44. My Atlantic Crossing

We sailed 3,315 nautical miles to get to…..France? How did that happen? We started in a south-westerly direction, then we went due west. Just like Columbus. Then again, he thought he got to India. Did we just circumnavigate?

We have only been here a couple of days and spent most of that time fixing stuff. Getting petrol for the outboard, washing clothes, making water and cleaning the boat. But Martinique feels just like France. If you ignore the rain forest, the mangrove and that it is 30 degrees in the middle of the winter. But we will leave that for now and look at what it was like to get here. What is it like to cross the Atlantic? Four guys on a 40 foot sailboat for 22 days. With only a little black box keeping you connected to the world outside.

It’s hard to describe really. You just shut down. Saoirse becomes your world and you have to remind yourself that you don’t fall overboard at any time. There is more water out there than anyone can possibly imagine and I don’t want to even think about recovering someone that has fallen overboard mid-Atlantic. Saoirse becomes your safe place. And she will look after you as long as you don’t treat her badly and make her do things she doesn’t want to do. Like surf too fast, broach or crash gybe. All results of when you have gotten the balance between speed, comfort and safety wrong. My job as a captain, was to make sure that did not happen, that we always had enough fresh water in the tanks and that the lithium batteries were charged.

There really is nothing out there. We saw a couple of ships and three other sailing boats on the way. In fact, for a while we were able to talk to our buddies from Lanzarote, Kevin and Anna on Lady of Lorien, on the VHF radio. Other than that, we only had encounters with birds, flying fish and a pod of dolphins. And the Bonito Tuna and the Mahi Mahi that we caught on the way.

I will write a piece on how Saoirse performed and let the crew describe their experience separately, but for me it was almost as I imagined it before. In fact, when I look back at the crossing, it is almost like it never happened. Like we just lost three weeks. At least that is how I felt until we looked through the pictures last night and it all came back to me. I suddenly felt a sense of pride. To sail across the Atlantic is an achievement and I think the brain shuts down to an extent, so that you can focus on just getting to the other side. I can’t remember missing land or wishing that I was somewhere else at any time. Other than maybe the last night when the brain starts to kick in again and you just want to get there. Primarily because you want your environment to stop rocking so that you can clean up and get a proper night’s sleep. I will get back on that horse soon again though, as I would complete another ocean crossing in a heartbeat.

I am so happy that I have done this. And that I can finally wear red trousers!

Half way
Ho Ho Ho!
Entertainment
Visitors
A couple of visitors stayed for dinner
Many sunrises and sunsets
Last night at sea
Petit dejeuner
64 kilo of laundry!

23 thoughts on “44. My Atlantic Crossing

  1. hi tomas

    loved your latest blog today. you make the Atlantic crossing seem easy but that belies the time and money you put into the preparations. i was delighted to be a small part of the latter.

    i hope your 3 boys appreciate their achievement. they will be talking about it for the rest of their lives. the crew of island dreamer are envious!

    enjoy the Caribbean and i will keep in touch. look forward to meeting with you again but unlikely to be in 2022.

    hoping to get to Austria on 15 January for a weeks skiing but the Omicron numbers are crazy

    regards, fergal

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    1. Happy New Year Fergal, hope all is good with you and that the Irish restrictions aren’t too bad..?? Fingers crossed you get to Austria x

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  2. Bon jour, Tomas! Sending you, Daniel, Hector, and Jonte so many congratulatory wishes on your Atlantic crossing! Words cannot describe how elated I am for you all to have had such an incredible journey! The pics you shared are absolutely brilliant — what a treat to be able to see what some of your voyage looked like! I want to thank you for sharing your posts on PredictWind with us all — it was easy for me to get lost in a daydream of sailing along myself! Looking forward to learning more about your thoughts upon reflection of your travels! Again, so many congrats — just so, so, so happy for all of you! Martinique sounds grand! All the best, ~ Chelle

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    1. Thanks Chelle. That’s really nice feedback. And thank you for helping us with information on entry requirements. That really was priceless help mid-Atlantic. All the best. Tomas

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much, Tomas! I am so very honored that I could play a small role in helping — looking forward to your next post! Have a great day! Fair winds! ~ Chelle

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Thomas and crew
    Well done on completing one of your dreams , a great achievement . We are so proud of you guys. Enjoy your next adventure in the Caribbean .
    Regards Sandy and Helga

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    1. Hi there my friends. And thank you. I hope all is OK over there (SA or the UK). I will get a new phone soon and be able to keep in contact via Whattsapp again. Lost the other one on the Artlantic. All the best. Tomas

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  4. Tomas, it has been really exciting to follow your crossing. It was good that you explained that you followed the wind, otherwise I would have been sure that you had shipped to much rum during your night shifts 😀. I huge congrats to you and your crew for what seems to have been an extraordinary experience!
    Looking forward to follow the adventures to come. What’s next?
    By the way, who is the youngster at the breakfast table with died hair cut from the 90’s??😉

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    1. Thanks Daniel. I am guessing we will go south towards Saint Vincent and the Grenadines first. Then north to places like Dominica, Antigua, BVI etc. I have no idea who the guy with the streaks is? He turned up in the summer and just won’t leave the boat. Best. Tomas

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  5. Hej Tomas och besättning,
    Grattis! Bra jobbat vilket äventyr, jag antar att ni alla går omkring i röda byxor nu.
    Ha en forsatt rolig och spännade resa.
    Ha det så bra. Jonas

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  6. Hi there,

    As Hector’s grandmother I have followed your trip with big eyes. My little grandson is still a 3 years sweet one arranging shoes in the hall. How on earth and when has he growned up to an atlantic sailor??

    However so nice that he has been able to participate in such an adventure. To see the world is maybe the most important education.

    My own experience of sailing and boats is an OE 36 feet which I built together with my ex man, Hectors grandpa. Sailing only in Baltic sea.

    I have lived 25 years in France and neighboroughs and friends there always talked sbout holydays on Martinique. Certainly for the language because they are very seldom englishspeaking.

    By the way, seeing the world, my husbond Björn and I are going to SouthAfrika
    (Cape Town and for the 7 th time) next sunday and longstaying 7 weeks. Hopefully the covid test will be negativ taken only 48 hours before depart!

    Wish you all a pleasant time the rest of your journey. And a thanks to you, the captain, for making all this possibel.

    Margarete and Björn

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    1. Hi mormor and Björn, this is your little grandson writing!

      Happy to hear that you and Björn have been able to follow us on our amazing journey across the Atlantic sea. The trip has been a unique experience, and with time, I imagine that I will look back and reflect on the voyage as a very important milestone.

      It is unfortunate that I never had the chance to sail the OE 36, however I have seen the framed pictures of Talita in grandpa’s nursing home. It was truly a beautiful boat.

      I hope that the both of you have many sunny days of golf and I will make sure to send many pictures of the trip when I return.

      Lots of love,
      Hector

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  7. Hi Tom, congratulations and happy new year. Glad to read all went well. Keep enjoying the trip while I continue enjoy reading your posts.

    Cheers
    Frank

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  8. Congrats to you all aboard Saoirse, what an amazing achievement and now you all have your own special memories for life. Thank you Tomas for all the updates during the crossing, they were invaluable. I’m so happy you finally got to sail over the Atlantic, it has been your dream for so long. Regarding the red trousers I remember seeing you in such before, maybe it’s time for red shorts or a red suit!

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    1. Ha ha. Thanks Orla. I think I’ll settle for the red shorts. We are sailing north now towards Les des Saintes, Guadeloupe and Antigua & Barbuda. Less Covid red tape and just as nice. Best. Tomas

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