Lesliana’s Antarctic adventure with Global Surveyor: Dreams to Thoughts to Experience

Dreams to Thoughts to Experience – The importance of having a vision

As the end of the year is approaching, I believe it is time to look back in order to plan the upcoming goals.

Spring 2022: I visited one of the lands I enjoy the most: Scotland. As always when I travel, I set myself goals. My aim for my Spring trip was to succeed in obtaining my YM Offshore license.

That Spring, I discovered a whole new area to sail in and an excellent team offering more than sailing lessons – this company, Go West Sailing – also organises adventures such as trips to Antarctica and Greenland. Meeting these sailors face to face and hearing about icebergs, wildlife and treacherous waters to sail through ignited a spark in me. I too – wished to experience this first hand and cross the Drake passage.

December 2022 came and I found myself embarking on an adventure of a life time. I had so many questions: what to bring to Antarctica, how to prepare myself mentally to crossing the Drake passage, who was going to be part of the expedition, how was i going to get along with them ? I remember looking at the map of Antarctica and imagining myself there. I could hardly believe it was going to happen.

Despite all the unknown territory, I knew why I was doing this. I wanted to experience this first hand, see it for myself and test my limits as an experienced sailor. As I regularly organise sailing trips on the Mediterranean, I wish to provide the best experience for the people who accompany me and I consider knowing how I cope in extreme situation as part of the deal.

We departed just after Christmas from Ushuaia on Global Surveyor (70ft steel hull yacht), first passing through the Beagle Channel, and then rounding Cape Horn. Shortly after this, it was my time to be on watch and people were laughing at me wondering why I had ski goggles on. As it began to hail, and the icy water from the spray of the waves started showering us, everyone wanted the Swiss ski goggles for their next watch.

As we sailed down South, it started getting colder and colder and quickly we experienced never-ending days and the midnight sun. I found myself celebrating New Year 2023 in the middle of a storm somewhere between Cape Horn and the South Shetland Islands. This will be hard to beat.

In order to safely sail these waters, team cohesion is of extreme importance. Everyone has responsibilities and has to fulfil their duties in order for things to flow. I will always remember my teammates and how we supported each other during the trip. One of them joined me for a sailing trip in Greece this April and we are planning to sail together again soon. I am forever thankful for the bonds created during this journey.

As key take-away from this trip: Having a clear vision and striving to bring it to life. There will be highs and lows – but no matter what, if you keep your goal in mind and keep on going forward, you will succeed.

What are your goals for 2024?

Posted in Antarctica, Global Surveyor, Offshore Sailing Adventures, Sailing Stories.

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