A Remarkable 60 Day Adventure Across the Atlantic Ocean
James Briggs realised a dream when he journeyed across the vast, tumultuous length of the Atlantic Ocean. Told by the man himself, this extraordinary tale follows his adventures on a 48 foot catamaran over the course of a 60 day journey. Read on, because a modern day voyage awaits…
The Journey Begins
Captain Nolan’s cautious-yet-kind eyes spoke of adventure as he ushered me onto the catamaran that would be my home for the next 60 days. In hindsight, I wish I’d known the adventure that was about to unfold – maybe I wouldn’t have been as nervous stepping foot onto the deck.
Goodbye Cape Town, I’m going to miss you, but don’t stress I’ll be back in two months! Then – in what felt like an instant – we were off across the wide ocean with our sights firmly set on the horizon, our only guidance being a pod of friendly dolphins. The journey had officially begun!
The first stop on our transatlantic crossing was an island situated an impressive 70 kilometers from Cape Town. It felt almost anticlimactic, but I soon realised that Dassen Island was a haven for spear fishing, and as luck would have it, the yellow tail were running. We spent the entire morning spear fishing and getting to know each other. Marley, the Captain’s girlfriend, just happened to be a qualified dive instructor which meant she kicked my butt when it came to catching fish.
Just 70 km out of Cape Town, and I was already feeling like this was going to be the adventure of a lifetime.
One thing I’ve found truly phenomenal is that in the middle of nowhere – hundreds of miles from the nearest piece of dry land – there is still an abundance of bird life. Unfortunately, I found this out the hard way after I’d turned my back on my morning coffee and Ouma Rusks. When I turned back, a pirate seagull the size of a cat swooped down and claimed it’s biscuit bounty. Needless to say, I was much smarter with my rusk treasure from then on.
Clouds traversed the skies above an unending Atlantic Ocean. No longer did they carry rain or herald a dangerous storm, but instead added spots of colour to an otherwise grey ocean. Awe-inspiring.
Dorado (also called Mahi Mahi) are one of the most exciting offshore fish in the Atlantic Ocean. We’d often set up a drag line in the hopes of hooking one of these majestic beauties. I remember this particular day of fishing more that the rest because I caught my first ‘drag fishing’ fish.
Note to self: Seagulls love Dorado more than my Ouma Rusks!
“The world is a book and if you do not travel you read only one page.” – St. Augustine
I’m ticking things off on my ‘bucket list’ that I never knew I wanted to do. Today we stopped the boat and I swam across the Equator!
After two months crossing the Atlantic Ocean, battling ferocious storms, witnessing majestic sea creatures, saving lives, and making two lifelong friends along the way, we’ve reached our final destination – the picturesque island of Tortola.
This has been a journey I’ll never forget, a journey that I’d do again in a heartbeat. Thank you all for following my adventure, it’s been truly epic!
– James Briggs