Ten days into our journey, we are now well and truly in the middle of the Atlantic. Life goes on in much the same way as previous days and for those of us who aren’t quite used to offshore sailing, we are getting accustomed to the – let’s call them little quirks – of being aboard. Showering whilst wedging yourself against the door with one slippery foot on the toilet for stability, playing a sort of full-body pinball game in the galley using your hips for buffers, enjoying a tense game of chess and, just as you’re about to play your winning move, losing at that critical moment to the sea.
If this sounds like your idea of hell, we invite you to imagine how you might feel had you also had only three hours’ sleep in the last 24 hours. For 10 days.
But maybe it’s the lack of sleep, the fresh air, the slightly fermenting mango we had for elevenses, but it doesn’t actually feel half bad at all. In fact, the middle of the Atlantic is pretty fantastic.
Night shifts are probably the best example we could give you. Last night, the moon was huge in the sky for our first night shift, blocking out the stars and illuminating our path. Then on the second shift the moon had set and the squalls had settled in leaving everything inky black. We’ve all experienced the disorientating feeling of not being able to see even the horizon, waves coming from nowhere and knocking you off course as the sails rattle. All that we can see is our instruments that tell us we’re not, as it feels, going round and round in circles. It’s scary, but when the boat settles into the sea, our wake illuminated by phosphorescence, it feels a bit like nature is saying a little ‘well done.’
And then the dawn comes, first with little bits of blue behind the clouds, then building into oranges, pinks and reds that take over the whole sky around us and we’re filled with a sense of wonder that we’re probably the only people lucky enough to be watching this in the world. Feeling enormously privileged, we go and get our 3 hours’ sleep and prepare to do it all over again.
position 3rd dec, 2100. 16’23.03N 39’29.77W