Atlantic Crossing – Day 13


Pierrick and I don’t count our days at sea the same way. Whereas I count
by calendar day, he counts by day completed. That means Day 13 is for me
17 January, but for him it will be as of this afternoon at the time we
left Mindelo. If there’s discrepancies between his texts and mine, that
would be why.

It is 9 AM UCT, but 7 AM where we are. On nautical charts there are
several big weather buoys in the Atlantic ocean. We are finally West of
the Middle Atlantic buoy. It is not actually in the middle of the
Atlantic. That’s just its name. There is already land of the American
continent south of us: the Brazilian protrusion. Still, while looking at
maps, we create reference points to track our progression. Pass the Middle
Atlantic weather buoy. Pass the West Atlantic weather buoy. Once the icon
of our boat on the AIS app appears closer to Barbados than Cabo Verde. The
app states that our ETA is somewhere between 20 and 22 January, depending
if the boat is accelerating by riding a wave. Pierrick and I figure that
there are 5 or 6 more days at sea. The sooner the better. We’ve just about
run out of fruit. We are running low on fresh vegetables. The fresh cheese
is going bad (there is definitely something to say for industrialized
cheeses!). I wish we would fish a big tuna that would help flourish our
meals over the next few days, but so far our luck – or talent – at fishing
as been meagre.

Something pretty cool happened yesterday. We finally caught up with Lucky
4, the boat of our friends Dominique and Zeyno. They had left Mindelo a
day before us. Our cat should have passed their mono-hull much sooner, but
we have come to terms with the reality that we are most likely the slowest
catamaran to cross the Atlantic. Anyways, we met up with them and for
about 20 minutes we sailed side by side. Dominique cracked open a bottle
of champagne. Zeyno’s hand is once more in a sling. Clément’s friend,
Mehdi, who’s sailing with them, caught some underwater footage of the
dolphins. Lucky 4 have seen dolphins and wales. Us, nothing, apart from
flying fish and a few sea birds. It was crazy and amazing to meet up with
friends in the middle of the Atlantic, and it was both a joy and a relief
to see other friendly faces. It made salient our isolation and wish to see
other people.

The sun is rising behind the boat to the East. The sky is composed of
lines of horizontal clouds with rounded clouds that hang in front of them.
I can’t see the sun. I can only see stretches of peach-colored sky behind
the assortment of purpled clouds. The waves are catching up with the back
of the boat, unfurling on the steps of the hulls. They are shorter now
than they’ve been so far during our journey, and they must be about 2
meters in height. We are sailing with the main sail and the génois in
scissors. Our boat is riding the waves. It slips on the water, which
affects the direction of the wind on the sails. Sometimes the génois blows
up on the wrong side. Other times I fear we’ll jibe. This set-up demands
almost constant supervision, but this way we are fast (at an average of
around 6.6 knots), we are sailing straight towards Barbados and, as we are
in the same direction as the waves, the ride is a bit more stable.

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