lunedì 18 maggio 2015

PACIFIC CROSSIG – the journey sailing across the ocean from Galapagos to Marquises

Let’s the big adventure begins.
3044 Nautic Miles through the widest Ocean in the world. Sailing from Galapagos Islands to Marquises island (French Polynesia). Lazy Jack is ready and shining after we took care of him for the last few days. Our check list before departure is all done, me and Alice with Capitan and Philippe spent our last night as a family, eating something together and then going to send some last mail.  Soon after that I found myself alone with Alice in front of a Juice Bar on his closing time, in front of an Avocado and chocolate smoothie. Both pretty excited we didn’t have much to say and I guess that looking into each other eyes we could feel like kids the day before the first day of school. 
What I will write from now on, is part of the diary me and Alice wrote during the crossing. Sometimes thighs are special, others are blurry. Not every day was easy and at the end of the day we found our self  lucky to be part of something unusual.

27/3/15  Day 1   
Alberto - After snorkeling, surfing and swimming with every kind of animals, the day has come. Capitan is a bit anxious about the quantity of petrol considering that the forecasts say we are not having wind for nearly two days. I’m wondering too but we are making the decision to arrive as soon as possible under the 4° south and get the trade winds. Leaving the archipelago I was a bit scared when we took Lazy Jack in the middle between Turtle island and some rocks on the side with large swell coming in, but it was a real show of nature. We stopped in Isabella for half an hour to clean the little gps transponder that had a few shells around. Right after a few hours two big tuna made our fishing rod screaming. Unfortunately we lost one but we got one as well. I started to read the book about Warren Buffet and try to be helpful with Alice who’s trying to convince herself she is seasick. First day and with two hours of side wind, a big dish of Ceviche (raw fish marinated in lemon and vegetables) and the feeling we have been in an incredible place.       
28/3/15 Day 2
Alice – We are going to pass near Royal Justice, probably one of the only boat we are going to see for the next few weeks. It’s hard to get used to navigation again, my head tells me I can’t be 100%. Evereything I make is so much more difficult than usual.
Alberto – The night’s watch was very boring . Good thing is that the moon was setting at 1am leaving space to the most beautiful stars in the world. I got the feeling to be into an odyssey that will took me home. Always closer to the red land surrounded by oceans. We are all a bit worried to use a lot the engine like we are doing, however we have to reach the trade winds. Capitan is relaxed, Doc Philippe always very funny and Alice doing her best to get used to the sea, honestly I’m having hard time as well. Still reading the book and that guy is really incredible.
29/3/15 Day 3
Alberto – Mr Ocean seems to be angry. Maybe he feels bad or he just wants to show us what is able to do before to allow himself to cuddle us. Finally we reached the trade winds so we don’t have to spend another day worrying about the fuel. Waves are everywhere around us and they have no pity for us. During my watch last night, one wave literally passed the whole back of the boat. Water everywhere and Doc Philippe had an unexpected shower from the little windows on his room that we usually leave open. The worst day since we left G.I, I nearly feel seasick. I hope it’s going to be better tomorrow. The sea left on the boat dozen of flying fishes and a few calamari. 
30/3/15                Day 4
Alberto - We woke up like shining stars. Sunny day and the sea is relaxing. My stomach is nearly 100% and I’m happy. I feel like sex.
Alice – Finally getting better. We are sailing fast and if we are going to keep it like this in ten days will be to our destination ;-) (I wish) Days are more relaxing when I use the excuse of sea sickness. I’m trying to rest and sleep as much as possible when Alberto is not trying to take me on the front net to do some exercise. We are also receiving mails from our parents and friends, that makes us incredibly happy and sensitive.
Alberto – Even this year march is closing his door. I guess I have 31 of these doors closed behind me but luckily not so many regrets. A nice tip came from the interesting book I’m reading. He recon that if you lose  1$ playing any game it feels like 2$. If you win 1$ more than the one you played, you often want to play 4$. So a lot of people are stacked in the fear of playing because they lost something. Thought was interesting. Anyway, the sea is very calm, wind 15 knots and 12 of speed, 29°C life is good. Aims of the day: try to finish the book, exercise body and mind and recycle yesterday’s leftovers in today’s meal.
