Day 29 - Paradise a place that lies beyond hell

Position: N 38° 23' W 030° 55' UTC 1700

Nautical miles left: 110

When I woke up this morning I was totally convinced that I had woken up in hell. The boat was rocking heavily from side to side, I was still as wet and cold as when I went to bed, and the floor looked a bit like a swimming pool. I looked at the mobile. Only half past 8. Good! 30 minutes until I had to be dressed and up on watch. I pulled the duvet over my head to try and get a little bit warmer. But the smell from the duvet was almost unbearable, so I quickly gave up. What was I to wear today? My still soaking wet clothes from last night, or my last dry, clean sweeter and pants? I looked outside. Still raining. I reached out my hand to feel how my sailing jacket and pants were doing. Not noticeably dryer than when I hang them up 5 hours ago. A sighed, and started to put on the wet clothes.

Yesterday was a great day. We were making great speed, the waves were tiny and the sun was shining. With less than 300 Nm left, me and Sofia decided to take a shower. Since we are still living on a small 31 footer in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, we are not talking about a long, hot freshwater shower. No, we are talking about a quick, cold, saltwater shower. Some may say - Why bother, you are soon in harbour. But after 10 days trying to wash yourself with wet napkins, even a cold saltwater shower seems tempting. We spent the day relaxing in cockpit, talking about everything that we wanted to do and eat when we get to Horta. I think that we agreed that a shower, diner at a restaurant and one or five beers at Peter´s café, sounded like a great plan. Excited over the fact that we were starting to get close, me and Sofia decided to do a " 2 on watch night". Even if it means being on watch from 21.00 to 3.00 it is so much more fun. And who wants to sleep anyway ?

The watch started out just fine. We were holding a steady easterly course and doing about 5.5 knots. The wind had started to shift from west to blowing a little bit more from the south, so we decided to take off the spinnaker pole from our headsail, that we had put up earlier. When we are sailing downwind, we sometimes spread the headsail with the spinnaker pole to increase speed, but when we have the wind in on our beem, the spinnaker pole tends to be inefficient. Just as we had taken it down the wind seemed to pick up a bit, increasing the speed even more. 30 minutes later the rain came. And from there it just got worse. During the rest of the watch the rain was pouring down. The wind shifted speed and direction a hundred times. I can't even count the times we put a reef in the main, furled the headsail and then the wind died and we had to take the reef out again. With waves flushing over the boat, and us. Monitor struggled bravely, but had a hard time to keep up with all the sudden changes, so we had to hand steer quite a lot. After a while my sailing jacket and pant gave in and I could feel how the water found it's way all the way in to my skin. Despite all of this I actually had quite a great time. We were surfing the waves doing about 7 knots. And you could feel the adrenalin pumping. Me and Sofia were cheering each other on while steering, gossiping a bit in between. The few times the monitor actually managed to steer we kept warm with some silly gymnastic exercises, making us giggle and forget the rain for a while. 6 hours later Maria and Catrine took over again and I could step down in the saloon. Tired but happy. Me and Sofia did our best to hang up our wet clothes so that they would dry, but it is hard when the space is very limited and the air humid and cold. I quickly brushed my teeth and crawled under the duvet and put in the earplugs. Boat was rocking, throwing me from side to side, the duvet was damp and I was freezing cold. Somehow I managed to fall asleep anyway.

Back to hell. So there I was sitting in my wet clothes, preparing mentally to take the step out into the cockpit. I kept telling myself, only one more day left, only one more day left. Before I stepped outside I went to the forepeak to tell poor Sofia that it might be best if we did another double watch. So that we could help each other with the sails and steering. She yawned and nodded. I stepped out into the cockpit and placed myself behind the steering wheel. Sending a very happy Maria down below. I stood there in the pouring rain, fighting to keep a steady course through the waves, and actually feeling a bit sorry for my self, when all of a sudden I saw a strip of blue sky behind me. I don't know why, but somehow that was all I needed. The feeling of being in hell slowly started to drift away and I started smiling. Ten minutes later I could hear music streaming out of the cockpit speakers and Sofia jumped out in the cockpit. Ignoring the weather and waves we danced and sang along for a while. It is funny how fast things can change.

Right now it is sunny and we are still doing great speed towards the Azores. Hopefully we will get there around noon tomorrow. It feels unreal, exciting and a bit sad. All at once. Despite all the bad luck and the days when everything have felt like hell, this is greatest trip I have ever done. The experience, the craziness, the sailing, the teamwork and friendship, the wildlife, and all the fun. I am going to miss it so much. But when we get to the Azores it is time for me to set of for new adventures. One of the things that I have realised and always will keep with me, is that paradise is a place that lies beyond hell. Sometimes the road there is hard to walk. But in the end the reward is definitively worth it.

Love / Deckhand Emelie Hope to see you all in Höganäs the 10th of july

Posted in |


  1. Björn Lilja Says:

    Underbart skrivet! Tar definitivt med mig din avslutande mening.

    Det har varit otroligt inspirerande att följa er översegling. Bra jobbat och tack!

  2. Olav Says:

    Bra jobbet jenter. Regner med at dere er trygt i havn nå.