Atlantic Re-Crossing – Part I

December 31, 2014

Atlantic Crossing December 1

Unlike our first Atlantic Crossing, I am not going to break up the posts into 2-3 day sections and regale you with what happened on a daily basis.  I can’t, or every post would go something like this:  ‘Woke up.  Winds were heavy but steady.  Waves were heavy but steady.  I can’t go outside without getting wet.  Prepared meals, napped, and waited for the next day to come‘.

I can do that for you every day if you’d like, but the truth is I’d still like you to come back to our blog every few days and I know that’s not the best way to hook or even keep you.  So instead I will be breaking our crossing into two posts where I’ll get a little technical and give conditions plus milage, and then a little snippet of something that happened that day, just to keep your interest if even just a little bit.

 

Day 1 – December 18, 2014

  • Winds ESE 10-15 knots; Seas 1-2 meters
  • Before leaving, Matt cut his thumb with a drill. No stitches this time; We finally found the sun outside of Las Palmas; Accidentally woke up Matt with the air horn while tacking; Cuddled in the cockpit listening to UB40 while watching the sunset and watched Gran Canaria light up.

 

Day 2 – December 19, 2014

  • Winds NE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 120 nm
  • Still quite cold out, our gauge is showing the water is only 57. That can’t be right. Stayed below deck for most of the day.

 

Day 3 – December 20, 2014

  • Winds ENE 20-25 knots; Seas 2-3 meters; 125 nm – 245 total
  • Saw a flash in the sky, maybe a supernova? Had to hand feed Georgie her dry food. She wanted the cheese I was eating and kept nudging me, timing her nudges with the rocking of the boat.

 

Day 4 – December 21, 2014

  • Winds ENE 15-20 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 124 nm – 369 total
  • Found a buddy boat. Well, on AIS at least. The first boat we’ve seen outside of Gran Canaria. They’re 36 ft and sailing in the same direction, only 4 nm from us.

 

Day 5 – December 22, 2014

  • Winds NE 12-17 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 115 nm – 484 total
  • Read books and made pasta salad. Without being able to fill our propane in Gran Canaria we have about 1 week’s worth of propane left and have to portion it out.

 

Day 6 – December 23, 2014

  • Winds E 5-10 knots; Seas 0.5-1 meters; 92 nm – 576 total
  • Had a hard time getting a satellite phone signal. With the light winds, tried to lay out on deck and catch a tan. Speeds dropped down to 2 knots.

 

Day 7 – December 24, 2014

  • Winds E 2-6 knots; Seas 0-1 meters; 41 nm – 617 total
  • Drifted in the morning with no autopilot; Made guacamole and enjoyed in the cockpit with a beer; Trimmed my split ends. Not good according to sailing superstitions. I should have known better. Got a text from my dad that storms were on their way.

 

Day 8 – December 25, 2014

  • Winds E 5-10 building to 10-15; Seas 1-2 meters; 60 nm – 676 total
  • Merry Christmas! Warm and productive day. Enjoyed 2 cups of coffee, did a little laundry, and had my first shower since leaving. (Ick, I know). Made a nice chicken and potato dinner. Watched the forecast, we have a depression and front on the way.

 

Day 9 – December 26, 2014

  • Winds E 20-25 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 89 nm – 765 total
  • Day started with lots of wind and growing waves, but it died down by the afternoon. Debated stopping at the Cape Verdes but the weather looks ok for us to continue.

 

Day 10 – December 27, 2014

  • Winds E 20-25 knots; Seas 1-2 meters; 93 nm – 858 total
  • Went into the night with the spinnaker pole up. At 3 am the winds jumped from 15 knots to 30 and stayed strong until the early afternoon when they died down to 10-15 knots.

 

Day 11 – December 28, 2014

  • Winds E 20-25 knots; Seas 2-3 meters; 121 nm – 979 total
  • Changed our course from S to WSW. Matt caught a tuna but lost it before getting it on board. Got seasick and spent the rest of the day in a foul mood, made Matt cook dinner.

 

Day 12 – December 29, 2014

  • Winds E 15-20 knots; Seas 2-3 meters; 114 nm – 1,093 total
  • Sick again. Matt left the dishes overnight for me to clean. Thanks Matt. Caught 2.5 ft mahi. Cleaned and filleted it even though I felt like I was going to throw up in the sink.

