North (Day 227)

I’ve now sailed over 20,000 miles. I originally thought this trip would be 23,000 miles but that is because I made a bunch on waypoints and connected the dots (so to speak) with straight lines. Well you never sail a straight line from point A to point B – it’s usually a bit of a zig zag. That and my original course was closer to South America on both the Atlantic and Pacific sides. Long story short, this trip will be over 25,000 miles by the time I reach the Chesapeake Bay. Although I’ll probably make it back a bit sooner than 300 days.
I’ve made my easting and now its North! I’ve gone so far east that I’m at the same longitude as the island of Flores in the Azores. I didn’t have much of a choice, when I get up to 30 south I’ll be in the easterly trades and it’s better to have them on the beam than having them on the nose. I like being out here far from land and shipping lanes. I feel safer – that and if I get heavy weather I can use any technique I like as I have all the sea room in the world. Its peaceful here, I have my own world.

It hasn’t been all peace and quiet. It is an interesting and somewhat annoying stretch of ocean. When the wind turn northwest to north northwest you get 25-35 knots and torrential downpours. I’ve been rained on more times than I can remember but nowhere has it rained as hard as it has over the last week. Incredible rain mixed with lightning! I hate lightning at sea. I was hit by lightning once on my first boat and it fried everything (I’m lucky I didn’t get seriously hurt). When it’s blowing 30kts or so and one of these thunderstorms pass (which happens all this time) it’s common for the winds to gust up to 45+ knots. I was in one the other day and I had just fallen asleep when a wave hit my boat on the port beam so hard that (literally) everything that was not bolted down in the cabin went flying across to the starboard side of the boat. I was woken up by a rain shower of gear, clothes, cans of food and random equipment to the point where I was buried. I estimate I was knocked over 90 degrees. I haven’t been hit by a wave that hard awhile. It was as if the ocean wanted to remind me that I’m on a 27 foot boat. I wasn’t laughing this time.
When the winds aren’t blowing 25-35kts they are usually light and out of the south. I don’t move very fast but I do get some good sleep. That’s when you know you have a serious sailing problem. Some people walk in their sleep, I sail in my sleep.
FORTITUDINE VINCIMUS

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19 Responses to North (Day 227)

  1. Richard in Maryland says:

    Nice to hear from you, Matt!
    I was wondering what course you would take up the Atlantic.
    It was funny how another blogger mentioned that your boat used to just go down Whitehall Creek, out to the bridge and back. You have taken her on a real adventure!
    Stay Safe

    Richard in Maryland

  2. Ron says:

    Greetings Matt,

    Well at least you have a proper “POSH” berth on the starboard side of your vessel for the homeward leg. A bit of historical maritime trivia for you to add to your journals. The British word “posh” referred to the passenger ships that sailed from England to India during the mighty days of the British Empire and the preferred cabins were always on the shady side. “POSH” on a passenger list stood for “Port Out, Starboard Home.”

    Keep her Tidy, Tight and Shady from 30 to 30 and don’t be in a hurry.

    All the Best Mate

  3. bob dawson says:

    glad to hear your ok matt.stay safe god speed

  4. Wayne Culver says:

    Good to read your updates Matt.. always very enlightening.. !
    and always entertaining too!

    20,000 leagues around the sea…
    and counting !

    What a ride.. & the tales you may share…
    could last a lifetime, I’d think.

  5. David Sterling says:

    Hello Matt,
    Glad to hear everything is OK. That angel that’s been traveling with you must have dosed off during those heavy waves.

    Dave Sterling

  6. Phil Cathey sv We Be Jammin says:

    It’ll be good luck getting into the 30’s and a beam breeze and warmer weather. Won’t it be hard to sail by the Bahamas ? and not stop

  7. simon edwards says:

    Matts position 40S x 30W 1800 Jan 28

  8. thom schwetye says:

    I heard this ancient Celtic poem on NPR ‘On Being’ 26 Jan 02, and thought of you, Matt

    “Song of Amergin”

    I am the wind on the sea;
    I am the ocean wave;
    I am the sound of the billows;
    I am the seven-horned stag;
    I am the hawk on the cliff;
    I am the dewdrop in sunlight;
    I am the fairest of flowers;
    I am the raging boar;
    I am the salmon in the deep pool;
    I am the lake on the plain;
    I am the meaning of the poem;
    I am the point of the spear;
    I am the god that makes fire in the head;
    Who levels the mountain?
    Who speaks the age of the moon?
    Who has been where the sun sleeps?
    Who, if not I?

  9. Ghizlane says:

    Nice to hear from you Matt, it’s always nice to read your updates. What an awsome journey!

  10. Len Romano says:

    Enjoy reading your exploits and hope you are feeling good about your accomplishment. Always find it fascinating and enjoy the pic’s too. How are you doing psychologically speaking? I read about Donald Crowhurst’s venture recently and his participation in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968/69. Your posts are much better reading then his were!

    Fair winds and may the breeze be at your back all the way home…

  11. Hi big Matt !

    I quoted you again on my blog. The title of the post is :

    “Columbus was the first to see, Matt will be the first to circumnavigate solo.”

    http://estreladalvacabofrio.blogspot.com/2012/01/colombo-foi-o-primeiro-ver-matt-sera-o.html

    Good, excellent winds !

    Fernando Costa, from Cabo Frio, Brazil

  12. sherri says:

    wind!!! @ last!. happy early valentines! bring her on home, sir!

  13. maria and family says:

    Best wishes! We are fans of Shackleton, too, having read about him and then watched the movie last summer. What a thrill to learn of your adventure! Happy and safe sailing!

  14. Boatgone.com says:

    Nearly on the home stretch Matt….We’re all rooting for you here at Boatgone.com!!

  15. simon edwards says:

    Washington Post Article Sports section, today, Feb 7th

  16. Knut Robert Ryerson says:

    Matt,
    Having Washington Post and Washington Times, only one article was read fully today. It was the 2 page “Fantastic Voyage” by Dave Sheinin.
    Despite being Mr. mom, home with two kids every day and super busy, I loved taking the time today, to read every word about your journey. What a great story and voyage… . Never the less, I can see that many side effects by one, is that you really do get more in touch with mother earth, the ocean and all living creatures. This voyage will most likely change you life for ever and hopefully many others too, including CRAB.
    Good luck with your last final part of the trip.
    K. R. Ryerson, N. Virginia

  17. Mark says:

    I read the Washington Post article then visited your website and read through your blog posts. Thanks for sharing your incredible journey in progress. It’s always great when someone exceeds imagination. I must say you’re a true inspiration!

  18. steve says:

    Amazing. I hope you finish and rea h your fund raising goals. I have an idea…. with a name like Weatherford, maybe you can get Ford motor company to sponsor..donate…use you to promote and advertise a true example of exploration, endurance, toughness.
    Godspeed and following winds.

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