atlantic crossing – week 37

14/May/2022 12:00:35 UTC
033° 01.357N, 050° 34.826W / Course: 90° @ 5.4 knots

Hump day! Yay! We sailed over 1240nm which equals 2232km, just moved by the wind in one week. This still blows my mind every time I think about it. Ocean wherever we look. In awe, humble, and fascinated at the same time. I can spend hours looking at the water and I never get bored. How can one have so much passion for water? I mean it’s just water, yet full of magic. The wind picked up again and she slowly started to accelerate her stumping in the waves again… Vanessa was successful fishing again. She caught a blue fin tuna, which was turned into a delicious dinner for the fishivores 😉 Floriane and I have been keeping up our daily exercise routine. So much fun adapting the exercises to boat friendliness, like skipping without a skip rope bouncing to the music and waves. Another beautiful day at sea comes to an end as we continue our shifts during the night. 

15/May/2022 12:00:35 UTC
033° 55.426N, 047° 54.044W / Course: 68° @ 6.7 knots

Within one day a little bit of everything. We managed to get under 1000nm to reach the Azores, but had to work hard for it for once. Calm conditions, sunshine, however barely any wind. We had to turn the engines on. After sailing the Caribbean for now almost 10 months for the first time I encounter following seas – wow, what a different sailing experience. We had another fish on the hook, Brian fought well, I turned the engines on to reef the sails. We couldn’t believe it the fish snapped the hook and left into the oblivion. In the evening the weather changed once again. We were on the edge of a low pressure system gusts up to 30knots, record speed of BriVan of about 12.1knots. Woohooo!! Azores here we come! We continuously and thoroughly study the weather to hopefully land in the Azores by the coming Sunday.

16/May/2022 12:00:33 UTC
034° 39.951N, 045° 39.222W / Course: 51° @ 4.6 knots

A gloomy layer of grey clouds hang in the sky. They allow the sun to push just enough light through to let the wild and rough ocean sparkle like a mirror. The rich blue of the ocean had to make space for a magical silver. The waves are rushing violently towards us from behind and push us forward… As Brian points out: “I don’t want to imagine the ocean in the heart of that low if we encounter a swell of about 9foot+ here…” We all agree and are happy with our roughest conditions on this journey so far. The energy level is low today. It might be the weather or just the fact that we have been at sea for 10days. We acknowledge and surrender. The awareness of this fact helps us to lift our mood a little. We play a few games of Uno, laugh and hope for better weather with sunshine tomorrow.

17/May/2022 12:00:44 UTC
034° 58.324N, 042° 54.379W / Course: 98° @ 6.7 knots

Amazing how much power the sun and weather has on a sailors mood! The sea had settled almost too much and we were motor sailing again. A little bit more wind would have been perfect – no complaints though, at sea you work with what you get. Having said that we enjoyed the smoothness of BriVan surfing through the ocean. My favourite, ocean gazing for hours into the rich blue sea. A deep blue which can only be seen in the open ocean. Watching the incredibly beautiful and funky looking blue bottle jellyfish float bye, by hundreds if not thousands. Yes, they sting and hurt a lot… and yes, they were surrounding us while we were swimming the Atlantic, we were super lucky they didn’t get us… Doooolphiiins! Finally Floriane’s wish came through, we were accompanied by a pot of Atlantic Dotted Dolphins. Jumping, bow riding, playing and sharing their joy of life with us. We were buzzing with happiness. Another glorious day at sea has passed. To Brian’s delight Vanessa cooked boerewors for dinner – you should have seen him enjoy the taste of home.

17/May/2022 18:00:35 UTC
035° 01.709N, 042° 12.059W / Course: 84° @ 5.8 knots

Just a little heads up. We are all fine on SV BriVan. We were contacted to assist another sailing boat, thus turned around to meet them.

