After one week of ocean sailing, how does it feel? Am I missing land? Is life difficult? How does it feel to head out across the Atlantic for weeks? Read on to find out how life felt aboard Britican after one week of being at sea.
Atlantic ocean crossing day 7 – Homeschooling and more Mahi-Mahi
I’m sitting on my beanbag on the foredeck… It’s so peaceful here. I keep looking for spray coming from a whale’s waterspout but nothing was seen yet. I have the ability to stare out over the water for ages. And while I’m staring my thinking slows. I have the capacity to watch my thoughts rather than get involved with them.
My attention is directed to the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of the moment rather than being lost in thought of the past or future. I find it remarkable that I’m on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic and I have absolutely no urge to get anywhere.
After seven days I’m feeling great. I wondered how I’d cope with a lack of Internet connection, constant swells, seasickness, living in close proximity to six other people, ensuring my daughter was ‘entertained’…
All my worries have thus far been completely unfounded.
I enjoy keeping in touch with friends/family over the Internet – social media, blogging, emails but I also enjoy not having it. The back and forth side-to-side swell motion has only caused me a bit of angst during the night when I can’t fall asleep. I’ve learned however that the best position to combat the movement is to put a pillow between my legs, hug another pillow, go into a fetal position and angle myself so that my head and feet are swaying back and forth rather than my body going side to side.
I’ve had a strange side effect to something – perhaps my seasick pills?
My tongue has swelled and feels like it’s got cracks all around it. When I eat anything my tongue burns and I can’t use it to scrape food from the area around my teeth. Simon told me to try taking an allergy pill so I gave it a go. So far it seems to have reduced the swelling.
For a food lover, this condition is not ideal but then again it’s not a deal-breaker.
Last night I didn’t do any night watch – Simon knew I wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t wake me up. He didn’t ask me if I wanted time off so I feel like I’ve let the team down a bit. On the flip side, I’m grateful that Simon was looking after me.
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Everyone just gave their guess for how many miles we’ve done in 24 hours. I estimated 120 miles. To date, Eve, the 2nd most inexperienced ocean sailing sailor is in the lead. Aside from our daily competition we also look forward to getting the weather reports (Kenny and I fetch them through email over the Sat phone once a day) and the position report indicating where the other 200+ boats are. The positions come in alphabetically rather than the distance from St Lucia so we pull out all the other Oyster 56’s and our friend on s/v El Oro (we have a friendly bet with the crew as to who is going to get to St Lucia first) and we plot them in the map.
The sun is shining and we’re all in shorts and t-shirts
Sienna had a series of wobbles yesterday – she wasn’t impressed with me instigating a homeschooling lesson and she didn’t want to go to bed. It was the first full-blown outburst for ages.
Today, however, has been much better – homeschooling was done in the morning – Andrew did it with Sienna! It went very well. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll ask Eve or Kenny to give it a go.
One thing I find interesting about my expectations versus reality is my speculation on feeling insignificant amongst the 360 view of blue expanse.
In reality, I don’t at all feel small ocean sailing.
The sea doesn’t feel overwhelming like I thought it would. Perhaps it’s easy to feel this way in calm conditions?! Maybe I’d feel differently in an F10 storm? I feel so relaxed and peaceful. I’m not harboring any fears.
Even when I’m lying in bed getting ready to sleep I don’t have my usual pre-sleep worries. Previous to this trip I’d worry about overnight sails about hitting something, taking on water, the night watch person falling overboard, or tipping over. I can only assume that sailing for 7 days has allowed me the ability to normalize night sails. In the past night sails were few and far between.
Furthermore, my longest stretch was only 5 days.
When speculating about this trip I had no feel for how I’d react to such a long trip. Becoming seasick and incapacitated was a worry. I just didn’t have a clue as to how I’d feel. The pills have worked exceptionally well and if I’m overwhelmed by anything it’s my unexpected love of this experience. I’m not in a constant state of bliss nor am I enlightened by the journey. I am however a different Kim. I often write about how sailing forces me to be present… This journey is thus forcing me to be present for a duration that’s longer than anything I’ve experienced thus far.
There’s nothing around to trigger thoughts of my past and for some reason, my future isn’t in my focus at all.
I have no idea where will go after the ARC festivities finish in St Lucia. I have no idea where I’ll be in a few week’s time nor do I know who I’ll be around? Heck, I have no idea who might be sailing with us! Because my future is so unplanned I don’t feel the need to ponder anything further than my next meal.
That aside, our sail configuration thus far for today is the genoa and staysail poled out. We are doing around 5 to 6 knots. There are loads of flying fish and we’ve had two squids on our deck. I saw only one bird today.
Amazingly, we caught two Mahimahi at the same time!
Eve and Simon reeled them in. We threw the smallest back. The one we kept provided ceviche and a lovely dinner of fish stir-fry. There’s one more meal that we’ll enjoy for lunch tomorrow. We’re loving this ocean sailing fish cathing life.
After a lovely dinner around the saloon table, the boys all went upstairs for a chat and Eve, Sienna and I put on the Christmas movie, ‘Polar Express’. I couldn’t help but feel so homey and comfortable with our temporary family. Life seems so easy going and natural. Everyone helps, contributes and gets involved. I’m so peaceful.
What’s Next in our Atlantic Ocean sailing guide?
- In the next article, discover what book I read crossing the Atlantic (that you might want to have too) and learn how each of us reacted to being woken up for our night watches. Check out: Sail Across Atlantic Trip.
- The previous article is all about Crossing The Atlantic in a Sailboat – it’s about rubbish duty, not missing land and more fish!
- Click here for a general overview of our Atlantic Crossing