07 September 2022

The Atlantic Crossing

The Atlantic Crossing, a once in a lifetime experience in very few words

by Helena...


The longest and hardest part of this adventure was the month before we left the dock. 


John was in charge, he was the boss, The Captain. He was telling me what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. We had a list of chores and they had to be done on time, precisely and without any whining. There was no room for “but….”.


Needless to say I resented that…What happened to “our” trip?


In any relationship, where the responsibilities and duties are equally divided and rewarded, it is very hard to accept that life in a boat doesn’t quite works like life on shore. 


The skipper is responsible for the well being and safety of the crew. He or she has to make sure that the engine, electronics, hull, anchors, sails and masts are in condition to withstand storms, high winds, disasters, and orcas. Feeding, providing comfort and assurance that “all is going to be fine” and preventing mutiny is also his or hers duty and if that wasn’t enough, he or she is also liable to the authorities in case of accidents (even if caused by another crew member). Weather forecasting, route planning, setting course and avoiding bad weather were also some of John’s many tasks.


Life on a boat is different; there MUST be someone in charge.


I thought about that, I changed my attitude, I listened, I obeyed, I got it. I put a smile on my face and carried on.


On the other hand, I am the person that the captain trusts the most on the boat, he counts on me to follow the directions, to do exactly what he asks me to do without arguing, discussing or challenging, because that’s the way of life on a boat. 


When he was 56 feet above the deck and I was handling the ropes that would make sure he would not plunge down onto a hard steel deck, he knew that I was prepared to do exactly what had to be done to ensure his safety going up, and most importantly, getting back down.



Petronella


Credit is due to John for making this passage a true adventure, he made it happen. He planned the meals, the safety needs, the route, and the first aid courses we took for survival in a raft (just in case…).


Today when I look back it didn’t matter who was the Captain, who was the First mate. In our case we couldn’t have lived this adventure without each other, our titles and their separate meaning brought us closer.


I know that you were expecting amazing videos of wild life, whales, dolphins, storms, three story high waves, winds gusting up to 35 knots, waves crashing over the dodger, John swinging on a bosun chair 50 ft above deck, me holding the lines with white knuckles while trying to control or ease the sheets. Sorry, during these were moments we were either busy focusing or in awe.  


- what are you going to blog about? asked John.


- Feelings…


- Feelings? commented John with a hearty laugh…

Oh boy. Perfect, as one of our commenters posted “viva la difference..” :-)



Our Route



3 comments:

  1. So glad to see you writing about your voyage. Love it! Don’t know if David or I could’ve stayed together after so many weeks together on a boat…..hats off to you and John for a job well done! Or MANY jobs well done. Hope somehow we can see each other before too long! ❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. dear Carol, thank you, I find it easy to be with John and I think that helped the weeks inside a 40 x 4 elongated shape steel house. :-). Hope to see you soon too.. come along to France <3

      Delete
    2. Would love to. If we go to Paris sometime we can take a high speed train down to where you are and visit for a day.

      Delete

I'd love to hear from you. Please comment!