Diary, Atlantic crossing
Monday 18/12 we left Marina Mindelo, the boat filled with food and water. We sailed to Santo Antao and dropped the anchor outside an amazing little bay called Tarafall. Four years ago Rasmus stopped by there and really liked it. When the hook was on the bottom we felt very protected but little too big waves was coming into the shore so we decided to stay on the boat. A lot of fisher men drove close to Dies to take a closer look, I think it’s not so normal to see a sailing boat outside the villige. In the evening Emma got a great idea and we waved to the fisher men to come closer, they came to the boat and we asked if we could by some fish from them with our last escudos. Very nice people and we had a great barbecue on Dies. The next day we explored the little place Tarafall.
Wednesday 20/12 Day 1 crossing:
First day at sea and it feels too good to be true. I have been waiting for this crossing for years and now, I’m here. It’s almost no wind at all so it dosen’t start that well but hopefully it’s just today. Today is just a chill out day, everybody is pretty tired of the first night shift so quite slow day, but very nice.
Thursday 21/12 Day 2:
Second day and we catch a Mahi Mahi, not a big one but enough for six persons and this time we made sushi! The food is really the best thing during the day. The night has been hard, so tired so dark, it’s always in the beginning, then you get used to it. We split the shift in three hours each from 9PM to around 9AM then the rest of the day we take turn to steer and just have an eye out there, all the time but nothing happens.
Friday 22/12 Day 3:
Day three, we started with 2 100 NM, three days and we have done around 450, 1 650 left. Rasmus tells me to stop counting the miles and stop counting the days. Im talking a lot about when we will arrive to Caribbean. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the time but it’s so hard to understand how long we will be out here. The days pass quite fast, I wake up around 10AM, eat porridge up on deck, clean the deck from all the six to ten Fly fishes, have some coffee, steering, eat lunch, read a book, talking, eat dinner, more coffee, time for a nap before the night and then, suddenly it’s a new day.
Saturday 23/12 Day 4:
During the nights we are using the auto pilot but this night the batteries were to low so we needed to steer. I really don’t like steering in the middle of the night when you are alone but this night was so good. Not that big waves and the boat was very easy to steer. Also nice to listen to some music and just see the night become day. For everyday we feel the weather is getting warmer and warmer. Very calm day today. The kids are very excited for tomorrow, Christmas! I really hope tomorrow will be the first day with no sea sickness, feel so sorry for Emma and the children.. Even if they having problem with the sickness the mood is good! Now I’m gonna take a nap, feels crazy to celebrate christmas on a sailing boat on the Atlantic.
Christmas! Day 5:
The kids have been talking about Christmas since they came aboard on Dies so we did our best to get a Christmas feeling on Dies. At my night shift I started to decorate Dies with some small details. The first thing they saw in the morning was a little Santa in the fruit net and he had brought two ”Pepparkakor”. During the day we just enjoyed the time at sea and the kids find some hidden presents during the day. In the evening we had dinner and Felix and Kasper started to ask when Santa is coming, we tried to tell them that it can be really hard for Santa to find us in the middle of the Atlantic. The kids started to get disappointed and then Rasmus came with the great idea to pretend to be Santa on the VHF. Rasmus was steering and we hide the rest of the presents in a bag in front of the mast. Exactly the time when Felix and Kasper had realize that Santa is not coming and they said they will never celebrate christmas on a sailing boat again the VHF was jelling ”Dies Natalis Dies Natalis, this is Santa Claus, can you hear me? over..” It was so fun and I hope they had an unforgettable Christmas.
Monday 25/12 Day 6:
Today we all was pretty tired from yesterday. The last days it has been coldly so the sun panels haven’t been helping so much which means the batteries have been quite low. So today we have been steering all day. In the beginning I really didn’t like steering the boat, it felt so hard and boring. I like to run around in the boat and fix some small things or bake a cake to make the time go but steering felt like time was going too slow. Now when I’m more comfortable with the boat I like steering, just listen to some music, singing, talking and today I steered almost all day, the time just flew away. Took down the main sail today all by my self, that was the workout of the day.
Tuesday 26/12 Day 7:
This night was crazy! I was up on my shift and just walked around in the boat, made some tea, clean the kitchen from the dinner and then I heard a really hard smash from a wave right in the side of the boat, it sounded like a big ship had smashed right into Dies and then… This huge wave who had smashed into us flushed over the hole pilot house and guess who had two windows opened and the entrees? I just saw all the massive water just flashing in from the windows, it all went so fast and so much water, it was like someone just had a big, big bucket and just throw the water through the window. In the salon Emma and the kids were sleeping and half of the water landed in their bed.Can you imagine to wake up like that? Felix got all the water over him and he woke up so surprised and scared of corse, the second after it happened we all were up and tried to clean up the water, what a crazy night. The good thing today is that we are HALF WAY! I was staring at the plotter and screamed ”Half Way” exactly the time when the distance change to 1050NM. Seven days 1050NM, pretty fast I guess, for our boat. Maybe just seven days left?
Something between 27 to 1 of January Day??:
After that we made half the way I dropped/forgot the Diary, I dropped the days, I dropped the distance. After the half way I realize there is no point to just focus on how much is left, just wake up and live day by day. I didn’t decide to just stop focusing on the days, and the miles, it just happened. And suddenly we saw Barbados in the horisont. I will do my best to tell you shortly about the rest of the half way:
We got two Mahi Mahi on the hook but dropped both of them, so eating fish everyday ended with just one fish at the hole trip… I got my first experience of squalls and it was so funny because me and Rasmus had our morning coffee in the cockpit and I started to ask him like how fast can they come and what can happen and stuff like that, the weather has been amazing the hole trip so I was wondering when the weather was gonna change, in that moment when we were talking about it, it came! So fast, so much wind, hard to take down the sails and so much rain! But the rain was so nice, we were all standing up on deck and just let the sky give us a shower. Okey fun, now I know what a squall is but it came and leave the hole day… Busy day on Dies! Didn’t sleep so well that night, listen to the wind all the time.
We have seen a passenger ship that was fun, I guess, some birds and of course Fly fishes. Good weather every day, really warm, I’m just wearing bikini all days, Rasmus swum from the boat but even if we didn’t had much sails out it went too fast, so he said it wasn’t that funny, I didn’t swim, too scared, now I regret it.
New years eve we had very good dinner like everyday and we made some Banana ice-cream for dessert. We don’t have a working fridge in the boat only the freezer so before we left Las Palmas we decided it was enough with only a freezer, it has been working very good, specially when you can make ice-cream on the boat. At midnight it was only Toni who were awake, everybody was sleeping at 9PM.
The sea sickness hasn’t disappear from the boat, some days has been better the others, but still some sickness. Me, Rasmus and Toni has been good the whole trip.
The boat has been working so good, very smooth sailing, first we had the Genoa and the Mainsail at each side of the boat, then we change to only the Genoa with the whisker pole, then only the Genoa so the wind has been chancing little during the trip.
Yesterday we saw land for the first time but it didn’t felt special and I think it’s because the land we saw was Barbados and we are going to St Vincent, Bequia. Today we will arrive, the kids are really looking forward to come in to land and have their pizza, they been talking about pizza since day 1.
The last days the moon has shown up during the nights, the first time it was just half moon but for every night it gowned bigger and bigger, going up from the East and down in the West, its like it has been following the sun.
We only have pictures from the little bay Tarafall, check out our video from the crossing on Instagram @sailingnatalis
Thank You! /Tove