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Underway, On a Boat, In the Middle of Nowhere

Oct 7, 2011

Location: Underway
Author: Hannah Dale
Puke, amazing, a gale, some serious stank, feelings of awe at 15 ft seas we’ve had our first sail! While underway from Civitavecchia, Italy to Palma, Mallorca, we finally experienced enough wind to turn off the main engine and use our sails to power us 8+ knots to our next destination. Many of the shipmates had been asking daily when we would finally sail, but the past 24 hours may have been more than many of us bargained for! The 30 knots of wind that we were hit with made being below deck almost impossible unless you were sleeping, and made class somewhat unbearable…more than once a shipmate would make the mad dash upstairs to boot [puke], returning to class only to feel sick again 10 minutes later.

Being on deck during the wind gale was a new, amazing, crazy, and happily terrifying experience for many. I couldn’t have told you when the boat was flat, what was down, what day it was, or if I was going to make it in one piece to Palma. But being on deck rolling and finding yourself parallel with a 15 foot wall of water is an experience hard to describe and hard to forget. Everyone was clearly feeling the rush of adventure as we maneuvered ourselves towards Mallorca. Luckily, with Sam and Leah alternating at the helm, everyone felt safe.

Last night we were hit with some fresh water rain, a very nice change from all the horizontal sea water and salt with which we were getting regularly splashed. I was glad that all the white particles on my foulies (foul weather gear) were washed away by the rain, seeing as I previously couldn’t tell what was hardened salt and what was rogue parmesan cheese that was flying around during our pasta dinner. Eventually, the wind started to die and the waves began to recede, and the engine was turned on again. After a couple hours of peaceful sleep, we have made it to Palma in one piece.