Thu 13 Jan 2022
Guys… we can’t even begin to explain where our heads are at the moment. After the rollercoaster of a shitshow the past couple of days we somehow managed to escape the Corona deathpit of Mindelo today 🙈
It was a slow start with little wind and calm seas, so Guillaume immediately went on his mission to catch us some dinner. Only shortly before trying out the Sextant and missing our location by just about 700nm 😄 … but we’ll have enough time to get better at that I guess 😉
After having to motor though the windshadow of Santo Antão, the big but gentle Atlantic swell greeted us and the three of us enjoyed lunch together in the cockpit (wraps with heaps of pickled onions🤪) – at the table, with plates and forks and all – it almost felt like we were back in the Med!
In the afternoon we had a short visit of spotted Dolphins and saw some more in the distance, taking big jumps out of the water and just looking like they were having all the fun!
We’ve also already made our bets: how many days we’ll take, how many boats we’ll see, how many flying fish and squid we’ll peel off our deck, how many fish we’ll catch… today’s fishing experiment wasn’t successful so we had a vegetarian lentil stew I prepped yesterday. Still very much looking forward to a sashimi night 🤞🏼
We just watched the sunset and I must say the stakes are high for all sunsets to follow 😂 Most psychedelic colored sky I’ve ever seen! Neon pink little whisks of clouds scattered across shades of blue to violet to rose to yellow to orange … wow wow wow!
Right now, Jan is on watch, after him it’s Guillaume and then it’s my turn again from 1-4am. The moon is quite bright but we can already make our the stars around us. Adhara is just rising on the horizon ✨ And so the first day ends!
Good night 🌙
Day 2 – First Fish on Adhara
Fri Jan 14 2022
We have had a very nice first 24 hours onboard Adhara. The sun has been shining, the sea is kind with only a small 1,5 meter long rolling swell from the north and the wind has been more or less constant between 8 – 12 knots. This has allowed us to make quite good progress so far as we are averaging 5,6 knots going more or less in the right direction.
The night was calm and comfortable with a bright moon and many stars. It makes a big difference already having Guillaume as our 3rd crew member on board. Instead of the usual 3 hours on duty and 3 hours off, each of us has 6 hours time to sleep at night. During the day everything is a bit more casual and we are taking 4 hour shifts.
This morning the wind started shifting a bit more to the east which meant that the Genoa started to collapse behind the mainsail. A great opportunity to get our very cool 80s inspired spinnaker out. We are loving it. It pulls the boat quite nicely in the lightest of breeze. Another first today on Adhara: we caught our first fish! A beautiful Mahi Mahi which will serve us nicely for two dinners. Tonight Ceviche a la Guillaume.
There was a little bit of problem earlier today when we wanted to furl in our mainsail. The hydraulic motor working the furling mechanism did not react. It was the first time we ever had any problems with it. Opening up the manual and going through the system from start to finish we luckily found that the hydraulic hose on the mast had come off. It must had happened when we were working on the mast to set the spinnaker. It was a simple fix and all is back to normal now 🙂
As for the next few days, the wind will be very light and we hope that we will slip through it somehow until next week finally there should be more wind coming again.
We are wishing you all a nice start into the weekend!
Day 3 – Above and Below
Sat Jan 15 2022
Our spinnaker is working miracles since early this morning, as he keeps pulling us along in 2-5knots of wind at around 2-3kn of speed. The magic of this is only possible in the lake-like seastate that we‘ve appreciated these past days!
Today, the water is so calm, it’s surface transparent. I stand on our aft deck and stare down into 5.000 meters of water, following the rays of sunlight into the depth and wonder how far down my eyes can actually see right now. I imagine the view from below… the sunshine glittering through the surface, our tiny home swaying gently from left to right some 5km above the ocean floor! All alone. With nothing around us.
We enjoy a calm slow day aboard Adhara until we basically come to a halt. It’s 4.30pm and the wind is gone. We decide to run the engine for 1,5 hours to top up our batteries, run the watermaker and charge cameras, laptops and drones.
We nearly lost that drone today because (and I still can’t believe this as I write it) it stops following the boat after it reaches a maximum distance from its starting point! Yes. We have tried to turn that setting off! But it still stopped dead in mid flight. Limit reached. So if you see a little U-Turn in our track.. that’s us turning the boat around to get the stupid thing back on board 🤣🙈
I don’t mind wasting a couple of minutes to play around with some toys. We managed to snap a picture and what can I say. Wow! It’s so humbling to see our boat in the vastness of this big blue ocean from above. It reminds me of what I thought of earlier today. Just like the view from below, we seem all alone. With nothing around us!
