Posts tagged with: ascension2015

Looking back on eXXpedition by First Mate Emily Caruso

I cannot recall how many times I have advised my crew that much of what we come to appreciate and love about our sailing adventures occurs in retrospect. It was for this reason that I chose to pause upon my return and wait a while before taking the time to document any final thoughts and […]

Land A’Hoy!

10.30am, Tuesday 24 November. Land has been sighted. Heather has won the game – first one to spot land doesn’t have to help with the dinghy. To put this into context, sherking dinghy duties is the ultimate prize today and something to be very smug about. Re-erecting the dinghy has been a job both Holly […]


I want to describe ”watch”. A totally unatural but necessary evil that advances the plot of sailing. It entails so many triumphal moments that I feel compelled to illuminate it in mind-numbing detail in order for all of us to understand this discipline; watch. I asked about it on the first day, silly me, and […]


There has been a lot of talk about survival lately. We have run out of eggs, a few bags of bread left and no more fresh fruits and vegetables. Emily had to round up and ration the remaining cans of fruit. She announched the other day the fruit cans will be divided during meal times […]

The anticipation of Brazil

After the fickle conditions that dictated our journey south at the start of this adventure, it was a welcome relief to pick up the south easterly trade winds that offer us consistency as we sail on a beam reach towards Recife, Brazil. Our sail plan changes just once a day as we drop the stay […]

Life on board as a Storyteller. (Or Navigating Nausea.)

My intention to sail the Atlantic with scientists and sailors is to create stories that are imbued with facts and embroiled with enchantment. The rest of the crew were excited to hear that there would be a storyteller on board and have been waiting curiously for storytime. Well, they would have to wait – because […]

Dear Noah – Happy Birthday!

Well Noah it was six years ago today that you shot out of my body in less than four hours, a speed you have kept up! I remember those first few days when we lay in bed at Plot Street Cottage. I lay there stunned as my heart flooded with a new kind of love. […]

Science update 

We’ve been collecting samples for a little over 10 days now. And although we recognize how unique this opportunity is to collect along a 2000+-mile transect from Africa to South America, there is no sugar-coating the pervasive feeling that the repetitive field sampling we are doing has lost its allure. Even we scientists can appreciate […]

The smallest things

I’ve gotten a little flack over the past few days for having a favourite plankton. However after sharing some of the most exciting and poignant facts about the ocean’s smallest creatures, I believe I had begun to turn opinion and there’s even talk of a fledgling Plankton Appreciation Society complete with enamelled badges. Globally plankton […]

Equator Day Sunday

Welcoming in the four directions of the compass; north, south, east and west. Reaching down to the 3000 metres of ocean deep below us, stretching up to the sun moon and stars above. We come to you, Yemaya, Goddess of the ocean and King Neptune, we come to you as a circle of hearts, Queens […]

The pelagic and the equator

Saturday morning found me chatting with the crew about how it felt to be so disconnected from the world in an era where we have come to be so very reliant on constant and rapid channels of communication. The topic came to light after more than a few of us experienced a level of techno […]

There’s no easy way to tell you this

“There’s no easy way to tell you this…” It’s 1215 and we’re all gathered in the cockpit. Lunch has just been served and eaten and our Skipper Imogen has the floor for our daily briefing. As the words reverberate around the group I feel my stomach do a tiny flip, this is the briefing we […]

Mother Nature denies us Ascension

Today came the decision I have been anticipating regarding our relentless attempts to realistically reach Ascension Island within the allotted time frame. Due to the light airs off of Senegal followed by ambiguous squalls of the doldrums and finally the headwinds below, it is simply not possible to reach Ascension at this stage whilst retaining […]

Fair winds

The wind is now in our favor – but not soon enough to make Ascension Island in our allotted time. “The wind is in our favour”. What exactly does that mean? No longer can I hear that sentence and take it at face value. It is now a huge question mark at 4am about sails, reaches, easing, speed […]

The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone

Apparently one of my many catch phrases has transpired to be “well, we may as well be in the English Channel”. This may partially be due to the fact that as of yesterday I had been wearing foul weather gear for 48 hours and everything I own was utterly soaked through. Just to confirm, it […]

Amazing Grace

In this blog we have 3 viewpoints from Em’s (First mate) watch team. Sounds like the girls are having a heavy but exhilarating ride! Sarah: I am in my bunk, there is just enough room to roll onto my side but not enough room to touch my toes. There is a shelf four inches above my […]


Night watch 4a.m 7 Nov In Native American ceremonies throwing up is called “getting well” . It is something to be done proudly in front of the tipi fire. It is illness moving out of the body physically. I really got well last night. I was crouching at the helm but Holly heard me from […]

Life on an ocean passage by Emily

As Sunday began we were still in the process of eradicating the last of our increasingly annoying visitors from the insect kingdom. Heather, a 62 year old former sheet metal worker from San Francisco, first referred to as the ‘mother’ of the crew has since been renamed the ‘exterminator’ for her relentless efforts to the […]

A tale of two cities: part 2

So – waking up the first morning in Dakar, I had one mission: get the batteries for my underwater drone at the DHL office. As this is the very first prototype of the drone, it is not yet sized to fit in carry on luggage, and thus the batteries were shipped. So, Katie, Jess, Heather […]

Calm before the storm…

It seems utterly ridiculous that just as I write these words I have to count back in my head to work out what day it is today. Friday. Eight of our crew arrived at the Centre De Voile on Tuesday morning and almost immediately we were laughing at our own mini adventures and sharing individual […]

Adventures in provisioning, Senegal.

An early start is always easier in the heat. I’m not entirely sure why and admittedly the first night sleeping on the boat was better than I had imagined. The temperature is palpable and I am very aware that we are still at 14 degrees north which means it will be significantly more oppressive in […]