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Leg One to Bermuda

The wind is down to 9 knots (10 mph) blowing just east of north while I struggle to the northeast to round Bermuda placing it on my starboard (right) side. I move at 7 knots and at this speed I will not make the start line in Bermuda until 9:00 pm or later Friday night. This is not good. Rounding a reef enclosed island and having to within a mile of the shore and half a mile from reefs with uncertain winds behind the island is not something I shall attempt at night. I will no doubt heave to and drift the night away so as to approach on Saturday morning.

I have been at sea now for only four days on this the first leg of a solo circumnavigation beginning in St. Augustine to set a new record but restarting without stopping in Bermuda to challenge the existing 150 day 6 hour record set by Dodge Morgan in 1986. It’s going to be a long voyage. No serious problems as of yet but its early days.

The send-off from St. Augustine was at 10:00 am Sunday, November 9th and as requested much smaller than last time. Towed to the start, my son Alan and project manager Steve Pettengill were both on board to assist in getting sails launched and so I could wave to those taking photos. Both Alan and Steve are circumnavigators. Short of the start Towboat US held my bow to the wind, the mainsail was then hoisted and I began to sail to the start line, a line due south of the Sea Buoy. Alan and Steve jumped off onto the Towboat as it came along side and I let fly the large genoa. I crossed to line and was soon doing 12 knots - the fastest so far on this voyage.

Tomorrow Bermuda.

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