From Aruba to the Azores - Day 1

On May 1st we make Sissi ready for departure in the morning. I print out the crew list because I expect to be able to use it when clearing out. It's not fun to enter all the names, dates and, above all, the passport numbers into a form by hand. However, Aruba thwarted my plans because the officials want their own forms to be filled out. So I am allowed to enter the same data in two similar looking forms for immigration and customs. Someone will be able to decipher the scrawl. Around 3 p.m. we leave the port of Barcadera and after a few minutes we set our sails, put the wind vane into operation and are in travel mode. For the next few hours we will drive along the coast of Aruba and then leisurely leave the territorial waters. The wind is not too strong and the waves promise a calm first day.

After sunset I am alone under the starry sky, which is becoming more beautiful by the minute. The sea is reasonably calm, the wind allows us a direct course to our first stopover, the Mona Passage between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. We only drive at an average of 4 knots, but that is a good speed with the wind and the countercurrent. A huge bright spot can be seen on the horizon behind us. Even the weakly shining street lights in Aruba cause a lot of light pollution in the night sky. My thoughts fly back to this small, sandy and dusty rock that has become something of a second home to me in the last year. I think of Soraida, whom I had to say goodbye to in the morning for the months to come. I miss her, how I would like to have her on board. But now we have to be patient for the near future.

When Barbara comes into the cockpit at midnight to take on her first night shift, I'm still in good spirits. So far we have got through the night without any problems. But two minutes later she hangs over the empty railing and first empties her stomach. Together we discover that she has not eaten or drank enough during the day. Now we have the trouble. The first travel tablet goes over the railing, the second ends up undigested in the Pütz a little later. Only after a banana and some water does the third tablet stay in there. Barbara can relax a little in the fresh air in the cockpit, I stay awake and take on the first half of her shift, Jens then later the second half.

The swell is shallow and I'm not flying through my bunk. Instead, I get a lot of sleep during the night and don't wake up the next morning until around 10 a.m. I find Jens in the cockpit and Barbara in her bunk. At first glance, it looks like seasickness has been blown away by the wind. Unfortunately, I'm happy too early because she doesn't feel better after waking up. So the main task today is to get Barbara fit again. We're working on it.

1. Etmal: 85.3 nm (in 21 hours)

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