The Hardest Part of Crossing an Ocean

Those who have crossed oceans will all have different forms of advice. Some will recommend eating extra to gain weight that you will inevitably lose while crossing, others will declare infinite storm preparedness. I have much simpler words of wisdom.

My advice is this: Setting sail across an ocean is easy, the hard part will be returning to the world of civilization. On the ocean, direction doesn't matter. At times we were 200 miles north of our course, yet our heading was unchanged because the ocean is so vast. If a storm was passing by, we would change course and sail the wrong way for a good distance to avoid the weather system. Once we were clear of it, we would then resume our previous course. There is nothing to run into, no reefs, no lee shores, no anything.

Today is day 22 from Bermuda to the Azores and we have seen a grand total of 4 ships! Night watch is more focused on watching the weather as we have never seen navigation lights on the horizon.

All that is going to change as we are nearing the end of our voyage across the Atlantic Ocean.

In 40 nautical miles, we will pass Corvo, the first island in the archipelago. Tonight's watch is not only focused on the weather, but also on traffic and land.

We are reaching the other side, and soon, 10 miles off course can put you on a rock! Just as a lee shore can limit your ability to sail around a weather system.

Most of all, landfall means the return to civilization. No longer will it be only Maddie and me in the world of the visible horizon. We will be able to venture off away from Wisdom and walk for miles over land. We will meet new people and new cultures, and we will have made it to the other side.

This may sound wonderful, but we have been living in a bubble of "just us" for over 3 weeks. I have come to know Maddie in even deeper ways and she is my entire world out here. There has been no stress of timelines or schedules. We have no meetings to get to, no due dates for our work. It has been a wonderful escape from the hectic world we live in, where we can sit back and appreciate every single unique sunset and watch the stars come out in the sky.

I sit here on night watch and look at the moons light glittering a beam of light ahead of us, the shadow of our tanbark jib blocking out a section of this moonbeam, and the water rushing past. We have no cares or worries, but we are rapidly driving ourselves forward towards the end of this bliss.

Landfall means that this blissful world we have lived in for the past month will stop. That is the hard part of crossing an ocean to me, having the journey end!