I should also cook the tuna with the cabbage…I don’t usually do but it’s his favorite and every Capitan deserves to eat the best!
Alice – I finally had a meal without nausea. Coffee, cakes and home pancakes. The ocean is very calm and we are so fast. Today I will do a washing machine. We do need some clean clothes!
Alberto - We sent a funny mail to our parents and friends with a few jokes and bullshits as usual the first of April. Today’s duty are endless however I do it with pleasure. I stared a new book, name The China Study. Probably I will find here some answer I was looking for since a few months after I started to study food in a proper way. Right after the first pages I thought sooner or later I will have to chance my way to eat. By the way I start to cook something vegetarian now, enjoying my way to be vulnerable and trying to make a good job. I’m writing a lot, reading and thinking. I trainee nearly every day but not too much, just to don’t became paralyzed. I decided maybe I will stop in Polynesia forever…didn’t really decided…only a light wish…something even more dangerous.
Alberto - I’m everyday more scared from the book I’m reading. I knew the vegetarian way was healthier but never studied before how and why.  I will consider that some kind of evolution. 
Alice – Sometimes I think too much and I’m not able to write. I’m thinking of my future.
Alice - Every morning I have the chance to admire the sunrise. Today the sky is a bit cloudy but the sun is giving me some show anyway. We are doing so well and speeding up to Fatu Hiva under  good winds. We made already 1280Nm and I can’t wait to discover the culture of the Pacific islands. Can’t wait also to arrive to our first destination, “La baie des Verges”, (penis bay!). I feel blessed to be here, while I’m going to Polynesia in this way, one year ago I couldn’t even imagine to do it in a more sacred way.
Alberto – I’m trying hard to find new little things to appreciate every day. Thought that living in small spaces for few weeks with other people could be harder. I hope the others think the same ;-) Trade winds are getting stronger and waves as well. We broke a spy’s rope while we were trying to use it as a jennaker, but doesn’t  matter, we quickly replaced it with no damages. I feel like to cook something of highest level but I feel some limits. Maybe it’s only me…I should try harder.
Alberto - I’m again on my watches on a rolling night. I just kicked off the boat a still  alive flying fish that hit me right on my feet. Lucky him. It seems to be the only kind of life in this gigantic blue desert. I’m getting everyday more tired but also more motivated because I love what I’m doing. Today we are also half way through and that makes me and Alice happy. It’s 3.30am and I nearly miss her during my three hours out here.
Alice – Every day I get and feel better. I stretch my legs, try to do some little exercise to let my body feel alive. Big breakfasts are becoming my big specialty. Alberto makes me laugh and keep my spirit positive, we speak a lot about our future plans. We have fun making little videos about the crossing every day, even if I doubt we will find any good Wi-Fi before Tahiti. I finally start to enjoy this crossing 100%!
Alberto - Everything is good. Last night I had the easy watch between 9 to midnight. I wrote a bit of blog and watched a movie. I realized only at the end that was telling the story of the origins of superman. Like Alice said: “You like horrible and stupid movies!” . She’s totally right. I love them. Guess we have different reasons to watch a movie. I’m cooking a lot and not listening so much the other coz today I feel very silly. We also wrote a mail to Ale and Luca, nice guys, we miss them. I’m very sensitive.  
Alice – Every day we receive at least 6 mails from parents and friends. It’s so good to keep in touch, I never feel alone. Today is Easter, so I feel even further than I usually do. Far away from my family, my friends… We continue the navigation so fast that in 6 days we should already arrive. Fingers crossed!!!
