Atlantic Challenge 2011

N 43° 39' W 08° 59'

Caribbean here I come!

January 27, 2012

Well this is it, this is what I am out here for; the big trip starts today. According to the GPS, Grenada lies 2143 miles away in the Caribbean, and should take somewhere between 16 and 21 days to reach. As ever I’m feeling quite nervous about the passage, but happy that I’m as ready as I can be (and besides, this should be a walk in the park compared with the return).

 It’s been a pretty steep learning curve for me so far Although I’ve been sailing since I was 5, I’d never really done much singlehandedly- in fact by the time I reached Ireland I’d already sailed further than I ever had before on my own! It’s been a fantastic experience so far, and I now feel very relaxed (the most stressful thing I’ve had to do yesterday was decide what to have for lunch). I’ve also learned a lot about myself over the last few months. I now know that I can cope with uncomfortable weather and the problems it brings. That while I’m a sociable sort of bloke I’m also quite happy in my own company. That I can climb my mast unaided and unsupported…

Of course there is a small chance that things won’t turn out well, but it is just that- small. About this time last year I told my mum that I was either sailing alone across the Atlantic, or buying a Harley. She said I should go sailing. She was right, as statistically there’s far less chance of coming to grief doing this- It just appears to be a higher risk because it’s relatively unusual. Naturally I’m feeling apprehensive about it, but pretty confident that I’ll be OK. And on the prospect of meeting my maker early? A quote I once heard sums it up; “I am as frightened of dying as the next man, it’s just that I am even more scared of not living…

I will be updating my tracker regularly, and to view my position either click on “map” above this blog, or try for the new SPOT link. (The old one seems to have stopped working.) In the meantime, thanks again to all of you for your support. Whether it’s been practical help, messages of encouragement or your sponsorship money, it’s meant an awful lot to me. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have got this far without it.

Bye for now.

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