How we started?
An intrepid group of sailors crossed the Atlantic together in January 2018 in the first Viking Explorers. They wanted to be part of a rally, not because they were newbies and needed someone to hold their hand, but because they wanted to be part of a group of like-minded people (that they anyway would probably bump into many times in the Caribbean islands and already be friends with).
Many say that the Atlantic crossing is easy; ”it’s all downhill” with the wind in the back and few surprises apart from some squalls that can bring strong winds and a bit of rain for half an hour or so. The fact is that it’s very difficult to turn back, should you have a breakage. Then you will need to fix it yourself, to be able to continue for another 2-3 weeks downwind before you can find a technician. This fact makes the preparations important — to anticipate what can go wrong, from breakages, choose which spare parts to have onboard to anticipate crew illness and stock up on medicine.
The friendly rally for who?
It’s smaller and more familiar, organized by active cruisers (and also happen to be the authors of the Cruising guide to the Canary Islands) that have excellent connections on the islands. Every participant can contribute to the group; can be a talk, a workshop, an ABBA karaoke evening or fix a Christmas party. We are all in this together and want one thing: Cross the Atlantic safe. There are no requirements for boat size or equipment — it’s all up to the skipper/owner to make sure that the boat is 100% ready for an ocean crossing of 3-4 weeks. We will give advice or help to find someone that can fix something onboard, but all responsibility to an ocean ready boat is the skipper’s. You will find some security in that other boats (with friends) will be nearby to possibly assist you, because breakages will happen on some boats. We will monitor your crossing and we will let everyone know (including your family and friends) where everyone is, if you want.
Viking Explorers has the right to refuse entry to vessels of doubtful seaworthiness.