Atlantic crossing week 1

Day 1

And we’re off, breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs. I woke up early, nervous and was anxious all morning, we finally left at 10.40 leaving Santa Cruz, Tenerife and heading south.  We put the sails up in the harbour which was fortunate as the moment we got out the wind hit us with 20-25 knots and we flew down the island at 9-10 knots. Wow, we were chasing two other yachts for a couple of hours when suddenly everyone stopped, the wind had completely disappeared, everyone’s engines went on and we pootled down the coast instead.  We saw whales and dolphins and then absolutely huge tuna chasing fish, jumping out the water, they were easily as big as the dolphins, it was incredible. The sun set and I did my first watch, it was good, two other yachts nearby, the twinkling lights of Tenerife behind and nothing else but a smiling moon and thousands of stars.

Day 2

It’s a beautiful day, super sunny, calm seas and we’re cruising at about 5 knots, so what do you do?? You dive off the back of the boat and get towed behind on a rope! And then because your husbands making it look so much fun Heath just follows suit followed quickly by Isla…. oh my god, I think Tony and I have aged a lot in a very short space of time.. his words were “I won’t tell your mother “. The kids show no fear, it’s beautiful, I however see small shark lures being pulled behind the boat, tempting teeth.  I did watch all on my own from 7-11 and it passed quietly and quickly and was actually okay.

Day 3

Bit of a crappy day to be honest, I didn’t get much sleep and went up at 7 for my watch, we were flying along and my knuckles were white for the whole 4 hours. Also felt really Pukey all day which is rubbish as you just want to lie down and do nothing. This doesn’t work with two small kids, so we did some school work and played cards and it’s now 5 so another day almost done. How many more to go? This is not a nice question.

Day 4

Last nights watch was good and then a good sleep till four when it sounded like a war was going on above. I shot up to see what was going on, but everything was fine, Jim just sat there chilling, it’s crazy the noises on a boat. It’s basically like sticking your head in a bean bag and shaking it side to side, add to that a few people stood around you banging things and you’re about there. The good news was there was no nausea today, the kids and I had breakfast and did school for a couple of hours while Jim was asleep. Through the night we had crossed our first longitude line…. we had wrapped presents for them to open on each line we crossed so they were thrilled and in the end had to wake James, as the suspense just got too much. It turned out to be the worlds smallest paddling pool, even Isla struggled to fit in it, so the toys got to play in it instead. I crashed for a few hours then swapped with Jim, it’s overcast now, I’ve got my jumper on and am busy making egg and chips, very British!

Day 5

A calm watch last night and a beautiful day today, super sunny and everyone feeling good.  We all had a wash, hair wash,  hair detangle (this took a very long time for poor Isla), nails trimmed, beards shaved, every kind of cleaning possible it was truly gorgeous and took some time as we were feral. James lost a take on his rod – a devastated man.  We made banana bread with some very soggy bananas and all were on good form. It was a nice day.

Day 6 

Gorgeous night watch, a 40 m pleasure craft called Rox star hurtled past which provided some entertainment. Was up at 7, a beautiful morning, we cracked the schoolwork, woke Jim as we’d crossed our second longitude line which meant presents.  Water pistols (actually plant misters but equally as good) we had a great water fight until Jim told us off.  In the afternoon we dangled off the back of the boat again I say we but it was more Jim and the kids, I did get down the ladder this time, but the jaws theme tune quickly got me back up it. James said it was a weak display! We lay on deck feeling the sun on skin on the south side of the Tropic of Cancer.  Lunch with Fleetwood mac blaring out of the speakers, then the rod shot off and today we didn’t lose it, a gorgeous dorado. Jim is chuffed because it means no pasta pesto. Good wind today and we are cruising along at 7 knots.

Day 7

First flying fish shot passed today, well first one we saw. It’s the weekend so kids are chuffed there’s no school, we saw dolphins this morning and a bird hung around our lures for a while. We worked on fixing the spinnaker pole which had broken in the night and had a hairy moment whilst putting the main up by me turning us through the wind and almost killing Jim with the genoa.  I needed a long moment after that, what if I’d broken Jim? I can’t think about it because it’s just too much out here, I work hard each day just to remain calm.  Jim did watch with me and we caught, then lost a dorado and the lure, Jim is sulking about this as apparently that lure was the one. The children were mental today, I don’t know if it’s because it’s the weekend, or  a week at sea or the full moon but they were bouncing around like mad. I worry that it’s too much for them being on the boat for so long, but they’re loving it and seem super happy.  I can’t believe we’ve done a week already, it’s been good.  This next week is the one I’m dreading, the middle one, the one when you’ve already done ages but your still not half way, the one where you’re in the middle of the ocean as far from anything as possible, don’t think about it, it’ll be fine.

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5 responses to “Atlantic crossing week 1

  1. Hello fran…
    Give us an e mail if you need to get in touch, or join whats app if you can, its free to text and phone then. Or my land line at apartment in Barbados is 4289 289.
    We’ll make a plan xxxx

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    • Hey Fran happy Christmas xx not going to make Barbados, pretty messed up situation at the moment. The kids and I are off to St Lucia tomorrow to stay with a friend until we know more about the boat. Jim is off to Antigua to try and find the boat. Don’t really know what to do?… no home, no stuff, BUT all alive, thank you for offering to help make a plan xxxxx ps will probably see you soon x

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      • Ok, good to hear from you. Like you say…all safe so that’s all that matters right now.
        I really hope James has some success in Antigua. Glad you going to friends in St Lucia as we only got 5 days left and Ben and penny only bit longer than that. What a turn of events!! Hang in there my friend, things could still work out. Certainly an adventure!! Loads of love from fran xxx

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  2. I’m a little jealous and surprised and proud at how good your writing is sis. I thought I was the clever one!!!

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