CHAGUARAMAS: The Underveis and her crew have crossed the Atlantic, and our first world ocean has been traversed. A big relief for us, even though the passage went relatively smooth.
First world ocean conquered

After a few days the wind failed, so we had to set a more southern course than planned. Then the halyard to our gennaker ripped with a bang, due to some sharp edges up in the mast. Finn Olav had to go up in the mast and check, but nothing could be done before we reached shore again. All of this made us lose speed, and had to go further than planned, around 3050 miles altogether. But the days flew by, and we entered into the daily routines quickly. We did 6 hour shifts, and tried to arrange for one shift off for each of us at nighttime, so we could get some serious sleep. Then we cooked, did the dishes, watched a movie or listened to music. Read books and worked on our computers. Also an absurd experience, in the middle of the blue prairie.

Every morning we could walk onto the front deck and pluck us a few flying fish. We fried them and ate them on sandwiches with onion and spices. They had landed on our deck the night before. Boy, did some fresh food taste good, especially the last two weeks! From we left Las Palmas to we approached Tobago, we observed a total of three ships. None of them on the high seas. When considering the extensive maritime activity crossing the Atlantic, this is a serious indicator to the sheer size of the ocean. We encountered a couple of short deep sea gales, but nothing serious. We reefed down and surfed away. The trade winds blowing from Africa to the Caribbean saw to it that we closed in on the far shores bit by bit, every day. After 27 days and nights on the high seas, Finn Olav raised Tobago in the horizon. We had done it! The last 100 miles in to Trinidad and Chaguaramas, we fantasized about ice cream, fresh vegetables and cold soda.

The northern inlet into Trinidad is called the Dragons mouth, and there is a lot of strong currents and cliffs there. On the starboard side lies Venezuela, that looked incredibly fertile and green to us. Also in Trinidad, the rainforest was bulging down towards the sea, and plants were dipping into the salty water. On the evening on the 11th of May, we dropped anchor outside Power boats Marina. We lowered the dinghy and raced straight to the nearest beach restaurant. There we ordered appetizers, two main courses, two desserts and two liters of Coke each. A lovely feeling.

Chaguaramas bay, Trinidad, 02.09.2007
WATER OVER OUR HEADS: Hygiene is important when sailing across the oceans and live closely together. Some creativity is required, and you can be sure that a cooling shower in the sunshine did us a lot of good. Even though the water temperature reached up to 30 degrees centigrade...
ATLANTIC OCEAN: Underveis has impressed us from day one with her strength, her stiffness and her reliability. She is a darling to sail, and whenever she decides to surprise us, it is always in a positive manner. 3050 miles across the high seas, and she was parading like a royal guard.

# Total area: 76.762 million sq km

# Lowest depth: Milwaukee Deep in the Puerto Rico Trench - 8,605 m

# Total Coastline: 111,866 km

# Fraction of world ocean: 28%

# The Atlantic Ocean is the youngest of the world's oceans - it was formed in the Jurassic Period.

# Many of the great rivers of the world flow into the Atlantic, so that it receives water from about half the world's land area.

# The Atlantic was the first world ocean to be crossed by ship and the first ocean to be crossed by aeroplane. And now it is the first to have been traversed by S/Y underveis!

# The Sargasso Sea is the saltiest part of the Atlantic. The seaweed of the Sargasso Sea is believed to live for hundreds of years; maybe some alive today were seen by Columbus who sailed through the sea on his way to America.

# An estimated 80% of all life on earth is found under the ocean surface and the oceans contain 99% of the living space on the planet. Less than 10% of that space has been explored by humans. 85% of the area and 90% of the volume constitute the dark, cold environment we call the deep sea.

# The oceans cover 71% of the Earth's surface and contain 97% of the Earth's water. Less than 1% is fresh water, and 2-3% is contained in glaciers and ice caps.
Life began in the seas 3.1 billion to 3.4 billion years ago. Land dwellers appeared 400 million years ago, relatively recently in geologic time.

(Sources: World info zone, Atlantic ocean)

HORIZON: With a steady course set for the horizon and the promised land that we knew was waiting somewhere far beyond the endless, blue prairie. Every day we would eek our way slowly but surely some 100-120 miles closer to our destination.
WATCH: Our brand new autopilot impressed us. 28 days practically continously working, and without any problems. After having handsteered since Lerwick, it was wonderful finally to be able to sit and relax also when we were having rudder watches.
MAINTENANCE: Some minor things fell apart during our voyage across. Here, one of the side supports have to be secured before we can get ashore and conduct a proper repair. Senior Fixit takes the job, and Rune is looking at. A very good an sensible way to share the workload!
OFF DUTY: Rune is off duty and lies in his bunk fantasizing about the first meal of fresh meat that he will have as we reach land.
We set sails from Las Palmas on Friday 13th, no less. With favourable winds and good weather we surfed down towards the Cape Verde islands. Following six weeks in port, it was great to be back on track again. We both felt a little bit anxious about the thousands of miles that lay ahead of us. Underveis had never crossed a world ocean before. And neither had we. But with the ship in mint condition and high spirits, we set our course for the horizon, towards the unknown. We had been told that there would be some problems getting visas for Trinidad because of the upcoming World Championship in cricket, but we decided to go there nonetheless. There you can get things sorted on your boat, and it is cheap, cheap.

The first people to officially traverse the Atlantic ocean were Leiv Eriksson in 995 AD and Christopher Columbus in 1492. They endured their hardships and they were in unknown waters. We cannot say the same, equipped as we were with all sorts of modern equipment. We have GPS,electronic charts, satellite phone and so on. On a daily basis we received sms on Iridium, from friends and strangers. And we spoke to our families several times a week. A strange feeling, when sitting in a sailboat in the middle of the freaking Atlantic, surrounded by blue ocean and horizons everywhere.

We hadnt seen other people in four weeks, and over here are what must be some of the most beautiful people on earth. A feisty mix of African, Asian, Indian and European blood. We gazed in wonder, while the palm trees gently swayed in the cool evening breeze. Finally, we had reached the southern paradise! But duty first. We had to get the boat on shore, as the hurricane season was approaching rapidly. Finn Olav had to get home to Røst to work at Kårøya for the summer. But now we are in place again. Working, freelancing and getting ready to continue. We also have to decide where to go next, although we think we have decided to go through the Panama canal and into the Pacific.

DOZING: 28 days at sea means that there is some time available for doing what we do best: Doze.
ON WATCH: Grand admiral von Olsen at watch. Skip ohoi! The worst part about reaching land is the fact that we had to start relating to vlocks and calendars again.
SHAVING: A completely ordinary thing to be doing, but in a totally unordinary place. Anyone out there who has a better view from their bathroom?!?
SNACKS: Every morning the watch to be relieved could stroll across the front deck and pluck the days flying, fresh lunch. But usually we would fry the food first...
TERRA FIRMA: It took a couple of days before we could stand upright without assistance after having been at sea for four weeks. But we have done it, and the Atlantic ocean is now behind us!
AT ANCHOR: Underveis at anchor in Chaguaramas bay. Thousands of sailing vessels from all over the world sail by here every season on their way to Panama, South America, home to Europe or to the USA.
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