1300 miles west of Mexico

I’m at the same Latitude as the BVIs. What I would give to be on Jost Van Dyke, posted up in front of the Soggy Dollar with an ice cold painkiller in my hand. I might as well be on a different planet.

I’ve entered the Easterly trades! Its east northeast, which will become more east as I head south. Then I’ll deal with the doldrums by the equator (ITZC), then as I get south of the equator the winds will turn from east to east southeast to southeast. Then I’ll have another horse latitude (I’m guessing there is one in the southern hemisphere) then the westerlies, and around the Horn I go. I’ve still got about 5,500 miles before the Horn. Still on time for a mid January rounding of Cape Horn.

I caught a Mahi some time back. Well, almost caught a Mahi. The fish didn’t fight until it was two feet from the boat then it jumped out of the water and off the hook. More power to him, I guess, the fish will live to see another day. Twice now I’ve had tuna right next to the boat but they ignore my lures. I bought a bow and arrow before I left and modified it for bow fishing. I woke up a few nights ago at 2 or 3am and went out to adjust the windvane. I looked down and with my headlamp saw a whole school of tuna around me. I rigged the bow but they were gone by the time I got back on deck. Now the bow is ready so If I see another tuna by St Brendan, I’ll shoot the little bugger.

Its been light winds mixed with nice 15-20kt winds mostly out of the east to north northeast. The temperature has been around 75-80 and with a light breeze its about prefect. The waters the most beautiful color of Blue and the clarity is incredible. Im going to get spoiled sailing these waters. I did have a bad squall hit me out of the blue five or so days back. I had my asymmetrical sail up and the wind picked up speed faster then I could drop the sail and my whisker pole bent severely. I need that pole to work so I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to repair it. I have a few ideas, I’ll figure out something. I tuned my rig the other day. My shrouds were down to 5% breaking strength so I brought them back up to 10% breaking strength. Then I decided they were to tight so I brought them back down to 8% and ill probably mess with them again today. Tuning a rig is more of an art then it is a science. I’ll just keep making minor adjustments until I’ve got the rig perfect. I also climbed my mast and did a full rig inspection. It looked good, but its hard to tell with stainless steel as it rots from the inside out.

Freighter traffic in the Pacific ocean is almost non existent compared to the Atlantic. I saw 6 or 7 freighters between the latitudes of LA and San Diego, but thats about it. Well, I did see part of a freighter yesterday. It was to far away so I only saw the wheel house infrastructure. I usually hate freighters, I consider them the cockroaches of the sea. There big, indestructible, and all over the place. In the Pacific I’ve seen so few of them I actually enjoy them. Its nice to know im not the only human out here.

Last summer when I left on this trip 46,000 people had died in Mexico since 2006 due to drug related violence. 19,000 in the last 16 months. So that means by the time I get back to Annapolis theres a good chance that more people will have died in Mexico over a six year period do to drug related violence then all the US soldiers who died in the Vietnam war(56,500). Crazy! Mexico is having a civil war, but its a new type of civil war. Its the cartels against everyone. Theres your random fact of the day.

FORTITUDINE VINCIMUS
Matt

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19 Responses to 1300 miles west of Mexico

  1. colin says:

    i always love your random facts! You better shoot one of the tuna after all that practice we did at the dock. It sounds like you are in good spirits. keep it brother can’t wait for your return.

  2. Carol Mosier says:

    Saturday, Oct. 29th

    Hi, Matt!

    About a month after you embarked on your Solo Around the America’s trip, the Soggy Dollar celebrated their 6th Annual Best Beach Bar Anniversary Party (July 16th). . I’m sure they would have loved to have you there to celebrate with them!! Maybe you can get there, and “swim on over” for the 7th Anniversary!!

    That “Original” Painkiller (Rum cocktail) sounds delicious with the Cream of Coconut, Pineapple and Orange Juice . . . I can understand why you’re “dreaming” about it!! How were you at playing “The Ring Game”?? I can see that it would have been much harder played on a heaving deck, but after a couple of drinks maybe the sand would seem to be heaving too!

    Pictures from Friday’s SoggyCam show it was a beautiful evening to have one of their delicious beachside dinners to go along with that icy cold drink! In the webcam shot it looks like they’re all waving to you, Matt!! http://www.soggydollar.com/

    Shady Guy says that they have just been informed that they are a finalist in the “Best Yachting Bar Competition” . . . so, if anyone knows about them and wants to vote for the Soggy Dollar Bar, the website to do so is:

    http://www.scuttlebutteurope.com/sailors-bars.html

    Good to get your new position, Matt, and to have the PredictWind working pretty much of the time. We miss it when it’s not reporting where you are!!

