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GryphonSolo2: 770 miles out

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 31 May 08:32 PDT

I am writing on Day 13, soon to be Day 14 of this trans-Atlantic voyage that has taken many twists and turns.

We are approx. 770 miles from our destination of Lorient, France but we are blocked by a wall of very strong Easterly winds that prevent us from heading East.

So we are plodding to the North, partly to get up and over the top of the Easterlies and partially to escape a low-pressure system packing 40k winds chasing us from the south. So we are not currently making much progress towards Lorient which is frustrating after being at sea for two weeks and being more than ready to arrive and get prepared for the actual race.

Life on board is alternating watches between Roger and myself and trying to sleep in the tumultuous and pounding sea conditions, which is not fun. Cold, grey skies, squalls, and lumpy seas make life onboard kinda suck. Hearing all the fun things my family and friends are doing back home over Memorial Day weekend, I feel like I am in exile, albeit self-imposed.

On the bright side, we have been joined on GS2 by a passenger - a little bird (I think its a female)- who is no more than 12" from beak to tail and brown, grey and white underbelly in coloring who arrived this afternoon and has decided to stay. I think she might be a baby and I have no idea how she got so far offshore. She makes a kind of constant clucking sound and seems to need a rest, so I am happy to provide shelter and some food. However, when things get crazy in the cockpit she flies off but has returned each time. I'm going to call her Penny, from the movie Forest Gump, because she is independent but vulnerable. yeah.

So we are looking forward to turning right for France hopefully tomorrow afternoon, weather permitting. ETA Lorient looks like Sunday, June 5 or Monday, June 6. Then not much time to change sails and fix what's broken before the start of the Prologue Race on June 11 from Lorient to Tangier, Morocco.

Keep well and stay tuned.

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