Yesterday, on the third day of Aventura‘s passage to Greenland, it suddenly felt as if we had been miraculously transposed to the Mediterranean. The sun was shining out of a deep blue sky, the sea was sparkling in the late afternoon, the air temperature rose to 20 degrees, and off our port bow a pod of whales were busy having a late lunch. After dinner, with the skies still clear and a good wind, we hoisted the Parasailor, agreed on the order of night watches, and were all set up for a quiet night. At 2230, while a full moon was showing its pale face veiled by a thin cloud, the sun finally started its long descent towards the northern horizon and we were rewarded by a specacular sunset worthy of a Turner painting.
Soon after midnight, the wind piped up, so we had to douse the spinnaker and continue with the white sails. At about 0330 during Ivan’s watch, from my cosy forward cabin I felt the boat accelerating, heard the sails flapping, so quickly rushed to the cockpit to lend a hand. Indeed, the wind had gone up to 28 knots, and we had to quickly reduce sail.
Within a mere six hours everything had changed, and here was our first taste of real Arctic weather: a rainy, grey sky and grey seas. But Aventura was happily romping along, taking the rising winds and swell in her stride. I took over from Ivan, and with nothing left to do in the cockpit, I came inside. I made myself a hot chocolate and settled down at the navigation station for the rest of my three-hour watch.
Looking out of the surrounding windows from my comfortable armchair, it suddenly struck me that even in this kind of filthy weather, life at sea can still be enjoyable…. if you have the right boat, and the mindset to go with it.