GryphonSolo2 News


GS2: Managing a Big Gale... 800 Miles to Go
August 22, 2022

Hello Friends-

We hope everyone is enjoying August and hopefully a bit of time off. Here in the Indian ocean, it is "game on"! Once we passed through the Agulhas Current we were truly in the Indian Ocean and turned NE towards our destination, the island of Mauritius. The distance was about 2,000 miles but we are now under 800 miles to go. The conditions have been mainly downwind, which is always nice, but yesterday the forecast was for a big gale lasting about 20 hours and the forecast did not disappoint. There is always a bit of an ominous feeling onboard when a gale is approaching and I always look all over the boat to make sure everything can withstand the barrage of wind and sea. In this case, I opened the forward-most compartment which is behind a water-tight bulkhead to be sure no water had found its way in and also checked the aft-most compartment where the rudders, steering gear and auto-pilots are located and luckily everything was dry and in good shape. Roger and I went over the storm-management game plan which was to reduce sail to 3 reefs in the mainsail and the staysail (or J2 as the French call it) as the forecast was for steady winds over 30k and gusts to the mid-40's with 25' following seas. We waited pensively through Saturday and then Saturday night it hit with squalls, heavy rain and lightning. We ran off with it and the boat was handling it well until the gusts over 40k hit and luckily I was in the cockpit and could quickly ease the sheets and turn the boat further downhill. This went on for about 12 hours with Roger and I taking our usual 3-hour watch turns and the howling wind and sheeting rain soaked us to the bone and it got chilly so lots of Irish Coffee (Liquid Courage) had to be consumed! The weather finally abated on Sunday morning and the squalls cleared and a clear, sunny, crisp day dawned but the high winds over 20k remained through the day. We now have about 800 miles to go to Mauritius which should take about 4 days if the wind from the SE doesn't go light and forward- fingers crossed. So we are on Day 36 of this epically long leg 2 from Cabo Verde to Mauritius and have fully realized what a massive undertaking this Globe40 RTW race truly is. We very much look forward to spending time with family and friends during the 2+ week stopover and fully exploring the island of Mauritius while also tending to the lengthy "to-do" list for the boat that inevitably emerges from a 40-day passage around Cape of Good Hope. We are very ready for a "time out" but will remain busy!

All Best-
Joe and Roger on GS2

GryphonSolo2 Campaign / Joe Harris Ocean Racing
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