The North Atlantic

The North Atlantic, an ocean full of heavy storms, strong winds and bad weather. That´s how I imagined this part of our journey to be. Instead, the last weeks on sea were mostly shaped by fair winds, sunny weather and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Luckily, we were able to sail a lot and had the chance to improve our sailing skills.

For me, one of the highlights were the many times we saw dolphins and sometimes even whales. I am always amazed by the elegance and speed with which those animals glide through the water and how they swim somewhat synchronized next to each other. It really looks like they´re having fun jumping through the waves and trying to keep up with the Thor. Sometimes there are only two or three dolphins. Other times there are groups of thirty dolphins and more. The excitement is always huge when someone on deck screams something like: ”Dolphins on Starboard”. Then everyone under deck immediately runs upstairs as fast as they can.

Furthermore, it was also somewhat magical meeting the Roald Amundsen, another traditional sail training ship, in the middle of the Atlantic, in the middle of nowhere. There was nothing but water around us and suddenly we saw the other ship appearing on the horizon. We were slowly coming closer until we could see the other people on the Roald Armundsen waving at us. It might be hard to understand what goes through your mind in such situations. But when you haven´t seen anything but water and waves for the past weeks it´s absolutely breathtaking to finally see other people again, who are most likely going through the same emotions as you are going through right now. Even though the weather was pretty good on most days we also had a few days with rough seas and stormy weather. Those days were pretty tiring. For example in class when you have to hold onto the tables so you won´t slide across the whole messroom. Another really exhausting thing when the waves are high is Galley duty. How can you cook properly for 50 people if you can´t even manage to stand up straight and if the water in the pots is washing over the sides.

The watches during the storms were quite challenging but also fun. In those moments you really have to rely on each other. You can truly tell how we grew together as a crew in the past few weeks and months. Another aspect that makes life on board way more fun this late in the journey, especially during bad weather, is that nearly no one gets seasick anymore.

In contrast to the first Atlantic crossing this time we did have a stop in between, on the Bermudas. Even though we only spend a few days there, I really enjoyed the time we had. It was nice being able to call family and friends and it really is a beautiful island. The difference to Kuba and especially Havanna, the last place we visited before the Bermudas, was impressive: On the one hand there is Havanna with its many little crooked alleys full of people, colour and live. On the other hand there are the Bermudas, every house has the same white roof and everything is more European.

Sadly this amazing leg of our journey is now coming to an end. But I am already looking forward to the two week long stay on the Azores.