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Cassiopeia - Episode 1/6 - Preparations for Atlantic Crossing

I'm going to cross the Atlantic! 

This is what I have been telling everyone in the past week. Not to brag, but because I can feel it coming. Every passion has got a milestone, every sport has got its standards. For yachting lovers, crossing the Atlantic on a sailboat is like climbing the Everest for rock-climbers. (Circumterra is something like the Seven Summits). 

About 3000 nautical miles from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to Santa Lucia, the Caribbean.  One of the longest sailing distances in a straight line. Even in the Pacific - there are no 3000 miles without a patch  of land. 

We think it will take 3 weeks, unless we have days of calm waters. Three weeks of sailing on Cassiopeia, Beneteau Oceanis 38, Liviu and Alex Chiric's boat. Three weeks in which you only see land in the first and the last days. Imagine what you can do in three weeks, how many people you can meet, how many places you can visit. We will only see water, waves and the faces of our 6 crew members. Actually five, the sixth is just me in the mirror. 

We will go to sleep and wake up on sea waves. We will cook and eat on sea waves. We will have showers and clean the deck on sea waves. Two people will constantly be keeping watch, day and night, hour by hour. 

We will tell each other all kinds of stories, and we will probably have nothing left to say at the end. Or maybe not. We might lose some weight due to lack of appetite or sea sickness, or we might gain more, due to the lack of other things to do on the boat. We will adjust sails every other day, or we might be dealing with sudden squalls.

Just to get a clear idea, the first route is the start at point 1- the distance from Mangalia to Balcik. 50 nautical miles. We could be in Istanbul at point 2, or in Athens at point 3. A real expedition, sailing from Romania. 

Point 4 is the place where we want to be in a week. 7 times 24 hours of sailing. 21 (watches) of 4 hours each. And not crossed half of the ocean yet. Our brains will be constantly repeating: "Where are you going? What are you doing in blue (libere) waters? Why don't you go back to the shore? What do you have to prove? Seven whole days of sailing are not enough?"

Point 5 represents week 2. Unless there are 'no wind' traps - flat calm. We would have already crossed half of the ocean. A switch in our brains. No more thoughts of going back. You almost have less to sail towards  the end than back to the start. We are nothing like those people from the famous joke, who got tired after jumping 99 fences and decided to go back when they reached the 100th.

Food might not be tasty anymore. Things could not be interesting anymore. The repeated jokes and stories might become annoying. Or they might as well turn into our little universe. One more week to go. 

Point 6 is on the shore, in Santa Lucia. If we do get there, it means we defeated the Ocean. Or it became our friend. We have respected it and it has been merciful. But the last 3 days would have been very difficult. counting every mile, every blowing of the wind and every knot. Any speed under 6kn might drive us crazy.. Or it might seem like it has all been too short. 
I don't know anymore. 

But I'm dying to find out!

Fair winds to all!

Ovidiu Drugan/Cassiopeia


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