Please select your home edition
Edition
Flagstaff 2020 - Excess 11 - LEADERBOARD

Solo Round the World GryphonSolo2 – Week one

by Joe Harris - GryphonSolo2 on 23 Nov 2015
Spectacular view Joe Harris / GryphonSolo2
I am writing to try to recap the highlights and learnings from Week One of the projected 16-19 week solo, circumnavigation record attempt.

Departure: My departure on early Sunday morning from Newport Shipyard was filled with bittersweet emotions as I was very sad to leave my wife Kim and son Emmett on the dock. After wiping away some tears and taking a few minutes to collect myself, we pushed off the dock and before I knew it I was past Breton Reef bout and launched on a four month solo circumnavigation. Holy Shit Batman- be careful what you wish for! The feeling was kind of surreal, as if this were not really happening to me, and I would just sail to Block Island like usual and have a mudslide and fried calamari at the Oar. Not today sir.

Weather: We were absolutely pounded right out of the box and for the first five days with wind between 20 and 45 knots, luckily mainly from the North, so behind us. We were sailing really fast - 11-24 knots- and it made me remember what a fabulous boat I have- she just wants to pick up and go.

The lobster pot: As I feared, I snagged a large lobster pot buoy going 15 knots over the Continental Shelf in the middle of the first night out- nice. Luckily I had ordered my new Japanese Ginsu knife set while watching TV too late at night and was able to cut myself free- good thing- as otherwise I'd probably still be there- as I was not psyched to go scuba diving that night.

The accidental gybe in the Gulf Stream: My two nemeses are the Cape Cod Canal and the Gulf stream- bad stuff always seems to happen there.

In horrible cross sea conditions, the stern of the boat was picked up and tossed in such a way that the wind caught the mainsail on its opposite side and the traveler car came screaming across the boat and smashed a block while I waded around in knee deep water in the cockpit. Pretty scary.

To bring things full circle, after the storm blew itself out, I was becalmed for about four hours last night, but am now moving well again in an Easterly breeze that feels like trade winds but may just be the precursor. I decided to totally chill while becalmed rather than stress and watched two great movies: The Departed, with Dinero, Damon and Dicaprio and then Legends of the Fall with Brad Pitt- most enjoyable.

Observations:

1. The boat can handle just about anything with the right sail plan. With three reefs in the main and the ORC number four jib, we can handle up to 45 knots. The last move would be the fourth reef and storm jib, which would handle 50 knots and above. In the light stuff- we can match wind speed with the Code Zero on a beam reach- so this boat, equipped with great sails, really is the weapon of choice for this mission.

2. The water maker would not make water at the higher boat speeds as it could not get adequate suction to bring in salt water to convert to fresh. I was beginning to worry about this as I do not have near enough water onboard to make it around- but working on the advice of Josh Hall and Brian Harris, I ran a hose from the water maker to the leeward water ballast tank and allowed the unit to pull salt water from there and it ran beautifully and made about four gallons in four hours- setting my mind at ease.

3. The onboard environment: food has been good with breakfast of coffee and granola and blueberries or cinnamon apples, lunch of tuna, chicken or salmon with mayo on a wrap or mixed in with ramen noodles- dinners Mountain House freeze dried- Beef stroganoff, sweet and sour pork, chicken a la king- chocolate and cookie as needed- not bad at all. I have been able to get a decent amount of sleep each 24 hour period despite the rough weather- mostly sleeping in full FW gear on sail bags so I can get up if I need to. As it gets warmer now I will look forward to the bunk.

4. Weather and navigation have been a nice team effort with Commanders Weather who selected a great window for my fast departure and has allowed me to get about halfway to my Leg One Waypoint at 15 North / 35 West. The Leg is about 2,684 miles long and I have covered about 1,340 on the Great Circle route from Newport (although I sailed more miles than that on my actual path) and have about the same distance to go this coming week. Commanders predicted 15 days duration for this opening leg- I'm hoping I can beat that- and be there before November 30th.



Webasto AUS 2020 FOOTER 2Flagstaff 2020 - Excess 15 - FOOTERCyclops Marine 2020 - FOOTER

Related Articles

SB20 Class at the RYCT Showdown Regatta day 1
Nick Rogers holds a narrow lead Nick Rogers holds a narrow lead in the SB20 one design fleet racing in the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania Showdown Regatta.
Posted on 31 Oct
Vendée Globe: All quiet
The Vendée Globe race village has been closed Following the confinement measures announced by the President of the French Republic last night the Vendée Globe race village has been closed today. Only accredited staff attached to the organisation and the race teams have been on site.
Posted on 31 Oct
America's Cup: Mediation sought on Courses
Emirates Team New Zealand have announced that their offer to the Challengers is rejected Following rejection by the Challenging teams of an offer by Emirates Team NZ not to train on the two Stadium Courses B and C, while the Prada Cup Round Robin and Semi-Finals are being sailed elsewhere, the Defender has requested Mediation
Posted on 31 Oct
Vendée Globe: Higher speeds mean new strategies
Some skippers are talking of a new record The new generation of IMOCAs are expected to significantly lower the race record for sailing solo non stop around the world, the mark set at the end of the last edition by Armel Le Cléac'h at 74 days 03 hours 35 minutes and 46second, averaging 12.3kts.
Posted on 31 Oct
70th Bermuda Gold Cup overall
Canfield, Team Stars+Stripes win Open Match Racing Worlds Skipper Taylor Canfield and Team Stars+Stripes - Mike Buckley, Victor Diaz de Leon, Mike Menninger and Eric Shampain - won the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing Worlds with a penalty-marred victory over Ian Williams's Team GAC Pindar.
Posted on 31 Oct
World Sailing extends partnership with Rolex
Title partner of the World Sailor of the Year Awards World Sailing, the world governing body of the sport, is delighted to announce an extension to its longstanding partnership with Rolex.
Posted on 31 Oct
America's Cup: Butterworth picks Kiwis to win
Four times America's Cup winner gets grilled on the current stand-off in the America's Cup America's Cup winner, Brad Butterworth, appeared on The AM Show on Friday morning and in this 12 minute video was grilled on the current stand-off in the America's Cup. Formerly a tactician for TNZ and Alinghi, he now calls the shots ashore for COR36.
Posted on 30 Oct
Meet the Vendée Globe skippers: Charlie Dalin
Second in the Vendee Arctic Les Sables d'Olonne and winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre With his Verdier designed new generation Apivia Charlie Dalin was second in the Vendee Arctic Les Sables d'Olonne and won the Transat Jacques Vabre with Yann Elies. His programme is managed by Vendee Globe winner Francois Gabart's Mer Concept.
Posted on 30 Oct
Cape Horners launch solo circumnavigators register
Those who have completed solo circumnavigations via the Three Great Capes The IACH has taken on the mantle of maintaining an official register of those who have completed solo circumnavigations via the Three Great Capes - Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn.
Posted on 30 Oct
70th Bermuda Gold Cup day 4
Williams, Canfield eye championship If today's late-afternoon form holds through to tomorrow morning, Ian Williams's Team GAC Pindar will square off against Taylor Canfield's Team Stars+Stripes for the championships of the 70th Bermuda Gold Cup and 2020 Open Match Racing World Championship.
Posted on 30 Oct