WRITTEN ON LEG ONE FROM PLYMOUTH TO AZORES WITH ROTHY’S
It’s currently Day 3 (!??!) of eXXpedition Round the World mission. The last 3 days have somewhat blended together. As we departed Plymouth on Tuesday there was an overwhelming sense of anticipation, a complete joy that after months of preparation, we were finally setting sail on this journey.
Within the harbour, it was relatively calm with small waves and light wind, and we were all distracted by the chase boat and the cheers of the few remaining people at the edge of land. But as we hit the open ocean, the seas told us who they really were (and who we really were too). Seasickness set almost immediately, staggering its way through the crew taking down nine of the 14 of us.
Sometime during the first night the top of the main sail came out of its track. All able bodies were called to deck to help bring the sail down. For those of us who are not sailors, the scene was challenging with driving rain, winds, and huge swells. Once the main sail came free we lashed it to the deck.
Photo credit: Breezy Grerier & eXXpedition
The crew has slowly been recovering from seasickness – several are still queasy but taking watch shifts regardless. Three of the guest crew are very experienced sailors—which is very helpful considering this will likely be the most challenging leg of the round-the-world trip—but most of the guest crew have sailed little to none. That said, the only way to learn to sail is to sail!
Today we have had additional friends off the bow every few hours, as the dolphins love to play in S.V. TravelEdge’s wake. Seabirds fly by on long wings, indicating they’re comfortable in the open ocean. As we head further away from land, the winged animals will stop visiting us.
A spare mizzen went up in place of the main sail and engine that was assisting our smaller sails has been turned off. The sea state has calmed significantly and we’re all looking forward to starting on some hard science soon and growing our global data set on single-use plastics.
Cover photo credit: Nomad Mnemonics & eXXpedition