A 7-Hour Hove-to
Sailing Blind during our 3rd Gale
Gusting beyond 70 knots
Reindeer's 1976 Transatlantic Crossing
June 20, 1976
Blog Entry #11
Our weather radio reported icebergs south of us, but we never dodged any during the 10 days sailing from Newfoundland to Iceland. And we never dodged weather, wind or waves, but we dodged exhaustion.
By June 21 we had sailed northeast for 6 days through 2 gales and all the crew were exhausted, some were still sick and all were chilly, wet and numb. So our skipper and author-to-be, Newbold Smith, made a tactical decision that surprised all the crew which we unanimously and enthusiastically embraced.
At the end of those seven hours, I remember viewing our chart, our progress and location. The general consensus was we had bobbed and drifted about 50 miles sideways or almost due east during the night while making less than 20 miles towards our northeast destination.
When we were awakened to resume our watches, I know I felt as if Newbold had given everyone the breather and break we all needed to resume our watches effectively. It turned out to be a beautifully calculated choice. I know I emerged with a renewed energy and appreciation for our skipper.