It is only three years ago that we sailed across the Little Minch to the Hebrides. Having spent a few weeks sailing amongst the Inner Hebrides, this was our first “Crossing” – twenty miles from the end of Skye to the safety of a deep fjord. The pilot book warned that the sea could be rough, the weather forecast promised a storm in 24 hours and we could hear passing ships on the VHF radio.
We were a little excited but the crossing went well and we were satisfied to have achieved our destination and be huddled at tbe end of Loch Seaforth.
As we worked our way south we crossed from Scotland to Ireland then on to Wales, across the Bristol Channel to England and then across the English Channel to France. Each crossing increased our confidence and a “quick” day jumping from A to B became routine.
The “big Adventure” was the Bay of Biscay”. 350 miles, three to four days at sea and years of hearing horror stories about this ship eating Bay. After much planning and a reprovisioning, we took three and a half days to arrive in Spain and were very proud to have such a crossing “under our belt”.
From Spain to the Canary Islands was 600 miles and on to Cap Verde another 900 but by now “a few hundred” was not something we thought much about. A quick trip of 80 miles between islands was “just for fun”.
The Atlantic crossing was once again a “step up the ladder”. Firstly it was an ocean crossing and secondly it was twice as far as anything we had yet undertaken – over 2000 miles. We were at sea for eighteen days and proved what we already knew – we like sailing and we like being together.
To Columbia was 300 miles, onwards to Panama was 400 and the Pacific sail to Ecuador 600. By now this all felt like “puddle jumping”. Check the weather, provision and leave. Sail if there was wind, drift if not and arrive one day.
From Ecuador to Easter Island should have been 2000 miles but, thanks to Covid, we ended up taking 54 days to do 4000 miles. After that experience we thought nothing of “popping down to Raivavae for Christmas” – it was only 500 miles each way.
And now we are on our way to Australia. Yesterday – after 38 days – we achieved the 3000 mile mark but the feeling was a bit “been there, done that!” Now it is only another 300 miles so “just round the corner”.
When you have time and enjoy sailing together, distance becomes irrelevant.