Location: Atlantic Day 18: 15*53.04'N by 59*22.29'W
“The windless ocean
Like a song on repeat, played
for weeks endlessly.”
(Day 71 Blog post)
Ha, good joke.
After two weeks of puttering along across a distance equivalent to that which separates the East and West coast of the US, at a bold six mph, the ocean awoke from its ‘snooze.’ We got rid of our ‘light wind blues.’ On the last 24 hours of our crossing, the winds picked up behind our stern, and we hoisted all sails. We cruised for half of the day with gusting winds at our backs and sliced through relatively calm seas like a really, really hot knife through butter.
As had been the case for the last week or so, cumulus clouds dominated our horizons; this accumulation of moisture was put into the air by the extreme heat of the tropics, and it would gift us with showers by day and by night. The condensed droplets would jet down on us in the form of moderate squalls.
Later that day, I took a snooze. When I was woken up for watch, I was told to put on a jacket because it might drizzle. Drizzle, it did. When I opened the hatch at the top of the companionway, the temperature dropped 20 degrees, and I was ambushed by winds screaming louder than anyone on deck. “This is the time,” our first-mate Wiggy shouted over the screeching of Argo’s rigging. As I looked out over the seas to the port side, my jaw dropped. I could see a white wall creeping towards us, and our visibility became 100m, 50m, 25m.
“You’ve got to give it everything you got, Wiggy exclaimed from the helm as Colin and himself battled the steering wheel with all their might to keep us on a broad reach. When the squall hit, winds roared with an intensity we couldn’t have imagined and accelerated up to 50 knots–water droplets started whizzing sideways like bullets in a war zone. Within 30 seconds of being on deck, Watch Team 2 took cover at midships. Our storm sails were tossed like kites in a storm, and the seas around Argo turned a furious white as the tops of swelling waves were blown into the mist. According to Patrick and other crew members, from bow watch the rain was so dense you couldn’t see the back of the boat, and below decks, Argo oscillated like a guitar string.
Once this squall had passed, a few weaker ones followed to take its place throughout the night. Clusters of angry thunderstorms chased us to the doorsteps of Dominica, and once we had emerged from the belly of the beast, we could see the familiar glow of light pollution. Now we knew where all the wind had been.
“We made it” – Drake
Shouts out to people back home
T-2 weeks, hurricane-force winds can’t stop us