Surviving 3 Days across The Atlantic to The Azores:
As we have had great sailing weather from the start on our crossing from Bermuda to The Azores, we had very little to complain about! The winds were great! The seas were at times pretty choppy … feeling like we are in a washing machine, with swells and breaking waves coming from everywhere! The odd rouge wave breaking across the beam leaving salty spray just about everywhere except on the little patch where I am sitting behind the wheel!
The challenge was really – having only the two of us on board – to get enough sleep and get into a rhythm of a month old baby to fall asleep every 4 hours with minimal effort! It did not quite happen for us yet and the struggle continues – I believe it takes about 3-4 days to get into it! We are dooing 4hour watches at a time – day and night. So sleep has to happen day and night in order to get enough of it! I find a little bit of comfort in knowing that Halo (Alexandra and Mike), Time Bandit (Stuart and Ann) and a couple more are also doing it tough being double handed yachts on this trip! Was great talking to Alexandra on the radion – 3am just before cold and boring got the better of me. Oh yes… the tropical BVI is now way of! It is freezing at night and cold during the day! No more Bermuda shorts and tank tops for a while!This is unmistakably beany and boots weather!
I am not often smart but one smart move that I am extremely glad about is that I have pre-cooked all our meals and therefore do not need to spend time behind the stove – the perfect spot to loose your appetite after a few minutes! Baie ougat!
I have been thinking about the storybook picture of a hard core sailor with the eye patch and bad teeth a lot the last few bumpy nights! Trying to get into the shower and and get my teeth brushed was another challenge to behold! The od jerk from a wave at an awkward time have almost cost me my left tonsil as the toothbrush just ignored my hand’s orders and spiked past the last moulder into the back of my throat, almost taking out what was left of a bad tonsillectomy years ago! I had to wonder if that is how the sailor lost his eye – a disobedient, uncontrolled toothbrush? And that could have explained the bad teeth too! The shower was as dangerous – surely as soon as you have the one feet lifted the next bump will throw you ever so rudely off balance and you will end up with more than one feet in the air! You need to know how to wedge yourself into that corner and forget about the feet till the see is much calmer!
We have not seen any of the 35 yacht around us since the 2nd day! Amazing how quickly they all found their own little patch of privacy in the open ocean … all heading for the same destination but taking so many different routs! It is quite nice to hear the spirits are all still pretty good amongst us all and that bar one yacht with engine problems – nothing mayor really has handicapped them more than what ARC has put on us! (Oh, we had to unhook the main halyard that got stuck at the top of the mast after the first night! What an exhausting little exercise that was! At least now we can use the main sail again! Was a pretty acrobatic effort from the Captain, that one!)
That brings me to the HANDICAPS – That is of cause a riddle of a different kind! How they worked that out is still a mystery to most of us! But who cares … this is not a race to us … this is about getting there safely with as much comfort as nature and Scolamanzi will allow us and to be in time for the big event of the Bull Run in Horta! We are doing just that – be safe and conservative in our approach to this trip!
12-14 Days is a long time… fishing will unlikely be the distraction I have figured! No lines in the water yet in case we catch something! Bending over fish guts and blood is not the kind of fun we are looking for on this boisterous sea! If our planning does not quite work out the way we think, there might be a few days of flat seas and little wind – ideal for catching fish, brushing teeth and having a BBQ!
Until next time… It is me and the Ipad, heavily loaded with books and a few more rough 4hour shifts!