Since La Rochelle we have been meeting these ARC boats, distinguishable by the large signature flag they fly on their mast, as well as many other sailboats also on their way to the Caribbean. Here in the marina of Santa Cruz in Tenerife at least one boat leaves just about every day and more or less everyone who is here, aside from the locals, is planning to cross at some point within the next two months. An estimated 1000 sailboats do the trip every year and with Phase II of our journey more or less complete, it’s time for us to make up our mind if we will be joining their ranks.
Once things had calmed down though and after giving it some serious thought, I realized several things. 1) Patrice really wants to do this, 2) I really don’t want him to go without me and 3) I really really want to be in the Caribbean this winter. Yes, the seasickness is an issue, but talking to other sailors, it is generally agreed that we have been very unlucky with the weather and the resulting seas that we have had for many of our passages. I have also been reassured that after 3 days at sea the queasiness generally goes away and although I have never been able to test that, I know that I am usually not this ill and have sailed many times in the past with no problems.
Finally, it helps to know that we would have a third crew member on board for the journey. Our dear friend Shelagh has kindly agreed to lend us her husband Alan, who is a highly experienced sailor, excellent handyman and inventive cook. We sincerely hope that we would not need his veterinarian skills on our ‘human’ bodies during the trip, but it is comforting to know that there would be a someone from the medical profession onboard. Soooooooo, I’m taking a real step of faith here, praying up a storm that all will be well and saying YES! I’m in! “Holy decision-making Batman, did I really just say that?”
Truth be told, we’ve been preparing for this all along, since before we left La Rochelle actually, as we’ve always known there was a strong possibility we would go for it. We plan to leave the boat in Gran Canaria next week, fly home for most of December and we’ll aim to cross the first week in January. More details to come, but first we have this one last passage to do to officially complete phase II. I’ll be in touch again from Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria--I hope all the Brits that just left there to cross on the ARC have not run that island totally dry, because we’re going to celebrate. Thankfully the Frenchman onboard has made sure we’re self-sufficient in any case.