How about celebrating Thanksgiving Day on a Transatlantic Sailing passage? What an awesome opportunity. The day started with American pancakes and proceeded into a long discussion about how we needed to handing night watches as we crossed time zones. It was something that I hadn’t even thought about! And we finally caught our first fish. It was a beautiful Mahi-Mahi. Check it out here.
Our Transatlantic Passage Day 5 – Celebrating Thanksgiving in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The day started with American pancakes and a discussion on whether or not to change sails.
The sail configuration was set to a genoa (headsail) and staysail (also a sail on the forward part of the deck) poled out on either side. We were heading a bit more North than we wanted. I pulled off a GRIB file so the team could look for wind. When doing Transatlantic Sailing you have to often head for where the wind is.
The most pressing discussion topic was about handling night watches as we crossed the transatlantic sailing time zones.
We didn’t know what to do with our clocks. Should we put them back as we go or keep boat time? We assumed the total difference between The Canaries and St Lucia was five hours but we later discovered it was only a four-hour time difference.
Otherwise, Sienna and Eve spent time in the cockpit chatting and laughing.
The guys discussed the weather and I laid in bed. The pace had slowed so I was able to have the hatch window open – the fresh air was incredible. Until then all the windows on the boat had to be kept closed so it was nice to air out the boat.
We received an email from our friend Kent, skipper of El Oro, who was also sailing across. He indicated a lack of wind until now…I responded that we’ve had excellent wind and are thinking of heading south. We all then had a discussion as to whether Kent was being sarcastic and did, indeed have wind. Later we found out that the crewmembers on El Oro wondered if we were telling the truth about the wind too! It’s funny to consider how small things turn into big discussions when there’s no TV, news or other interruptions around.
I also heard from my brother again. Thankfully it wasn’t in Morris Code!
It was great to hear from people in the outside world. Based on the wind and our weather reports, we decided to change our sail configuration. Just as the sails were all pulled in, can you believe one of our fishing reels started to spin?! It was the first day that we put our poles out.
Kenny rushed to the back of the boat and started reeling in.
Everyone was so excited. Andrew assisted with the catch and eventually, we pulled up a Mahimahi using a gaff. The fish was amazingly colorful.
Before Kenny killed the fish I expressed our gratitude, especially on Thanksgiving. Kenny filleted the fish, used half for ceviche and we decided to bake the other half for dinner on the following day.
The evening meal during our transatlantic sailing passages was already set for a T-Day turkey dinner!
The wind died and our progress went from 8 to 9 knots down to 2 to 3 all through the night. The temperature of the air started to warm up however at night were all still wearing out waterproof sailing gear.
Thanksgiving dinner was outstanding!
Turkey breast steaks with homemade stuffing, mashed potatoes, bean casserole, cranberries, and gravy! There were barely any leftovers and what was left I ate during my night watch! During the night I spent 2 hours with Simon and accidentally spent 2 hours with Kenny (should have been only 1 hour with Kenny). Kenny and I got into a deep discussion about the meaning of life and time flew by. Simon didn’t wake me for my early morning watch and let me sleep in – it was lovely.
What’s Next in our Transatlantic Sailing guide?
- In the next article, I discuss how crossing the Atlantic in a sailboat provided me with the opportunity to really feel freedom. I didn’t need to be anywhere or do anything. One never knows what to expect when they embark on such a trip. Here are my thoughts as I reflect on the foredeck: Crossing The Atlantic in a Sailboat
- The previous article the highlights for day four while sailing the Atlantic was visiting dolphins, doing 190 miles in 24 hours, and having a shower. Find out what wasn’t so great for the day: Sailing The Atlantic.
- Click here for a general overview of our Atlantic Crossing