Settling Into The Routine

Published on November 19th, 2015

Aboard his Class40 GryphonSolo2, American Joe Harris departed Newport (RI) on November 15 in a bid to break the 40 Foot Monohull Solo Non-Stop Round the World Record. Here’s an update from Joe on November 19…

It continues to be wet and woolly out here in the North Atlantic as the Northeast wind from 20-45 knots continued unabated. Squally, rainy, gusty conditions prevail, as we navigate around a low pressure system just to the East.

Last night it really blew hard, but I had prepared well and had three reefs in the Mainsail and the ORC#4 heavy weather jib and we were able to withstand even the gusts up to 46 knots without a problem. With confidence in my sail plan, I was able to get some pretty good sleep, which is really important for continued good reasoning and functionality.

I am also eating more now that my body has grown accustomed to the motion of the boat, and had a great Beef Stroganoff freeze dried meal before going to sleep last night. This morning it was a delicious Apple Crisp (apples, cinnamon and granola) for breakfast and I am feeling pretty good. I am also taking these Juice Plus vitamins that my friend Cyndee Novitch got me just before departure that are meant to replace all the fresh fruits and vegetables I was not able to bring along. Should be a pretty good balanced diet once I get settled in.

So the short-term weather is another two days of the heavy stuff and then a few days of light stuff before breaking through into the Southeast trade winds which, looking longer term, will propel me down towards our Leg One waypoint at 10N x 35W, just north of the equator. This will set me up for the passage though the Doldrums and then out into the South Atlantic trade winds.

That is the Ken Campbell/ Commanders Weather plan as adopted by yours truly and I am excited to have gotten off to a good start and my hope is to get to that first waypoint in less than the 15 -17 days we had estimated for Leg One of the ten legs of this round the world journey. I show 1,862 miles to go, which at 8 knots would be about 10 days, so fingers crossed I am able to keep up the speed.

GryphonSolo2 is holding up well to the pounding. I am experiencing some problems with the watermaker that seems to have some air in its system, and is producing fresh water only very anemically and not close to its specified 1.5 Gallons per hour. However, I may need to wait for more settled conditions to really address it.

So that is the Day 4 report…hopefully the level of drama will decline as the weather chills out and I settle into onboard routines.

Background: The existing record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds was set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013. Finishing in Newport, Joe will need to average 195 miles per day, or approximately 8.2 knots, to beat the record. Website:


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