Other Information

What does "Ainoa" mean?
Ainoa is a female name originally from the north of Spain. Nobody knows for sure the meaning, but some experts say it means "tierra fertil", or fertile land.

Why solo and not with people?
That was always my dream, to do this alone; just me against the seas. It is a personal challenge. Besides, the responsibility of having a crew and put them through this would've been a big burden for me.

What are the risks in this trip?
There are many risks involved with any ocean crossing. Weather is one of the most important ones, which affects the size of the seas. The Atlantic ocean is known for its bad weather and rough seas. Any long time cruising exposes you to weather that you cannot completely forecast before departing. Besides weather, exhaustion is also a big risk, since very often, getting a good rest is out of the question. This becomes even worse when solo sailing, of course. Also, there is the risk of collision with bigger ships, icebergs, sleeping whales, or floating containers (around 10,000 containers fall to the sea every year from ships).

How many people have done these crossings?
It is difficult to say. Many have done these crossings with crew, but not that many alone. I may be the first Spaniard named Mario, sailing a boat called Ainoa, to ever cross the Atlantic alone...  
;-)

Why are the westbound and eastbound routes different?
The Atlantic currents and prevailing winds go eastbound in the north above the Azores, and westbound below the Canary Islands and close to the tropics. You don't want to go against these currents and winds, specially in a sailboat. The center area left by these eastbound and westbound currents and winds, which one may think as the best straight route, is an area of no winds or very unpredictable weather, and therefore bad waters to sail.

Are you planning any stops?
If all goes as planned, I am planning a stop in Bermudas on my eastbound trip, and a stop in the Canary Islands on my westbound trip. I am also considering to have my family meet me at the Caribbean for a vacation in that area.

Do you stop to go to sleep?
No, you don't stop. When it is time to rest, the autopilot will be responsible of maintaining the course, and the radar of keeping a watch of the surroundings. If the autopilot loses course or the winds shift considerably requiring adjustments, a series of alarms will wake me up. Likewise, if the radar detects any target closer than a predefined range, an alarm will warn me of such situation.

Why is your final destination Malaga?
Malaga is where I am from. Malaga is a province in the south of Spain by the Mediterranean, which coast is known as "La Costa del Sol", or coast of the sun, due to its great sunny weather.

Would you be disappointed if you cannot succeed or if you quit?
Not at all. I am very aware of how challenging and how high this goal is. To me, trying is succeeding, so if I quit because it is too much for me, I will be fine with that. I won't be fine with not trying at all and go the rest of my life with the doubt of what if...

What are you most afraid of in this trip?
The unpredictable, which can be a lot. The only thing I can do about it is to minimize risks, but I know I cannot eliminate them completely.

What are you most excited for in this trip?
To get closer to my final destination in Spain, and see my family and friends waiting there for my arrival. Also, to make a satellite phone call to my family when I am at the center of the Atlantic.

Would you have a way to communicate?
Yes, I will have email and satellite phone, besides short distance communications with the marine radios.

Would you have ground support?
Yes, general ground support such as web maintenance, tracking, and weather will be provided by SailSupport.com. Also, I will have medical ground support provided by Dr. Scott Eisman.