NARC or ARC? that is the question.
For hundreds of years boats have been gathering in Gran Canaria and sailing off the Caribbean. In fact its been happening every year since Columbus started in in 1492. This is the NARC. The "Not Atlantic Rally for Cruisers". The naming of this may seem at little strange to those who're not familiar with the ARC.
The ARC is the "Atlantic Rally for Cruisers". Its about 20 years old, its an organised business, based around getting boats on mass to sail across the Atlantic. Basically its just like the NARC but with parties.
Ok so that's a little unfair, the ARC is a great event with good spirit, well organised and they even call it a sort of race. It also provides seminars and help and radio nets and so on and so forth. Its also true that a lot of NARC's gatecrash their parties. The ARC team are wonderful help full friendly people. They therefore make lousy bouncers.
A comparison of features NARC and ARC:
|You get loads of parties||You get to blag your way into loads of ARC parties.|
|Seminars on weather provisioning etc||You get to sit in cockpits/bars taking about weather (probably the same guys who's doing a talks for the ARC)|
|Organised radio nets||
You get to organise your own radio net.
|You get the happy worm glow of being in the ARC||
You get a happy warm glow of money in your bank account.
The ARC is good fun, its informative, its well organised and 2 of my three East West Crossings have been on the ARC. I would do it again, if I could afford it (taint cheap). Its very popular with first time pond crossers. For obvious reasons, if you've never crossed the Atlantic before its very re-assuring, to have all those other boats glued to their SSB listening for you. Every year, some one gets into trouble. Several have this year. Boarding by a boat loads of illegal immigrants, burns, engine failure etc. Also usually someone loses a rudder or a rig. This presumably happens to NARCs as well. I'm just wondering if the proportion of problems is more or less on the ARC. I have this horrid suspicion it may be more. The ARC has loads of new boats, the NARC old and tested boats. The NARC has loads of repeat crossers, the ARC has many first timers.