|We made it!!|
Psalm 107:30 - Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and HE brought them to their desired port!
First off, a huge thank you to all the boaters, family and friends who have supported us in this undertaking, As it turns out, crossing the Atlantic ocean on a sailboat with 6 children is an extremely large and epic adventure, who'd of thought? We weren't able to read all the comments people have been leaving on the blog until we'd arrived and were totally blown away by all the people who have been thinking, following, and praying for us! THANK YOU!
We NEVER thought we would tackle a task this size when we first started on the boat almost 3 years ago. The feeling is almost impossible to describe, and it is an enormous sense of accomplishment. I think it's been great for our kids to feel that, and to know that they can handle large dreams and projects. I mean, I don't know too many teenagers who have helped sail their families all night across an ocean, a week of hand-steering, night watches for hours by themselves in the inky black of the cockpit, and Maggie and Levi have done amazingly! I am very proud as a father when I see how our family rose to the adventure and each of us dug down to something in themselves that I think everyone wonders whether it is there or not. Also a test of our ability to trust in our Creator, when we are so out of our element, and are forced to trust in His provision and protection.
Rachel, what can I say? I don't know any woman like her in the world. She's been an amazing rock for us everyday, cooking cleaning, straightening up, helping us all survive. I can't believe she agreed to come with me out here and the fact we're here is a testament to what true love will do. I certainly could not conceive of this adventure without her, and I am truly a man blessed beyond what he deserved. I still can't believe she went for this?!
Emma came to life on this passage, and although she is always helpful, it's a bit different when you're pitching and rolling in the seas. She was such a help with Miles and Lily and Zoe, I can't even tell you, putting them to bed, helping with food, even when we were all feeling sick, you would never believe she's only 11. I think all of us have been walking a little taller since we've arrived in Dominica, and I think rightfully so.
We'd heard from others that you eventually settle into a rhythm of your own 'out here' and we all decided that was true. We really got in tune with the boat and it felt like for a little while, nature as well. We got to see billions of stars every night, and got to where as we were tracking the constellations, we could tell what time it was. Timing the moonrise, sunrise, the feel of the sea, and the nights with seemingly endless streams of phosphorescence trailing behind our boat like a glowing roadway. Amazing! We felt very small, especially near the middle of the crossing when we were at least 1000 miles from anywhere, a very isolated and intense feeling.
Getting routines for food, eating, and washing dishes every night on the back deck. Naps, listening to the creaks and sounds of the boat and the sea. It was fun to think what everyone else has been doing these weeks, coming and going, all while we've been sitting in the same 400 square feet the whole time, day and night. Listening to hundreds of hours of music, and I think we've sat around and discussed every imaginable subject under the sun. Twice. We actually ran out of things to say and sat for many hours thinking. and thinking.
So we thought we'd try and break down the crossing by the numbers and have some laughs......
~ Meals made at sea: 55
~ Miles Sailed: 2165
~ Packages of wet wipes for cleaning, diapers, spills, etc: 28 PACKAGES!!
~ Boxes of cereal: 21
~ Pounds of fruit consumed: 19
~ Fish caught: 5
~ Fish needed: 3 :)
~ Chocolate bars consumed: 27
~ Rain Squalls: 8
~ Rolls of toilet paper consumed: 51!
~ Sudoku puzzles solved: 56
~ Books read: unknown
~ Gallons of diesel used: 26
~ Gallons of water for cooking, cleaning AND drinking: 122
~ Hours spent in the cockpit: 512