June 12 to June 15: The blue ocean and arrival back on land
I have been pretty lucky on my watches throughout our sailing trip as the winds have been light for most of them and I’ve not encountered any bad weather, strong winds or big waves. For the mid’s watch on June 12 (day 5 of our sailing trip) it looked like we were going to go through a storm but we ended up skirting around it instead. We also crossed a time zone on day 5 and our watch was the lucky one to be ‘affected’ as we only had three hours instead of a four hour watch for the afternoon watch. Rob felt like fishing during this time and set the fishing rod. Unfortunately it seemed that we were doomed to catch only seaweed. There was some excitement though at one point as we had a strike on the rod and “the fish” pulled the rod from the railing and almost ripped the rod off the boat. Unfortunately there was nothing on the line when it was brought in. The log at the end of the watch noted that it was a shark that striked the rod or maybe a blue whale!! But seriously, we will never know. It was exciting nonetheless.
As part of our watch system we were also in charge of meals if our watch was after the meal. It was difficult to please the skipper though with our meals as it seemed that no matter what we made it was not right in the skipper’s eyes. I would suggest something as a meal or the other crew would suggest something and it would be frowned upon because that was not what the skipper had in mind even though it was not the skipper’s crew’s turn to make the meal. Little frustrating but we managed.
June 12 was a long day as I ended up with three watches and the last watch for me was the first watch of the day and we had a beautiful show that evening with lots of stars and near the end of the watch a red moon came up and guided our way for our watch to Bermuda.
On day 6, Rob had an exciting request from the captain. He was asked to stay on for the next leg of the trip from Bermuda to Azores as the boat would lack crew and they wanted him to stay based on his experience to help out. He had a lot to think about as we originally planned to stay in Bermuda after the sailing trip
I finally got to see dolphins jumping out of the water and fish around the boat, seabirds catching waves along our stern and had a whole pod of whales just lazing about in front of the bow as we motored slowly by them on day 6 on the ‘noon watch. Apparently, the whales lazing around is not necessarily normal during this time of the day, as whales are usually feeding and not ‘sleeping’. Still it was a cool experience. Even though I had good weather for my watches, Rob of course experienced the bad weather during his evening watch as several squalls come through on day 7 of our trip.
It is unfortunate that we were delayed by two days leaving Key West as we could have sailed more than what we actually did. We continued to motor sail for the remainder of the trip as there was not much wind and we were still trying to make up time to get to Bermuda by the 15th. Too bad, as part of the reason for this trip was for both of us to get experience in rougher weather seas in addition to doing an extended overnight trip. I learned a few things on this trip; open water is not so bad, not seeing land for several days is not so bad, being confined in a small space with other people is bearable but can be annoying at times, you don’t get to spend a lot of time with your partner, your body adjusts quickly to the movement of the boat, you adjust reasonable ok to being on a watch schedule, and motoring all the time can be grating on the nerves…. I have to admit though that I was looking forward to land and the thought of seeing Bermuda was very exciting too.
By early morning of the 15th, we could see the lighthouse of the southside of Bermuda and by mid-morning we were making our way into the bay to St. Georges. We all had to go to customs to check in and then ended our time on the sailboat cleaning everything and getting it ready for the next leg. This was our stop though and after cleaning the boat we left for our rental place. Rob decided to stay instead of continuing on to Azores, and we had a great time in Bermuda! ~Sophia & Rob