Globe40 enters the South Atlantic
Published on July 24th, 2022
American Joe Harris is competing in the Globe40, a multi-leg doublehanded round the world race in Class40s. The second leg started July 17, taking the six-boat fleet from Cape Verde Islands to Mauritius. Harris expects the 7000nm course will take 35 days to complete… here’s his update from July 24, 2022:
As I write we are only 93 mile from the equator – about to pass from the North Atlantic to the South Atlantic. Eating peanut butter on crackers as well, which is not helping the keyboard! For the Equator passing, tradition holds that we provide King Neptune a toast and offering of our finest Jameson Irish Whiskey, which I’m sure will make him very happy and speed us on our way!
We came through an area known as “The Doldrums”, which is known for very weird weather, from flat calm to torrential rain and wind gusts to 30 mph and everything in between and always changing. Very frustrating and challenging to navigate through and we “parked up” and sat going nowhere for quite a few hours, only to be rewarded with a nasty squall.
We are very happy to have finally exited yesterday and have broken through into the SE trade winds, which are much more steady and predictable, although we are banging away dead upwind for a while until the winds back into the East.
We are now one week into this leg since we started from San Vicente and we have been averaging a bit less than the target 200 miles per day due to the Doldrums. We have had a number of issues with boat that we have had to work through.
The first is that our primary vertical wind wand at the top of the mast has been malfunctioning, which is a big problem since most of the time we are asking the autopilot to steer to a True Wind Angle and it has been unable to do that reliably.
So we finally switched over to our back-up horizontal wind wand and thankfully that has been working well. We do not know the root cause of the problem but believe we need a new vertical wind wand so are working on getting one shipped to Mauritius.
We also have had difficulties with our satellite communications system known as “Iridium Open Port”. We use this system mainly for email and getting GRIB weather files that allow us to do our routing. Without this information, we would be “flying blind”, which I did not want to do when we are headed for the Southern Ocean.
The issue was that the unit was not getting power so Roger (Junet) moved and reconnected the power wires and changed the fuse and lo and behold, it worked! Rog got MVP of the day and received a bonus hour of sleep for his fine work.
I feel very lucky we were able to make these repairs at sea as we otherwise would have had to stop in Brazil, which we did not want to do. We stop in Recife on the way back. So for now the boat is in pretty good shape.
Our routine is watches of three hours on and three hours off, and we have been sleeping a lot! We have been relying mainly on the hydro-gens and solar for electrical power, with help from the engine alternator when becalmed.
Food is lots of snacks and a freeze-dried meal once a day, which seems to be okay. Not glamorous, but sufficient. We run the watermaker/desalinator every three days to turn salt water into fresh water. The water and air temps are getting warmer, so we each had a fresh water shower during a torrential down pour in the Doldrums.
So overall we are settling in after a windy and challenging start through the Cabo Verde Islands and it looks like we will be drag racing due South for the next week before contemplating a turn left towards Cape of Good Hope.
We are quite a bit further East on this race as we approach the Equator than on my previous RTW trip in 2015, but the challenge of avoiding the St. Helena high pressure/no wind area while sailing the shortest distance to Cape of Good Hope remains the same. I hope all you navigators at home are working on the problem!
Until next time, be well and enjoy summer.
The inaugural Globe40 is an eight leg round the world race for doublehanded Class40 teams. As all legs count toward the cumulative score, the longer distances more heavily weighted. The first leg, which took seven to eight days to complete, had a coefficient 1 while the second leg is ranked as a coefficient 3 leg. The race is expected to finish March 2023. A Leg 1 start line collision reduced the fleet from seven to six teams.
Tangier, Morocco – June 26
Leg 2 start: Sao Vincente, Cape Verde Islands – July 17
Leg 3 start: Port Louis, Mauritius
Leg 4 start: Auckland, New Zealand
Leg 5 start: Papeete, French Polynesia
Leg 6 start: Ushuaia, Argentina
Leg 7 start: Recife, Brazil
Leg 8 start: St Georges, Grenada