Picnic is Over

Well the picnic’s over.  June is a great month to be sailing the Atlantic and for the first 10 days I was warm, dry and barefoot.  How quickly things change.  Now I’m surrounded by fog, its around 55˚F, and as I write this I can hear some strong thunder.  My westerlies never appeared and for the last week I’ve had mostly head winds – first northerlies then easterlies.  I did catch my first fish a few days ago (a yellow fin tuna).  For some strange reason it made me sick so I had to throw it over.  I don’t understand this, I’ve cought and eaten many tuna during my various sailing trips and I’ve never had a problem before.  I’m mostly eating freeze dried food made by Shelf Reliance, which is amazing.  I can make some creamy chicken noodle soup that tastes like its fresh out of the kichen.  Now I think about it, when I get done writing this im going to make some for lunch.  The last two days I’ve been beating into 30kt easterlies.  I’ve found many new leaks, last night I slept on a wet cushion, wrapped in a wet sleeping bag using a wet pillow.  After reading the book North by East, I figured it would be like this. Things could be a lot worse, it was in same spot back in 2008 were tropical storm Cristobal clobbered me with 60kts winds.  At that time I was doing my first single-handed transatlantic from Kittery Maine to Falmouth England non-stop. I wish I could go back to the Chain Locker and have a pint of proper Ale. It will be some time before I have a beer again.  Its only going to get harder as I head north, yet I’m look forward to the challenge.

A bit of clarification about this website… I can’t actually see the site as I don’t have a real Internet connection.  I just write an email to my friend Mike McLinn (the web masta) over the satellite phone and he posts it for me, then he periodically sends me the comments all you write in.  I’ll try to answer questions but I apologize if I don’t get around to them all.  This is a non-stop trip and if all goes right I will not touch land again until the Chesapeake Bay.  In order to do this I have 800lbs of diesel and 750lbs of freeze dried food from Shelf Reliance.  Along with my other gear it adds up to a heavy boat.  I have a manual water maker which will make 1 gallon of water an hour.  So every day I sit in my cockpit and pump, pump, pump.  Since I have all the food and water I need and I hope I have enough fuel for the northwest passage, I only will stop if there is catastrophic damage to myself or my vessel.

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9 Responses to Picnic is Over

  1. Aunt Paula and ALL of us ! says:

    Thanks for the clarification on your website Matt. I’ve told my various friends who are tracking you to leave a message — because I thought you might enjoy the comments. My bones ache at the very thought of your wet, cushion, pillow, sleeping bag night. You’re in our thoughts & conversation every day … and prayers (“westerlies – westerlies”!) for your SAFETY & SUCCESS ! We’re having a Rutherford / Hardy backyard reunion at our house on July 16. Your Dad & Rach & uncles & families & Hardy cousins – but your presence will definitely be missed (Audra is already sad thinking about you not being here … “Won’t be the same without Matt…”). However, I’m VERY sure you will be the topic of many conversations that day. And we’ll all raise a glass & toast the successful voyage of “Captain Matt” ! This amazing endeavor (for your future & for CRAB) is becoming an inspiration to so many! With love, A. Paula

    • Helen says:

      Hiya Matt,

      When you zoom out on the Google Earth current position map, St. Breandan is trailing a beautiful, bright red line in your wake and the NWP looks just around the corner! 🙂

      Having done a couple of transatlantic’s in the Roaring 40’s I know what the unrelenting damp can feel like…I positively swooned when I put my toes in warm sand again. That day will come for you as surely as the sun rises every morning!

      Hey, we need one of those “donate a beer” links on your site so you can see how many beers you have lined up for your arrival!

      BTW, Pat your friend on s/v “Irena” the cat ketch says he is thinking of you.

      Fair Winds,
      Helen
      Annapolis, MD

  2. Susan says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventure with me and the world. I am a fan from Australia. Wishing you a safe voyage.

  3. Kate Bowen says:

    Hey,
    So glad you have this blog. I look forward to reading your posts every week. Things already sound amazing. I hope you get the winds you need and the leaks get fixed.

    Miss you and am thinking of you,
    Kate

  4. Elaine Potter says:

    Hi Matt – I was provided the link to your story by my Shelf Reliance representative. I agree with you – the food is amazing. I’m interested in learning about your water equipment (perhaps I should go back into the archives, egh?).

    I loved reading about the first two weeks of your journey and look forward to following your progress over the next 10 plus months. What an adventure. What a good cause – I plan on making a donation to C.R.A.B.

    I will keep you in my prayers.

    Elaine Potter
    Aurora, Colorado

    p.s. to Mike: there is no link to C.R.A.B. so I can donate. Perhaps you may want to add one above the sponsors.

    • admin says:

      Hi Elaine,

      Thanks for the comment, you can donate to CRAB via the “How Can I Help?” link near the top. It’s a good suggestion though to have a link to CRAB more prominent, I’ll work that in when I get a chance.

      -Mike

  5. Tristan says:

    Matt,

    I am a friend and shipmate of Mike McLinn, and he sent me a link to your blog when you departed. I am inspired by your journey, and live vicariously through you when I read your experiences.

    I did a Semester at Sea on the 131′ Gaff Rigged Schooner, Harvey Gamage, back in 2004 and have been hooked on sailing since. My boat is stuck on land this season, as I have a 10 month old son in my life now. I am looking forward to feeling the wind in my face again, and your blog is helping me get through the season.

    Best of luck on your adventure!

    Tristan
    Billerica, MA

  6. Wildman says:

    Matt, your are a crazy man! Glad I stumbled across your site. You are doing the dream that many of us sailors at one time or another have dreamed of but never do. Best of luck with the Horn. I hear it is treacherous….

  7. Karol Harlan says:

    We are all so happy to hear from you, Matt. You are such an awesome trouble-shooter and George Hall and I have great confidence in your ability to accomplish this great sailing adventure. You really are a pioneer of the sea on this one. I don’t know of anyone to has attempted sailing so far and under all the conditions you’ll be facing, all the while surviving on freeze-dried and dehydrated food. So sorry to hear about your “tuna experience”. Makes me nervous about some of our canned tuna. Some reports indicate other fishes are reported to be inedible because of their changing environmental factors. Hopefully, as you catch fish further North, you’ll find everything is fine. Glad you enjoy the soup. We made sure you had several cans!
    Stay in the happy waves… we’ll all rest easier and you will, too.

    Karol Harlan

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