Impressions on route to Madeiras

17 September 2017

17/09/17

Impressions on route to Madeiras

It was a bitter sweet feeling sailing out of Cascais after our brief stop-over. Just enough time to clean, restock the ship and pickup our next troop of sailors. You leave behind those creature comforts; hot non-moving showers, internet connection to loved ones and the plentiful supply of fresh seafood and coffee in town for the open sea. In the short term there is rough rolling waves, buffering winds and sea sickness standing between us and the adventure ahead. That leg shaking queasy feeling is still too fresh in my memory to be psyched for the sea again but I want all the things that come after it.

Gradually the sickness passes, each day a little easier. Soon we are in the swing of sailing. Watches and days bleed together into an endless montage. Wake up, sail, sleep, repeat. But there are moments that grab you, that stand out and narrate the story:
Surfing down the face of the waves out of Portugal;
The moment the wind turns and you finally hit full sail and speed;
A hitch hiking gull settling in for a nap behind me as I steer into the night;
The communal pot of porridge that somehow people always wake up just in time for.

These are the moments I remember. But there is still one standout moment amongst these that is my highlight and it came last night. In the final hours before we handed over the night watch the sky cleared leaving a dark ring of cloud around the horizon. With no moon in sight the stars shone in full chorus. The dark cloud meant you could not tell where the sky finished and the sea began or if it really did. It felt like we were sailing in the stars. This is a feeling I will hold onto for years to come.

Winsome Whyte

(Australian crewmember)

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