 

Day 13 – December 30, 2014

  • Winds E 20-25 knots; Seas 2-3 meters; 115 nm – 1,208 total
  • Still overcast, still feeling blah. Finally washed my hair for the first time in 5 days. Made a nice chicken, potato, carrot stew for dinner.

 

Day 14 – December 31, 2014

  • Winds E 20-25 knots; Seas 2-3 meters; 121 nm – 1,329 total
  • More of the same. Clouds, strong winds, feeling gross. Read the book Slaughterhouse V. It was…interesting.

Atlantic Crossing December 3

Atlantic Crossing Decdember 2

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Atlantic Re-crossing – Day 12

12/30 Of course I take it upon myself to start listening to audiobooks on How to Learn Spanish now that we've just left Spain. All is ok. 1213 nm. 16.45 n 30.52 
		
		Day 12
			
			
		
	

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Atlantic Re-crossing – Day 11

12/29 Caught a small Mahi today! All is OK. 16.39n. 1900 nm left. Day 11

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Atlantic Re-crossing – Day 9

12/27 Had 2 slow ourselves down a bit 2 avoid a depress & front, but tomorrow we'll be pointingthe bow west 2 the Caribbean! All is ok. 861 nm. 
		
		Day 9
			
			
		
	

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Atlantic Re-crossing – Day 7 Christmas Day on the Big Blue

12/25 Merry Christmas everyone from mid Atlantic. Enjoy spending your day with loved ones, I know we wish we were with ours. All is OK. 676nm. 21.16n 23.41w

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Atlantic Re-crossing – Day 6

Currently @ 22.09n 23.21w moving SW @ 1 knot.

Day 6

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Atlantic Re-crossing – Day 4

12/22 Found a buddy boat, even if it doesn’t know we exist. Traveling approx. same speed & course, 4M away. It’s nice not being alone. All is ok. 22.46n 21.10w.

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Atlantic Re-crossing: Day 2

12/20 48 hours in & 245 miles down. Found the sun outside of Las Palmas but not the heat. Water only 57 deg. All is ok. 25.15n 18.04w.

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Sailing Superstitions Part II

Thursday December 18, 2014

sailing superstitions

It’s that time again!  Time for a large passage and time to get back to the sailing superstitions that surround them.  If you remember, I did a post back in October of the sailing superstitions that we follow ourselves.  But while doing a little research on the topic I came across a few others that I found quite interesting.  And as we leave today on our 3,000 nautical mile passage from Las Palmas de Grand Canaria to either St. Martin or Antigua in the Caribbean, I leave you with a few more of the things we’ll try and stay away from just to keep luck on our side.

 

Whistle for Wind

You might think it would be nice to whistle a little tune and get a steady breeze in return, but apparently you’re not supposed to whistle at all on a boat. Whistling is said to challenge the wind itself (since I guess if you think about it, you always refer to the wind as whistling through the trees, ect) and if you do whistle on board it is said to bring a storm about. I am married to a perpetual whistler who doesn’t even know he’s doing it most of the time, and luckily we’ve only faced a handful of storms so far, so I think this one is bull. But that doesn’t mean you’ll hear me whistling any tunes across the Atlantic. No use trying to tempt fate.

 

 

Having a woman on board is bad luck

Well, this boat couldn’t really travel without me on it (have you read about Matt’s nil attention span while navigating?), so we kind of have to disregard this one. It’s said that this curse can be counteracted if said woman is naked, but as we found out from our sail into Port Antonio, Jamaica, this seemed to hold opposite of being true. I’m not even sure how this superstition came about, but I’m sure it was a bunch of drunken men sitting around a bottle of rum one night while their petticoated counterparts were dressed to the nines in corsets, stockings, gowns, frills, ect, and they thought ‘We need to put an end to this. I know….let’s tell them that they’ll bring good luck to the passage if they run around in the buff!’.

 

 

 

Don’t bring bananas on board

This is one of the very first sailing superstitions we ever learned about, yet refuse to follow it. All along the east coast of the US we were always bringing bananas on board, making banana bread, and having nice leisurely motors down the ICW. Hmmm, I wonder if the fact that we weren’t doing any actual sailing while having bananas on board was key.

There’s a few reasons having bananas on board is bad luck, the most popular and well known reason is that one could slip on the peel and fall overboard. Sounds logical enough. But after researching a little more I found out that part of this fear came from back in the days of slave ships. Bananas being transported on these ships would give off a fermented gas which would become trapped below deck. Prisoners being kept in the hold would succumb to this gas and die. It’s also said that a particular species of spider with a lethal bite would hide in banana bunches and bite crew members after being brought aboard, causing that person to die. So yeah, I can see why sailors may have looked down on this delicious fruit before realizing the scientific reasons for all of their crew members demise.

