ARC 2010 Crossing – Final Day


Our last night at sea and we’ve been chasing squalls for their restorative powers. A night of black clouds gives way to clear sky before dawn and the last moon of this passage bids us farewell.


First light of morning is our favorite.


We often watch from the aft deck or flying bridge. But today the view from our great room is such that we are compelled try and capture the feeling with the camera.


Wind pressure and seas are still giving us a boost towards Saint Lucia.


Although there is little motion, a definite sense of speed is present, reenforced by watching the VMG meter wind up on the waves.


Our Coastal Explorer computer screen is showing fresh coconuts and bananas just over the horizon, approaching quickly.


Between our stern down trim – all water and most fuel is aft for better high speed efficiency – and the natural bow lift, the forward sections of the hull are spending a lot of time airborne, which you by now are aware, we think is cool for a heavily laden cruising yacht.

After a pleasant crossing the Atlantic we are not ready for this to end. At a minimum our preference is to  spend the night at anchor. But ARC race control is calling us on VHF channel 77, there are photographers in RIBs covering our last miles, and after 10 days, eight hours, one minute,and fifty six seconds, it is time to cool down the engines. Wind Horse has covered 2757 nautical miles over the bottom, 2817 through the water due to adverse current. Her average speed over ground  is 11.125 knots or 266.9 NM/day. She has had to average 11.36 knots through the water to net out the current losses for a speed length ratio of 1.26.


Our arrival is not without notice. Horns blare, bystanders clap, dinghy occupants give a thumbs up sign as we pass slowly down the narrow channel. At the dock  there is a steel band, fresh coconuts ready to drink (au natural for Steve, rum punch for Linda), a basket of fruit, welcoming by various personages, and cameras everywhere. It seems this crossing of the Atlantic is a big deal, especially for a vessel only powered by diesel. They think that we have done something special.

But after 50,000 miles aboard Wind Horse in the last five years we know different. It is simply what Wind Horse does.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (December 2, 2010)

20 Responses to “ARC 2010 Crossing – Final Day”

  1. Michael Says:

    Congratulations, not only for being first in arriving but for also for being first in fresh thinking about ocean voyaging ship design. Bravo!

  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Thanks Michael and all the others for the kudos. The trip was straight forward, and anyone else, given Wind Horse’s abilities, could do the same. Is nice t o be treated like rock stars for 24 hours (knowing there are quiet anchorages nearby), but we would not want go get used to it.

  3. Victor Raymond Says:

    Having visited Wind Horse in Las Palmas, I can verify she is meant to fly. Enjoy mother earth and the coconuts.

  4. Mike Says:

    Congrats! Well done.

  5. Alain Says:

    Hi Steve and Linda,
    Congratulation for your wonderfull crossing and thanks for sharing it.
    Given what you have done and how you have done it, I think many people of this ARC race will seriously reconsider their sailing boat and think about trading her for an FPB !!!!



    Bravo, belle et douce navigation.

    La tempête a béni mes éveils maritimes.
    Plus léger qu’un bouchon j’ai dansé sur les flots
    Qu’on appelle rouleurs éternels de victimes,
    Dix nuits, sans regretter l’oeil niais des falots.
    de Rimbaud dans “le bateau ivre”

  7. Larry B Says:

    Hi Dashews,

    Congratulations on your safe and speedy crossing. I am curious to know how many hours of sleep you both got on a daily basis? Did you both sleep at the same time or in shifts? I don’t know how well I would sleep using auto pilot. Enjoy the nice warm weather.

  8. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Larry:
    There is ALWAYS someone awake on watch. Sleep probably averaged about same as at anchor. For Linda that is six to eight hors in 24, maybe a quarter less for me.

  9. Jim Rogers Says:

    Congratulations. Nice postings all the way, too. You realize, of course, that you’re turning quite a large group of people into armchair voyeurs! Perhaps also coining a new term- “couch cruisers”?

  10. Michael Seng Says:

    Congratulations on the crossing! Can’t think of a better ambassador for the ARC fleet.
    Well done, thanks for taking us along for the ride!

  11. Labros Says:

    Congratulations! I enjoy and learn alot from your comments.
    Any info on diesel consumption?

  12. Steve Dashew Says:

    Howdy Labros:
    We’ll update diesel burn shortly

  13. Scott Evangelista Says:


    Followed your progress everyday. If that doesn’t underscore your long touted weather claim, nothing will. Glad your passage was safe and mostly uneventful.



  14. Peter Kady Says:

    And what are the stats on how many gallons of fuel you burned, what that cost, and how much CO2 you put in the air?
    Just curious

  15. Steve Dashew Says:

    In a couple of days we will post the fuel consumption data, which will not be that much more than a lot of large sailing yachts which will have motored half or more the distance and run big gensets 24 hours a day. Besides, the real global weather issue is not carbon and warming, but what happens when it starts to cool off, which it will.

  16. Joan Conover Says:

    Great passage! As always you make it seem easy..and its not. I guess that’s why your passages are so interesting (and instructional)..they only “look” simple.

  17. Steve Dashew Says:

    Hi Joan:
    The passage are, for the most part, simple with Wind Horse. The ARC was a bit complex weather wise, but that makes it interesting!

  18. RDE Says:

    Coming in first in a “race” carries with it the risk of becoming cocky, so I’d like to point out that my 25 year old 40 foot sailboat is twice as good a cruising boat as Wind Horse.

    You see, I’m one of those sailors who prefers being at sea to sitting around in a cruisers bar drinking rum punches. My favorite watches are the “4,s” starting at 4am and 4pm. If I were sailing her in the ARC I would have twice as many sunsets and sunrises as you do, so already my 40 footer is twice as good a cruising boat as Wind Horse!

    I’ve always said that the difference between a powerboat and a sailboat is that the powerboat is good for getting somewhere, but with a sailboat you are already there. So by going over to the dark side you are always getting somewhere but never get “there”.

    I don’t expect Wind Horse will be available for one day charters any time soon, but for the average American it would take years of scrimping to afford a day aboard her or a multi-million dollar powerboat. On the other hand, a boat like mine costs about the same as a new high-end SUV, and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of them. No question that a year aboard my boat is better than a day aboard a chartered motor yacht.

    So if you’d like to trade boats straight across you can double your pleasure!

  19. Steve Dashew Says:

    We agree that the passages themselves are usually very pleasant. That said, the speed, be it under sail or power, makes more of them possible.

  20. Scott Says:

    Once again, thankyou for sharing the voyage with us.

    I can’t believe I’ve been watching this site for all of those 5000 hours, and most of the build of Wind Horse.

    I’m still enjoying ride.

    I must be one of those “couch cruisers”

    Beats the hell out of the back deck of an LCM-8