It is now 48 hrs since we left Svalbard in our wake. These hours have been spent slowly getting into the rhythm of offshore sailing. Our entire world is condensed into four hour watches. These four long hours are spent grimly holding the wheel of the yacht while the weather of the moment passes us by. After these four hours in the elements we get a brief reprieve while we huddle in front of the heater with a mug of hot chocolate (spiced liberally with scotch in the case of the last), before crawling into a narrow cot to be rocked to sleep. Only to be awoken again after an all to brief slumber for the next watch.
Our visual world has also been condensed into a bubble as for the entire crossing we have been escorted by a heavy fog – all we see is a small ring of water painted in shades of grey that slowly fades into white. Of course within this small bubble of visibility we have fulmars and an occasional puffin or guillemot to keep us company. But it seems a very empty ocean out here. The only sign of human life we have seen in fact is some strange floating scientific array that may just as easily have landed from outer space as to have been tossed into the ocean by our own species.