14. Friendship

Telefonica Black
Lance Shepherd
Sat 1 Feb 2020 00:32
13:04.042N 053:50.587W - Distance to go: 514 nm - ETA: 03/02/2020 11.30h
When we left the marina of Las Palmas we went into a watch routine to last us the entire trip. Everybody was split up into 3 groups and every watch has 3 people. In total this is 9 people which means that Lance is the 'floater'. He comes and goes as he sees fit and tries to catch as much sleep as he can so he can be awake for hours on end if something requires his attention for a longer period of time.
Actually this has been the advice for everyone: try to get some rest when you come off watch and when you can't just get up. Sometimes you crash into a deep 5 hours sleep and sometimes you realize you don't need any and get up after an hour.
The watch system is pretty relaxed: 3 hours on, 6 hours off. Because we are with 3 'teams' this means you are on different hours all the time (24 hours can look like: 00.00 - 03.00 on, 03.00-09.00 off, 09.00 - 12.00 on, 12.00 - 18.00 off, 18.00 - 21.00 on, 21.00 - 03.00 off etc. etc.). The good thing is that everybody gets to see sunsets, sunrises and has the 'graveyard' shift every now and again.
Sleep in general is not hard to come by. Somehow life on a continuously moving boat, being outside all the time (especially with the current heat) and basically not get all the sleep you want (need) in an off watch, makes it easy to 'doze' off. The funny thing is that dreams are more vivid and alife. I have heard people dream about a windy shift and the numbers (compass, speed, apparent wind etc) were (music) notes, that the police came on board to check if everybody was wearing a life jacket and that a skiing ramp was made out of water rather than snow. Since we are approaching land Marie was dreaming that she arrived at the hostel we were talking about during the day, without a credit card and got told off by the owner.
We are approaching land.. 512 nm to  go. The countdown has started and I notice a shift within the group. People start talking about which food they will order, which drink should go with that food and the necessity to get a proper shower and do laundry. Everybody talks with a nostalgic tone in their voice. We are ready to go to land, but it also means the end of an amazing journey in so many ways. None of us really missed our phones but I am sure we will all get right back into it as soon as we are on wifi. A shame really, but we also have so many stories to tell (share).
I catch each and everyone of us staring into the abyss every now and a again. Thinking about the next step, be it flying back home to reunite with family, stay on Antigua for a couple of weeks or continue to travel to other places yet to discover.
I am sure we will all miss being surrounded by just water, encountering no other boats for days on end, running into groups of dolphins and literally ducking away when an unlucky flying fish lands on deck.
But most of all we will miss each other. Put 8 randomly chosen people on a boat for 14 days and what do you get?
Make today a good one.