Location: Atlantic Ocean 19 36.15N 64 31.71W
After spending some time in the British Virgin Islands, getting to know each other, becoming accustomed to the boat, practicing raising and putting down the sails, or simply enjoying the Caribbean, we, as well as the boat, were finally ready to depart for Europe. Right after breakfast, we finished the last bits of passage prep necessary to leave: Disconnected shore power, took down the passer-rail, and collected all our shoes from the dock. We are not going to need them for the next 18 days or so! And then, there we went. We waved Soper’s Hole goodbye. Ocean Star blew her horn for us. We blew ours back. The two schooners are more often than not in opposite parts of the globe, but this summer, they got to spend about two months in the same latitudes, first in Antigua for Classic’s Week and then at home, at West End, in the BVIs. Now it’s time for them to go different ways again. Ocean Star will stay in the Caribbean as usual, and we are sailing Argo to the Mediterranean. I repeat: We are sailing Argo. Across the Atlantic Ocean. To the Mediterranean.
We waved goodbye to a crowded dock full of enthusiasts and most of Action Quest staff who are already at West End, getting ready to start their summer of sailing, diving, hiking, and other adventures. Many were waving goodbye to their captains of past summers, especially since a large proportion of our crew have experienced Action Quest summers before. Now they are about to head into a new adventure at a quite different scale.
Once on our way, the wind allowed us to raise five out of our six sails. Only the flying jib stayed down for now. The engine was turned off. And it has stayed off all day since then. Because we are sailing. S-a-i-l-i-n-g.
With the sails up, the first impressions of passage life followed. For many, it meant having the first classes of their lives on a rocking schooner. It also meant getting the first steps to sea legs. Although there was definitely some food being involuntarily recycled and eventually thrown overboard, everybody has been taking it with a great attitude and a good sense of humor.
Now, at 22.03 Atlantic time, we are ready to try our first passage, good night’s sleep. I personally prefer port tacks… But we are not heeling that much tonight, so I think I will be able to sleep without any big falling-out-of-my-bunk wake-ups.