October 4, 2019
Days at Sea: 300
Days Since Departure: 369
Noon Position: 45 14N 133 55W
Course(t)/Speed(kts): ESE 6-7
Wind(t/tws): S 15+
Sea(t/ft): S4, NW4
Sky/10ths Cover: Overcast 10
On-deck Temp(f): 65
Cabin Temp(f): 67
Water Temp(f): 62
Relative Humidity(%): 68
Magnetic Variation: 15.8
Sail: Double reefed main and jib. Nice easy close reach.
Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 131
Miles since departure: 38,249
A year ago today Mo and I departed Drakes Bay and headed S toward Cape Horn.
Today we are 700 miles NW of Drakes Bay and close reaching into an autumn southerly. Winds yet lack that hard edge of winter and they are warm. The sea is small and Mo makes her speed without pounding.
All day I sat by the lee window and wondered what I should think of all these miles under the keel. So much water. Almost a year of perpetual motion. Only to return to where we started. Without a hold full of gold. And not feeling that much wiser.
But satisfied. Is that what this was about?
Though not fully, not yet. Now is not quite the time for reverie. A very stiff wind off the coast next Tuesday/Wednesday may make that final approach tricky.
Better to stay focused. After the anchor is dug in, then philosophy. For now, sail.
Overnight we drifted on the remains of the northwesterly. While I slept, wind held to its quadrant and kindly did not back to the S until first light. I even got the first cup of coffee down before having to take the deck.
The shift from running to reaching required a full change. Roll up headsails, down and stow poles, make up pole lines (there are eight), move sheets to on-the-wind positions, swap running backs, let out reefs in main and haul away, unroll working jib, make up cockpit lines, adjust sheets, adjust Monte.
Breakfast well earned. A bear claw and a bowl of oats.
The sky brightened as the day came on, not with a clearing to blue but less cloud and a disk of sun smokey white. But it has thickened throughout the day and grown dark. Rain now and for the last two hours. If anything, wind seems to be diminishing and backing into the E. Time to don foulies and let out reefs.
Do not dismiss that this may be The big adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy the end it may never be here again. It isn’t now or any time soon that the magnitude of what we did when we did it will be appreciated. But, it will define you forever. Be safe.
Your close reach sea photo this post, perhaps my favorite of the voyage. Seems to capture your narrative so well.
There is so much to say about endings and beginnings. Perhaps you have the best of all worlds in having to share with Jo both of them. I imagine the book will keep you busy for awhile before you’re ready to plan a new adventure. I do hope you’ll continue to communicate with us now and then after resuming your land life. You feel like family to those of us who have followed you from the start and looked forward to hearing from you each day.
Of almost all the emails I get, I enjoy yours the most. You’re imagining life after your trip, but so am I (are we). Astronauts return to earth and live their lives among us, without mentioning their achievements, and so will you. Having the experience inside you will make you even more Randall.
Hmm… tea mug on the nav station table… don’t get lax, there’s still a few sea miles to go. 🙂
Congratulations Randall! What a thing you have done. First thing I’ve done every morning for the last year is get up, get some coffee and read about your adventure. What will fill this void after you are done? How’s Monte doing with the close of this phase of his life?