Closings are never easy and Discovery was no exception. Our scheduled closing date, December 15th came and passed with almost $600,000 in two separate wires lost in the murky world of international wires. For a week and I half I paced the docks, called my bank repeatedly, cussed and drank an inordinate amount of very strong Italian coffee, all the while watching the calendar- the money had to arrive: all documentation with the bank, customs, port captain had to be done by the 21st or we wouldn’t leave until well after the New Year. Needless to say, I’ve shaved a few years off my life and gone a bit grayer, but we pulled it off — on the last possible day and hour it could have been done. I literally ran into the post 1 minute before it closed for the holidays to overnight all the documentation to our agent in Florida who will have Discovery registered under her new flag in Nevis. I am without doubt that we are the first boat in history to close and leave the docks for a 4500 passage in under 24 hours.

We’re now 24 hours into our run to Lanzarote. Three souls onboard- my uncle David, who sailed with me a few years ago from New Zealand to Tonga, and Tim Collins, a friend of my sister’s who I briefly met this summer over a few beers. He heard I was looking for crew, quit his job, rented his apartment in Seattle and signed on (actually he did all of that before even talking to me- I call that commitment!).

leaving Italy
Leaving Italy

Usually the first few days out on a passage are not exactly enjoyable. The body struggles with the constant motion, all the stress of pre-departure is captured in tense muscles and knotted stomachs. One suffers a general malaise, that is slowly replaced with equilibrium and peace- but it takes awhile. I can’t speak for the crew, but this soul is experiencing a bit of mental, if not physical euphoria right out of the whole shot. It’s blowing a steady 35 knots NE- a fast if rough downhill slide, even with a very lumpy and confused sea running that makes for some interesting knocks and wallops. This will likely the be the roughest weather of the trip, if we have some luck clearing Gibralter. So why the euphoria?

speeding along
A pause for thought

It’s this boat! My God, what a wonderful ship. We’re running under the 3rd reef in the main and about 50% genoa (ie very conservative) and we’re

averaging

12 knots. Top speed last night- a whopping 23.1 knots! Our 24 hour run will easily have us over 250 miles. My

best

day we had in 7 years on Saoirse was 203. I just did the dishes using a dishwasher; I watched a movie last night on my watch on a flat screen TV; tracking shipping targets with an amazing radar; we can steer and keep an eye on everything from the comfort of the massive main salon instead of standing outside freezing in the rain. Moitessier and Slocum would be horrified. Sorry guys, I’ll take it.

Now if I could just figure out how to get email to work so someone other than myself could read this!!!

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