The Ultimate Adventure — Atlantic Crossing

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Wow — hard to believe the time is finally here! After years of dreaming about an ocean crossing, I now find myself on the cusp of one!

This year has been a big year for the crew on Snowflake. We’ve worked extremely hard to get our thirty-year-old Richard Woods sailing catamaran ready for blue water cruising. While we’ve had some good times over the last year, it hasn’t all been fun and games. Bulkhead repairs, tabbing repairs, sanding, painting, fiberglass and gel coat repairs, replacing countertops, filling in old through-holes…you name it, we’ve done it. In need of any of those skills? I’m your gal!

Yep, it’s been a hard road getting to this point. But if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t take another road for anything. Is this girl crazy? you might ask. Probably. But regardless, I’m here — smarter than I was, wiser than I was, and more ready than I’ve ever been.

That’s not to say I’m an expert on ocean crossings… after all, I haven’t even gotten one under my belt yet! The research and learning still continues, only a day or two before our departure. I have nearly worn out the pages of our Jimmy Cornell books and atlas, read and re-read the RCC Atlantic Crossing guide, watched continuously the videos on ocean crossings from Distant Shores and Britican, and consulted the The Boat Galley and the vast knowledge of Annie Hill through  Voyaging On A Small Income on a daily basis to map out my provisioning strategy.

One of my greatest fears is running out of food… or causing mutiny onboard due to lack of creative meals. Who am I kidding? My partner wouldn’t complain if I fed him beans and weenies every day. Alas, it’s important to me that I plan a flavorful and creative menu for Snowflake’s crossing. So, I’m doing my best to cover all basis in the galley.

Some people have asked if we are afraid of being out there all alone, with no one around. Not really. But you see, there will be other people out there… just not within sight. Thousands of boats make this crossing every year. As a matter of fact, we have made several friends along the way who will be crossing around the same time as us. But chances are we will not see each other for the duration of the sail. It’s a big ocean out there and not all boats travel at the same speed. With that said, you can’t necessarily count on having the support of others if something were to go wrong, even if you do untie the lines at the same time. (Scary thought for some, I know.) And that is why we have upgraded and doubled much of our safety gear onboard Snowflake.

Not only do we have a new Kannad Marine EPIRB, but we also have a SPOT GEN3 satellite tracker with SOS alert and an Inmarsat ISatPhone Pro for checking weather forecasts and for any emergency calls. In addition, we have a new Plastimo Transatlantic life raft, a ditch bag and medical kit that I personally prepared after much research (thanks to Starry Horizons and The Boat Galley. We have new Baltic life vests, jack lines and safety harnesses, and we have our M.O.B. (Man Over Board) drills down pat.

This is our lives… we take this seriously, so we have prepared seriously. We are more ready now than we ever will be. And as Captain Ron says… “If anything’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there.”

So, here we are in the Cape Verdes, making final preparations to set sail on our Atlantic Crossing – the dream and chance of a lifetime.

See you on the other side!

Fair winds and following seas.

If you’re interested in following along with my sailing journey check out Sailing Snowflake on facebook.

 Want to know how you can change your life and chase your dreams? Send me an email at julia.weeks@preparetotack.com