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Szymon Kuczynski crosses the equator for the second time on Atlantic Puffin

by Zew Oceanu 6 Apr 2018 06:13 PDT
Szymon Kuczynski sailing around the world on the yacht Atlantic Puffin © Szymon Kuczynski

Szymon Kuczynski while sailing around the world for the second time on the yacht Atlantic Puffin has again crossed the equator and returned to the northern hemisphere. He has been sailing on the small Maxus 22 of the Northman shipyard for 230 days now and having completed 85% of the journey, he is well on his way to the finishing line.

Since February, the yacht has been sailing with reduced sail area because of the mast being weakened by a dent that occurred during a sudden listing near Cape Horn. Despite implementing additional tension to the mast, Szymon tried not to overload it - using mainly forward sails and a reefed main. By the end of February, he left the Southern Ocean and sailed near the coasts of South America where he had calmer seas and could do the necessary repairs. He corrected the spreaders, the navigational light, and the AIS antenna on top. Furthermore, the tropical temperatures allowed him to laminate an overlay which he riveted to the weakened section of the mast.

Sailing near the continent unfortunately caused him to cover less ground. For three weeks Szymon complained about light, changing winds and foul tide, which made him slow down even more. The middle of March was the worst time of the whole journey – in one week the Atlantic Puffin had made only 320nm. The slow progress negatively affected the sailor's morale. In order to use every occasion to improve his speed, Szymon changed the sails 7-8 times per day, which had proved to be even more difficult because of the additional tension stays applied to the mast and the lowering of the boom. Moreover Szymon particularly dislikes high temperatures. The Maxus 22 has a hermetic cabin with one big companionway. The only other entry point is an emergency hatch placed on the waterline, so it cannot be opened while sailing. This means there was no way to make air circulate inside and the temperatures got really high.

Fortunately these difficult weeks eventually came to an end. From the 22nd of March the Maxus 22 is sailing with the trade wind at a speed of over 4 knots. The distance he covers gets better every day. The yacht steers itself - it can easily be adjusted to do so in every course. The hydraulic autopilot is not being used as it requires a lot of power. Power is a problem at the moment because the large solar panel hasn't been working for a few months now, electricity is provided by two backup smaller panels. The other electrical autopilot ceased to work after a few months of sailing. There is a self-steering device on board in case it would have been needed, so far however there has been no need for it.

As Szymon wrote in his summary of the 32nd week: "This gives a ray of hope to better the time of Alessandro di Benedetto. In 2010 he circumnavigated the Globe in a modified Mini 650 in 268 days. He broke his mast at Cape Horn and finished with it damaged. Until now our stories have been very similar. I've given myself a finishing deadline at the breakwater of Plymouth on 14 May 2000 UTC. This will be exactly 268 days of my cruise. Until then the race is on!"

Call of the Ocean is an around-the-world cruise by Szymon Kuczynski in the yacht Maxus 22, 6,36m long (20ft 10,4in). The sailor departed on the 19 of August 2018 from Plymouth with the intent of a non-stop circumnavigation. At this moment he has already passed the three capes and is left with around 4000nm to the finish line. The yacht was built and adapted for the cruise in the Northman shipyard. Call of the Ocean is Szymon's second circumnavigation. In 2016 he finished the Maxus Solo Around, using the same yacht, going through the Panama Canal, and being able to enter ports.

Pictures from the deck are available in the gallery, photos.app.goo.gl/iMO5DfXcCkfWzPTt2. The voyage can be tracked by means of a mobile application for iOS & Android: "Zew Oceanu".

Project Call of the Ocean was possible thanks to generous help of the lead partner – the Northmann Shipyard as well as thanks to many generous polish and foreign companies and brands: Eljacht. OceanTeam Sailing School, Selden, Marineworks, Sail Service, TBS, Crewsaver, Ronstan, Ahoj, Kompas, Morka.pl, Zielone Pojecie, This1, AppYourself, Dzik Podlogi, Sailing School Gertis, Jacht Klub Kamien Pomorski. Szymon Kuczynski is an ambassador of Marina Kamien Pomorski.

Find out more at www.zewoceanu.pl or track online at share.garmin.com/atlanticpuffin

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