into the washing machine

Good story found in our Ocean Racing Anarchy forum, brought to you by Fisheries Supply

On Thursday, September 18, 2014, I set out on my first solo offshore adventure in attempt to qualify for next year’s Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race–a 1,300 mile race comprising a single-handed leg from Newport, RI to Bermuda, and a double-handed leg back to Newport. The qualification requirement for Mini sailors, as specified in the Notice of Race (NOR) is sailing 200 miles offshore for no less than 48 hours–all other eligible boats have a qualification requirement of 100 miles / 24 hours. I sailed offshore technically for 29 hours before heading home, and clocked in nearly 205 offshore miles–most in between 17 and 28 knots of breeze, and while bashing through tall, steep, short-period waves that, more often than not, would break over the deck of my diminutive 21-foot Mini Transat boat.

Although I did not technically qualify as I was not offshore for 48 hours, my adventure was by no means a failure. As some have reminded me, I went FAR outside my comfort zone, returned home safely (and with no breakages to report), and with an additional 205 miles of well-earned and hard-fought ocean sailing experience–nearly 176 of which were achieved in 24 hours.

Before I try to describe the journey in some detail, let me first thank everybody who tracked me online, and offered amazingly reassuring and positive feedback as I sent some alarmingly negative sat comm messages when conditions became toughest. Although I did not receive your comments while underway, I looked at each message when I got back, which helped get my psyche back to equilibrium. Read on.