Tohuwabohu - Last day
So this years rally draws to a close for us as we near St Lucia, it has been another one of those bucket list life long dreams to cross the Atlantic, most of it is about preparation, some of it is thinking your way out of the problem, the other parts are about remaining flexible. Technology is fantastic when it works, but it operates 24/7 in some difficult condition, it is inevitable that it will break, but the plan is to have a plan, and then another. The importance of spares can not be overstated, blocks , pulleys, snatch blocks, shackles, sheets, whipping line, spinnaker tape tools, spanners, wd40.
It can be difficult being on board a boat when there is little space, the art of communication is vital, there weren’t any really problems though as most of them came down to misunderstandings through language. Having you’re own time, and a watch system should ensure harmony on board any boat as this creates structure, order and discipline. This is not to say it’s not fun, but establish the watch and time off as soon as possible. As a skipper of my own boat, I would think of how many crew I would want and add 1. I always thought that I would have loads of time to read books, revise old material and gain new skills, I brought along a book on Astro navigation. All of these books have pretty much lived in my bag. It is tiring, even more so when stuff breaks and needs to be fixed, this is the longest time I’ve ever spent at sea, it just takes some adapting.
Other lessons are that it’s ok not to know, it’s ok to ask and to show and demonstrate, every boat works differently they are all set up differently with sheets, halyards, controls, batteries, gas stop valves and toilet flushes all in different places, it just takes a little time to settle and understand. This should be at the front of all skippers minds and the crew should learn the boat quickly.
Food is understated and vitally important, so are drinks, it’s been phenomenal to have Simone taking care of us, she has been my crew mate, my friend and we have laughed (even when we shouldn’t). Handover at watch times were fun with “some stars, the moon, no tankers, no dolphins no sharks” forming the greatest parts of information between the two of us.
We have met lovely people, I sincerely wish these people well and safe onwards travels with fair winds and seas, especially those who continue their circum navigation of the globe, the Sherwoods in particular.
Finally to Holger, you took us safely across the Atlantic, you have delivered me safely back to my family, friends and loved ones for which I am thankful. In the last two years some of my biggest bucket list items have been ticked off, the Biscay where I met my new friends Holger and Simone, and this year with those friends across the Atlantic. Would I do it again, absolutely. It’s been a blast, and to all those reading about our adventure, thank you good evening and good night. Tomorrow we will arrive in St Lucia. Tick