Wednesday, 23 October 2013

We have now arrived at the Canary Islands, which we’ll be our final stop before the Caribbean and its palm trees, white beaches, clear blue waters, steel bands, and rum!

None of us have sailed as long as the 2800 nautical miles between Lanzarote and Martinique. Henrik has been sailing since he was a child, though, and when he bought his boat about six years ago, it was with the dream of saying goodbye to everything back home and go sailing.

When I met Henrik his boat was in the Mediterranean, which I thought sounded quite exotic. This was probably because I never had sailed before - or seen his boat, a 30 foot Swedish built Allegro 30 called Capibara.

However, today it is nearly three years since we met, it is two and a half years ago I first sat foot on a sail boat, and it is one year ago that we moved out of our apartment in Denmark and moved on board Capibara.

At this point we had spent all summer sailing Capibara from the Mediterranean to London, where we lived in St. Katharine Docks all winter. This spring we have then sailed Capibara all the way back again, and we have now reached Lanzarote.

We had a great sail from Lisbon to Arrecife, which is a passage of 650 nautical miles. Because we had the wind coming from behind, we sailed with twin foresails, which is the most common way of sailing across the Atlantic, and we reached Lanzarote after only five days.

It was a good trial of what to expect. Now we have about four weeks to cruise the Canary Islands and prepare for the long passage. On the 17th of November we leave Lanzarote together with the (so far) 15 other participants in Jimmy Cornell’s new transatlantic regatta, the Atlantic Odyssey. We hadn't planned on participating in a transatlantic regatta, but as I have made contact with Mr. Cornell after an interview I did with him, we thought it could be fun to try.

Furthermore, it has turned out that our family and friends feel very easy about us sailing with other boats. I think, however, that they believe that we are sailing so close to each other that we can keep an eye on each other through the whole passage.

What they don’t know (before now) is that we by far have the smallest boat in the regatta, which includes several catamarans!

The other boats will be in Martinique, have all their parties, and leave Martinique again before we reach Martinique at all! Luckily, we can make it on our own.