Day 4 – Another day another fish
Sun Jan 16 2022
My day started off with a beautiful sunrise as I my shift started at 7 in the morning. We had been bobbing around for the night going around 2 knots with the Genoa flopping around. It is always quite nerv wrecking when you have these very light conditions and wind shifts. We don’t like motoring during the night as the noise and vibrations do not help sleeping. In these light conditions the autopilot does not work great either so we kept ourselves occupied hand steering during the night.
When everyone was awake we decided to run the engine as the wind had now completely died down. Zero wind in this amazing desert of a sea. It is definitely beautiful out here in these conditions although as a sailor I always become a bit impatient.
We motored during most of the day until around 4 when the wind picked up a bit and it was enough to keep us moving again. It looks like we will be able to sail through the night and finally tomorrow the wind will start picking up again.
Oh yeah we have had two British sailing boats on our AIS the whole day and called them on VHF for a chat. Both are heading to Grenada.
Jessie made an amazing dinner with a Mahi Mahi carpaccio with red pepper from la Gomera and lemon and as a main a poke bowl with the same fish. Delicious!
And as icing on the cake we caught our second Mahi Mahi just after sunset.
We are setting in for the night now enjoying some tea and a freshly baked banana bread.
Good night from Adhara,
Day 5 – New record Zero
Mon Jan 17 2022
I remember looking at the weather forecast and saying to Jan „I just don’t think that there can be Zero wind in the middle of the Atlantic.“
After the sun went down we still had a nice breeze last night with comfortable sailing conditions in flat seas. Then, just as I took over at 1am: Zero Wind. We stopped moving entirely. Speed through the Water 0kn. In my three hours during night watch we moved 3nm. New record right there! I swear we were going backwards at one point 🤣 the sea was flat like a lake, there was no sound, no waves, no slapping against the hull… Some Dolphins came to say hi and circled the boat for a while in the moonlight. Their breaths were the only thing we could hear around us. Felt a bit freaky!
When Jan took over at around 4am the wind returned and we were able to get moving again, unfortunately we were still headed a bit northerly of the rhumb line and at some point we weren’t even sailing in the the right direction anymore. We are desperately waiting for the winds to kick back in but looking at the weather forecast it looks like we have to be a bit more patient…
We ran the engine for another couple of hours in the afternoon today and just now at 4pm we pulled the spinnaker back up and are back on track to Martinique going 4-5kn in 8kn of wind 🙏🏽 just hoping it stays with us a little longer through the night!
Just checked our stats:
450 nm sailed
1.685 nm to go
4.5kn average speed
I think this is going to be a long one… 🙈
Day 6 – We are UTC -2 now
Tue Jan 18 2022
Today our update comes a bit later than usual. It seemed like whenever I tried to get some rest something was happening.
It started with, of course, the generator. We have been having the same issue over and over again and it is a bit frustrating. Even though we installed a new blower in Mindelo to feed more fresh air to the generator it still only works properly when we fully open the compartment and basically let run in fresh air. Pretty loud!
After that we turned on our watermaker which was struggling to produce any fresh water. We changed the pre filters and that seems to have done the trick. The filters were completely blocked from the rather murky water in Mindelo bay in the Cape Verdes. I am still amazed by this little machine.
Then we almost caught two fish. The first was a big mahi mahi which unfortunately got off the hook just when we wanted to pull it up the boat and the second was still a Baby so we let him go.
Going into the night we spotted some huge rain clouds at the horizon. We fired up the radar to help us track these clouds as they usually have strong winds and wind shifts in them. We managed to avoid the biggest one and we are now cruising through the night with little sail to be prepared for more squalls.
Other than that all is good on board Adhara. Today was the first time turned our clocks one our back so our boat time is now UTC -2.
The winds should be more consistent from tomorrow with great tradewind conditions.
Day 7 – Two thirds to go
Wed Jan 19 2022
I took over my first night watch at 7pm last night, just when the first squall appeared on the horizon. We fired up the radar and the screen looked like minesweeper. Rainy clouds all around us. The wind never picked up more than a few knots and we somehow managed to dodge all of the rain and so Adhara is still waiting for a nice fresh water shower! Still, we reefed early and we’re paying extra attention to clouds around us going.
