You Can Not Be Serious

Published on December 9th, 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 December 9…

I am not the most patient of men to begin with, but when I awoke this morning to another day of complete flat calm as far as the eye can see, I was a bit apoplectic. As John McEnroe would say after a poor line call against him in a Grand Slam tennis match, “You can not be serious!”

Historically, I have not done well in extended periods of calm. This brings back memories of numerous Bermuda races with boats standing still and upright across the horizon, with their sails hanging flat and the sun boiling down from above and not a breath of wind.

Lengthy discussions would then begin amongst crew members as to when we would fire up the engine, retire from the race and motor in to Bermuda, where our wives and families and copious amounts of Dark and Stormies anxiously awaited our arrivals. I was generally in favor of the rum option!

Unfortunately, that is not an option here. I gotta stick this one out, so I am sending cosmic vibrations to the wind God Aeolus telling him to get back to work immediately! Do your job, as Coach Belichick reminds us.

I have noticed that when the boat is not moving through the water, the hydro-generator does not generate any electricity, causing a bit of a problem. I had a discussion with the solar panels yesterday and told them I felt they were under-performing and needed to “up their game” in light of the injury to the hydros. They complained bitterly about work conditions – how hot it is here by the equator, low wages, etc.

And what do you know – this morning I wake up here in Satan’s kitchen and the solar panel array is putting out 11 amps of electricity. Nice job fellas! I knew they were capable – they were just being lazy and drafting off the hydros – now they are heroes, although I did have to fire up the diesel and charge for an hour last night as I watched the movie “Million Dollar Baby” to ward off insanity. Great boxing flick with Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank.

So if you have time to make some sort of ritualistic sacrifice to the Wind Gods – possibly involving campfire dancing and/or voodoo medicine – that would be much appreciated.

Background: The existing record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds was set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013. To finish in Newport by April 1, Joe will need to average 195 miles per day, or approximately 8.2 knots, to beat the record. Website: www.gryphonsolo2.com

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