Cape Horn at the end of the month

We wrapped up our first week on the water yesterday, Wednesday, with a 266-mile day. The week started with a bang and ended smoothly, par for the course with the Doldrums. Week two began more slowly than expected: a cloud formation moved in and “ate up” the trade winds. Gitana 13 didn't really wake up until mid-afternoon. Now, the hulls are humming, the platform is bouncing—in a word, the boat has come back to life and we're once again getting tossed all over the place. Truth be told, it's not all that violent yet, but paradoxically we want it to be, because that's a tangible sign that we'll top 500 miles that day. We get pretty caught up looking at the pretty lines on the map (otherwise we wouldn't be here, eh?), knowing that it usually takes a “normal” sailboat three good days to go from one line to the next.

A week has already passed, but it seems like we left yesterday. The notion of time is relative, and it loses all meaning when you're surrounded by nothing but blue. If you don't feel this way, then this isn't your calling. It's pretty simple. In the middle of the day, we were lucky enough to be joined by a flock of gannets that had come to fish around our hulls. They have two techniques of air attack: they execute an impressive nose dive and either follow through right into the water or pull up just before hitting the water and inevitably catch the flying fish in the middle of their aerial flop. Grace on the one hand, clumsiness on the other. The gannets never miss—and we aren't aware of the time passing.

We are beginning our descent of the South Atlantic under the full mainsail and the solent, with a breeze coming from 80°. The wind should move aft and allow us to lengthen our stride and reach speeds we held in the northern hemisphere. Our goal is simple: to be in the waters around Cape Horn at the end of the month. Another 3,600 miles until we're there...but that's nothing when your head's in the clouds.

Good night

Nicolas Raynaud

The content that appears on this website is protected by copyright.
Any reproduction or representation is strictly forbidden.

For further information, please refer to the legal notice section.
Enter at least 4 characters...