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Southern Spars

Atlantic Cup - Long, cold night for GryphonSolo2

by Joe Harris on 15 May 2013
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Greetings from the shivering occupants of GryphonSolo2, currently competing in the Atlantic Cup. We are just passing the mouth of Delaware Bay and pointed towards the New Jersey shore and then the bright lights of NYC.

We have been hard on the wind since yesterday afternoon when an anticipated wind shift into the NW occurred and allowed us to tack onto port and head in the right direction after spending all of Monday getting past Cape Hatteras and over to the Virginia shore. We tried to set ourselves up well for this wind shift by getting west and did succeed, but it appears that most of our competitors had the same idea and remain a bit ahead of us as we slog northward. We lost some miles during that nasty squall on the first night and in this very competitive fleet there is no easy way to earn them back. So we have to persevere and sail hard and see how things turn out.

The boat is hanging tough in the pounding but we do have a few leaks that will need to be addressed. The sun did come up this morning and everything seems brighter when that happens. So we will pound our way past Atlantic City and 'The Donald's' casinos on up to a finish in Manhattan's Lower West Side on the Hudson river, hopefully sometime tonight.

Some late night writing can be found below.

Happy day to Atlantic Cup GryphonSolo2 website

Bangin hard to windward.

Sleepy. Cold. Running the engine to charge and warm up. Cocoa. Check ballast. Check sails. Lie down in the cockpit and look at the stars. Think crazy thoughts, and Let them pass.

Riding the rocket. A class 40 going to windward at night in 18 knots. Foam flying. Not smashing and crashing through the waves. Controlled chaos. Harnessing the powers of the beast. Amazing the boat doesn't tip over.

Haiku. Tired. Warm engine box. Check the chat. Check the instruments. Going only seven knots. What is wrong? Trim. Adjust auto pilot to steer to larger wind angle. Check alternator charge -13.8 volts - 29 amps when charge started- now down to 59 after a half hour. Check. Back out on deck. Going too slow.
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