Odyssey Logs

Day 14 of the Atlantic Odyssey

Por Dos

All is well here on Por Dos 6 days after leaving Tenerife. Only 1680 miles to go. Good winds since our delayed departure have given us a great run so far. We are all pushing to be in Martinique by the 10th for the farewell party but it will all depend on the weather. Today, it’s bright and sunny with a 14kt breeze from the NE.

We’ve seen almost no plastic trash for Roan to log for the Citizen Science project. I’m sure it is out here, but it is not nearly as obvious as in the Mediterranean Sea where we spent the last 18 months. Marta and Alec have been trying to photograph birds and their locations, but the birds keep refusing to come close enough for us to get a clear photo!

We hope all is well on the other boats. We’re looking forward to seeing you all in Martinique.

Sea Dragon

A Whale In Our Sights & Inspirational Activism

We are still enjoying the amazing crew members’ talks, and yesterday evening we heard from the Norwegian environmental activist, Malin. Malin started her environmental activist career at the early age of 14, and then by 18, she was named Norway’s Environmental Hero after succeeding in her work to stop Hydro’s oil drilling off the southern coast of Norway. Even at her young age, her work has consisted of intense involvement at the intersection of environmental activism and political participation. Questions of where our energies are best directed arise directly from this.

Her talk has kicked off an active discussion on board about how individual actions can move and inspire bigger decisions, even at higher political levels.

Read more.



Now we are smoking with the Parasailor, straight for Martinique. Few squalls on the horizon but we are getting better every day to house down the big sail. For me this is about the time of the travel when I get in the groove, the rhythm of broken sleep becomes normal and the thoughts do lose that terrestrial speed…. Last night I did steer the boat with the jib, plenty of wind, a bit of moon, good speed, good crew, yeah.

Connor, Anita, Tosca do learn how to manage themselves under the pressure of the night shift and general maintenance and daily duties. Now and again, myself and Christian take the all night for ourselves, so they recharge the constant depleted batteries of teenagers; we have an excellent understanding of when to call me for decisions and the sense of responsibility is sinking in them. Indra is fantastic, considering the length of the trip.She does help, the sisters do play with her a lot and she gets in the discussions every evening during dinner and during breakfast.

It is great to receive the positions of the other friends of Atlantic Odissey every day. It does make us feel safer indeed. 32years ago, I did cross for the first time as crew and we had nothing but a sextant and a Walker log, and a SSB radio. It all went well but there was a lot less marine traffic too and an higher dose of adrenaline. Was it more affordable? yeah, for sure. Would I take the kids offshore without AIS, radar, GPS, Epirb, Iridium? Mmmmmm, I don’t think so. But for sure, anyday the electric system can get damaged and then, well, it is gonna be hard indeed. We keep spare GPS and we have charts up to date.

 Tosca, Indra, Valentine and Anita from Om and Mandarina

Tosca, Indra, Valentine and Anita from Om and Mandarina


The Crossing so far has gone beautifully and we live in complete luxury, we always have full showers and since we have lots of fridge and freezer space we have meat and other cool goodies. We have made charts so we can keep track on seabirds and sealife, Anita and Connor also made little named strips for all the Odyssey boats and then we have stuck them on the appropriate latitudes and longitudes that we receive by email everyday. The Sea has become a very dark blue now, which is my favorite color. Last night on my watch there was a Russian Tanker that had all its proper navigation lights and no deck lights or floodlights so it was very proper and ‘Straight out of the text book’ Quoting Christian’s words. Now we have gotten into the rhythm of being on the boat life could never be better, sometimes I have days where I just wish I could get away from everyone, but we all have our space and duties. The Weather has been exceptional though, nearly always clear skies and perfect breezes.  I can’t wait to arrive in Martinique and see all our Odyssey friends,and explore but at the same time I’m going to miss the rolling sea, because out here it feels so detached from everything, like this is one life and when I go home it’s my other life. I have also made friends and met interesting people with good stories. It is been such an adventure, but it’s not finished yet!

Papy Jovial

Firmin calling sick again

This morning at 7h30 I was woken up by Arthur (the electric pilot) working his hydraulic pump furiously. I came on deck and it turned out that one of the steering lines of Firmin (the windvane) had broken again. It took Jean-Paul just a few minutes to get up what was left of the line and soon Firmin was at work again steering us towards Martinique which is still 1130 n.m. away. We still expect to arrive on the 8th early afternoon.

Fortunately we have a replacement line sent by the manufacturer of the device which we will install in Martinique. At this point 8 days feel to me like eternity. But I know that eventually we are going to go thru it.

We are told that we are now in 10th place and we like it considering that we’ve had to sail without the main for several days. And in 8 days things can happen. Right now we are in a soft patch of less than 20 knots of wind when we need a minimum of 20. It might still come and the soft patch affect others. So, it’s not over until it is over.



A change of times.

Today we decided to cross two of the four timezones in the Atlantic, meaning my night shifts will be a little later in the night. It’s probably not the best time to blog, but it’ll have to do.

This evening we celebrated definitely being halfway with dad’s famous pasta carbonara! In addition, we have a lot of feasts coming up, starting tomorrow with the first Sunday of advent(?)! Then, of course, December starts with the every day chocolate calendar party. Can’t wait!

