November 9 – November 26, 2018
Day 31 -Day 48

Here I am. On the other side of the Atlantic ocean. Michal and I, on the Falkor, have managed to make more than 3600km on the sea, in 18 days.

It’s a dream I always had. And today, I have done it. It was indeed much more different than what I was expected. But it was unique.

How was a day on a boat for me? Well I usually wake up around 7am with the sun. I take the opportunity of the 2-3 first hours of the day with a cool weather (which means not too hot). I take my breakfast, spend around an hour on my Spanish learning app and then listen to audiobook.

At around 10-11am, the sun begins to be really hot so I go back inside and chill in my bed, playing games on my phone or taking a nap. When I feel hungry I take a small snack to eat or I cook myself something (yes, even though I usually like to cook, I hate cooling on a boat. It’s too difficult with the movement).

I spend the after noon doing the same stuff: listening to audiobook or playing games. If I have to do it, I also clean some clothes or take a shower.

Around 6pm, Michal makes us a good dinner. He is definitely much better than me at cooking on that boat and he likes it. So he cooks and I clean the dishes (with salt water obviously). That’s the deal ! While he prepare cooking, I spend a bit more time learning Spanish. Then we eat and I clean the dishes.

Afterward, around 7-8pm, I go in my bed and listen to music before sleeping. Then, my night watches are from 10pm to 2am and from 6am to 10am. And that’s it. That’s one of my day.

As you can see, on the boat, 99% of your time is made of… Doing nothing. The wind usually don’t change direction very often. So once you have put your sails, you can let them like this for 5, 6 or even 7 days. So nothing else to do.
At night, the shift were composed like this: sleeping for 30 minutes, waking up, checking on the phone if everything is normal (because Michal had made an autopilot which was linked to an app on the phone, so it’s easier to control everything), and then go back to sleep. And if you hear something on the sail, you just go to adjust the settings. But appart from that, you just don’t have anything to do. For me, I was killing time by listening to audiobook, playing on my phone, meditating, learning Spanish or just thinking and looking at the sea. My phone helped me a lot to overcome the boredom.

Don’t take me wrong, I loved this experience and I would not change it a bit I had to do it again.

But what I’m saying is it is about how much you can handle the boredom and the loneliness. That the harder is about the habit of the daily life.

You have to find something to do and not getting bored. You have to accept that you can’t walk more than 4 meters in a row. You have to accept that your food is limited and that you don’t have fresh product (especially since we didn’t had a fridge). You have to get used to the movement of the boat, knowing you can’t do anything about it. You have to get used to the overall heat that applies on the boat, without having any shadow place to rest. You have to live without taking real showers, only one every 4-5 days, with only 1 or 2L of water, and you have to make laundry with salt water. You have to learn how to sleep with the movement of the boat, finding the best position not to hurt yourself.
It’s not a physical prowess. It’s a mental achievement. Everything is in the mind. You have to live with all this, and with obviously no choice about turning back. After all, you are all “on the same boat”.

Obviously, the conditions I am speaking about, occured on the Falkor, a 32 feet long boat. We had only 70L of water so that’s also why we had to save water. The power was also limited, so we didn’t use a fridge. So you also have to live with it.
It would have been much more luxurious on a bigger boat (like a catamaran for example), and it would have been more comfortable obviously. But I don’t regret having taken the Falkor because it felt more like an adventure. It felt more real. It was a sailing experience.

There are definitely some things I’m really looking forward to do again when we will reach Martinique. Here is a short list:

  • ‌Walk, run, swim, … Do something with my body
  • ‌Having a complete night without interruptions and without movement
  • ‌Drink a cold beer, or even juste a cold drink
  • ‌Eat fresh meat or fresh dairy
  • ‌Take a nice hot shower
  • ‌Seing more than just one people.
We are welcome by Michal’s girlfriend with cold drinks

Thank you Michal, thank you ocean. It has been a great adventure with you. I will never forget it.

3 Replies to “The Atlantic”

  1. Une belle aventure sur l’océan. Une belle aventure intérieure également. Je ne sais pas ce que c’est que vivre un mois avec la même personne dans quelques mètres carrés. Bravo d’avoir réussi à prendre sur toi pour supporter ces contraintes. Bisous

  2. Génial ! J’attendais le récit de la traversée. C’est cool d’en savoir plus, je pensais à toi de temps en temps en étant en train de bosser à Lyon dans le froid, en me disant “ah tiens là François est en train de traverser l’atlantique”. Supers les photos aussi, les couchers de soleil avaient l’air magnifiques. Enjoy la Martinique maintenant ! Bisous

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