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Joanna - Blog update Joanna - Over & Out

At the start of the trip we all put our estimated arrival date and time in a sealed envelope. No one knew each other's guesses and there was a lot at stake - the winner would have all their drinks paid for in our first night in St. Lucia. The child-friendly prize was unlimited ice cream for a day if a record could be broken for the amount consumed, Inés and Vincent would be up for the challenge.

In hindsight, this little competition *may* have encouraged an environment of adjusting sails, changing engine speed and coming up with ploys (e.g. let's slow down and go for another swim), to meet individual self interests. Pretty understandable really.

It seemed like ages ago we wrote down the estimates but it was now becoming real. The end was in sight but a sense of melancholy was felt throughout the boat. While we were about to have successful crossed the Atlantic and had an amazing time doing so, it was also about to be the end of an era. Our little floating world and daily routine, which we'd all become accustomed to, was about to dock back in with the rest of the world.

Contact with the outside world had been minimal throughout the trip. This is partly due to the snails pace IridiumGo connection, slower than 1990 broadband speeds(!), which thrives (probably a generous way to describe it) on email and GRIB (weather) files, but also due to a conscious decision not to opt for anything with higher connection speeds like StarLink. We live in a ever-connected world with a constant bombardment of media. The ocean is one place it's harder (but not impossible) for media to reach you so is a perfect opportunity to take a detox (we'd highly recommend!). No more doom scrolling through Instagram and various news channels!

While it's been refreshing to reduce our media intake, everyone was excited to regain and rekindle contact with friends, family and loved ones. Taking time apart from them can show you how much you miss and appreciate the daily interactions and conversations. It's tricky though as there is a balance between hearing from the people we love and the constant bombardment of news and media that often comes with it. Getting the right balance between doom scrolling and staying connected is probably something we all need to work on once back in the real world.

Throughout this trip we've been at the mercy of the sea both the good and bad. In day to day life, you're often the one in control, dictate how your day unfolds and what you'll spend your time doing. In the ocean, this relationship is reversed and so much is out of your control. You can't decide what the wind will do, what's going to break next on your boat (this happens more than you think), or how the environment around you will change - you've got to adapt and react to everything thrown at you. There's no one to call - only you and your crew.

The bad (but entertaining?) could be a 'squall sandwich' approaching with nowhere for you to hide - within seconds you're going to be wetter than if you had just jumped in sea. What can you do? Suck it up, take the sails down, put a coat on (or take your clothes off?) and embrace the free shower. Or if the wind shifts from its reliable trade wind direction to send you off course and slow you down. Annoying, but you can change your course and wait it out until it's more favourable.

The good could be a complete lull in the wind which gives the opportunity to take a swim in the middle of the Atlantic - a once in a life time opportunity which you won't forget. Or putting your fishing lines out and catching an 2 meter marlin which is absolutely delicious and feeds the crew for the next week.

The point is you've got to go with the flow and each day is different and often unexpected. We've had 40 knots winds, non-existent winds, 5 meter waves, no waves, caught 2 meter fish, had days with no fish being caught, swam in the Atlantic, baked bread, done yoga, been through squalls, done exercise classes, had fantastic conversations with other crew, unblocked a 80L waste tank filled of poo, sanded down and re-oiled two new seats for the bow, delivered fuel to another boat in high seas, seen dolphins, been sea sick, played with Lego, made up recipes on the fly, read books, listened to podcasts, decorated the boat for Christmas the list really does goes on. Whatever has been thrown our way, we've adapted, reacted, enjoyed it (largely..) and learnt from the experience.

We're all going to be sad to leave our floating island and eventually depart our separate ways. Some will be going back to work, some continuing on a circumnavigation and some having absolutely no idea what they'll be doing next. One thing for sure is that we are all going to look back fondly on this shared experience. Totally unique and totally awesome - what a great trip onboard the dependable Joanna.

We hope you've enjoyed these small blogs and they’ve given you a small insight into life on Joanna.

Over and out (for now),
Joanna & Crew

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