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Dispatches from the Atlantic: Striking Distance

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

December 9, 2009
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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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