A while back a friend of mine wrote a post on her blog that was called “Love letter to my captain”. It was an acknowledgement of her appreciation of just how much work she realised her husband did on board when he needed to fly home to the States for a few months and all the boat work was left to her. Such things may seem sentimental but I’m now in a position to understand just what she meant.


For a long time now James and I have both been very comfortable with him being the skipper. This means that although we plan, discuss, consider and work out everything that we do on the boat together we also decided mutually that he should have the ultimate authority on board. That way we have a deciding vote in any conflict that could come up and it also makes more and more sense now that we have a child.


However, we always prefer to work as a team and have really enjoyed sailing together in this way.


But our Pacific crossing experience, from Mexico to the Marquesas, meant that James was compelled to advance his skipper role like never before and such gargantuan efforts to my mind deserve recognition.


First of all he got us there. By that I don’t mean the passage itself but I’m referring to the weeks and months spent slogging away at all the boat jobs of preparation necessary just to get us to the starting line. He took apart our steering quadrant, he fitted our Hydrovane wind vane from scratch, he wired in and fitted our new windlass, he installed our new solar panels, all while working down the ever-growing list of other sundry jobs that each required him to learn a brand new skill. All this without too much grumbling and all while still making dinner for his family most nights and having some time for me and Rocket. His motivation pushed us towards that first hop, from the marina slip to getting out to anchor at the North of Banderas Bay, Punta de Mita.


The jump itself was tough. Stronger seas than we’d hoped and planned for, flukier trade winds than predicted and slower speeds than we really wanted. Plus there is the fact that 26 days at sea, no matter how hard or smooth, are a real test of your talents as person, not to mention as a sailor. But really just the strength and power that he showed on the crossing when he always found that extra scrap of energy left to go up to the mast and reef, or play with the sail trim, or experiment with our cruising chute, put the fishing line out again, cook yet another tasty meal as well as being on almost constant watch took his skills of endurance to an altogether greater level. Put simply, without his efforts, we’d still be tied to the dock in La Cruz.


And yes it’s sentimental of me to say it but I’m really very proud of the skipper he’s become.