 

Renaming a boat

This is one we have yet to do…but will soon!

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An Aluminum Anniversary and a Little Blue Box

Tuesday December 16, 2014

wedding day

 

Today marks a very special day in the lives of Matt and I, as it is our 10 year wedding anniversary.  That’s right.  10 years have flown by since we were just a couple of love struck kids, wandering the streets of the Las Vegas Boulevard, high on life and a little drunk on the $0.50 margaritas sold at Harrah’s.

Today we sit in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, just as much in love as ever with a pretty good life behind us so far.  It should have been a perfect day for celebrating such a momentous occasion in our lives.  Matt had already done his husbandly duty of buying me a traditional 10 year wedding anniversary gift, something made from aluminum.  Aka, that hunk of metal that awaits us in Florida. There was also a little blue box awaiting me that night that I did not know about.  Something from Tiffany’s perhaps?  Hmmm…we’ll see.  But there was one thing else missing for us to be able to celebrate in a proper fashion and that was access to a credit card or cash.

Let me back up a few days here.  While preparing for our own departure across the Atlantic, hopefully this coming week, Matt and I had been doing the usual provisioning of food and boat necessities over the past few days.  Yesterday while at one of the marine stores here we were ready to drop a pretty hefty sum on a couple of essential items for the boat that we have not had easy access to since we were in Miami back in June.  Upon check-our card kept coming back declined and we assumed it was because we were right around that time of the month when money gets moved from one account to another and we had used up our allowance and needed to wait until today for it to fill itself again.  No big deal.

With the bit of remaining cash we had on us, we hit up the grocery store and bought some of the fundamental food items since we were already off the boat and we knew provisioning would take at least a few trips.  Handing over our last 20 Euro we came back to the boat stocked with UTC milk, cereal and lots of saltine crackers.

Once again we went to the marine store this morning and tried to walk away with our purchase only to find the card declined again.  Getting on the computer to finally check the situation we found that no money had been moved over and there was still only $30.00 sitting in our account.  Not enough for our boat based purchases but enough that we should be able to go out and enjoy a nice enough dinner for our anniversary.  Not wanting the card to be declined at the restaurant though, we decided to hit up an ATM to make sure we had the cash in hand.  Popping over to the first bank we could find we tried to pull out our remaining money only to be declined that transaction as well.

At this point we had zero cash, zero access to any debit or credit cards, and worst of all, no more real food on the boat.  There was a little bread but even the lunch meat was gone for making sandwiches.  Because of the time difference we couldn’t even try calling our credit card company until the middle of the afternoon our time.  As far as living high, or hell, even having a decent day, we were screwed.  Back at Serendipity we munched on PB&J’s for lunch and kept checking the weather now that we weren’t sure how long our departure from Gran Canaria would be delayed if we couldn’t get access to money for a few more days.

As evening fell and we were supposed to be going out to a nice restaurant to celebrate hitting a decade of wedded bliss, we were instead tearing apart the boat looking for any kind of food to hold us over until the next day.  Peeking into the rarely viewed food storage nooks under the settees I came across something that actually put a big smile on my face.  A little blue box…filled with Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  Something we hadn’t eaten in months and had been joking with Kit and Alex that we were desperately craving, not having spotted it being sold in any stores since Horta.  Dinner had been found.

I was fine with this choice of meal and was surprised to find that Matt was quite upset that we weren’t able to go out and celebrate.  If you remember, he doens’t put much emphasis on any kind of holiday and wouldn’t even know when his birthday came around unless I was there to remind him.  For some reason though, this is the one occasion in his mind that deserved special attention.  But I just had to laugh at the whole situation as we sat with our little bowls and glasses in front of us at the dinner table.  Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Pepsi.  This was so absolutely us.  And what a better way of celebrating ten years together than being completely who you are.

12.16.12 a

*We found out the next day that a hold had been put on our card due to the large and ‘suspicious’ purchase we were trying to make at the marine store.  Apparently our credit card company had no idea we were outside of the US even though we always tell them this….and we just paid a $300 marina bill with that same card in Madeira six weeks ago!  With our new cash we were able to get all our necessary supplies and even stuff our faces at Montanditos one last time.  Fully stuff them.  And wash everything down with tinto verano.  Man I need to find that stuff in stores.

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