After strong headwinds after the start Melina is now experiencing near calm.

Elina Liukkonen, first mate
22 Nov, 2005

Third ARC day at sea, at 10 p.m.. After very eventful first 24 hours,
the latest 24 hours have elapsed under engine power in winds apparently
not able to decide from which direction to blow or whether to blow at
all. A completely calm ocean has been something that we really did not
expect, although the weather forecast promised light winds and we also
knew that it happens often during the first days of ARC.

The day of the start, however, was a memorable experience. Wonderful
weather, boats heading to the starting line, people waving on the
breakwaters. The start in light easterly wind, with boats side by side,
was quite crowded but fortunately no damage was caused. Within forty
minutes, we had hoisted spinnaker and were enjoying a wonderful sailing
for about an hour. The spinnaker came
down in good time before a shift of nearly 180 degrees in the wind
direction occurred. The smooth
downwind sailing was within a few minutes converted to heeling in 25 to
30 knots upwind with two
reefs in the main and partial reefing of the furling genoa.

We had, as usual, all hatches and seecocks carefully closed before
departure. However, in the
excitement of the big day, the the dorado vents were forgotten. The
worst happened; the navigation
table, a laptop included, had a shower of water. Not much, but enough to
incapacitate partly the laptop keyboard. Since that, while not having a
computer guru in the crew, we have struggled with a
spare laptop to transfer all essential functions to it. Now we seem to
have succeeded.

The wind eased during the night and we had a nice sailing in 6 to 10
knots soutwesterly wind until noon the 21st. During the day we went on
and off with sails and motoring until since late evening the wind has
been only 2 to 3 knots.

Usually we sail double handed, but for the crossing with ARC we were
happy to get two experienced sailors and good friends Jukka and Hanna
to join us. Watches and housekeeping have been running according the
planned schedule since the first hours of sailing. Today’s biggest event
was the catch of our fishing master, Jukka. The fisherman did not
appreciate the size of the fish, but it proved to be a delicious starter
for the dinner.

Weather forecasts promise at least two more days with very light winds.
We are a little concerned abour our fuel resources and above all, we
would absolutely like to sail!