200 Plus

We have flirted a couple of times with the 200 miles/day goal, but finally today we have definitively and unequivocally broken through that barrier! Our noon to noon 24 hour run was 225 nautical miles. Yeah! Our average speed for the past day and a half has been an awesome 9.5 knots. Rides down the waves are routinely 12 knots, sometimes 14, occasionally 16, and twice 18. We left a couple hours behind the other boats because we had to complete a repair aloft, but we have passed them all. Blue Wind is the boat to beat. They were 20 miles ahead of us when we got out to open water, and they are now 15 miles behind. It was gratifying of course to sail past Tahawus last night — they’ve shown that they can sail pass us upwind, now we’ve shown what we can do downwind. But of course this is not a race…

We are sailing with a reefed mainsail and working jib. Winds are in the low 20’s, though it was blowing 30 just before dawn. That was a wild time, with the roar of the water rushing past the hulls, and the anticipation of the next wave lifting the sterns in the utter darkness. Then the push of the wave accelerating the boat, and guessing from that initial push what the speed would be in the seconds that follow. Can everything withstand the immense forces at play…? Mostly the sailing has been “smooth” in the sense of not crashing into waves, though occasionally one smacks under the bridge deck and shakes the boat with a lurch that would have seemed terrifying months ago, but which I would merely call nerve-wracking after what we have sailed through to get here.

I do not expect to be the first boat to Australia, because the wind is predicted to go light before we get there, and both Blue Wind and Tahawus go much faster than we do under power. (And they will switch to power much earlier than we will.) But we are very happy to have shown what we can do under sail! Six hundred miles to go to the passage through the Great Barrier Reef.

3 thoughts on “200 Plus”

  1. Go Zeke Go!
    Thinking about you in several regards.. Hurrican season in the Atlantic- does not affect you, phew!!!
    Refugees traveling from Middle East to Europe – thinking that you would assist in rescues if you were there. But this is not affecting you either…. Makes me ponder the hugeness of our planet & the seas. I am wondering.. Is this s topic of discussion amongst the sailors you speak with? Have not been reading your posts in a while, so I apologize if I missed the topic. Thanks & be well! xox

    Liked by 1 person

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