Blue sky, the sea is smooth and silvered, there is no wind at all, we can’t see anybody around us. It’s like someone has pinned us and our boat down in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! But we weren’t still we were drifting NNE at 1 knot , with all the sails down cause our engine was broken…so why we were dancing in the cockpit, bathing in the warm water, trying to tow the boat with our rowing dinghy?
Now after several months, I’m thinking about our Atlantic crossing, and the memories of that morning are the first things that come to my mind.
Let me start from the beginning, we left Guadalupe on the 5th of may, the trade wind was ESE, so we headed directly to Azores, after 2 days we saw on the weather fax chart that an hiigh pressure was raising just in front of our route; we decided to go through this small high even if we had to turn the engine on, we had plenty of fuel and that high wasn’t supposed to last long.
On the 4th day we went in the High pressure, the wind slowed down, so we started the engine but after 5 hours it stopped with a terrible sound.
We use to say that a diesel engine stops only for the lack of fuel, it wasn’t our situation, I found a big hole in the frame and two pieces of camshaft in the bilge. After the shock, I sent an email to our relatives to say “ok we are in the middle of the Atlantic with our engine broken, but we have the generator, a lot of food, we are in a sailing boat, so don’t worry.”
After 2 days of idling and drifting the wind came back so we focused on to sail Creuza de ma as fast as possible, cause we were supposed to join the Rolex Giraglia in 4 weeks and we were 4000 miles away from St. Tropez, without the engine!
That morning we were relaxed and happy cause the seaworthiness of our Swan 65 was our best insurance, she is a perfect blue water boat, we feel safe in her, and the crossing was incredibile…in 20 days we arrived in Cadiz, in less than a week we changed the engine and one month later we left Guadalupe we were in Saint Tropez, ready to sail in the Rolex Giraglia.