose welfare you have to be responsible. Rather than seeing them as a safety factor, I see them as a terrible burden: ymmv.

Your first ocean passage will be more rewarding for both of you if you do it on your own. There will be all the socializing you want at the end of the voyage, and doing it on your own hones your skills. You can do it w/o crew, if you want to; it should be fine.

Ann
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Old 26-08-2015, 00:39   #15
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Re: Is It Rude To Tag Along

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If you like being bossed about and need support for your social life.. Join the ARC... stand around each evening with a plastic cup of cheap plonk or beer(?) being bored shitless by people waffling on about technical trivia trying to prove they've more than one lonely brain cell.. bit like here sometimes..
Spend loadsa dosh on crap you'll never use.. you'll Love it...
If your independent and like to make your own fun and schedules.. Don't..
You really gain nothing.. they sail to early and as has been said before.. St Lucia is the pits..
Basically its like most organised events.. a way to screw you outa your hard earned cash..
But its amazing how many have 'Done the ARC' on their bucket list.. seems to have become a status symbol for some weird reason... a mutual back slapping bum kissing social group
Jeez.... I'm such a Bitch..
Is that what the Poms call a 'Drinks Party'?

These rallies are businesses set up to make money for their owners ... not my idea of fun.
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