The day was June 14, 2018. We were not ready, and we were never going to be ready, but today was the day that we left on our voyage. Knowing then what we know now, we would not have left on this date. If fact, we would have waited about a full week more before setting off on the voyage.
Why did we leave at the wrong time? Improper management of crew. We had a crew member that was not a good fit for us, and we were trying to make it work out.
Huge tip: If you have crew, it should work before you leave port. If you are struggling to make it work in port, problems are only going to escalate out at sea!
Our crew member was a firm believer in following a schedule and would become angry and belligerent if a schedule was ever broken. Easy fix: Don’t have a schedule! Haha, if only it were that easy of a fix. He would take it upon himself to make a schedule and then force everyone to hold to that imaginary and arbitrary schedule that he came up with.
Why did we bend over backwards for him if he wasn’t a good fit? Everyone told us we needed to have crew for such a journey (but we had never asked anyone who had made the voyage if they needed crew) so we felt obligated to keep him along. We were worried that he would leave us and we would then be in a scramble to find crew for the crossing in a really small window of time. We then made the horrible mistake of thinking we were better off appeasing his uncalled for schedules instead of telling him where he could find a crew position where he calls the shots!
Maddie and I discussed in private our options:
Option 1: Tell him where he can put his opinions and schedules, but risk having him walk away from the boat and leaving us without the perceived need of a crew member.
Option 2: Shove off and float around while we wait for better weather and then start making our way to the Azores! He can’t abandon ship if there is no land in sight!
We chose Option 2, but this was a huge mistake! We should have chosen Option 1 and had a great time crossing when the weather was right. Learn from our mistake: You don’t need crew, and you should wait for the right weather!
We left West Palm Springs on June 14th with the outgoing tide. We slowly made our way from land, and we were all watching the lights slowly fade away on the horizon. We were now sailing, and the voyage has begun!
We made pretty good time, leaving in the afternoon and making our way from land through the night.
In the series of blog posts to follow, the maps will have highlighted the distance covered in a 24 hour period from Midnight to Midnight. In our log book, we kept track of the miles covered in a day from Noon to Noon, because I was measuring these distances with a sextant by taking a noon sight.