Thursday, 9 February 2017

Photo Journal of Our Atlantic Crossing

The Preparations - Provisioning

So how do you prepare for a three to four week crossing for four adults and two children when you have no opportunity to run to the store for that forgotten ingredient?!  A lot of money, loads of trips to the stores to identify what we want (but thank goodness the major stores deliver!!!!), and plenty of creativity on where to store it all on the boat (nothing like using a spare shower stall to store produce).  The water line was getting lower and lower by the day.

Logo Painting

As though we didn't have anything else to do just prior to departure, Darryl was insistent that we leave our mark in Las Palmas.  It seems to be a tradition for departing boats to paint a logo on a rock or wall in the marina.  Despite our imminent departure date, Darryl and the girls managed to paint our logo on a rock to commemorate our first ocean crossing.

Departure Day

For as long as we have been planning the Atlantic Crossing, we have had January 10 as our intended departure date for some unknown reason.  However, for all of December and early January, we were experiencing highly unusual weather.  Usually at that time of year, the trade winds are well set in and everything is very predicable.  Instead, the weather was very unsettled and the winds coming from the opposite direction.  It was delaying loads of boats in leaving.  We kept our eye on January 10 but figured it likely would be a later departure date.  But sure enough as January 10 approached, the weather was changing and the winds were turning to the more usual NE direction.  And wouldn't you know it, we were all ready and left on January 10!!!  

So the morning of, we had our crew briefing and the raising of our crew flag and we were set to cast off the dock lines.

Things To Keep Us Occupied

So what do you do for three weeks when restricted to an 11.5 meter x 6 meter floating platform?  Surprisingly a lot!!!

First and foremost, the four adults rotated on a 2 hour watch schedule all day and night.  While Ella took the 1400 to 1600 watch every afternoon.  I could not be more proud of Ella for being committed to her watch.  The only watches she missed were on the first day when we were only a couple of hours out of Las Palmas and she wasn't feeling great, and the last day, with all the excitement the watch schedule went out the window.

Any excuse for a celebration, which on Maple involves food and the smallest bit of imbibing.  Crepes and cava to celebrate the halfway mark.  And sausages and beer to celebrate Australia Day!

Knitting (can't thank Sandra enough for her amazing patience!), dress up, cleaning (huge thanks to Jeff for cleaning the rust stains around all the stanchions), boat repairs (sadly no pictures of Darryl clinging for his life to the mast), and reading, reading and more reading....

School For All!  Darryl involved the girls in charting our course on the chart.  We did a unit on Christopher Columbus.  And even Jeff and Sandra got in on the action with Darryl teaching them how to splice rope and make soft shackles.  

Fishing!!!  We had a tough start after losing four lures, plus five catch and release of small tunas.  But our persistence paid off on Day 9 when we reeled in a beautiful 13kg yellow fin tuna.  So of course dinner that night was SUSHI!!!  Since our freezer was already full of meat purchased prior to departure and then the addition of the tuna, we did not fish for awhile.  

On the morning of Day 15 with prompting from Jeff we cast the lure once again.  And within an hour Jeff had reeled in a gorgeous dorado (aka: mahi mahi)!!!  

Lots of scenery that looks like this:

Where is all the evidence of all that amazing wildlife we experienced??  In video format of course and that takes WAY more effort to edit than throwing up a few pictures on a blog post.  So with enough nagging perhaps I can get Darryl do it, otherwise, we might all be waiting awhile before I figure out how the heck to edit out hours of video of boring seas for the 5 second blip of a whale breaching or dolphins playing in our bow waves.


After 20 days out of sight of land, on Day 21 land was spotted!!!!  And after 21 days and 9.5 hours, we dropped anchor in the Caribbean after leaving from the Canary Islands.

The girls wasted no time jumping in the water, at the same time we watched the first sunset in the Caribbean on board Maple.  We have not been in the water since early October off the coast of Spain, so the white sand beaches and warm waters are glorious.

How do you begin to thank two people who took four weeks in their lives to help us safely bring our home and family across an ocean?!  Any words seem inadequate, so I just hope Jeff and Sandra know how much gratitude we will forever have to them.  I could not imagine this experience without them being part of it.  Much love and thanks to you both!  xoxo


  1. What great memories and what an amazing accomplishment! Well done and congratulations to all!!

    1. Thank you! It is still surreal to think we crossed an ocean. I am ok waiting a bit before we cross our next bigger one.

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your crossing with all of us. Loved reading about your adventures.

  3. Thanks for sharing the crossing! Congratulations on what sounds like a smooth passage!

  4. FABULOUS!!! I hope I can do this myself one day!