Previously I shared some posts about my experience about the Atlantic Crossing, using a sailing boat. I decided I should write an article about some other part of that wonderful trip, about how to hitchhike a sailing boat! 🙂
You can read my previous articles about different parts of my Atlantic Crossing story at the bottom of this post. So, here we go, hitchhiking a sailing boat, from memoirs of Senem Tongar!
Twenty days passed since we stepped into the Canary Islands, Las Palmas, and, unfortunately, we couldn’t find a single boat. We wanted to try our chance on the other islands and see if there are some boat owners who look for a crew for Atlantic Crossing. On December 1st of 2014, we planned to go to Fuerteventura island. We packed our freshly washed clothes. We did some small shopping and went to the marina to meet David who was one of the friends in the island for morning coffee and say goodbye. After our coffee, the sun was shining and we didn’t want to miss this last opportunity and went to the beach just next to the marina. We spent a few hours on the beach lying on the hot sand with Jan who was another sailor friend of us on the island. He was German and travelling by his sailing boat since June 2014.
It was time to say goodbye to Las Palmas and go to Fuerteventura island. We decided to go to Sailors bar in the marina with having little sadness for not finding a boat. After a few minutes we went into Sailors bar, a heavy summer rain started and all people outside ran inside. Meanwhile, we met with some German sailors, Thomas and Matthias who were going to Antigua, Cuba and later Fiji island.
While we were speaking with Thomas and Matthias, I found out that Thomas is the guy who saw our ad in the marina and called me yesterday. On the phone, he said he wants only one crew. I said we are two and that’s why I rejected him. They had just arrived in Las Palmas from Malta. They were so tired and exhausted after passing strong storms that they wanted to have more crew for the night watch.
We chatted a few hours and got along well. They didn’t like candidates for a crew to whom they interviewed and they changed their minds to get two people and asked us if we want to join them. I guess it wasn’t just a coincidence to meet them while we were in the bar for buying our ferry tickets. Anyway, the point is even when we had some sadness, we never lost our hope. We kept saying that we will find a very good boat soon. The boat was way over our expectations and those two German sailors were very professional and experienced. Our skipper Thomas had been on the seas for 20 years, Matthias was an ex-navy officer and engineer.
The compressor of the fridge was broke and we waited for it to be fixed. I was hoping that the problem will be solved and we will leave as soon as possible. A few days later we did some shopping for fresh and dry food. If we didn’t have enough wind we would have to go by the motor and reach Capo Verde islands to get fuel and turn to the west. If we had enough wind we would have to go a little bit to the south and turn our face to the west coast of Atlantic and go to Antigua. Of course, everything depended on weather conditions. We planned to make 200 miles per day and arrive in Antigua in 16 days. We had enough food and drinks.
We spend our last hours on the island and we were very excited. We didn’t know what the ocean will bring us and what we will learn from this trip.
While on the boat, we would have limited Access to the internet through satellite and it is very expensive. We needed to only use the internet to receive daily weather information.