Alice - I don’t want to say that I feel 100%, I don’t want to tease our friend Ocean, whose breathe is continuously too nervous for me and makes us shake like penguins. I find hard to get used to the noise of the boat in the middle of the ocean: “SBAM!”, “SBUM”, the waves crush against the hulls. I can’t stand these three big men who try to be so cool and say: “It’s so quite this Pacific!!! Amazing!”. No way, they will never admit the truth. Because they are REAL men!! Come ooon. Anyway I’m so proud to be here and all these heavens on earth that are waiting for us… well, I deserved them all!!! It will be an exceptional arriving. I dream of the penis of the Bay of the Penis in Fatu Hiva!
Alberto – Serious crisis day. Luckily I think I can handle it well. I wish to spend a day by myself, far from everyone. I can see this feeling is only a bit of rust from the fully filled past months, but it is a kind of hurting bad. Obviously this is affecting also my way to relate with my sweet Alice, I can’t stand anymore this little woman’s fears.
Alice – Great pizza today, Alberto never lets me miss anything form home. I say pizza, he prepares a nice gourmet pizza. I say tenerina, he bakes the most delicious chocolate cake ever. I feel good, even if I should do more yoga… But the boat is still moving a bit too much. Heading to west means we are gaining time. Every 15 ° west we make we have to change one hour in our clocks. This means we are getting further and further from our families and friends. Reading their mails is my favorite moment of the day!
Alberto - As every day, time is running fast. Today I have my watch between 3 and 6am and finally this is not a big effort anymore. Alice is missing a female presence on board and she often tells me she can’t wait for Mme Nicole back. Trying always to be funny with her I propose to send the Capitan home as well for a month and we both laugh. Honestly life on board couldn’t be better. I’m happy to see that when my job is done well, I can make people change. And so I make my usual pizza  and a good soup for tonight and everybody happy. I should do a bit of exercise today because my body is becoming too lazy. I’m having lot of fun studying the books I have with me. Funny because I’ve read something about investment and I feel like to do it, now I’m reading some studies about relations between food and health and I feel like to become vegan. I’m practically enjoying my vulnerability. I promise to myself I’ll never read books of how to read cards!! ;-)  Anyway, this is day 12 of navigation after Galapagos….and I’m shaping my future on my mind.
Alberto - We are still having awesome sunny days since a few, unfortunately not much wind but with our spinnaker up we are never under 7 knots. I feel like to challenge myself in the kitchen today, so, let’s try to think something vegetarian….set up the preparation and make everybody smile at the table. And after that I made the duck for dinner, with figs and apple. Old receipt on a modern key. I am satisfied, however the presentation technique of my food is still a real shit…I’ll take a course in food design or something like that. I’m happy cause I can made good food and at same time frustrated cause I can’t present it as I wish. I wrote a mail to Monia e Federica and to my friend Andrea that is having hard time back home in Italy. It’s already time to go to sleep…
Alberto  - Another good day in the middle of nowhere. Reading, cooking, exercising, discovering something more about yourself and guessing about your future. We are now under 500NM from our destination. Everybody starts to be very excited. I guess I’m too. But 50% of me it’s a kind of good here…in the middle of this gigantic Ocean. But on the other side I’d love to see how is going to be the rest of our journey. Ah ah ah …. Yes I’ve got the feeling the time stopped for these days and probably for millions of other people the true life happened everyday as usual, but for us it just stopped, holding herself to explode on us under the word…Land!!!  Am I getting crazy…don’t think so…just having fun with myself and the others.
Alice – Just finished packing all the clean towels and sheets! Tonight we’re going to sleep fresh. It’s always good to make a nice washing machine. We are blessed to have one on board, it means really easy life. Even if I feel like an acrobat while I try to hang the clothes and stuff on the dock, trying hard not to jump into the water… that would be not so nice!!
