eXXpedition North Pacific crew member and film producer Sarah Michler describes the power of the night watch…
“One of the most empowering parts of eXXpedition is that we are an entirely female team. Before setting sail in Vancouver, someone innocently asked if it was also an all female crew on the boat. Yes, and it is so inspiring to be surrounded by intelligent, talented, funny, open-minded female sailors.
Our skills as a team really came into use Monday evening when our conditions rapidly changed. The ocean has always amazed me in that within moments it can completely alter. As we sailed past Victoria headed on our 100 mile night sail towards the Broken Islands, I joyfully hung my legs over the windward side of the boat, my face greeted with sunshine and salty wind.
Within 20 minutes, the wind suddenly gusted up to 35 knots and I had to jump up into the pit of the boat to help the crew reef the sail. As I was splashed in the face with the sudden appearance of 5 ft. swells, I couldn’t help but smile — this all female team was in control and still having fun.
Soon thick, grey fog crept over the boat like long fingers and didn’t leave us for the following 24 hours. The temperature dramatically dropped and we covered ourselves in as many layers as we could find. We all huddled together on deck and listened to each others’ stories — where we came from, what led us to this trip, what we hope to achieve in the future. Looking around, I realized that I will always follow the achievements of this small group of 11 inspired women.
As I climbed up onto the deck at 3am for my watch, I was amazed by how I was unable to decipher where the ocean ended and the sky began. It felt as if we were sailing in a never-ending grey blanket. It can be a rather lonely feeling to see no land, no horizon. But surrounded by my watch mates, I remained positive. We exchanged stories of our home countries to help pass the time. And the mere sight of a bird on the waves was enough to lift your spirits. We’re not alone in this vast spread of ocean. Finally the sun began to rise and a faint glow danced across the textured waves. The wind dropped and the calm ocean gave us a feeling of hope that we would soon be greeted by the Broken Islands.
At around 9:30am the tip of the islands poked through the fog. Before arriving, our group managed to fit in two manta trawls, a mini manta trawl, and a separate water and air sampling.
As we slowly pulled into the Broken Islands the fog lifted to the treetops. This was the moment I truly felt like an adventurer, surrounded by the most impressive group of female explorers who supported and led one another through a night dictated by the ocean’s moods.”
This update from Sea Dragon is made possible by Iridium Communications, the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe.
The North Pacific Crew will be sending us daily updates from Sea Dragon, which will be posted here on the eXXpedition website. You will also be able to see updates from the crew and ground team throughout North Pacific on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Curious about where Sea Dragon is RIGHT NOW? Click here to see exactly where she is!