During the day the wind and sea picked up and we were able to make good speed and progress. Guillaume got his first baptism in the cockpit as a wave from the side bashed against our hull with a loud BANG and water was blown into the cockpit… twice!
The seastate got rougher, yet there’s no real swell just a choppy short wind wave.
Right now, it’s 8pm aboard Adhara and we’re really moving fast. Steady 7kn of speed in 16kn of breeze with full sails into yet another stunning sunset and everybody is smiling in the cockpit. It feels good to get some miles under that keel and see our ETA jump from the previous 24 days to 9, sometimes 7 days 🥰🤞🏼
Our last 24 hours:
6.5 kn average speed
10.8kn top speed
1.400nm to go. We’ve now covered 1/3 of the total distance since departure!
Another reason to wake up with a smile are Crêpe for breakfast! Guillaume makes the most delicious Crêpe, a big stack that sits in the galley ready to be snacked on over the course of the day 😄 So far we have managed to cook fresh every day, last two nights we had a nice Mahi Mahi Fish Curry. We’re really eating like kings here 🙂
I’ve zoomed out a bit on our Chart Plotter and saw that if we’d turn the boat South right now and sailed a course of 180* for 1.200nm we’d reach the shores of Brazil… funny stuff to realize… But don’t worry, we’re still headed to Martinique, right on the rhumb line now, two thirds to go!
Good night from the crew 🌙
Day 8 – A little taste of the trade winds
Thu Jan 20 2022
So far we have not really had the transatlantic weather that everyone has been telling us about. Some apparently set their butterfly sail setup once and leave it on until they arrive in the Caribbean. We have had some good sailing already but it was very diverse and we had to do a lot of sail changes. Kind of reminds me of the Mediterranean to be honest. For example today: the prediction was all day 15 knots from north east. However, we started the day with some very light winds from the N which were followed by squalls and 26 knots and now we are enjoying the predicted wind downwind with a nice sunny sky and some clouds.
It looks like it will not last though as from tomorrow evening throughout the weekend the wind will die off and lots of rain will come. Finally Adhara will get her mich deserved wash! We hope that after the weekend we will have the promised tradewinds finally settling in.
We have seen a few beautiful birds this morning circling our boat maybe thinking of taking a rest on Adhara. You always wonder how these animals survive out here thousands of kilometers away from land and any fresh water.
Life on board is relaxing although I feel that the unsteady winds sometimes get to me when the time of arrival in Martinique jumps from 7 to 14 days. I guess this crossing is a great experience for me learning that you cannot control certain things and to enjoy the moment rather than thinking 3 steps ahead.
Everyone is listening to a lot of podcasts and relaxing in the cockpit during the day. We usually all have dinner together. Tonight will be rice and ratatouille.
Day 9 – Calm before… the calm?
Fri Jan 21 2022
For a while now the days are blending in together and distortion of time has fully set in. By now we have well adapted to our shift system and so it’s become second nature to sleep between 3-7pm and be bright awake between 1-4am. It’s hard to tell what happened today morning, because it’s 7pm now and I’ve just woken up so today already feels like yesterday. Or the day before that… anyway.
The moon now rises later every night, giving us a few hours after sunset to marvel at a starry sky.
Jan has mentioned us having to change sails a lot and also today we couldn’t get around it. After poling out the Genoa, getting our wing on wing setup on we hoped this would be it for the rest of the trip but after a nerv-wrecking full day of banging, clashing and tearing on our sails and rig, it felt like we were just breaking stuff without really getting anywhere anyway. So we took down the pole, headed off course but at least we could move under reasonable speed on a beam reach.
The sky around us is full of dark rain clouds, who disturb the wind and leave us with basically no wind. If there’s any rain, the wind shifts in all directions and we’ve had sudden gusts up to 25kn. This results in a swell from hell. Short, steep very confused choppy waves from every direction. It made it impossible to continue under sail in the light winds and so at around 5pm we’ve decided to run the engine.
Needless to say sailboats are designed to sail and without any sails out to stabilize the boat we’re rolling left and right like crazy. Remember the ginger beer I prepared? It covers our galley floor to ceiling in sticky sugar water after a wave pushed us over and emptied one of our cupboards. Everything else that wasn’t neatly stowed away also turned into a projectile and made its way to the other side of the Salon only to come crashing back to the other sides few seconds after.
