Thinking about crossing the Atlantic ocean back in Scotland and even once we started sailing down the coast of Europe did make me worry. Mostly it was to do with the weather and also the length of the crossing. Although we chose good time of the year to cross and provisioned for 4 (!) weeks at sea and with plenty of sailing experience between us, I still worried about how we would cope if something unexpected happened.
Well, by the time we sailed down to Cape Verde Islands from La Gomera in the Canary Islands (5 days non stop), Simon and me were well set up for the night watches and children enjoyed the rhythm of non stop sailing. Also, later our friend Dinko joined us to cross Atlantic - extra man power and his nice company were a bonus and a reassurance!
With my worries not feeling like worries any more, with a good weather window and a company of other boats leaving on the same day, we set sail from Cape Verde - Sao Vincente island on the 26th of November 2017, a day before Caspar's 11th birthday.
With plenty of food on board and Simon's fishing providing us with enough fish - Mahi Mahi ( good) and Baracuda (back to the sea as can cause poisoning), we cooked some nice fresh food on board. But portion sizes we ate were half of what we would normally eat, simply because that is how we felt. We did not drink any coffee or tea, no alcohol, no sweet drinks and not many sweets (in my case). With this proper body detox, we all lost weight and arrived in Barbados looking very healthy!
For 13 days and 9 hours we sailed towards Barbados. My night watch was always the same - 12am till 3am. The moon out shining and the sky full of stars, the sound of the waves and the greatness of the ocean around you had calmed my mind and soul. Rather unexpectedly really. I was so worried about the responsibility of the night watches from the sailing point that I did not even think I would have an opportunity just to be with myself, feel the nature around me, let my worries go away somehow. Finally I could also start grieving for my dear mum who died only 6 weeks earlier, accepting that she is gone from us and allow good memories to fill my mind. So, yes crossing Atlantic gives you a chance to calm and clean your mind and soul. be with yourself, and if anything needs healing it is a good time to start.
P.S. Of course, there was that night of squalls, when I just closed my eyes for 5 minutes to enjoy the calmness of the ocean only to be woken up by a storm, completely soaked,, boat speeding up and me unable to see anything because my glasses were covered in water! Luckily, Simon and me managed to reefed the sails down and all was well again!