Liz's Journal - North Atlantic (Again)
I enjoy cruising around the world, seeing different places and making new friends. Ironically the one part that I don't particularly enjoy is the sailing.
After the first few days everything improves dramatically, I no longer suffer from seasickness and I am able to read, write and do anything else the weather allows. The thing that starts getting to you once seasickness is no longer a problem is the boredom.
Sure watches have to be stood, sails changed and chafe stopped but between short bursts of excitement come hour after hour, day after day of tedium. When we started sailing it was a major issue and, as I did not stand watches I was full and overflowing with energy. My attention span was also shorter and even after being given a task I soon lost interest. When planning for this trip, which was to be our longest, I was prepared by stocking up on thick books while mom and dad provisioned. When we departed the Canaries I had forty unread books in my cupboards. Another issue to look out for while undergoing an ocean passage is getting enough sleep. Even while 'sleeping' one hand is always for the boat and therefore you never fully relax, in some cases waking up more exhausted.
One of the major issues while embarking on a long ocean crossing such as this one is garbage compaction. With a three-week trip ahead of us we had to try and economise on space as much as possible. One of the best things we have found for garbage management while at sea is compacting non biodegradable items into plastic bottles.
You will not believe the amount of plastic bags, wrappers and milk containers can fit inside one two litre Coke bottle. Our rule is Plastics stay, everything else goes including food waste, tin cans and glass. Before throwing everything over we either fill it with water, in the case of glass or fill it with holes.
So what else can I tell you about the Atlantic? It's big, blue and like Mother Nature herself suffers from PMS.
It is at times like these when you bite your tongue, grin and agree with everything she has to throw at you. Reminding yourself that there's no point in complaining, as you deserved it in the first place.
You can't argue, there's no POINT no matter what you say or do, or think of saying or doing, or not saying and not doing, it will be wrong. That my friend is the pure force of PMS.
I had my seventeenth Birthday underway and although I was rather disappointed that no one stopped by or called, having said that I did receive Birthday emails which I read despite being in the middle of a storm.
We arrived in Saint Martin with an unusual amount of excitement.
Making a night approach we were under chute (Spinnaker) aiming for the gap between Saint Martin and Anguilla when 'The Captain' decided (with the owners permission of course) that it was time to 'Bag it'.
In a series of unfortunate events the topping lift holding the spinnaker pole up at a 90 degree angle to the mast, unclipped itself causing the pole to dip into the water and my dad who was holding onto the other end of the pole at the time, to levitate for a number of seconds.
The following seconds were a blur of shouting, mis-communication and a variety of acrobatic feats performed by my dad as he tried to overcome the pressure of the water holding the spinnaker pole down by jumping about like an idiot trying to use his body weight to pull the foreguy.
Anyway, we succeeded in the end and didn't sustain too much damage both physically to the boat and mentally to ourselves.
We dropped anchor on the French side of the island in Marigot Bay and for the first time in twenty days slept a full night without our bunks slipping out from underneath us.