Right now I’m lying in bed, super warm, imagining December coming up back home. Here it’s still July, and as some kind of a proof, the instrument measuring sea temperature is out of order. The numbers stopped going at 35°, probably not prepared for this lava sea.

Now it’s time to drift off into a world of dreams (easily mistaken as blue water sailing).

Happy feasting!


Seven Seas Adventure

Another sh**y day in paradise

We had some almost great sailing days since my last post. The wind is a bit too weak (only 10-12 knots) and sometimes from the wrong angle, as I explained in my last post, but overall great sailing. Seas calmed down to 1-2 m waves, the sun shines and it’s a lot warmer. At night we don’t need anymore our sailing clothing but just a t-shirt and maybe a thin jacket.

Alina and Paul started working on Christmas surprises for family and friends and life is good except that it seems we will run out of milk and juice before we reach the Caribbean. I lost yesterday a fish. The bite was strong but not the strongest I’ve had so far and I didn’t see the fish so I can’t tell you more. Just the lure, in the shape of a squid looks now as if was cut with scissors. This was the only byte since we caught the two dorado.

So, what’s wrong with the title? Well, this is the dark side of long distance sailing: breakages. We had a number of breakages since we left Barcelona, some requiring sailing tricks which you learn in school and then you forget as you think that this could never happen to you in reality. The last thing that broke was one of our waste pumps, that pumps…now you know what.

Seven Seas has two tanks, one that serves the galley and our toilet and another one for the front toilet, and has no bypass feature. The pump for the galley and our toilet is broken and doesn’t pump anymore. In the last two days, we tried to repair the pump, or better said to see what’s wrong and that meant dismantling the pump and get a lot of sh** on our hands and in the bilges. We’ll give it a try again today, but until then we’re left with one sink, that’s in the forward heads and making cooking and washing dishes a difficult task.


Gazel Rebel

French McGyver a encore frappé

Hier soir un peu avant la tombée de la nuit on entend un drôle de “schblong”, ou peut être de “chklang”…
“Tiens le hale-bas a pété? “
En fait c’est la pièce métallique du hale-bas sur le pied du mât qui a lâché : les rivets ont sauté et la gorge du mât est abîmée.
Captain Damien et son IMC (ingeniorat multi casquette) nous improvisent en 20 minutes une géniale solution textile! ! L’équipage les ovationne! Du coup nous nous interrogeons : le textile plus fort que le métal ? Peut – on faire des carosseries de voiture en tissu ? Serra peut-il exposer des bobines de fil au lieu de tôles d’acier?
Ensuite nous parlons chiffons (une fois de plus) : dynema spectra, kevlar, âme et sur gaine, Gill Charbon Actif ou Grand Australian Classic de la maison Dim ?

Plus tard une demi lune accrochée à un plafond nuageux diffuse une étrange lueur : on se croirait sur une autoroute déserte et sombre, vent tiède dans les cheveux, nulle part où s’arrêter pour la nuit, captifs de notre vaisseau jaune et de notre volonté nous filons fébrilement ce samedi soir là. Certains prétendent avoir vu de la fumée sur l’eau! !

Finalement les bisons du ciel n’ont pas trop piétiné le campement cette nuit là.
Au petit matin pas grand vent, envoi du spi et les plus sales se lavent.

Toute la journée un vent régulier… On avance on avance c’est une évidence.



French Nouvelles relayées par Pierre, leur support à terre:

Mille milles

Ca y est le cap des mille est franchi. Ils sont sous la barre des 1000 milles nautiques avant de rejoindre la Martinique. En fin de semaine prochaine ils seront là-bas, le 7 ou le 8 décembre peut-être. Ils continuent de descendre tranquillement dans des vents modérés.

Leur soucis en ce moment c’est la douche, ou plutôt les douches. Pas celles qu’ils prennent dans leur salle de bain, mais celles que les grains leur déversent sur la figure.

L’eau qui tombe du ciel, a priori, ne leur pose pas de problème, puisque de l’eau ils ont vraiment choisi d’en bouffer. Mais c’est surtout les très fortes rafales de vents qui les accompagnent. Montée très forte du vent aux abords du nuage.


Hapa Na Sasa

German Tweets:

Die Einladung zur halfway Atlantic Party lautete auf 15h, jeder sollte etwas mitbringen. Vorher gab es noch ein leckeres Stueck Rindfleisch
… Und dann sozus als Nachtisch die Mitbringsel, Salzstangen, Fanta, Chips, Muffins u Gummibaerle und nat noch das Geschenkle von Peti u Tania
…da waeren u a Braunschweiger Mumme f d Seefahrer, Currywurst u Brot aus der Dose, danke euch zweien. Ausserdem hing gestern einiges an der
…erste zog so heftig, dass er gleich den Koeder mitgenommen hat, er hat sogar die Befestigung unserer Angelschnur beschaedigt, der zweite
… wieder ein Mahi Mahi, wunderschoen best 80cm, ist uns 10m vom Boot noch abgegangen, abends dann doch noch ein kl 50cm MaMa, den gibt es …



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