Dispatches from the Atlantic: Striking Distance

Associate Editor Chris White gives us another great update as he approaches St. Lucia.

December 9, 2009

Blogging From the Atlantic!

The author takes the helm as Ben helps navigate through a large following sea.

14°15.347N 60°05.436W Boat Speed: 8 knots Wind Speed: 15-20 knots, gusting to 24 knots. Magnetic Direction: 275° Distance Traveled Thus Far: 2,681.5 nautical miles

This is the final blog entry that I will send from the deck of Snark, as we are about 50 miles and mere hours away from making landfall in St. Lucia. It has been a pleasant voyage, with great weather and few mechanical hiccups. But when I consider that we’ve traveled more than 2,680 nautical miles under sail and have been at sea for 16 days, 14 of which have been out of sight of land, I know will not soon forget my first transatlantic crossing. I am in awe of the beauty of the natural world at sea: the sunsets and sunrises; the moon, full for much of our crossing; the pod of minke whales that swam alongside Snark; the plankton glowing fluorescent in our wake like a hundred shimmering diamonds; the little squid that leapt from the water, hitting my arm, and the butterfly that danced past my headlamp, each paying me a visit on late watches; and the fish we had the good fortune to catch for dinner. But this reverie cannot last forever, and as I write this 63 vessels have crossed the finish line in St. Lucia. Amazingly, Big One, a Volvo 60, and Bagheera, a Wally 80, were first and second to finish, respectively-just 20 minutes apart, remarkably close on a 2,700-plus-nautical-mile course. Big One, sailing in the Open class, made the crossing in 11 days, 18 hours, 32 minutes, and 26 seconds. I would like to thank Ben Little and Dugald Moore for making this voyage across the Atlantic such a great experience, and I’d like to also thank my mother, for instilling in me a deep love for the blissful, heavenly serenity that can be found in sailing. Next time you hear from me, I’ll be posting from St. Lucia.


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