Alberto - I woke up during sunrise on our day 15 of crossing. I took a look to the GPS and I fell a bit sad after I realized that maximum two days and we are going to land. With a good maneuver we pull up the spy and this is helping a lot, but wind is not doing the same. 5 max 6 knots and the Captain a bit anxious about having the spy twisted. Every morning Alice makes best breakfast ever making me connected to her and our world. I just feel stupid when sometimes I make fun of her about the fear she built up on her. I can’t stand it and I feel like few years ago I was fighting with my sister about stupid things. I don’t want to feel like this so, I write and smile to the world. I’m finishing my watch, rolling sea and 10knots speed…I really need to sleep.
Alice – Sunrise at 6.54. The best of all. Simply perfect. I’m trying to take a picture of it but the camera is not responding to real color. Very light shadows of orange, the cloud like wiped cream perfectly set on the horizon like when we have light foggy days in Venice. We are at 295miles from destination and I found a balance. I’d rather stay for a couple of more days now that I’m very connected with the world around me. I’m often thinking to become mom, that would mean to go back to Italy? And where do I want to grow my child? Maybe adopting is going to be hard but easier on the other side. Finally I took a good picture of the sunrise and I also threw in the trash can the horrible piña colada and guanabana syrup that my boyfriend decided to buy before leaving. Good feeling when every day I make my clients happy with my breaky.
Alberto -   Our day flows smooth and even too perfectly. We are already calculating at what time we’re gonna approach the arrival and it seems that we will arrive right during the night. That’s why maybe we have to slow the boat down and try to arrive in the first lights of the morning. Today I don’t have too much to do, so I’m becoming very critic about everything, but thanks to my young teacher I understand that all our feeling, fears, emotions of these last days are like big soap balls that can easily blow with the wind and explode at any time. I’m lucky to have her on my side, with her kindness and strictness that fill my days from sunrise to sunset.
I need to sleep.
Alice – No matter what, we deserved Polinesia! I want to see land.
Alberto – We should have arrived right today, but unfortunately the wind is weaker and weaker so, as we imagined, we are forced to pull the spy down. Sailing only with the genoa at 2,5 knots can be incredibly boring, even more if you’re sitting on a Ferrari of the seas. For a Pacific crossing, I had a very stressful afternoon and I’m trying to find a relaxing moment cause I feel tired. I didn’t sleep so much these days. Right when I was about to fall asleep the reel of our rod started to scream and after 20 minutes of Japanese style cutting I had 4 beautiful tuna filets in my cooler. While I’m pushing myself into the shower, I look out of the window and see the sunset. The water is refreshing my skin and gives me the enthusiasm to go back in the kitchen and cook something special. Right in that moment, during the Bolero ritual, the most unexpected happened: LAND!!! Fatu Hiva just appeared 40 miles from us, right behind the latest sunlight. We are all excited like kids but we have to calm our enthusiasm and take our rendezvous with the island for tomorrow morning as soon as the sun can light our path. 
Alberto – I already know that my watch from 3 to 6 am will last forever, but I honestly slept a little bit. Just till when the sun rises, giving me his usual show. And so, what can I say? What can I do? I’d rather dance. Like an idiot I start to dance with myself. A seagull comes by looking at this dude dancing alone on the dock. I told him “Don’t worry mate, some days we have to let it go and be ourselves”. Fatu Hiva is in front of us. Big mountains and wild horses riding through. The GPS gives the alarm: only one hour from the Baie des Verges. Everybody wakes up and comes on the dock to look at the island. Birds are multiplying around the boat and dolphins show up right when everything was already perfect. No picture can seize what we see. I could write for hours this diary page, but I would never describe the perfection of this moment we are living. UZIWA POWER! The Ocean is always right.
Alice – LAND!!! And what a land! I’m still half sleeping, but the wonders out there are beyond every imagination. Fatu Hiva at sunrise, vertical mountains falling down in the deep sea, coconut trees everywhere, green. Joyful dolphins welcome us dancing, as if someone sent them for us. I look around me, I breathe deeply and looking at this luxuriant vegetation I’m crashed by a euphoria, I feel accepted in this magic land, far away from everything. This land that now for me is the heart of the world.