Greta Thunberg, Nikki Henderson and La Vagabonde’s Atlantic progress (update)

Greta Thunberg hitched a lift on board La Vagabonde (belonging to YouTubers, Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitlum) when the location for the UN climate conference changed due to unrest in Chile. Now two weeks into the voyage, and over halfway in distance (not time), MIN checks in with Nikki Henderson, for an update of life onboard the all vegan boat.

“Riley and I essentially run La Vagabonde two handed during the hours of darkness,” says Nikki on her facebook page.  “Elayna, Svante and Greta get their rest so that they are able to take charge of life onboard – cooking, cleaning, babysitting and so on in the day –  as well as giving us a hand on deck. It’s a good healthy balance.

“Riley and I rotate in solo shifts. For the first week or so when it was colder and we were acclimatising into shortened sleep cycles, we rotated two on two off. Now we have relaxed into a three hour watch cycle which allows for more sleep and also time to really get into the groove of the watch.

“We move our sleeping quarters to the saloon berth for the night, so as not disturb anyone. Most importantly we can wake each other up if we need a hand. There are specific jobs onboard that are much easier quicker and safer with two, such as reefing, or rolling away a spinnaker. Naturally these always tend to reveal other issues – lines getting twisted, other niggly things needing sorting – so a five-minute reef can easily turn into a 30-minute affair.

“Night times can be the best times at sea. After a hot cup of coffee or other means to really wake up – in Riley’s case add in a few press-ups or squats to get his heart rate going – it’s down to business. Amongst watching the weather (the wind patterns) checking GRIB flies and adjusting sails and course accordingly, it’s a wonderfully peaceful part of the day.

“We have made a significant dent towards completing our mission. Every day now – after crossing our halfway point (as the crow flies) – we are sailing closer to land, to our families and friends, and to the COP so that this incredible young woman [Greta] can continue spreading her world-changing message.

“Can you believe in this wide expanse of ocean that we sailed within visual distance of four cargo ships and a fishing boat a few days ago? It’s sort of nice to have the company,  to know we aren’t the only ones out here . But it’s also strange, to feel like our little private bubble isn’t as private as we thought.”

“The sea state is a bit choppy,” says La Vagabonde’s Facebook page, “but we’re averaging 10 knots boat speed right now, so zipping over half of it. Top speed of 22.8 for this trip.” This isn’t, apparently, La Vagabonde’s record but it’s close.

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