Passing the Windward Passage

524 years after Columbus, the Clipper Fleet made their way through the Windward Passage, the 50-mile wide, 5,550-foot deep gap between eastern Cuba and western Haiti that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Caribbean Sea.

High-pressure systems delivered a “breath-taking vista of horizon-to-horizon stars, with the Milky Way clearer than we’ve seen for a while, and not a squall cloud in sight” according to skipper Matt Mitchell.

It’s Day 5 of the 10-day 1,750-mile sail north from Panama to New York City and ClipperTelemed+ is in third place, just eight miles behind leader Garmin.  Given the favorable weather forecast, the leaders should arrive into Liberty Landing Marina on June 9-10.

Here’s a note from Linda, from somewhere in the Caribbean:

Hi everyone –

Reporting in from north of Haiti and Cuba, heading toward the Bahamas.

Once we left Shelter Harbor Marina on the east side of Panama, we ended up motoring from our 10pm take-off (we were waiting on the last three boats to come through the canal).

We went through several postponements of starts before finally starting in 15 to 20 knots of wind on June 1st around 7am. It was a great call by Clipper RC as we went through a long motoring in 2-5 knots of wind.

Once again a Le Mans start. This time Unicef was way ahead of the line so we did a second start. This was not a good start for us and we quickly reached off and ducked the fleet. It turned out to work in our favor – in the first report we received we were in 1st place.

Wind has been pretty good and we have had two days of starboard tack, which is good for me as my bunk is one that keeps you safe on starboard and does not try to toss you out as it does on port tack!

We have Rich, the Clipper media man, on this race. He is interviewing Han, Justin, skipper Matt and me for his documentary. Me, because as he puts it, I am the “wisest” person – I believe that is a cover up for “oldest.” But it sounds good.

Last night I saw a LONG, phosphorus, greenish-yellow, wiggly thing along side the boat. Not sure what it was but once again Mother Nature has shown me something new.

Positions in race have been changing rapidly with most boats close. We have now experienced some no wind moments and they are painful if our boat is the only one in the no wind hole. We just went through one but luckily it lasted only about an hour and we are once again off and running.

Wondering if I will see Bernsteins or Bay in the Bahama area. Have a great day!

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6 thoughts on “Passing the Windward Passage

  1. Looks amazing! We’re looking forward to seeing you in San Antonio when you get done so we can see your face as you talk about your adventure. May you keep a strong wind at your back all the way to New York and back to England.
    Bette

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda, Best wishes & safe passage! News: We cancelled two races at AYC this week because of high water. The lake is a few feet from the swimming pool and dry sail boats have moved to high ground, so we are ready for more. Weather looks good so maybe we are done.
    Regards, Hector

    Liked by 1 person

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