WRITTEN BY AARATHI AND KATRIN
ON LEG ONE FROM PLYMOUTH TO AZORES WITH ROTHY’S
We were cruising through the night at 10 knots with barely any sails on, which for a 73ft boat is quite astonishing. The night was moonlit, with a full moon last night, semi clear skies and stars were out, illuminating the sea as we travelled through. The moon peeking out of the clouds felt quite magical. Sometimes on watch, particularly in the wee hours of the morning, sitting in the freezing cold, sometimes in the rain, the only way to make the time pass is to meditate on the beauty around us… that is of course until our fingers are too frozen we can’t feel them. The terms Furl the Yankee, Time to Tack, and Ease the Sail just as one is coming off watch, are quickly becoming adrenaline boosts, particularly for non-sailors.
Photo credit: Nomad Mnemonics & eXXpedition
Because of rough seas we have not been able to do any more science instead we have been initiated into 101 of sail making. Fixing our sail, which had a large tear in it, Sophie led the crew in mending this sail, with the seamstresses amongst us taking turns in sewing, gluing, hot gunning and hot knifing, spread across the salon table.
During our team brief today, showing where we were and where we are going, news was getting grimmer concerning the weather only. For the next 24 hours we are expecting strong gusts, high seas, and lots of throwing about on the boat – pretty much back to where we were on the first three days of this leg. Meals will have to go back to being simple rather than the gourmet versions that we have been treated to, and belongings will have to be secured to avoid catapulting stuff across the bunks.
Anna, Sophie and Maggie, our Professional Crew are just amazing individuals, and young women. The grace and ease at which they have carried themselves and this crew, the confidence they exude at everything this voyage has thrown at us has been remarkable to watch, and something we all truly appreciate. Their professionalism, leadership and experience has been instrumental in bringing the rest of us together, allowing a sort of calm camaraderie to develop with all of us, because we have a trust that’s truly one of a kind. Emily of course has been lovely, always with a smile at the end of a long day at sea, even after eight hours at the helm battling squall after squall.
I think I can safely say, this is a once in a lifetime experience for most of us, and what an honour to have been chosen to kick off the mission…never mind the bruising and sore body parts.