The Love Boat #5: Sailing Double-Handed

It has now been four months since Sarah and Sébastien set sail for a transatlantic crossing aboard a Sun Légende 41. Life aboard has found its rhythm, little by little…

“The longer we are at sea, the longer our passages are. Double-handed, we work well together, and we have tested our duo for three years, under various conditions. Sébastien is the skipper and I am the crew. It all comes down to confidence: I have confidence in his decisions, and he has confidence in my abilities at sea. We are a couple with a prudent nature, and having the same temperament makes things easier.

At sea, life aboard the Love Boat has fallen into an easy rhythm. We cook when conditions allow, and I have never enjoyed cooking a nice meal so much as when we are at sea. When things get a bit rougher, we rely on those good old freeze-dried packages! Chocolate bars and dried fruits are never far from hand during those night watches, generally of about 2 hours and 30 minutes. We are both big sleepers, and we rarely offer each other additional sleep! Fortunately, we don’t meet many others on open waters, and we also sleep on deck.

Today, we could not imagine sailing without our autopilot. We don’t use it much while sailing around Lorient, but we could never be without it again! It steers the boat without pause. Very reliable, it is better than we are at guiding the boat through rough weather, and it allows us to steer the boat with perfect peace of mind.

For safety, we wear our life jackets nearly all the time, attached night and day when conditions are rough, and systematically for handling the lines on the foredeck, even on calm seas. Knowing that your crewmember is attached during the night also helps one sleep better! Each of us is also equipped with a MOB transmitter, which triggers a loud alarm on the boat in case of a person overboard.

The greatest moment on these long passages is when we sight land. In that instant, our pride is always shared!
After having dreamed of this for three years, we have reached Cape Verde. Sailing between the Canaries and Cape Verde lasted seven days, the longest passage we have ever made. So, we passed a test in preparation for our double-handed transatlantic crossing. We leave Mindelo in mid-January for the Caribbean!”