12 Days at Sea

I’ve been crying. Not because I’m sad, but because I found something amazing. Something I didn’t know existed until today.

Back in 2011, we left the island of Corvo, Azores on our small yacht.

Blue hydrangea of Corvo

Anchored in corvo azoresAfter a year of travelling by sea, we were homeward bound.  At least Dan was. I didn’t actually have a home. Our journey home saw us spend 12 days at sea. 11 days and 6 hours to be precise and my memories of that time are somewhat blurred by the overwhelming emotion of fear and  feelings of mild melancholy.

You might think it was a fear of the sea, but you’d be wrong. Indeed, it’s vital to have a healthy fear and respect for the world’s mighty oceans. My fear however was of something else, something else entirely. It was about moving to a new home in a new country with a man I’d met only 7 months earlier.

These were the days I didn’t write about, the days I COULDN’T write about. You see, I had become an adventurer. I had sailed to the Arctic glaciers of Norway. I had crossed the Atlantic Ocean, sailed both sides of the equator and even dealt with pirates. Adventurers do not feel fear. I couldn’t be afraid. I said nothing. I wrote nothing.

So there I go, rambling on again and I haven’t told you what I found. Well, I was rooting around in Dan’s laptop for some photos of Dorset when I stumbled across a folder named ‘Trip Home’. Inside, was some wonderful video footage of that trip. The silhouette of Corvo shown as Dan voiced his thoughts: “We are sad to be leaving these beautiful islands of the Azores. This is the last sight of land we will have for possibly 10 days…” The narcissist in me is disappointed that I barely feature in any of it, yet completely understandable as we were sailing a watch pattern of 3 hours on and 3 hours off – essentially sailing alone most of the time. And that is the reason I never knew it existed. While I lay sleeping, he was filming.

And why would I be crying?

The reason is this: I had forgotten the joy I felt, the fun we had and the love and trust we both had for each other as we set off on our longest sailing trip together – a voyage to Hamble, England. I discovered that Dan spent hours filming dolphins and captured at least a few extraordinary moments. In one clip, I can be heard talking complete nonsense about the 12 Days of Christmas and getting a fit of the giggles.

Reliving the journey through video clips has brought me great pleasure, and it is a relief to realise that I really did have fun. And that is why I am crying.

azores to hamble 12 Days at Sea

dolphin 1 jumping dolphin 4 dolphins Azores

passing the needles in background after 11 days from azores to england

nightfall approaching England

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a 'modest explorer'. Nothing modest about me.


  1. Paula Chantler

    Beautiful, both in content and in sentiment….
    Brought a lump to my throat….
    You have come such a long way since that initial foray into the big wide world meraid…! You most definitely are a born adventurer…
    It just took you a while to grow into your true self…!
    Don’t you ever change hun…! 😉 xx

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