Across the Atlantic on Optimistic 2022
On December 16th 2019, I arrived in St Lucia after sailing for 19 days and 1 hour and 3000nm across the Atlantic Ocean on Playing Around. I loved everything about that experience, even the difficult parts and really I got the bug for ocean sailing. Even before we were tied up at the dock in Rodney Bay marina I was thinking that I have to do this again.
Little did any of us know that in a few short months our world would be stopped in in tracks by a global pandemic and all of our lives would be defined by this for the next two and a half years.
Gulf Island Sailing with Mt Baker in the background
Thankfully sailing is a Covid proof activity, however the pandemic forced us away from sailing on friends boats with big crews. We continued racing in our own bubbles and through this process I skippered my own boat in races. Later, I started to develop my confidence as a single handed sailor. I rehearsed the maneuvers I was worried about over and over in my head and then on the water. An 8 day Gulf Island trip with friends on their boats and me on mine was the psychological step that launched me further. The pandemic went on, my work kept me busy working in remote communities and helping to prepare and plan for Covid, set up testing sites, deliver mass vaccine roll outs and refine as we learnt more about the virus. All the while I was thinking about my next ocean voyage. Waiting for a moment when it was safe to travel and for the right boat and crew to present itself.
It’s been my experience that the universe has a way of organizing itself into exactly what you need. On November 4th 2022 I will be joining 4 others on Optimistic, a Juneau Sun Odyssey 45 in the Canary Islands.
Optimistic is 45 foot long, 14.4 foot wide and weighs 11 tons. She is about the same length and weight as a bus with a whole suite of sails ready for fast downwind sailing.
We will set sail from Gran Canaria on November 6th with 90 other boats and head for Sao Vicente on Cape Verde off the West Coast of Africa. We will re-provision in Cape Verde and will have time to explore these remote islands and prepare for our Atlantic Crossing. The second leg of our journey will start on November 12th. We will be heading for Grenada, 2500 nautical miles away and it will take approximately 18 days. Crossing the Atlantic from the Canaries via Cape Verde will enables us make the most of the north east trade winds; the latitude at 16º50’N is right in the path of the trade winds, promising a great sail to the Caribbean.
You can track us on Optimistic anywhere in the world using a free app like Vessel Finder https://www.vesselfinder.com and search for Optimistic, sailing under the flag of the United Kingdom (UK). Or type our MMSI (235087864) into the search field. Alternatively you can track us on https://www.worldcruising.com/arc_plus/eventfleetviewer.aspx and look for ARC Plus 2022 and Optimistic.
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