White and black
Yesterday was defined by striking contrasts as I fought my way through a blustery ridge to discover the promised land of easy reaching on the other side.The waters off the NE coast of the States are famous for their thick swirling fogs and the poor visibility when sailing through a challenging transition in the weather was far from welcome. Constant torrential rain erased all hints of the next gust of wind, thick pillowy clouds didn't allow me to anticipate the arrival of the next squall and through it all the fog obscured any remaining detail. With 25 knot gusts coming from the north, followed seconds later by a mere feeble 3 knots from the south I felt like I was fighting Yeti in a snowstorm, never sure when or where the next punch would come from!
Having burried SW to secure our position in the new weather window, I have been streaking eastwards with my high performance neighbors with steady winds from the south. In the dark moonless night I turned off the navigation lights to fully appreciate the inky blackness and reflect on the project so far. It is frustrating to see my lead over the other boats evaporate in the steady reaching conditions but there's more potential speed in this old girl yet. Most of my sails date from 2008 and have the structural integrity of a Japanese paper door so I am sailing with smaller sails than conditions would otherwise permit. If I am able to equip the boat properly for the Vendee Globe with new turboed sails then I am confident I can hang onto the coattails of the generation ahead of me.
Also, I have been sailing for several days now without subjecting myself to the clatter and the noise of a diesel engine. The OceanVolt motor is charging the boat flawlessly and it's a pleasure to glide across the oceans while surfing the wave of green energy.