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What do you think about for weeks at sea? A Maiden blog by Heather Thomas

At sea we experience a multitude of conditions, sometimes in a matter of days such as in this passage! We have gone through crashing upwind through the waves, where mother nature is truly telling you who is boss and keeping us all on our toes to calm seas and downwind breezes, where mother nature gives us a chance to catch our breath (and air out the boat) 

A lot of people ask me what I think about for days and weeks on end at sea. And to be honest its mostly about sail and course adjustment, the level of the bilges, when I next need to run Neptune (our watermaker). I also think about my wonderful family and friends but there is one subject that I ponder more then others. That subject is the incredible power and wonder of ‘mother nature’

Days like today- beautiful downwind sailing with a following sea- you can’t help but be at awe of the power of the sea, picking us up with one wave and propelling us forward with such undeniable force, then dropping us just as quickly. A feeling that brings a grin to the face of even the most seasoned sailor.

There are also stunning night watches, where you are graced with a blanket of stars, too many to count and find yourself mesmerised by the beauty of the sky. You can’t help but wonder how many other people around the world are thinking the same thing looking at the same twinkling lights. The shooting stars that give us a smile and let us wish for wind in the right direction, and for our boots to finally dry out.

There is also the beauty of the sea life around and below us. We had a watch a couple of nights ago, in the pitch-black night before the moon had risen, our entire wake was lit up by the brightest luminous plankton I have ever seen! Mother nature had once again given us perfect conditions to see such a wonder. All too soon, the moon rose (which was spectacular in its own right) and the neon green light of the plankton faded. Earlier in that day, there was a few of us on the foredeck, putting away our staysail, when we heard a splash and saw a big pod of dolphins. These intelligent and graceful animals were just as excited to see us and were playing with the wake off our bow. No matter how many dolphins you see at sea they still bring a smile to your face.

So I come back to the question at hand; What do you think about at sea? I guess the short answer is how incredibly lucky I am to have a font row seat to some of most spectacular sights and thankful to mother nature for bringing us such a diverse and wonderful world and I can’t wait to update you all on all of the other amazing things we experience.

Sailing is in Heathers’ blood, coming from a long line of mariners. Growing up in Otley, West Yorkshire, the sea was not close by, so Heather began her journey, dinghy sailing at the local lake, Otley Sailing Club, encouraged by her father. The Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation gave Heather her first taste of ocean sailing, with a bursary to compete in the Pacific Leg of the 15/16 Clipper Round the World Race. She has since worked in a variety of roles and vessels in the marine industry- from flotilla skipper to teaching young people in the Caribbean.

Maiden has been a big inspiration to Heather throughout her sailing career, so to sail on her is a dream come true. Heather looks forward to inspiring young girls to dream big, a value that was instilled in her by her parents, who continue to be her biggest supporters.