Ponta Delgado-St Mary's 05
13 June 2019 | 46:34N 010:51W
Log:859 DTW 264; BTW 040deg 46deg 34'N 010deg 51'W COG: 040 SOG:6.0 Wind NW f3; baro 1017 Status: motor sailing; main/genoa/staysail
Boat time 17:00 (UT)
Day 08 at sea
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover. (Mark Twain)
I came across the above quote by Mark Twain the other day, and it about sums up why I wanted to cast off our bowlines in search of the trade winds at this juncture our life. Well I did it because I could, 5 years from now, 20 years from now I might not be able to. The notion of making this voyage had been eating away at my life and sanity for years, causing anxiety, stress and worst of all depression, the fear that I would never achieve this goal, this, the one thing I wanted to do and make my life complete was eating away at me like a neurosis, a cancer, it was making me ill. If I didn't do this I would think of my life as being a waste of time and thus I would be a failure. I never thought that at the tender age of 12 that dreaming of sailing across the Atlantic to a real paradise island in the Caribbean would be such a big deal and play such an important part of my life. I worked very hard to be able to achieve it, I climbed mountains to achieve it. No longer will I be saying 'one day I shall sail across the Atlantic', but I shall be telling people about 'when I crossed the Atlantic'.
For me, making this voyage was not about having a year long holiday in the sun, it's was not even because I like sailing. Sailing is not a passion on mine as such, it is just an adventurous pastime, that enables me to explore coastal communities at home and abroad and of course the explore the oceans, as well as exploring my mind. For me it has always been a vocation rather than a vacation. It has been my job to do this.
I wondered during the preparation and build up to this, the Big Cerulean Adventure, whether I might be experiencing Donald Crowhurst Syndrome, what I mean by that is that I had built myself up to making the life changing adventure, what if I was not ready for, what if the boat was not ready for it. There was no turning back, everyone knew that this is what I was going to do, if I did not go through with it, people would stay, 'there's Richard the sailor, all talk and no trousers, he is a quitter, talked about sailing the Atlantic, bit he has never left the English Channel.' There was only one way out, that was to do the trip whether I or the boat was ready or not. As it happens, the boat is still not ready, with a 'TO DO' list is as long as your arm, and me...I have loved every minute of it, I am almost ready to come back home, just down to 2 tablets a day (if I remember to take them) rather than the 10 a day I was on when I left.
Will this 1200 nautical mile Atlantic adventure have satisfied my wanderlust. We have less than 300 nautical miles to go to complete this Atlantic passage, and a further 200NM or so until we reach our home port of Gosport, yes, it has been an incredible adventure, but for the time being I am looking forward to going home.
As for Alison, she is an incredible person, she had lived my dream with me, it was never her dream, she just wanted my dream to come true. We prepared the boat together, sailed every mile of this adventure together and weathered every storm together. I would not have been able to do it without her...
PS I started writing this at dawn this morning when we had been reefed down weathering some heavy weather and everything was grey and grim. I went out into the cockpit to watch the colours of the sunrise, a thousand hues of orange, gold and yellow broke the grey sky, sending sheets of gold shimmering across the black sea towards me. Later the wind dropped, I unfurled the genoa, the sea was calm. Alison came up for her watch at 6am, we shook out the reefs. I was still at the mast just finishing tidying up the ropes, I noticed a splash in the water next to me, i looked around, 5, no, 10 dolphins around the boat, I went forward and sat at the bow and watched them dancing in the bow wave for an eternity...that's why we do this, you cannot experience this at home in your armchair or in the car on the M25, you have to be here.
Richard and Alison yacht Cerulean of Penryn
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