Paul, it really is not fun when there are big swells and it’s gross out. That feeling of being trapped, ill, in an apparently endless chunk of time on the sea is miserable. I used to semi-freak out every afternoon around 4:30 in anticipation of another night ahead. It took me 15 years to build up for the S Pacific crossing, but accomplishing that, getting through a 30 hour rough, stormy passage without an auto pilot, and spending more time at sea in general helped in my mental preparation for this Atlantic trip. It’s also known as a milk run – we are going with the trade winds and it has been, and should continue to be, an easy sail. It makes a world of difference when it’s possible to sit outside in the sun, accomplish daily tasks with a minimum of effort, sleep well, and have a general sense of well being rather than feel half terrorized, exhausted, and vaguely ill day after day. I’m also quite happy to be heading towards home rather than away giving me a sense of anticipation that is helpful. Our daughters and my mom will be joining us days after we arrive in Grenada. We also had friends arrive to Gambier, French Polynesia the same day we sailed in from Easter Island. It was so fun to see them! Thank you Greg and Jo-Ann!!!
I was not particularly concerned about this passage, but people kept acting like it was some huge deal that we were going to cross the Atlantic, and that started to make me nervous. What surprises me the most, is that what we already did in the Pacific was way hairier than what we’re doing now, but it still started to get to me that outside people seemed concerned about this passage. I started to be anxious about 6 weeks ago and restless to get it over with. Fortunately, the Balearics were so nice and then the surprise of the wonderful Canary Islands enabled me to relax a bit, but I’m sure Tim will happily attest to the fact that I was crankier than normal and overly emotional for several weeks prior to our departure.
We did a lot of work to the boat, provisioned well and we know Agility quite well at this point so feel very comfortable as far as being physically prepared. I also bought some English magazines in Gibraltar and am hoarding them for a day when I need a change of pace, I have a crochet project going that eats a lot of time, I’m reading three different books and listening to another on Audible and listening to some podcasts. We play cards and yahtzee, I have a spring and handle set up that I can do exercises with, and if it continues this calm, I can always clean stuff out and find some work to do around the boat. I typically avoid doing anything extra and try to relax and find what enjoyment I can because there are always unpleasant surprises to deal with.
As I mentioned before, it’s helpful to be used to the lifestyle. We’ve been gone and sailing for nearly two years now and practice helps. That being said, when this is done, I’m giving myself permission to not feel the need to do anymore passages. I may still do some, but not out of sense of obligation. The fun part of sailing and power yachting is island hopping and exploring. The passages are over romanticized. Shipping or hiring a delivery captain is an excellent option if you want to maximize your time aboard or hop between the Med and Caribbean for the good seasons. What you need is a crew of BB8’s to do the tedious stuff!
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