Eight Days on the Atlantic

Tomorrow, I will set sail from Gran Canaria, hopefully cross the Atlantic Ocean in eight days and arrive at Salvador de Bahia in Brazil on 26 November 2015.

The ship with which I embark on this adventure is the Sovereign, a cruise ship being relocated from the Mediterranean to South America and on which I therefore managed to catch an inexpensive ride.


But before you all turn green with envy, let me tell you landlubbers that the Atlantic is different from the Mediterranean not only in size. That would be like calling a lion a larger squirrel. No, the Atlantic Ocean is ferocious, deep, dangerous and the grave of thousands who attempted this passage before me. The most dangerous time is in November, when the winter storms are on a rampage and every sensible captain stays at home.

Forget your cruise clichés! It will rather look like this:

atlantic storm

Or take a look at this video

and imagine this thunderous rocking for eight long days! And eight nights, when you won’t even see the incoming waves before they crash over your head. My longest ship passages thus far have been in the English Channel and even there I was scared during the storms, although I could have swum to Britain or France in an emergency. In the Atlantic I will be thousands of miles from the nearest shore. Any rescue mission would come too late.

This is what the inside of the ship will look like:

How am I supposed to go to the bathroom like this?

No wonder that our emigrated European ancestors never dared to return to Europe. After this week, I will probably stay away from the high seas for a long time, too.

In the last months I have talked a lot about this crossing, and the first reactions I receive fall mostly into three different categories: 1. “Wow, this is great! Are there still any tickets?” 2. “Oh, oh, do you have some medicine against sea-sickness?” 3. “Will you have internet there?” – The last question always knocks my socks off. Seriously? Someone is emigrating, with only one backpack, to a continent where he has never been before, without any fixed plans of returning, without a job, without any security, on a ship, across the Atlantic Ocean, and some people’s first question is the one about internet? This internet thing has to be really addictive.

I, for my part, shall enjoy the eight days of seclusion. I am curious what this will do to me, whether it will become boring, or whether I will use the time for reading, if there are interesting people among the passengers and the crew, if the weather and the ocean are always the same or if they differ from day to day, what kind of thoughts I will develop in such an environment, and so on.

So you won’t read anything from me in the coming eight days. But don’t worry! If such a large ship sinks, it will be in the news. As long as there is nothing in the news, everything will be fine. – On the other hand, it won’t be in the news if only one passenger falls overboard. Mhh, well, anyway don’t worry!

Film recommendations for this week: The Perfect Storm, Titanic and The Poseidon Adventure.

(Auf Deutsch.)

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in Brazil, Spain, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Eight Days on the Atlantic

  1. msplumball says:

    Here’s hoping you enjoy good food, good books, stimulating conversations and most of all, calm seas! A great adventure awaits, I’m sure!

    • Thank you!
      I did indeed pack plenty of good books in case the conversations with fellow passengers won’t be interesting enough.

  2. Pingback: Acht Tage auf dem Atlantik | Der reisende Reporter

  3. erika says:

    Have a nice trip, Andreas. Remember that even Colombo didn’t expect to find an amazing place after his crazy plans about going to East (then, he finally discovered America :) )

  4. gabe says:

    Bon voyage! Look forward to hearing about it. You always have such interesting posts. (So, yes, I do hope you have internet!) Stay safe and healthy.

  5. List of X says:

    Good luck. And I’m guessing there’s internet, because I can’t imagine a large cruise ship without it.

  6. Libs says:

    If you are unable to go to the bathroom while the ship moves, you could buy adult diapers!!

  7. Buen viaje! See you on the other side.

  8. snart says:

    Good luck Andreas!

  9. Wendy says:

    Wish you good luck! Can’t wait to read more stories about your new adventures in Brazil.

    • Thank you!
      At the moment, I am so positively overwhelmed by Salvador that I haven’t even had time to write. But soon enough, I will hopefully find a quiet place and share my observations about Brazil.

  10. Hello Andreas, I hope you have survived the crossing! All the best

    • Yes, it was absolutely smooth. After two uneventful days, I even longed for a storm. But nothing. The Atlantic was calmer than some rivers I have seen. Very mysterious.

  11. elise says:

    wondering how it all went?

    • Very, very well. Absolutely smooth sailing, the ocean was calmer than my bathtub.
      And the cruise was really relaxing. I had plenty of books with me, so I easily could have stayed another month. I did not miss the land at all.

  12. Lou-ter-Lou says:

    Apparently, you didn’t drown :-D calm oceans, pools and books, I would’ve stayed on that ship :-P

    • I could have stayed for months if the company had offered the same rate, but the special offer was only available for the Atlantic crossing. Now the ship is cruising up and down the Brazilian coast for the next few months. But then, probably the ship will be less quiet with lots of Brazilian passengers. :-)

  13. Christine says:

    And now: where is the report about what it was like in reality, my friend? Calm sea all the time, lots of sun, fun and mojitos for the accompanying passengers, deck parties, interesting conversations and all this digital-nomad-bumbledom…;-)

    Enjoyed meeting and talking to you – you definitely have something to say!
    Will follow your blog – maybee meetup again somewhere somewhen.

    • Like you say, it was a surprisingly calm and smooth ride, with no bump or big wave whatsoever. Almost disappointing. But very relaxing and soothing, too.

      As always, my full report will be published months after the event. Let’s hope it won’t be years. :-)

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