Beginning the Haul North

4 Jul

July , 2019/Day 238

Noon Position: 44 40N 61 15W

Course(t)/Speed(kts): ENE 3.5

Miles since departure: 31,352

Avg. Miles/Day: 132

Dutch, an aluminum expedition boat sailed by my friends Sebastiaan and Rhiannon, meets Mo at the breakwater, and together we turn towards the sea. Dutch and family are out for a few weeks of summer cruising. Like Mo, they are headed north.

The day is sunny. I am in shirtsleeves. The brisk wind off the land allows Mo six and seven knots. I commission the new Monte and shut down the autopilot. Suddenly Mo becomes a thing alive, a sweet sailing ship buoyed along by nothing but the elements.

The two boats charge off, and Mo holds her own against Dutch until the wind softens. Now Sebastiaan unfurls an indigo blue reacher of stupendous size and rare beauty. Rather belatedly, I launch Mo’s white asymmetrical spinnaker, but the moment is past and Dutch is far ahead.

In the afternoon, Sebastiaan eases shoreward for an anchorage, and Mo continues on towards her first night at sea in a month.

We run gently along in the dark on the spinnaker and main. The sea is flat; the wind, so light, I can barely feel it against my face. There is Jupiter still in Scorpio to the south and to the north, the Big Dipper.

Natural wonders to one side, the night is uneasy. We are closer to the coast than makes for good sleeping. Moreover, not all the fishing boats going about their business on a moonless sea are want to give their positions away. The AIS registers but half the boats for which I can see lights. I switch on the radar and am up every hour.

Rain in the morning. Water streams from the spinnaker. By afternoon, full sun. The wind dies. I start the engine.

This article was syndicated from The Figure 8 Voyage


  1. sonofasailor35

    Good to see you on your way again. Look forward to updating your position on my I-pad I-Navx World Chart. You are an inspiration to all of us armchair sailors who never got more than a couple hundred miles offshore in a sailboat.

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