18/May/2022 00:00:35 UTC
035° 02.073N, 041° 59.054W / Course: 87° @ 1.8 knots

We are now on standby to accompany our fellow cruiser for the night, hence our slow progress. We are going to further assess the situation tomorrow morning and will keep you posted. We are all fine and preparing for our night shifts.

18/May/2022 12:00:36 UTC
035° 39.407N, 040° 42.105W / Course: 55° @ 6.6 knots

We received a call over the radio no one ever wants to hear at sea. Suddenly, we are reminded what a tiny spec of dust we are on this huge body of water and how far away we are from land. For support we teamed up with a sailing yacht of a French family… We hope to arrive in the Azores on Monday latest Tuesday, as we have only 599nm to go. Fingers crossed we get good winds. To our delight the pot of dolphins is now accompanying us and visiting on a regular basis.

the father of the family got first hit to the head by the boom (a classic and super dangerous accident due to a shift of wind putting massive forces on the sail to slam from one side to the other) and then he smacked his neck on an edge. he was knocked out, bleeding and soon after had convulsions. we will never forget the terrified and desperate voices of christine and the kids over that radio. obviously a very worrisome state one does not want to be in 6 days away from land, a doctor and medical facilities. they decided that he needed medical examinations as soon as possible. thus, a french cargo came to pick him up to get him faster to land that he then could be airlifted from the boat by helicopter to be taken to the hospital. 

19/May/2022 12:00:35 UTC
036° 17.948N, 038° 36.571W / Course: 70° @ 5.1 knots

We found ourselves 75 meters away from a 200 meters long cargo vessel. Holly molly what a beast. What normally would be a huge scare, was us witnessing a sea rescue of an insured person from the other sailing vessel we accompanied for a day. The transfer onto the cargo was a precaution measure for further medical examinations in due course. Fingers crossed all is well. As bystanders we were highly impressed about the courage, bravery and skill the female captain had to manoeuvre their sailing boat side by side to that cargo. We many times had to hold our breaths. It was nerve wrecking just to watch. We were so thankful that all went well. After sorting out and rearranging our sailing vessels we were on our way again. Always within 2nm shoulder to shoulder to be able to see and communicate over the radio with one another for moral and sailing support. Direct course to Horta in the Azores – we still hope to arrive on Monday. 

christine, the mother, had asked us to stay close to their boat as she was afraid to sail to the azores all by herself. understandably she was a mess, she had not slept or eaten for days full of worries about her husband and still having to operate the boat to get them all closer and safe to land. we did not hesitate. it was clear for us that we would do what we could to support her in need. with a dangerous transfer by dinghy floriane was brought over to sv helios. she wanted to support christine, by looking after the three kids, be there for her for emotional support and as a rock, as translator as she did not speak any english and to assist with the sailing and the night shifts.

20/May/2022 12:00:36 UTC
036° 35.459N, 035° 41.716W / Course: 69° @ 6.2 knots

Things slowly started to settle down again and we reestablished our routine. Hallelujah, King Triton and King Neptune are in a fabulous mood. Calm seas with just the right amount of wind – pristine sailing conditions. A snap and our Code 0 was flapping loose in the wind. Oh no. Our massive sail for low winds gave in. What a shame. We had to drop it into the water and retrieve it. Not an easy task but we managed to save the sail. The dolphins are still with us, wow, what a spectacle and show they deliver almost on a bi-hourly basis… breaching out of the water to heights where we are left in awe, surfing the waves, bow riding at super high speeds. Their joy and playfulness is contagious and divine to watch. Now, two weeks at sea and 2021nm sailed, which is an equivalent of 3637km, we are longing to arrive. We are counting down everything 😉 …, 366nm to go, only 3 more sleeps – olééé!!

1 thought on “atlantic crossing – week 37”

  1. Omg, Sabrina, your jellyfish pics are fantastic! They are Portuguese Man-o-War jellyfish and the sting is very dangerous indeed. They also have very long tentacles and can sting you from far away!

    The ocean rescue is quite a story as well!! Yikes! I hope he’s ok!

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