The power of the ocean can take your breath away, as the women aboard Sea Dragon this week for our Caribbean eXXpedition have found out. From feeling on top of the world to sea sick in a bucket, many emotions have been experienced in the two day and night passage from Grenada to Barbados.
On setting out the team was buzzing, there was excitement as we yelled ‘2, 6 HEAVE!’ when hoisting the sails and switched off the engine to start our passage. Unfortunately, as we sailed out of the lee of Grenada we discovered both the wind and current was not in our favor, so after setting out on a beam reach we lost some ground but headed up onto an upwind track. The skipper kept a close eye on our navigation as we attempted to adjust our course to make better progress towards our destination.
As we plowed upwind the boat naturally heeled at a greater angle and the sea state increased, meaning seasickness was soon to come! However, despite most people’s dinner not staying inside their tummies, everyone still had a smile on their face!
As darkness fell we moved into a three-hour watch schedule with the group split between three watches. In my opinion, I was lucky enough to have the best watch times as my team was on watch for the magical moon set and sunrise between 0300 and 0600. We watched silently, mesmerized by the natural beauty of the moon disappearing behind the horizon, whilst the sun peaked out from behind the clouds ahead of us with pink and orange rays. Light started to illuminate the deck, revealing again the vast stretch of sea ahead of us and a new day.
As we settled into our watch system of four-hour shifts during the day and three at night, life on board became more settled and everyone adapted to the routine of life at sea. The crew learned more about how the boat worked, using the winches, steering and trimming the sails as well as keeping the boat on course and entertaining each other with stories. For some, the achievement of finishing the bowl of rice you’ve been trying to keep down all day, making it out of the hatch before being sick, or seeing brown Boobies and Frigatebirds circling our rigging brightened up the day.
As we neared Barbados we saw the distant glow of life and lights on the horizon which brought a lot of joy and relief to the watch team on deck. We felt like we had been through a great journey which had brought us closer together and awakened our senses.
On reflection of the trip, we laughed at the entertaining stories from the
trip and concluded that the ocean has been so cleansing for the mind and body. Many of the women felt like a reset button had been pushed and the ocean had given them a new lease of life.