2013 ARC Rally: Tradewinds Route

With our ‘Ocean Navigation’ course we are offering long distances sailing trips of one week as the shortest. The aim is to learn how to sail in all kind of situations.  We will also teach you how to acclimatize yourself to the sailing experience so that you are comfortable on a boat and integrated into the crew.  From north to south and from east to west, the Atlantic Ocean will be our playground in which to practice and acquire the knowledge and experience of sailing.

The annual Atlantic Rally for Cruisers  (ARC) leaves from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. As the name suggests, it is less a race than a cruising navigation, with the aim of all the boats arriving in Santa Lucia on the West side of the Atlantic. Traditionally, yachts from all over the world used to meet in Las Palmas for the last technical stop before crossing the Atlantic using the trade winds. Before this long passage, sailors shared concerns, questions, advices, doubts and navigation experiences. The big majority of the sailors in those times were English. In 1986, the passage was institutionalized, thus creating the ARC.

Year after year, the number of enrolled increased and now is over 200. ARC organizers watch for the safety of the sailing boats without forgetting the social events and parties.

Our final destination after a transit of 2,800 miles will be Rodney Bay, on the volcanic island of Santa Lucía, located in the south of the Caribbean Sea. On Santa Lucía we can visit the 800 meters high “DeuxPitones” twin peaks, the “Sulphur Springs”, sulphuric waters that emanate at 40 degrees Celsius, take a bath on the “Diamond Falls” and trek on the National Park “Pigeon Island” over the ruins of  Rodney Fort.

Day 1

Arriving to Las Palmas and embarkation on board of Sterna

Day 2

Preparation of the sailboat for the crossing. Everybody on board will be involved in all the tasks of the boat.  Some things have to be done before cast-off:  loading the supplies on board (food, water, fuel, etc.), checking personal security devices (life jacket, locating device MOB, etc.), checking security devices on board (use of the extinguisher, radio, Epirb, etc.),  learning how to use the sailing equipment (autopilot, plotter, GPS, radar, etc.). It is important to understand how to fit into the daily rhythm on board in order to keep maximum standards of security.

Day 3

Depart the Rally ARC Las Palmas-Santa Lucia 2013

Day 4 to 16

Establishing the course to Santa Lucia .We will navigate by dead reckoning:  3-4 times a day we’ll do the positioning on the nautical chart with a sextant. We’ll use the radio to communicate with the rally’s organization committee, to get weather forecasts to interpret and follow defeat safer. We’ll learn how to adjust the sails in order to optimize the performance of the boat. Also, we’ll learn the culinary tricks in the kitchen, while cooking on board.

As experts of the marine environment, we will talk about the fauna and the flora of each area of the sea we will pass by, learning how they live, feed and reproduce.

Day 17

Expected arrival to Santa Lucia

Day 18 to 19

Visit of the island.

Day 20

Disembark and trip back home.


Who is Sterna’s ‘ARC Rally’ course best suited for?

This trip is recommended for people who have experience in sailing and has always dreamed of going farther, exceeded the limits of days embarked on a cross.  Also for those who have already done so and want to repeat the experience, on the unique Open 85 of the world, looking to discover new sensations and emotions. Come and live a unique experience!

It is preferred that people interested in this trip, have experienced, at least once, a 24-36 hours cruise aboard a sailboat.


Check the programme to know about our expeditions

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