Atlantic Crossing Part II Days 30 – 32 : The Road is Long, We Carry on, Try to Have Fun in the Meantime

Saturday July 19, 2014

Way back when, when we were living a sedentary life back in Ft. Lauderdale where we stayed in the glass calm anchorage that is Lake Sylvia for a whole month, our days would sometimes fall into a routine. Saturdays most likely, since that was the only day of the week that had something specifically scheduled. Or more likely, I’d roll out of bed and enjoy a cup of coffee and a little peace and quiet to get some writing done while Matt slept in another hour or two after me. Then when he woke up and I’d make his cup of coffee, giving myself seconds while I was at it, I’d flip on the radio and we’d listen to ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t tell me’ on NPR.

We may be thousands of miles from mainland shore, but at least I can still keep some semblance to my life back near land. I’m going to have my cake and eat it too.

Getting up on this gorgeous, sunny, and mostly (6-8 knots) windless day, I wanted to pretend it was a normal Saturday like any other. Before Matt could fully fall asleep and I could make as much racket in the galley as I wanted, I made myself a tall cup of coffee and brought it out into the cockpit. Bringing the Android and earbuds with me, something I normally only reserve for night shifts, I cued up the podcast to one of our downloaded episodes of ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t tell me’. For the next 45 minutes, my life was about as close as it was going to be to when we were at anchor, and it felt incredibly good.

When the podcast finished I wanted to take the opportunity to blare some music from the speakers, and what’s more, belt out along with it, but I knew I couldn’t do that while Matt was still sleeping. I might be able to listen to it at a ‘reasonable’ volume, but there would definitely be no singing along in this scenario. Then I had a eureka moment. I’ll just close up the companionway!

I found one of my favorite albums to blare out and sing along to (coincidentally, one that Matt hates), and as soon as I had it cued up I ran out into the cockpit, placed in the boards, and slid the top closed before it could wake him. It seemed to do the trick and just moments later I was crooning along with ‘Off to the Races’ and ‘Blue Jeans’. When the next album started and I needed a change I went to let myself back into the cabin only to find out that the sliding top to the companionway wouldn’t budge. It will do this sometimes when it gets too hot outside, the plexiglass will expand and leave itself immobile in the sliding area it’s in. Using all my strength I pushed and I heaved, all to no avail. This thing was not going to move an inch until it had time to cool down.

I was now literally stuck in the cockpit, forced to listen to the second disc of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born to Die’ album, and even though I am completely in love with the first disc, the second is a torturous and bad cover of snippets taken from the first. #Problemsoflivingonaboat.

7.19.14 (1)

 

Sunday July 20, 2014

I had a terrible nights sleep last night. All I could hear was the boom clanging due to a lack of wind. It has actually put me in a bad mood all day, although that bad mood might also partially be due to the fact that we’re only moving at 1.5 knots with 5-7 knots of wind on our beam. We seem to have found the Bermuda/Azores high and can not get ourselves out of it. Something needs to change, and it needs to happen soon. While sitting through my night shift the other day, locking the wheel and drifting aimlessly because we didn’t have enough wind to keep us on course, I honestly worried that we might be out here for months. That July will turn to August, August will turn to September, and we’ll still be miles and miles from shore.

Don’t mind the fact that we’ll probably be out of food by then, but if that happen to be the scenario, I have a feeling that the weather will take a sudden shift into fall and we’ll go from no winds to sudden and everlasting squalls. These are the kinds of things that pop into your head when there is no end in sight.

At least we still have the luxury of being ‘at anchor’. But for as much as we joke about our calm nights are just like being at anchor, tonight we wanted to throw our hands up and pretend we actually were at anchor. This would mean shutting off all systems to conserve our batteries, and then use that battery power to play a movie while both of us sprawl out, undisturbed, while munching on popcorn and drinking soda before finally passing out for 9 full, glorious hours of sleep. In short, a little slice of heaven to break up this monotonous schedule.

mid-Atlantic sunset

 

Monday July 21, 2014

You guys! I have this amazing new invention I need to tell you about! Some people somewhere have come up with these things that let you block out noise when you don’t want to hear it. All you have to do is insert these little foam plugs into your ears and it makes things quiet! They’re called earplugs, and I swear, every one of you should go out and buy a pair right this second!

Wait? You already know about them? They’ve been out for decades? Either way, I finally went ahead and put in a pair last night to block out the clanging noise of the boom and they worked like a charm. Seriously the best night of sleep I’ve had since we left Bermuda. Normally I don’t like to wear them while we’re on passage because I want to be able to hear if Matt’s calling to me for assistance, but really, what is going to happen to us out here right now? There’s no 60 knot winds trying to tear our headsail in half, and no 5 meter waves threatening to wipe our jerrycans off the deck. I’m pretty sure Matt can handle scanning the horizon for other ships, I hope, so I felt confident to allow myself into the land of complete unconsciousness for the night. It.Was.Amazing.

This afternoon when we went to check our satellite phone for messages from home we got some shocking news, but in the best kind of way. We’re going to be first time aunts and uncles! Matt’s mom had sent us a short text to let us know that his little brother and girlfriend are going to be expecting a baby early next year. We were thrilled to hear the news, as I’ve been waiting to be an aunt for years from one sibling or another. If we’re not in the time frame to have our own baby right now, the next best thing is having a niece or nephew that we can spoil. I smell a lot of nautical themed onsies in this babies future.

On a weather related note, there’s a depression coming up behind us from the east coast of the states, so we have some rough weather to look forward to in the next few days. If it’s anything like the front we had pass through on Matt’s birthday, I think we’ll be able to handle it just fine. But let me go ahead and check our stock of canned soup and Pop Tarts just to make sure we have enough to get us through the next few days.

 

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5 thoughts on “Atlantic Crossing Part II Days 30 – 32 : The Road is Long, We Carry on, Try to Have Fun in the Meantime

  1. Just getting caught up on your recent postings, due to vacation bringing little internet time. It’s nice to hear details of your Atlantic crossing days (weeks). As usual, your colorful, witty stories and amazing photos bring it fully to life for those of us reading along. I love and miss you both.

  2. Scott, we will use cold water too, but our buckets were buried under a bunch of stuff at the time, so I just put a couple of sport-a-seats over the top to shade it for 45 min, and then I was able to get back in. :)

  3. yeah, I figured you knew that trick. I actually think you secretly wanted to hear that disc, you just wanted an excuse in case someone saw you out there. ;)
    congrats on being an Auntie. And thanks for continuing to share your adventure…
    Scott

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