ARC 2014 – Northern Child Daily Blog 1

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers
Less than 24 hours to go, Northern Child, a beautiful Swan 51, is all set to start the ARC 2014. After ten days of hard work by owners Christian and Lucy, our skipper Chris, first mate Xav and many others, she is ready to set sail tomorrow.  All nine crew have arrived and boarded, and one can sense a great blend of excitement and anxiety to get going on our trans-Atlantic adventure, sailing from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to St. Lucia in the southern Caribbean.  
Thanks to the truly excellent organization by the World Cruising Club, several of us enjoyed a good mix of superb parties and great seminars, but now the time has come to turn our respective dreams into reality.  Our sincere thanks to the ARC team for having done such an excellent job getting all of us ready. 
The boat is loaded with a ton of food, water bottles, soft drinks (and a few non-soft drinks), kilometers of toilet paper and everything one can possibly need to keep a crew of 11 going for several weeks. It’s hard to imagine we will be able to eat through what seems to be 600 slices of bacon, 300 hamburgers, 10 Kg of chicken, not to speak of the amount of pasta, rice, bread, fruit and vegetables stuffed in every imaginable corner of the boat.   
We’ll have two watch teams of five, doing six on, six off, during daylight and four on, four off, four on during the night.  This way we will rotate through the day and everyone can enjoy sunrises and sunsets. The possible anxiety over the reality TV aspect of joining a crew of ten people you don’t know has dissipated right away.  A great team of mixed ability and mixed backgrounds will make for an interesting crossing that has all the potential to create friendships for life.  Paul, a retired anesthetist and intensive care doctor, will keep us healthy, while Ian K., a recently retired psychiatrist, will no doubt keep us sane.  In addition, we have Ian B., an engineer; Dag, an executive of a retirement home in Sweden; Christopher, a Stockholm banker; Jaime, an MA advisor in London; Arie, who following a career in finance and executive management in Holland, is about to join a private equity firm; Laura, a business strategist at The Guardian group in London; and Mike, a recently retired executive in the international media business. 
Through this (daily) blog we hope to keep friends and family informed of all we are up to over the next few weeks.