Unfortunately all of this low-wind madness is very unusual for this time of the year. What we should have are constant trade winds at 15-25kn with occasional squalls the closer we get to the Caribbean.
This year however, the Atlantic has experienced more low to no-wind days than we ever thought was possible. Something to do with storms up North sucking up all the air and the jet stream but I’m not going to bore you senseless here. What you need to know is that it just sucks. Big time.
The upcoming massive no-wind zone, lovingly referred to as “blob of death“ by some of our friends facing the same misery some hundreds of miles away has reached us earlier than expected.
This blob of death will bring some rain tonight and tomorrow. All forecasts are saying no thunderstorms and no wind but after writing this, this little iPhone of mine is going to be stowed away in the microwave. Next to our Iridium Sat Phone and Epirb. Just in case.
Hoping the blob doesn’t live up to its name.
Good night from the crew🌙
Ps: Caught 3rd Mahi today! Fish Tacos, hooray!
Day 10 – Squally squally nights …
Sat Jan 22 2022
Well, the past 24 hours have not been that much fun. We knew that we had a patch of light winds with rain ahead of us but when we checked the weather forecasts again something else was thrown in the mix: thunderstorms. As you can imagine Thunder and lightning isn’t exactly the nicest thing to have in the middle of the Atlantic!
But let’s start from the beginning. Last night we entered the patch of very light winds and we could already see huge dark clouds forming everywhere around us. We all watched for lightning in the cockpit but only spotted one behind us. The wind then picked up to about 20kn from behind and we were able to sail quite nicely through the night only interrupted by a huge rain shower which gave the boat a nice wash – and Guiaullme as well. When Jessie took over at 4am the wind decreased again around 6am and that’s also when we saw a huge lightning storm at our bow, right where we were headed. We changed course and started the engine monitoring the clouds ahead. While we planned to maneuver around it, the clouds around us were closing in covering the entire sky. We were now in the middle of it and there was no way around it. In the afternoon we passed through a dark front and could see lighting strike very close to us, followed by thunder only about 3 seconds later. That means it probably was as close as 1 km. Quite scary!
We actually got our weather books out to make more sense of the situation we are in (thanks Paps): it seems like the front which we passed through this afternoon with lighting and rain was the warm front of the low. We are now either in the warm zone which is followed by a cold front which would bring rain and lighting again or we are actually through it already. Right now we have beautiful blue skies and almost no wind. The wind, or actually the direction of the wind plays an important role in defining where in the low you are situated. After the first warm front the wind changed from east to southeast, then to southwest and now we have light northerly winds. That would suggest that we are at the back of the low but there are still some huge cumulus clouds lurking on the horizon so we don’t want to feel safe just yet. So fingers crossed…
We treated ourselves with ice cream this afternoon to celebrate our half way point that we reached last night. Right now we have 988 nautical miles to go!
Jessie just went in the galley to prepare a beautiful carpaccio from the mahi mahi which we caught last night.
Wishing you all a nice weekend,
Day 11 – Back in the trades
Sun Jan 23 2022
So finally, with all certainty we’re out of the bad weather. Last night the sky cleared up, we had no wind and no humidity in the air, leaving us with a beautiful crisp starry sky. It’s just amazing how every time you look up you can’t help but think „WOOOOW!“ – easily spotted classics like Orion are suddenly hard to find because there are SO many stars !! But the more time I spend staring at the sky the more I recognize. Last night even revealed the Southern Cross!
We turned off the engine in the morning after motoring through the past 24 hours to get as far away as possible from that thunderstorm. Glad we did because it really got us out just in time! After the sun set yesterday we witnessed a wild show of lightning in the distance behind us. So today, after everything seems to have gone back to normal we hoisted the Spinnaker in light trade winds of around 10kn and enjoyed some peaceful sailing again. All horrors of yesterday forgotten.
We spent most of today, like many others trying to keep our boat afloat. It’s really incredible how much work goes into doing this thing that we’re doing. If you own a boat yourself you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you probably think you „buy a boat, sit back and sail the oceans“ Ha! You’re basically a slave to your vessel and on offshore passage are mostly busy keeping it from sinking. Not kidding… there’s always something! Why does the Mainsail not furl? Our Watermaker stopped making fresh water! Why is there water in the bilge? Are the batteries charging OK? The Generator spewing black soot again! Did you see the Nav Lights flicker? How long do we need to turn off the freezer at night to not run out of power? Is the rig ok? What about our lines? Is the sail fine? How did that shackle come off? Did you hear that sound? What’s that beeping? Does it smell like gas? Is that a quiche in the oven? Are you hungry? Me too!