    Godspeed!!

    Carol Florida U.S.A.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

  3. Phil Cathey says:

    Glad your not freezing and your electronics are working again. Good luck catching fish. Onward thru the blue

  4. Amy Sedillo says:

    I can still feel the warmth of being on that beautiful white beach at the Soggy Dollar bar on Jost Van Dyke, drinking Painkillers. I’ve never seen such a beautiful beach! What an honor it is to share in that daydream of White Bay. Enjoy the warmth and keep up the pace!
    Oy!

  5. i have been following you since day one. wow i am proud of you. isn’t the water in those parts unbelievably beautiful!!!!!!!!!! you are going to go from heaven on earth to hell in the next couple of months and my heart is going to be with you all the way. Teddy

  6. bob dawson says:

    enjoy that great weather,fall is here in md beautful tho.good sailing enjoy your blog bob in west river

  7. Celeste Di Iorio says:

    Hey Matt,

    I would gladly join you at the Soggy Dollar! Hoskins and I were here at my house last night and tried to call, but it didn’t work! We were thinking of you! I’m leaving Boulder at the end of the month and heading back to Fort Collins. I think I’ll take a breather before my next gig.

    Looks like you’re making decent time right now. Hang in!

    Lots of love,
    Celeste

    • Tim says:

      It looks like Matt has a Boulder fan club.
      I’m in Boulder as well. I started following his blog because I have a Vega.
      His exploits simultaneously give me a lot of confidence in the capability of the boat and make me feel like a complete wimp for getting nervous about sailing in the gusty summer storms we get around here…..
      When I first heard about him doing this solo sail, I thought “We’ll see if that really happens”. It’s great to see someone actually carrying through with their plans. He really seem quite unstoppable and cut of the same cloth as those adventurers of old. -Tim

  8. Phil Cathey says:

    You disipeared off the screan after you turned east about the 4th of Nov what’s up ?

  9. DaveS says:

    Continuing with Phil Cathey’s thought…this last week you’re all over the chart. If you are dreaming of Painkillers, (or enjoying them), I understand. But who am I to question the Master and Commander?

    I enjoy following your progress.

  10. Dave Hoskins says:

    Hey Matt-
    I’m sorry that I missed your call (imagine my surprise)–I was busy building a flagstone patio. I would have loved to talk with you. But never fear, Matt, now that I have successfully channeled the spirit of Fridtjof Nansen to help you get through the Northwest Passage I have conjured up the spirit of another Norwegian explorer, Thor Heyerdahl, to help guide you safely across the Pacific Ocean. I read his book, Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft, when I was a kid and it helped to spark my interest in exploration and adventure that is still alive today. I have no doubt that the story of your voyage will inspire people of all ages and abilities for many years to come to cast off the shackles of fear that too often prevent us from exploring the unknown. Be safe and enjoy the adventure! Dave Hoskins

    P.S.- Bad news: The Browns are in last place in their division.
    Good news: They are doing better than the Broncos.

  11. Jeff says:

    Hey Matt,
    Been checking in to watch the red dot. Good work!

    Sad note, Oz died on Saturday after 17 years. We had snow flurries last week.

    Jeff

  12. Susan Schadt says:

    Reading Robin Graham’s solo circumnav. in 1970s and thinking of you. Continued prayers to you. Sue and Bill

  13. Susan Schadt says:

    Let us know if we can pass you something in the Bahamas.

  14. Benny says:

    Ok, looks as if you’ve set course to the Marquesas. Don’t tell us you haven’t 🙂

  15. Benny says:

    So when I zoom in (I didn’t when I posted the earlier message) I see your course making a twist. What’s going on?

  16. Sharon says:

    Just a third of a degere and you will be over the equator, at least from this angle!

  17. Wayne Culver says:

    Hey Matt
    Thumbs UP !!
    Looks like you should be at
    latitude Zero, come Saturday-12 morning light !?
    My Toast to You and yours!

  18. Sharon says:

    Is that 0 05S?!?! Congratulations again Matt. Awesome. I was beginning to think there was some kind of gravitational push away from the equator…..

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