Travel Diary #5 – From La Gomera to Martinique

 - 15 Juin 2019 - Travel Diary

“The great adventure begins! Are you afraid? No but I have a weird feeling in my belly…”.

Groceries are made, the boat is ready, we can set sails for the Caribbean! La Gomera is gently fading away as we set our course toward the West. Few hours pass and we eventually find ourselves surrounded by water… Next time we will see the land will be in 3 weeks, on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

20 days punctuated by 4-hour shifts

Every 4 hours, 3 persons are responsible for sailing while the others are resting. Unlike many other boats, we do not use the automatic pilot. Basically, we have to steer the boat, do the maneuvers and keep an eye open (shiiiiiip to staaaaarboard!). 

Obviously, this rule applies both day and night. However, the good side of it is that we have never seen that many sunsets and sunrises… without counting the endless shooting stars nights.

While the other group is on watch, we spend most of our time resting. It’s pretty tiring to stay on a boat 24/7. It’s moving all the time and your muscles are permanantly solicited.

Of course we also play a lot of music, we make games, we fish, we stay amazed for 30 minutes with the only bird around, we take time for ourselves, we get lost in our thoughts, we discuss, we debate and we remake the world. 

20 days of amazing meals

The 6 of us love cooking so much that we are almost arguing to prepare meals. On a boat, mealtime are moments of the highest importance ! And despite the unstable and sporty conditions in the kitchen, we always make sure to cook the best we could. So, for more than 3 weeks, we never ate the same dish twice. 

20 days of “wipe-shower” 

The tank water is reserved for drinking and washing dishes. So we have to wait for our arrival to shower… Fortunately, we still could quickly rinse ourselves after two swimming sessions with 5000m depth. 

20 days on a sailboat of 14 meters along with 6 strangers

A transatlantic is more of a social experience than anything else. When you find yourself in the middle of the ocean and something goes wrong, it is not really possible to isolate yourself ! So you learn to adapt a lot. You learn to accept and understand others’ ways of thinking or doing, their personalities, their desires … You also teach yourself how to forget and move on to something else. But the most important : you learn to forgive.  

Crossing the Atlantic is an extremely rewarding experience because you find yourself with people you don’t necessarily know, for a certain amount of time (in total, we spent 2 months together) and sometimes facing conditions that are not easy to handle.

So yes, a Transatlantic is a great sailing adventure but above all, it is a human adventure in which you learn a lot about yourself and social relationships ! 

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