Christoph Vougessis is in the journey of his life. This 19 year old german born sailor departed Hamburg port in July 2016, to brave the rough Atlantic waves on board of his 22ft. (Yes, you read it right: 22 feet) sailboat “Shalom”.
Journeying south, through the Canaries and the Cape Verde archipelagos, he made way to the Caribbean island of Martinique, completing his first transatlantic crossing in 21 days, with the invaluable help of his trusty windpilot.
Turning back, he sailed solitaire to the Azores and reached Horta June the 23rd, after a 35 day journey, in which he had to face a lot of strong winds, from the same storm, that caused havoc in the Ostar race and sunk several sailboats, earlier this month of June.
The thought of the various dangers of sailing solitaire in such a small boat through the risky Atlantic, doesn’t seem to concern him. He tells us: It’s a good boat, heavy on the water. And in fact his Hurley 22, a British design from the mid-sixties, has proven more than once to be a sturdy and reliable boat. The first leg of his journey, from Germany to Cape Verde, proved that he had the seamanship skills to attempt the crossing and to face the dangers of the open ocean.
The length of his stay in Faial is yet undefined. As with many a Yachtsmen to enter Horta’s harbour, he’s doing some necessary repairs on his boat, taking a indispensable rest from the rough crossing and pondering his next heading.
With the smile of his unmistakable youth, he tells us: “who knows where will I be off to next? It’s still soon to come back home. Maybe I’ll just stay here for a while…”
The small cabin makes for a very constricted living quarters, but Christoph doesn’t seem to mind it, having made out of the small 4 meter cabin his home for the last 10 months. A Jamaican flag and some bank notes from the various countries he visited make the perfect decoration for a voyage that is it’s own destiny. Above his bunk he wrote the mantra of his new life: “Keep Going”.