It’s exhausting but has become somewhat second nature to us by now. Guillaume finds it still a bit funny when we finds me head first in some random bildge pumping water out and Jan half submerged into the engine room… don’t worry it’s fresh water! Our big Water canister got knocked over last night and spilled into the bildges 😉
Ps: Caught 4th Mahi Mahi today! Now we’ve got Ceviche for dayyyz
Day 12 – Are we in the Med?
Mon Jan 24 2022
It is crazy how quickly the „scenery“ changes on sea. Two days ago we were in the midst of thunderstorms and everything around us was painted grey. Not the nicest place to be. Fast forward two days and we are gently sailing along under spinnaker all day in 12 knots of wind, calm seas with a few fair weather clouds in the sky and you could easily think we are back in the Mediterranean.
The mood on Adhara changes accordingly. From a bit tense to relaxed and cheerful. However we are due for another weather change this coming night with a bit of wind and a cloud front creeping up on us from the North. We are happy to get some more wind which will allow us to sail faster and point directly towards Martinique but the clouds will also bring rain and hopefully no thunderstorm this time. By tomorrow night we should be through it.
I catch myself already daydreaming about arriving, diving into the Caribbean Sea, sharing a cold beer and seeing our friends from Nadamas who are already there.
We have just gybed the boat and we are now sailing back towards the rhumb line as the sea is somewhat confused and at the moment we cannot point directly towards our destination.
The days right now pass by with reading, sleeping, eating fantastic meals and listening to audio books. I listened to the book by Boris Herrmann and his race around the world during the Vendee Globe. Amazing stories and amazing guy. Now that we can relate to it a little bit the achievement to me is even greater.
We will be taking the spinnaker down in the evening and turning the boat west again sailing into the night and waiting for the wind to catch us.
Good night everyone,
Day 13 – 50* Degrees West
Tue Jan 25 2022
Today is our 13th day at sea! I woke up to a grey rainy sky, banging sails and a frustrated captain at the helm. We had another front coming in from the North but this time it meant only rain showers and a couple of hours with no wind.
As Jan mentioned, our mood out here seems to mirror the weather. And boy it has been a rollercoaster of emotions on this trip. Every day was different. We had to do so many sail changes like on no other passage before!
Spinnaker up, Spinnaker down, gybe, Spinnaker up, Spinnaker down, Genoa out, mainsail out, mainsail back in, Genoa back in, Pole out, Genoa out, Mainsail Out… The wind just wasn’t strong and steady enough to keep us moving on a good daily rate in the right direction with any of the above setups.
In order to somehow still keep going today we changed strategy and have turned to chasing squalls. The forecasted 13-18kn were more like 20kn in a squall anyway and after it passed the wind dropped back down to 7kn. Jan was really losing his nerves. So we spent the afternoon looking for those dark patches in the sky … happy to get some wind in our sails when a squall hit us
At around 4pm the winds slowly picked up and stayed above 12kn (I mean… that’s all we were asking for really) and so we could FINALLY rig our Wing on Wing Setup and set our course back towards Martinique !! I think we were headed as far north as New York at some point in the last days
Right now, after days of rolling, the boat feels stable again, we’ve finally got a fair bit of wind and as I write this we’re watching yet another spectacular sunset on our bow. Clouds do really make a sunset!
Can’t wait to arrive now, 630nm to go!
Good night friends
Day 14 – The rollercoaster of emotions continues…
Wed Jan 26 2022
Today was the most beautiful day – that is if you are not trying to sail from the African coast to the Caribbean. The sun was shining all day, there was a gentle breeze (too gentle unfortunately), some scattered clouds in the sky and just now a family of Dolphins swam with us for half an hour.
Last night we finally picked up good wind and we were making 7-8 knots all throughout the night. Our arrival time jumped to 2,5 days and we were all dreaming of the sandy beaches of Martinique already. Spirits were high! I was the happiest guy on the Atlantic! We knew that the wind would decrease during the day but unfortunately it almost completely died down which left us bobbing around at 3-4 knots all day. The worst part of it is the sound of the rigging crashing when the wind is too little to fill the sails. Every time you think that something breaks. It amazes me that my mood so much depends on the fact whether we are going in the right direction at a decent speed. In theory it really does not matter if it takes us a day longer or not but I guess it is the unknown which makes it difficult: is the wind going to come back? Why isn’t the forecast accurate? So far this trip has been most challenging for me testing my patience, teaching me to accept the reality you are in rather then wishful thinking.
