“We left Saint-Martin to the warm goodbyes of our neighbours, with sun and wind on the nose to navigate the canal that separates the island from her sister, Anguilla.
The first week was idyllic: still dressed in swimsuits, with calm nights, very little heeling, speed and flat seas. The conditions were ideal! Much more so than on the way over, we found. We were happy to be at sea again, to see the sunsets and metallic reflections, the waves in the moonlight.
But on the seventh day, my 30th birthday, it became a nightmare: the linear drive of our autopilot broke. This meant taking turns at the helm more or less every two hours for the rest of the trip... a joyless, frankly depressing, and even frightening prospect. Without the autopilot, each manoeuvre is more complicated, and this without even considering the rest it provided us.
The ‘Love’ transatlantic crossing had turned into a physical challenge, one that we certainly could have done without!
The different conditions that we encountered, from no wind to 25 knots, really tested our nerves. After 12 days of struggle, it was really time for this to end. We were very tired, and without enough sleep, we narrowly avoided danger in our manoeuvres. We finished with a day under spinnaker, as we had to hurry, a depression was headed for us...
But here we are, safe and warm in the Azores, aboard the ‘Love’ after this incredible adventure. There were nervous breakdowns almost daily, but our duo made it through. We make a fine crew, we are proud to have succeeded at this challenge, and after all of that, we still love each other!”