Joe Harris: Determined to Tie the Knot

Published on March 29th, 2016

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. That plan, however, got derailed when a pit stop in Cape Town was needed to repair his energy systems with another break in Uruguay due to hull damage. Joe provides an update on March 29…

GryphonSolo2 went back in the water this morning here in Piriapolis, Uruguay after repairs to the damaged starboard bow area were completed yesterday. Our two Argentine boatbuilders – Ezequiel Sirito and Diego Stocik – did an outstanding job and were very quick and efficient.

I thank my lucky stars we found them and they were able to come to Uruguay on short notice and over the Easter weekend and get the job completed so quickly and professionally. The bow area of the boat is now far stronger than originally, which will give me great confidence as I head back out into likely Northerly upwind sailing conditions.

So Rob Windsor and I are banging away on the work list – gluing the watermaker back down at the moment, solent jib on tomorrow morning in hopefully light winds, mast inspection, new Windex, new staysail halyard, winch and engine service, diesel fuel, rudder and auto pilot adjustments, sea trials, groceries, and then bon voyage!

I am missing everyone and everything at home – family and friends, spring, lacrosse season – but I look forward to completing this last chapter of the global odyssey in good style. While two stops are more than zero stops, if I can finish this solo circumnavigation safely, I will be a very happy guy.

So keep those messages of encouragement coming to the Karma Bus and the Bus will keep rolling northward and “tie the knot” of crossing our outbound path fairly soon (near Sao Paulo, Brazil) and then around the “Bulge of Brazil” at Recife which proved so challenging on the way down. Then it is past the Caribbean and Bermuda and on to Newport.

Due to the stops, the record of 137 days is not possible, so we will be taking down the record attempt clock on the website and once around the Bulge will be replacing it with a “Distance to Finish” and “Estimated Time to Finish” which may be rough estimates, but maybe we can get some speculation going on the GS2 date of arrival in Newport.

Background: As a result of Joe’s 11-day detour to Cape Town (Dec 28-Jan 8), and his latest pit stop in Uruguay, Joe is no longer able to officially break the existing non-stop record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds – set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013. However, he remains committed to completing the journey. Website: www.gryphonsolo2.com

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