When the Going Gets Tough, the Sea Gets Rough (and Wilson Takes the Wheel!)

Leaving Les Sables-d’Olonne that day, we navigated not just waves, but also a lesson learned the hard way – sometimes, common sense trumps ambition. The Biscay, notorious for its temper, lived up to its name in ways we couldn’t have imagined. Hour by hour, the weather escalated, the playful swells morphing into monstrous mountains of water. Ships seeking safe harbor instead of open seas became a chilling omen we hadn’t understood then.

My stomach was the first to betray me, followed swiftly by Damjan’s. The next three days were a blur of churning seas, relentless nausea, and sheer determination. Food became an enemy, my last meal – an ill-fated egg omelet – making a reappearance moments later. Swearing off eggs forever seemed a small price to pay.

While Damjan fared slightly better, the toll was evident. Reaching the end of the Biscay felt like crossing an endless desert. At times, our 2500 RPMs struggled to push us above 0.5 knots against the towering waves. It was a slog that made every passing minute feel like an eternity.

Exhaustion gnawed at both our bodies and our spirits. Sleep and a decent meal were essential, but with land still distant, we looked to our ever-reliable companion – Wilson. Yes, you read that right. Wilson, our trusty volleyball, named after the Cast Away star, wasn’t just a ball; he was a silent friend, a confidante, and a symbol of resilience.

And guess what? In a moment of pure exhaustion and humor, we decided to let Wilson take the wheel (figuratively, of course!). There he was, perched on the helm, facing the storm with a stoic, albeit slightly lopsided, expression. It was ridiculous, yes, but in that absurdity, we found a much-needed laugh, a momentary escape from the relentless pressure.

Relying on Wilson during this challenging time wasn’t just about humor. It was a reminder that even in the darkest moments, there’s always something to hold onto, a reason to smile. It shifted our perspective, reminding us that resilience comes in many forms, even a grinning volleyball companion.

We conquered the Biscay, battered but not broken. And as we sailed towards calmer waters, we knew one thing for sure: we would never underestimate the power of a good friend, whether made of flesh and blood or stitched fabric. This experience has made us more cautious, more attuned to the weather, but it hasn’t dampened our adventurous spirit. In fact, it’s fueled it further, knowing that even the roughest seas can be navigated with a little grit and a whole lot of heart (and maybe a volleyball captain).

Stay tuned for more of our adventures as we chart our course into uncharted waters, with Wilson always by our side (or rather, on the helm!)

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