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GryphonSolo2: Globe40 Leg 8 - Less than a 1,000 miles to go

by Joe Harris, GryphonSolo2 13 Mar 07:33 PDT
GryphonSolo2 © Martin Gunter / Instituto Fueguino De Tourismo

We are now less than 1,000 miles from the finish line after 10 months of sailing around the world. Eight legs, a nearly 40,000 mile epic journey.

I have some down time as I am trapped in the cabin as we ride out this third blast of heavy weather as the North Atlantic delivers its final blows to Team GS2. We again have winds from 30k to 50k and an active sea state with wave heights of 15- 20' and fairly short wave period (time from peak to peak) that is keeping Otto the autopilot quite busy as we cartwheel downwind.

I was texting with my pal Dave Rearick of "Bodacious Dream" round-the-world fame, about these last miles and he encouraged me to share my thoughts. One thought was that Dave was on speed-dial two nights ago when I thought we were going to get knocked down and rolled and he was going to need to initiate the rescue. That's a lot of responsibility but Cap't Dave is more than up to the challenge. Dave and I raced against each other in the Atlantic Cup many times- he aboard his faithful stead "Bodacious Dream", and we came to like and respect each other despite the fierce competition.

After Dave completed a solo circumnavigation on Bo' Dream, he became "Captain Dave" to many schoolchildren who came down to the boats in the Atlantic Cup in Charleston, SC, New York City and Portland, Maine. Hugh Piggin and Julianna Barbieri of Manuka Sports Event Management did a masterful job of including the local communities in our Atlantic Cup racing and Dave was a key part of that bridge. So Dave told me to write more- not less- as we approach the Globe40 finish line, so I am following orders.

The other guy I am in touch with from my past is Chris White, of the commercial fishing vessel "Vulcan" who I fished with in Bristol Bay, Alaska for 7 seasons in my twenties. Chris aka "Black Jake, or BJ for short"- his radio handle (fyi my radio handle was "DB" for The Douchebag). We fished as a team with a few other boats sharing a spotter pilot and secret radio frequencies to find the fish. Chris has been cruising the world on his catamaran, the S/V Tyga (named after his daughter), and is currently in the Turks and Caicos cruising with friends and my sister Wendie. We went through some crazy times while fishing in Alaska and Chris is a very seasoned seaman and trusted advisor to GS2, who was also teed up for assistance the other night.

But for now we are OK- steaming along DDW (dead downwind) in the general direction of Lorient, while the North Atlantic throws its last few haymakers at us. After a squally night, it is a beautiful sunny day, with spindrift whipping off the top of the waves on the gusts to 45k. We are heading East instead of NE due to the wind direction, but intend to gybe before sunset and head more North, after hopefully letting the worst of this low-pressure system go by. So we are counting the hours to our arrival at the finish line in Lorient very late March 16 or more likely early March 17.

Roger and I very much appreciate all the support and encouragement we receive from GS2 friends and family and look forward to being in touch with everyone once we hit land.

Joe and Roger on GS2 approaching the finish line of the Globe40 - March 12, 2023

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