Crossing the Pond
Our Personal thoughts of Crossing the Pond
What follows is our own personal thoughts and favourite photos of our crossing.
After all the planning, the reading, the equipping it was a huge feeling of achievement for me to sail across the ocean. Two and a half weeks at sea sounds a long time, but it seemed to march steadily on for me. The seas and weather were kind, the trade winds well established to give us steady sail, set and speed. The boat was stable and comfortable, my first mate fabulous and untiring - even cooking roast and six veg !!! The persistent roll of the sea was tiring but enabled good sleep and fitness. All in all what we had planned for went well, what we hadn't planned for we coped well with. A WOW.
My top ten items in no particular order are: 1st Mate, Duo-gen, Sat Phone/ Laptop, Gazebo, Workshop/spares, DVD/MP3 on watches, AIS, Water cooled fridge, VHF in cockpit, Auto-pilot and Gerry cans carrying spare fuel.
I started out with no pre-conceived ideas. Enough food / water, a boat I trust implicitly and a skipper who is not too bad either. Would I do it if it was twice the distance? Yes, I would just draw more duties to tick off. It's great to watch the daily miles increase and distance to go decrease. No matter how bad anything got, I never thought it was grim, it could have been so much worse in bigger winds and seas. I understand how some women get across and say "never again" or not go in the first place. We saw many boats rotting at anchor in Mindelo (Cape Verde) where people had got that far and called it quits. I see why there are so many boats for sale in the Caribbean, ditto reason, the dream dried up, failed or terra firma had a greater pull.
I swear I heard Beez shout WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE as we went down one of the huge trenches.
Would I do it again ? - give me a couple of weeks to wash the salt off / out and a few days to rest and "Off we go".
In November I was standing talking to John in his garden (he is not allowed to smoke in the house) - I can talk to John about anything, I told him "my only worry is, if a crisis happens would I cope, do the right thing or do the wrong thing and cause damage to us / Beez". He thought for a minute and said "I think thinking about it is the worst bit, revving it up in your mind, so much so, by the time you get to the other side you may feel somewhat disappointed". I have often thought about that comment which has formed the all in all at the end - Thank you so very much John, your wise words came so true and gave me the "get up and go" to do it - just the two of us - as opposed to needing extra crew.
Salt water tap for rinsing washing up and tins before crushing, Sat Phone for grib files, sending blogs and interflora chat, Splashdown trousers / Crocs, Troll Lines, Bed on Floor in our bedroom, tin can crusher, MP3 for good music, DVD for passing time, Good Books, My Skipper for friendship, support and laughter. A VERY special mention to my 'first mate' yellow hooded sweatshirt bought for me by Lord and Lady Grisswold, "Wouldn't go to sea without it". Warm, comfy, pocket like a pouch to hold 'stuff' and all in all the best thing since sliced bread.
It was a bit strange having Mum and Dad in bed with me alternately from 19:30 through until 10:00. Nice but strange. They kept telling me that this rolling about is what it feels like to be in a washing machine on rinse cycle - if that is the case then please may I stay 'eu naturelle' ??? I have got SO much to chat to Beez and the gang about !!!!! Just remember my name is not Tumbling Ted, 00-ted or any other name but BEDS.
When I was a bare hull waiting for the loving care and attention in the garden of Brent and Carole Strickland - this is what I dreamed of. A free head in the middle of an ocean. I have taken everything that was thrown at me and enjoyed every minute of it. Bring it on - I'm now in the sunshine ready for more.
ALL IN ALL - delighted to say - PLEASANTLY DISAPPOINTED.