Jessie’s Mom here… providing an update for those of you who have been following her blog posts and wondering how their Atlantic crossing is going. Many many thanks to all of you who have helped her along the way – your support is much appreciated by a Mom who of course worries every nautical mile of her trip and who, after having forsaken any Divinity in the last 15 years, finds herself daily praying again!! Aaah, but all is well, as you shall see. Read on…

Since her last post coming through Iceberg Alley off the coast of Newfoundland, Jessie and Luke made it to St John’s, parked Desi in the commercial harbor for a few days then moved around the northeast end to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club, where they rested and prepped for their big departure day.

Early Monday morn June 26, at 3AM, the wind and weather conditions were right and they sailed out of Conception Bay up around the NE of Newfoundland and off across the north Atlantic!

A side note here to say thank god for the satellite garmin tracker, which enables us not only to track Desiree’s progress, but also provides text and email capability. It’s kept this proud but worried Mom sane!

Jessie writes:

DAY 1 text: Puffins. Breaching humpback whales. Visiting mini whales. Sunshine. 7 knots. Awesome iceberg driveby. Couldn’t have had a better send off.

DAY 2 text: Graveyard shift. Flat. Wind 6 knots. Spinnaker up. Stars incredible. Nothing around. Didn’t see any ice or boats today. Just whales and birds…it is cold! Water was about 36 degrees this morning. Air about the same. It’s warmed up a bit tonight. Probably another 200 miles till we are out of the Labrador Current. Praying it will warm up for night shifts.

Day 4 text: All is well. Had a gale since midnight, just now calming down. We saw 38 knots of wind and 10.6 knots boat speed. Making great time. Getting my sea legs.

Day 6 group email: (approx 700 miles across)  Morning. Running the engine for a while to charge things up. Typing on iPad which I suck at. Disregard errors. We have run the engine for roughly 11 hours since departing and have gone though 5 gallons of fuel. Tons to spare, almost another 40 gallons.

Day 6 and we have found a good rhythm. Finally feeling rested. Nausea is gone. Appetite is back. Have been able to take longer shifts, Luke has been letting me sleep like a princess and I do my best to return the favor. Almost once an hour he or I ( whoever is sleeping) wakes up and calls the other’s name in a slight panic to make sure the other is there. We tether in at night time, in rough weather, and when we go on deck. No on is going in the water.

We are out of the ice berg limit and passed the Labrador current. Water temps raised from 36 degrees to 56, along with the air temperature. Feels so good. We’re now riding the North Atlantic current (where the Labrador current and Gulf Stream meet) all the way to England.

We rode out our first gale on day 3/4. 38 knots of wind and surfing waves at 10.6 knots of speed. Boat was perfectly happy, forced us to hand steer for several hours each, just too much wind for Penny (self steering gear) to handle. Besides that she has helmed us over 500 miles. Best investment we made for this trip.

Following the gale there was no wind at all, but the swells remained. Spent nearly a day rocking around almost violently, sails flapping around with no wind. Haha made me want the gale to come back.

As you can imagine everything is a bit tricky. Cooking, sleeping, changing, going pee/poo, filling up water bottles, the simplest of tasks are very difficult but we tend to find it all kind of funny. I can’t manage to get food in my mouth most of the time and spill it everywhere. Luke mocks me and try’s to teach me how to eat. Luke can’t manage to fit into the bathroom in “urgent” times and I find it hysterical. All is well.

Another weather system is supposedly coming in tomorrow. We are ready for whatever at this point. More than a 1/4 of the way across, another 10 days is my guess. Until then most time is spent reading, writing, staring at wind instruments, staring at stars, staring at birds, and getting lost in phosphorescence. My mind hasn’t had much energy to travel far from water, food, sleep, and safety. It’s been basic survival mode. It took me 4 days to process that we had even left, and I finally had my moment – holy shit I am sailing across and ocean !!!!!!!!!!! And then the moment was gone and I ate and went to sleep.

Okay, more updates later. Don’t spend any time worrying back home. We are perfectly fine and Desiree is made for the ocean. Love you all.

– Captain jess & galley bitch Luke

Jessie getting organized

18 thoughts on “Update from Mom

  1. Mom, I’m praying for these guys, too & I’ve never met them! Love the updates. Love their adventurous spirit. You & Dad have done well raising jessiebrave!

  2. Claire-absolutely amazing! They are in our prayers. Trip sounds great-Jessie very confident. Please keep us updated!


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  3. Jessie’s Mom, Greetings! I hope to give you a hug one day. Bill and I met Jessie and Katie AND Katie’s Mom Sept 2012 as we left Northport MI-the day before they left-to begin the Great Loop. We were a set of the “Adult Supervision” that connected with each them for the next 2 years. I even got to sail on Desi when in Northport last Summer!!! Our daughters met Jessie summer of 2015 and confirmed her as an honorary sister!! My thoughts are with you as you follow their journey–yeah for GPS tracking.

  4. So happy to have received this update. We have been following them on the garmin tracker.
    We met them at the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club. Beautiful couple.

  5. Hey You Jess,

    I’m not sure if you get emails, but just in case … I’m following your every word … you couldn’t get any more descriptive … like I could almost smell the ice too… and the boat rocking in the swells with no wind … thinking about you guys trying to stay awake in the blackness, OMG Jess, your perseverance is deeper than a well and wider than the ocean. The sun has gone down at the cottage, the sky is still a little back lit with big billowy midnight blue clouds still visible. But the lake looks so dark and expansive and I try to imagine you in the middle of that never ending, dark unpredictable ocean. I pray multiple times in the day and night that God is with you and Luke… that you will be safe and we will be toasting your outrageously courageous crossing back on this side. Until then Jess, keep on posting and I will keep right on praying and believing all will be well.

    Love, Auntie Peggy

  6. This is so great! Thanks for sharing!

    -Elizabeth, Bill and Bonnie Sweeney’s daughter 🙂

  7. Filling your passage with great interest. I’ve never sailed in salt but it’s on the list. Safe travels from Grand Haven.

  8. Hi Jessie’s mom! My husband and I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Jessie and Katie at the Chicago boat show a couple of years ago and had been following them well before via their amazing blog. We are big fans and believe Jessie is not only incredibly brave but also immensely talented! As one mom to another, my heart has been going out to you for as long as I have been following their adventures. 🙂 Your heart must be bursting with pride. So cool you were able to join Jessie on a leg enroute to Montreal! We continue to pray everyday for a safe and happy journey for Jessie and Luke. So happy to hear you are also finding comfort in prayer. 🙏🏻
    Mary and Dane Larsen

  9. Ahhh..lovely to hear from your mom Jessie as I am a mom myself of an avid traveling gypsey daughter and love that you call your dad wizard – you are one fine woman your parents have so much to be proud of. Just love your writing and photographs – inspiring, moving and bring me right to where you are – safe travels

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