12 May The horse smells the barn
As the crew gets closer to Newport, their speed is building – almost as though both boat and crew can smell Newport like a horse smells the barn.
Last night it seemed as though they slowed down, and Pilou confirmed this in today’s call – they sailed into a major patch of light air. Rather than wallow in it, they cranked up the Volvo diesel and powered though it. That horse clearly smells the barn.
As this is written around 1:00 am on Sunday, Rick and I are driving through New York state towing Rick’s Boston Whaler, heading to Newport to greet Areté and her crew as they arrive in the US. We just calculated that she is roughly 200 nautical miles from Newport, with an ETA in about 12 hours. We will have the Whaler launched and be on the water to greet her and escort her past Ft. Adams where the Volvo Ocean Race fleet resides and on to Newport Shipyard, where the crew will clear customs. They can take showers and we will get them to a good dinner…except, of course, for Bertrand, who wants a Big Mac.
For the crew, this will signal the end of a successful transatlantic crossing, the first for some. For Rick, it will be the opportunity to re-join the boat that he last saw as she sailed away from Las Palmas. As for me, I cannot wait to see what the French call “la machine folle”, “the crazy machine.”