And so it was finally time, time to cross the first ocean of our trip! We were a bit delayed due to the latest series of hiccups but after a lot of hard work we were more keen than ever before to set off for some real blue water cruising.
Once we finally slipped the lines and left the marina, we were more than ready for a long ocean crossing. We had a good start with nice winds and a slightly bumpy sea state. Thereafter the winds slowly died and while we had seen this in the forecast before leaving, bobbing around and waiting for winds to fill in can prove very testing on the patience. We were all closely monitoring the displays and watching the horizon in hope of seeing the wind filling in somewhere. We tried to use the Gennacker wherever possible and in between tried to tune out the sound of flopping sails.
After a few days, trying to dip further south in search for the winds, the trade winds finally filled in. Much lighter than they usually are, but still enough to finally push us towards the Caribbean. We set up our trade wind set up, mainsail, poled out Genoa and inner jib for stability.
We were constantly checking and waiting for the forecasted increase in wind speed, to help us with an even greater push towards the Caribbean. But no matter how much we checked the weather (yes, probably way too many times) and how many course and sail alterations we made, it seemed like we were having a very light crossing. We had to find contentment in the fact that even though we were mostly just bobbing around, at least we were slowly bobbing in the right direction towards the Caribbean.
With the course now set to take us west we also had a new phenomena, lots and lots of seaweed. The chunks of seaweed could be as big as small islands a few meters big and while they were an interesting topic day one, we were getting more and more tired of clearing the hydrogenerator by day 10+. It also seemed like the dolphins weren’t seaweed fans because as the seaweed started rolling in, the dolphin encounters grew fewer.
And to be honest, while we were all very keen on reaching the Caribbean and a bit bummed that this obviously was becoming a 20+ (yeah let’s leave it at that and not go into further details on the exact number of days…) day crossing, we had enough resources on board and life on board was rather comfortable in the light winds. When closing in to the three week mark, we still could take an occasional Coca Cola and we were very glad that we had stocked up on high amounts of lemonade.
When the winds were light, the boat was bobbing around and we were switching books onboard our focus quickly shifted to the small highlights onboard. One evening, just before sunset we had huge visitor. Just five boat lengths from the boat, we suddenly saw big whale sprays and we all put our books down to nervously (we didn’t want a too close encounter) watch the whale which was at least three times as long as Puffin slowly and calmly swim past us, not showing any interest of us at all and the finally flicking up its tail as it dove down somewhere among the 5000 meters of water below us.
Finally, after way longer than anyone had expected we reached the Caribbean. While it had been a long crossing, with average winds of about 12 knots, the spirits were still high thriving the crossing. Thanks to the generous stocking before hand, we never had to worry about food, water or even coffee 😉 We all celebrated a successful crossing before waiving goodbye to the crew who were ready to fly back to Sweden. Now it was time to take care of the to do list, which naturally was rather long after a more extensive ocean passage. But hopefully, with help of a few boat stores and supplies Max, Charlotte and Puffin will soon be ready to take on the Carribean ocean and beyond.