We now have exactly 500nm to Martinique and the visit by our Dolphin friends came at the right time to get my mood up again. We are in this beautiful ocean surrounded by nature. We caught 4 beautiful fish and had some great food and conversations. Sitting alone in the cockpit during my night watches and looking at the stars while Adhara is flying through the ocean are some of my favorite moments. I sometimes do that for full three hours only listening to the sound of the ocean. It is so unique. Even though it is difficult to enjoy the present moment sometimes I know these are the times I will remember my whole life! Wow what a life!
It’s just before sunset now so I think I’ll put a line out to try and catch another fish.
Well what can I say… the wind just picked up to above 10kn and we’re moving at 4.5-5kn again – looks promising for the night !
Day 15 – Almost there
Thu Jan 27 2022
I woke up yesterday at 10pm for my night watch. Guillaume sits in the cockpit waiting for me to take over. There are no squalls, he explains and even though the wind died down a little an hour ago we’re still going at an average speed of 5.6kn – clearly the most important information… Thanks G – I like your style!
There are no clouds in the sky and the moon hasn’t risen yet. I lean out from under our Bimini and look up. It takes a while for my eyes to adjust and the longer I look up the more stars I can see. Suddenly I can’t find a dark spot in the sky, every corner of the sky sparkles. It’s only on the ocean where you get a clear line of the horizon 360* degrees around you. With no light pollution for miles, no buildings, no trees, no mountains around the stars at the horizon twinkle just as bright as the ones directly above. After a while I snuggle back up under the Bimini, in the corner of our cockpit and listen to the waves around us. Night sailing can be so peaceful.
I realize I’m as far away from anything human built as I’ve ever been. Traveling on the ocean, so many miles from the coastline there’s nothing. Apart from more clouds, less clouds or white caps, no white caps, big waves, small waves, sun, stars and moonshine … It looks the same every day. That’s why simply describing it in words is so unsatisfying. I realize it’s really more about what goes on inside of you while you’re out here. And how that sense of solitude makes you feel. It’s about realizing the scale of distances, the scale of the ocean, the incredible nature around us and once again just how small we are in all of this.
I fantasize what the ocean floor looks like some 5000 meters below us, large canyons and underwater mountains, some as high as 3900 meters, their peaks hundreds of meters below the surface. What a cool looking landscape it must be if visibility were the same as up here.
After a while of spacing out like that in my head I can feel my eyes getting heavy from the gentle rocking of the boat. To beat the sleepiness I put on some music – turn my headphones up rrrreally loud and start dancing in the cockpit. All the while laughing at the thought of someone seeing this.
At 1am I wake up Jan to take over. No squalls, no clouds, 1rst reef main, wind around 12kn, course 250*. Good night love!
I go to bed and wake up again at 6:45am, ready to take over my next watch. Just in time for sunrise! And Dolphins! We could hear them first before actually seeing them surfing the waves on our bow. We go up front and sit there for at least an hour, enjoying the view. The wind picks up to 16kn and we’re cruising along nicely. The Dolphins seem to enjoy it too! They’re striped dolphins, quite small in size and very playful. I always get the feeling that they check us out the same way we like looking at them. They swim under the surface, turn slightly up and watch us! To get a better view they take leaps out of the water. Yay – what a way to start the day!
It’s Day 15 today and our inbox has gone awfully quiet. Our daily highlights included reading out loud messages and emails we’ve received but I guess we’ve been “gone too long” and friends on land are kinda over the fact that we’re crossing an ocean and stuff don’t worry, we’re “almost there now anyway”.
We have received some messages saying “almost there now” when we still had 700nm (~1.200km) to go. Still. I’ve listened and put some beer in the fridge…
Reading our past updates you can tell that we’ve been fighting our monkey brains for some days now. I read that little sleep over a longer period of time can cause you to perceive and feel things more intensely. I guess that explains our emotional disarray from time to time.
Current ETA is sunday morning guys
Strange feeling to suddenly burst our little offshore bubble!
