The Atlantic crossing: Fun & Diverse - Ataxia UK

The Atlantic crossing: Fun & Diverse

Post Published: August 2, 2022

I would like to welcome you back to The Atlantic Crossing series. In this blog I will tell you all about the diverse environment and how much fun we had!.

The crew were strange, not like people I know and our differences made it hard to become proper friends with most of them but I did make a few very good friends. Claire was my buddy, she had been appointed to me from the beginning because I have Ataxia – all disabled people have a ‘buddy’. Claire was a twenty six year old doctor from Ireland who was taking a year off before going into a particular profession. It was funny because another good friend I made was doing exactly the same thing and was twenty six as well only she was from Scotland. Both girls were great fun, chatty and full of confidence and we laughed a lot together. Another great friend I made was a seventy two year old man called Rupert. We talked a lot and I understood him better than most people on the boat. The reason he had chosen to do the voyage was because his wife had died and although she sounded great fun from what he’d told me, she’d always hated sailing and he’d always loved it so now she was gone he could do it without dragging her along. About a third of the people on the voyage were fifty or older and retired, looking for an adventure.

And they got one. It was thrilling and fun and beautiful. Every evening, there was a stunning sunset and all we could see for miles around was dark blue sea with a few white horses. We saw about three other boats during those three weeks, lots of flying fish, a few herds of dolphins swimming with the ship for one or two days and herds of minky whales too. We played games on the boat; an egg throwing competition (who could throw the egg the furthest without breaking it) along with a random presentation about our ‘flying egg’. We played a murder game that lasted three days and I won. We also had a pub quiz one night and had betting games on how far we’d gone that day and half the winnings would go to the jubilee sailing trust.

Nearly every night I went to the bar and we’d sit and drink (I always drank a glass or two of baileys) and we’d joke and chatter.

We reached Antigua and stayed two, last days on the boat and those days were the most fun out of them all. We were itching to get off the boat and walk on land for the first time in 21 days. We spent our time swimming in the turquoise sea and sunbathing on the white, soft sand and eating ice creams or drinking cocktails under palm trees. On the day we arrived, before we went out, to celebrate the end and say good bye we had lethal amounts of rum punch made by the funny engineer, Pickles. Subsequently, we went out at six thirty pm completely wasted and proceeded to drink pina coladas’ and espresso martinis until there was scandal and affairs between most of the crew and we all ended up asleep in ours or each other’s bunks (me in my own bed, by myself!) by midnight.

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