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Ocean life: in fear, on beauty, with disappointment

Updated: Dec 30, 2023



In November 2023 I set off on a trip to sail across the Atlantic. My husband invited me, to join a voyage on a yacht with three other people. He invited me in March, and I agreed to go, but for the next six months I lived in flat denial. I was afraid. It wasn't that I thought I'd come to harm, logic told me I was almost certain to get home again. It was some kind of terror. I wasn't sure how I would handle it, being out on the ocean away from everything.


I wasn't sure I would still exist.


We set out from Gran Canaria, heading for St Lucia, some 2800 nautical miles away. Once we set off, I was no longer afraid. I found did still exist. There were challenges on board, things went wrong with the boat and there was not so much wind as we might have hoped. Progress was slow. But it was amazing to be continually in the absolute centre of a huge and perfect circle of sea and sky, sea and sky, sea and sky. It was beautiful.


A few days in, the issues with the boat led to a decision to head down to Cape Verde (850 nautical miles from Gran Canaria) and stop there for repairs. And due to other challenges, a further choice was made by three of us to leave the boat. It was a hard choice to make and disappointing not to sail across the Atlantic.


Despite a lovely holiday in Cape Verde, it still is a disappointment that we didn't complete what we had set out to do. And yet, I'm changed for good because I'm no longer afraid of sailing on the ocean, away from everything, in the endless circle of sea and sky.


I would do it again. I hope I will.



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