Kinda starting to really like it out here,
Day 16 – Tradewinds blessings
Fri Jan 28 2022
I thought about arriving today. It might seem strange but I think I will be culture shocked. New vibes, new people, new landscapes, Caribbean waters – being on the ocean now for over two weeks one could think that when you arrive you will be well prepared to arrive in a new country. Much more so as to when you drive to the airport, get on a plane and arrive 10 hours later to Caribbean sounds from the airport band. However to me the opposite is the case: being on the ocean for so long it seems almost that you are standing still and the world is moving around you. The clouds come and go, they grow smaller and bigger, it rains and the sun comes out, the moon rises and sets and still the water around you stays the same with no reference points on the horizon other than the stars at night and the sun during the day. I am guessing that it will almost come as a surprise arriving in this small French Caribbean island.
I love arriving at a new place by sea. The awareness of the immense scale of the journey and the effort it takes makes you appreciate it even more. But it is not only that. Instead of going through airports and taxis and checking in procedures you arrive with your home to a beach where you drop the anchor and immediately feel that you are there. There is a bit of an explorer feeling too
We talked about the old explorers of the seas in the cockpit yesterday. What a glorious time it must have been when you set sail to go west without knowing what you would find or how to come back. Seems a little bit like a Mars space mission today!
The seamen were often gone for years and whilst exploring they were mapping the seas, and doing scientific research on ocean inhabitants. In order it overcome their Vitamin C deficits during such long trips they mixed lime into their rum! Way to go!
Being on the Atlantic for so long we realized that most places in the world now look radically different from let’s say 500 years ago. Humans altered almost every landscape there is but out here everything is exactly how it has been forever. Ok, maybe less sea creatures (by the way we have not been so lucky with catching fish lately) and less constant trade winds
Anyway we are really enjoying the past 3 days as we finally have the fair weather and winds of the tradewinds. It looks like that will stay with us until Sunday when we will arrive.
Day 17 – Time to hoist the flag
Sat Jan 29 2022
Honestly guys, this last day of our crossing brings mixed feelings with it. We’ve just said that we’ve had passages where we were just soo desperate to arrive. Somehow and probably thanks to the fact that the past couple of days out here were absolute bliss, we feel like we could go on a little longer without losing our minds. We’d have enough food for sure. Caught Mahi Mahi Nr. 5 yesterday! And there’s still an enormous amount of food squirreled away in every corner of the boat. Fresh fruit and vegetables are slowly diminishing but I still have two Zucchini’s that I bought in Tenerife that are still fresh! Unbelievable!!
Ok back to sailing. We’ve had steady 12-16kn of trades from behind and are gently swaying with 6-7kn towards Martinique. Little ocean swell make the whole thing pretty comfortable and we’ve admittedly just now found our groove on board.
With the prospect of little to no weather changes, Jan has finally found his peace of mind and I find him most mornings sat in the shade at our bow, leaning against the mast listening to an audiobook. He looks so relaxed, it’s a joy to watch him sat there, playing with his beard (it has grown quite long now) and staring onto the horizon. I’ve found my favorite spot for the morning hours too: Leaned against a fender, under the shade of our solar panels. Just remind me to make better choices for my entertainment next time. “Everything you wanted to know about the Titanic” is a poor choice for a podcast. And reading “Dune” while surrounded by water makes it hard to be pulled into the story.
On previous passages, we rarely stepped out of the cockpit unless we needed to. First because of safety but second because everything would be so salty and we’d try and not bring salt into the cockpit and the interior of the boat.
75nm to go friends! How does it feel? Not like we’ll soon be arriving in the Caribbean it’s gonna come as quite a shock I believe.
Hoisting the courtesy flag always gets your mind into arrival mode. And we’ve asked Guillaume to do the honor, French flag and all.
We have some friends waiting for us in the anchorage and can’t wait to share our stories with them and hear their experiences from the crossing. It’s wild to get my head around the fact how different this experience can be. We received a message of a friend yesterday who responded to a MAYDAY call of a sinking yacht. He turned around and “picked up two Dutchmen” before the boat went under. They weren’t far away from us at all. Just a quick reality check of how different things can be. I’m probably most guilty for romanticizing our experience out here but if I’d tell you we’re surrounded by blue stuff and nothing else to see every day of these 17 days at sea it wouldn’t make for a nice read
So. We hope you’ve enjoyed following us along here, we’ll eventually have to slow the boat down tonight to wait for daylight to arrive in the anchorage St. Anne. We’ll see you over on Instagram with a recap in pictures and videos and mayyybe a small Q&A about our crossing…
Voilà, c’est tout!