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leading the pack

The 2013 Bermuda 1-2
June 9, 2013

Joe Harris and his Class 40 lead the fleet to Bermuda…

Greetings from the North Atlantic. The first 24 hours of the 2013 Bermuda 1-2 solo leg have been a bit trying as the remnants of tropical storm Andrea left a large and messy sea state that was difficult to punch through. After a good start in Newport Harbor, GS2 led the fleet past Castle Hill lighthouse and out into a nasty sea state. The boat would rise up over a giant swell and launch itself airborne, only to return to the sea with a shattering pancake-like smash that left me looking for something broken. Repeat. Repeat. The wind has been up, down and all-around in both direction and velocity causing the need for constant sail trimming and numerous sail changes. The sea state has made me mildly nauseous and tired, so I have been catching my 20 minute “cluster-naps” which when strung together are supposed to result in rejuvenation but thus far have left me in what I think of as a “fugue state” where I’m operating at about 75% capacity and each job seems to take longer than it should and decision-making is less than crisp.

But, the long night is over and the sun is out – I witnessed an inspiring sunset last night and sunrise this morning which always has a calming and pleasing effect on my psyche. The wind is pretty light (8 knots) right now and from the West so I am beam reaching (wind is 90 degrees off my starboard/right side)on a southerly course and the slamming still continues, although it is not as bad. Typing is not the best activity in these conditions!

My goal for the day is to get to the Gulf Stream, which is a little less than 60 miles away but it will likely take me all day to get there at a 6 or 7 knot average. Hopefully there will be a bit more wind associated with the warm water and the stream usually delivers a few rain squalls including thunder and lightning if your lucky. Follow the fleet here.

Enjoy your Sunday-

Joe Harris


June 9th, 2013

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