We did it! We arrived into Grenada sunburnt and sleep deprived on Friday December 2nd at 3.55 pm.
Our Atlantic crossing was 2200 nm and took 14 days and 6 hours days. Prior to that we travelled from the Canary Islands to Cape Verde and that was 850 nm. In 20 days of sailing we have covered 3050 nautical miles and crossed 4 time zones while doing so.
We saw land in the early hours of the morning. Barbados far in the distance and then Grenada. There is a moment when we hope that all of our instruments and all of our navigation is correct and that we are pointing at the right island. For a few hours there is a blue reflective tone that inhabits all of us as we wrestle with the bitter sweet reality of hitting land and the imminent onslaught of outside life crashing in on our perfect simple bubble and life of one pointed focus.
We have some threatening looking storm clouds at our stern reminding us that you are never safe in harbour until you are safe in harbour.
The island looks very inviting from the water and for the few hours that we are approaching there is a gradual acceptance of this chapter closing. We made it safely, happily and harmoniously with no significant injuries. We were kind to each other and functioned well as a crew.
The shape of the island and the contours of the hills through the low cloud looks eerily like Mount Elphinstone and Hopkins as the land gently slopes down towards Granthams and Gibsons and out to the Bluff. My mind plays tricks, in this light with this sort of cloud and a gently falling rain. I almost feel as if we are sailing towards home past Keats and Gambier directly into Hopkins. Something tugs in my heart and my throat suddenly feels tight, I could almost cry but I don’t. I miss my Hopkins Landing home, that perch with a magnificent view of islands and the north shore mountains. I miss some of the comforts of home and my land life and now look forward to going back.
The next bit happens fast, we cross the finish line and take a group shot. We ready the boat by dropping the sails for the first time in weeks and turn on the engine. I quietly acknowledge and thank the sails, the rig and Optimistic for her calm capable, unflinching role in carrying us across the Atlantic under the power of the wind in her sails alone. I am always in awe of how well built boats with the right sails set and pointed on a heading will take you where you want to go.
Tonight I am happy to be on land and will enjoy a shower and sleeping on a boat that isn’t being tossed around like a cork but will miss the wildness of the ocean and the incredible night sailing under the moon and stars and the perfect simplicity of life on a sailboat. This has been another incredible and rich voyage, challenging on some levels and immensely rewarding on others. I have made peace and even feel a familiarity with the Atlantic Ocean and now am very comfortable with what this ocean crossing entails.
Grenada is absolutely lovely. A picture perfect lush little island with everything we imagine the Caribbean to be. We have a few days here to explore and will do some diving, hiking in rainforests and swimming in pools at the foot of the many waterfalls. This is a fantastic place to make landfall after 3 weeks at sea but this journey was always about the journey not about the destination.
I wrote a blog post every few days at sea but was unable to post as we did not have a connection for this. Over the next few days I will be putting up the posts and telling the story of crossing the Atlantic on Optimistic.
Thank you all for your words of encouragement, your support, your curiosities and interest in this journey. This net of support has been the life raft and for that I am very grateful.Keep up with the journey - click the + below the map and enter your email address to subscribe. You’ll get an update every morning, whenever there’s a new blog post