Background for Pam's TV program project
Wed 10 Jun 2020 02:53
Here's some background for your possible film/TV project regarding Mojo etc. I know your main contact is Sam via FB and that's fine - he's the most techie/videoblog-savvy type amongst us on the boat.
Mojo is my boat - I am owner\skipper and I can sail it alone no problem. I live on the boat several months a year and have sailed the Atlantic a dozen times and round the world in 2012.
For long distances it's better but not utterly essential to have someone else along to keep watch while I catch some sleep. I advertised on Findacrew.net, and Sam had already registered. With no flights I could only take someone already actually physical on the island of St Martin. Otherwise I would sail alone and wake every 20-30 minutes to check all ok.
Sam and I spoke on video Whatsapp and he presents realistic, adaptable, practical and intelligent. He's sailed a few times, and his snowboarding (he's been travelling 18months) shows an adventurous nature, too, I think. Sailing experience is often irrelevant - coastal sailing courses seem to imbue much fear and trepidation about sailing offshore. In practice it's safest being a long way from rocks and other boats.
Sam and I agreed that we'd sail in a week's time, on weds 27th May. May-June are Best Time for this passage - every ocean route in the world has a "best time" when storms are least likely.
I wasn't planning a transat this year Eastbound but the circumstances of closed islands in the Caribbean meant it was probably the best option to be able to leave the boat over UK summer - normally I would have the boat hauled ashore in Trinidad and fly to Europe in May and back to the boat October. But Trinidad closed and no flights planned.
So this year I rejoined that small group of sailors who cross the Atlantic twice a year - winter towards the Carib, spring towards Europe. I've done the trip 12 times but many have done it 30 or more times. I have boaty friends and marine engineer friends in Lanzarote who will look after the boat and fix stuff whilst I'm away.
I suppose it seem OMG edge of seats stuff to some, perhaps many, but crossing oceans is what Mojo and many other similar boats are designed to do. The boat has watermaker, solar power and lithium batteries, diesel for over 1,000 miles, satphone and spare satphone, so it's not a "reach" to do this trip - it's a long DIY ferry trip on a machine designed to do the job.
Sam spoke with casual/new friend Ampi at a beach bbq. Ampi is a cook from Argentina with relatives in Spain, working in SXM but no work with things closed, so on the Friday she asked me on Whatsapp if there was space and I said yes okay. Ampi in turn told Anna, a final-year almost-qualified doctor helping the C-19 effort in St Martin (now phasing out) and who also needed a ride back to Europe to complete her studies and qualifications. So we are four in total. We all have separate lives which we will pursue once ashore, but we're a crew team looking out for each other as best we can during the trip. As skipper it's my job to lead the team, and help them ensure that we all have a safe and fun trip. Halfway there now so no turning back - under 1500miles to go.
Hope this gives you some background. Let me know any questions. I'll put this on the blog - nothing particularly confidential here or actually for most aspects of the trip.