~ Hitchhiking across the Atlantic Part 3 ~ 21:12pm – Arrival in Mindelo, CV

A warm hello from Mindelo, Cape Verde. We arrived here today after a nine day trip. What happened during our Leg II from Tenerife to Cape Verde might you wonder? Continue reading, you are about to find out…

Atlantic Sailing Julia Flow

04.01.2021 Day 6 of the passage with destination Cape Verde
Starting today I can say I SUPed with a whale – in the middle of the Atlantic, in 3000m deep waters… It happened like this. We had a calm today. Since setting sails wasn’t an option, we made it a swim day. My new favourite color is the color of the blue sky reflecting in the soft ocean waves. It is a powerful and beautiful experience, swimming amidst a gentle ocean without land in sight.
I became friends with a tiny color-intense steel blue fish. It wasn’t afraid of me at all – I could play with it and brought my hands merely centimeters away from its body, even touching it gently sometimes. Yet I do wonder what does one two centimetres wide fish do all by itself in the middle of the ocean 3000 metres above ground?

Atlantic Sailing Julia Flow

In the afternoon I sat crosslegged on the captain’s stand-up paddling board (SUP), circling around Ema in some meters distance. I meditated on the waves. And that was when I heard it. The deep primal sound of a whale, directly next to the SUP I was sitting on! I felt a mixture of awe and humbleness wash over me. An overpowering instinctive knowingness hit me of this grand creature’s superiority and me being merely a transient guest in its realm. I am very grateful for this experience.
During the SUP excursion I encountered a range of peculiar tiny sea creatures I have never seen nor heard of before. For example a sea snail of no more than one centimeter size, floating on the water surface with her purple house, docked onto what looked like a transparent shell of a shrimp. When I carefully shovelled her onto the SUP with a heap of water to get a closer look, the snail shot purple ink through the transparent „shrimp body“. I gently put her back into the ocean. The water was imbued with myriads of tiny plankton pieces, possibly those ones that light up at night where the waves crash onto the ship body? Seeing them in daylight and up close, they looked like a cell looks like under a microscope.

Atlantic Crossing Julia Flow

During night shift

I just saw dolphins. They look just like these cheesy fantasy motives printed on jigsaws or wallpapers that show dolphins glowing in the dark. I once owned two 1000 piece jigsaws of such fashion myself. One showed a wolf sitting on a mountain top, howling lonely at the moon. The other one illustrated two dolphins swimming through purple-colored waters, softly grinning at the contemplator. Well, as I learned today, turns out that this is not mere fiction of a romantic dreamer, this motive actually is on view in real life. In the life of those who dare setting their sails across oceans. Incredibly magical. Indeed, this scenery was mine to observe under a most mesmerizing night sky filled with an abundant quantity of twinkling stars…

The rest of the journey went rather quiet on the outside.
On the inside however, utterly growing pains arose and remained an ever-present company, first stirred by the oceans powerful embrace leading the body and mind to remember and react to the waves and stored emotional imprints they brought up from deep inside, yet fueled by the passive-aggressive disharmony slowly emerging among the crew about minor divergences which can reach an incomparable heaviness when sharing a constantly rocking living space on a boat of 13 meters length.

The final arrival in the bustling city of Mindelo comes both as sweet escape as well as overwhelming contrast to the quiet life surrounded by oceanic nature. I look forward to setting foot on new grounds.

Mindelo, Cape Verde-Julia Flow Photography