October 14 – October 19, 2018
Day 5 -Day 10
A small story of how I hitchhiked a sailing boat from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands.
I’m waiting on the boat for them to come back from Tarifa. Soon, I’ll meet all the crew. I have a strange feeling. I’m scared and I don’t know how to behave because I’ve never been part of a crew. But in the same time, I don’t want to show it. I want to be part of the crew, and not only be a passenger.
When Tobias, the captain, asked me this morning if I had experience in sailing, I didn’t lie. But I enhanced the truth a little bit. I just hope he doesn’t count on me too much. 2 days later, he told me his girlfriend was asking if he was sure I had experience. He told her “Sure, look: his WhatsApp picture is him on a sailing boat!”. I laughed without really saying that we only use the motor on this boat. Thank you What’s app ! For lying for me :p
I really want these 5 days on the boat to be a practicing for the big crossing across the Atlantic. I don’t know how I’m gonna feel about the boredom, the sleep, the loneliness. It will be a good training.
When they come back, we don’t really talk but I meet everybody: Tobias, his girlfriend Katie, Heike who is also German and Xisco, a Spanish guy. Hopefully I’m not the only foreigner ! Everybody except Heike seems to have experience. Since we are 2, it’s also reassuring for me.
Step by step, I learn the moves and the vocabulary. I make some mistakes but they don’t seem to care about, which is great for me. The weather conditions are not great but it’s a good way to practice sailing.
Hopefully, and I was pride of it before, I don’t have seasick… Well, I though had not. As soon as I leave the cockpit to go in my cabin, I feel really hot, my head is hurting and my stomach is upside down. I’m sweating all over, but I don’t want to show it. Hopefully I’m ok when I lay down on my bed, so I spend a good part of the day sleeping. It’s cool, it’s not my watchkeeping turn.
When I wake up, they tell me the wind was so bad that we had to go to Barbara more North to wait for the good wind. It was a wasted day because the boat kept coming over and over. We didn’t move forward a lot.
I feel bad to not have helped, but nobody seems to care. I was too sick to help anyway. I’m kind of happy because we are now in a port, and the boat is not moving, at least for a few hours.
There is no much wind, which give me time to adapt to the movement.
Trying to help, I succeed to fall from upstairs to the safety boat. I’m either clumsy or stupid, or maybe both.. Anyway, I will be more careful next time.
The seasick is not going better. I couldn’t eat at lunch and I need to go often outside to take some air and cool down. I was really close to puke several times. I hope it’s gonna be better or I would never be able to survive the transatlantic.
With the watchkeeping system, I feel that everything looks the same. Even if the 6 hours are long, they seem to have gone really fast when I’m done. The sea is relaxing and you can look at it for hours without doing anything else (which is good because that’s what we are doing). I feel like part of the crew now. I ask some questions about from time to time to know a bit more about sailing.
Time flies very differently. On the sea, the time seems to stop, and the only thing we can do is watch at the sea. But it’s also the only thing I kind of want to do.
I think I passed over the seasick. I don’t feel bad anymore and I can eat normally without wanting to puke at any moment.
The crew is nice with me, we are having good times.
I’m getting used to the watchkeeping times. I even wake up before my alarm. I begin to take initiative and to touch at the cords and the sails. I’m really glad to have learn this here, before the crossing of the Atlantic. Now I can truly say I know how to sail without lying… Or enhancing the truth :p
I really like the food here. Before going on board, I though it was gonna be really awful, but actually we eat everything: vegetable, dairy, fresh food and frozen food. Just like home. A nice surprise !
It make me think I have to bring some book and some music from the Transat. To spend the time.
Now it feels like normal. And living on a boat has become the reference. I don’t know if I’ll feel “landsick” after, but I kind of feel bad about leaving the boat.
Day 5 – 16:00 – 90 hours of sailing after departure from Gibraltar.
It has been a long and interesting journey. I have learned how to sail, which will be important for the transatlantic. I now have reached Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. We are now relaxing, going in the sea, chilling, resting.
Tomorrow will be the continuing of my trip with more challenges:
– Finding a way to reach Gran Canaria, the island where Las Palmas is.
– Once there, find the boat for the transatlantic.
Thank you for this journey: Tobias, Katie, Xisco, Heike. It will always stays in my memories.