I’ve finally made it into the easterly trades. They are still pretty light but they will become stronger as I head north. This is a pretty big deal because it’s the last trade winds I’ll be in before the Chesapeake Bay. I will still have light winds by the equator and I’m sure the wind will blow out of some other direction at some point but I should have mostly easterly wind until 25-30 north.
A couple nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night to empty my bilge and check my course. I noticed one of my fishing lines was tight. Fresh fish, I could almost taste it as I pulled the line in hand over hand. Well my fresh fish turned out to be a piece of flotsam. I had a hard time falling back sleep and I finally dozed off just as the sun came up. I was dreaming that I was sailing around on a super fancy yacht with Keira Knightly and she was totally in love with me. She handed me a glass of wine and I went to give her a kiss. All of a sudden she started making this loud honking noise. I remember thinking, why is she making this noise? A second later I woke up to realize it wasn’t Keira making the noise it was a giant freighter honking at me with its incredibly loud horn. I stumbled out into the cockpit and since I haven’t seen a freighter (or any vessel) in thousands of miles it took me a moment to fully grasp what was happening. The freighter (Yasa Team) was so close I could almost talk to the crew who were standing on the bridge deck waving to me. I must look awfully small from the deck of a freighter. The freighter must have seen me and came over to check me out and make sure everything was ok. It’s very rare for a freighter to do so, as they usually don’t even keep a decent lookout let alone stop by to see how things are going. My VHF is broke so I wasn?t able to talk to them. Yasa Team passed by then turned back on course towards Brazil. There was no way I was going to fall back asleep after that so I started pumping my water maker to make a cup of coffee. I saw another freighter heading the same way an hour later, so I must have passed through a shipping lane.
I’ve seen a bunch of random junk in the water the last five days or so. I don’t know why there is so much trash around here. I hit something a few nights ago and I could hear it bouncing off the bottom of my boat as I sailed by. It was too dark to see what it was but it sure sounded big.
All is good out here but Don Backe (the founder and executive director of C.R.A.B) got some kind of infection that nearly killed him. Last I heard he was in the hospital and so weak he couldn’t lift his arms. I’ve been worried about his health this whole trip but now I’m really worried. Apparently he’s getting better but it still sounds bad to me. Without Don’s support this trip would have never happened. I owe a lot to Don and look forward to seeing him (nice and healthy) when I get back. So get well soon Don.
I would like to thank Dave Sheinin for writing a great article about this trip. It should really help with fundraising. I would also like to thank Victor (MR. NWP) for various weather routing info that he’s been sending me since Alaska. Thanks guys!

20 thoughts on “Easterlies!”

  1. Ship Ohoij , Matt ! Were you able to spot Herr Amundsen to your starboard as you rouned The Horn ? Doesn’t really matter one way or the other. He no doubt is keeping an eye on you somehow. Boy, are we pleased and proud of you. And what fun it is to follow you across that vast ‘expanse of the ‘mighty blue’. What a trip you are sharing with us all.. Would be nice if you could ‘write’ us a note every day …. !? Not practical, neither possible, I know. But, I find myself checking for news from you every day. More than once. Your upbeat spirit amazes me …..etc., etc. Keep on plowing and smiling – and enjoying it ! ” The Viking.”

  2. Hi Big Matt ! The MacGyver of the Seas !

    I quoted you again on my blog. You, Mike Horn, Laura Dekker and Roman Paszke.

    Look !


    Good, very good, excellent winds.

    Fernando Costa, from Cabo Frio, Brazil

    A little question. Will you take a look at our beautiful islands Trindade and Martim Vaz ? Hey you a crossing right now the latitude of my house. What about a good beer ? LoL

  3. Hi Matt,

    I really enjoy following your giant solo sailing adventure by reading your blog. My own Albin Vega 3009 lies in dock for a total refit and I hope her to be sailing again in March.
    My first solo trip planned will be a 100 miles North Sea passage from Amsterdam to Great Britain so I really feel myself a midget comparing to you. Good luck and winds! And keep up the good spirit,

    George van Houts Amsterdam The Netherlands

  4. Your journey, your fortitude, is such an inspiration, Matt. I can’t wait to read the book, which will surely come of this. I hope when you read all of these comments here, you are sitting somewhere dry and warm, with a fine drink. And Keira Knightley.

    Godspeed on these last miles. Way to represent.

    With love and admiration,

  5. Talk about getting your cardiovascular workout…I can’t even imagine waking up to a container ship that close. Stay safe…

  6. Hey Matt,
    I had a similar problem on a date with Keira – I woke-up. Looking forward to seeing you in Annapolis. Maybe you will disembark on St. Brendan Day Mat 16th. Wouldn’t that be wild.

    Dave Sterling

  7. “your task is not to seek for love, but merely to SEEK and FIND all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it” RUMI.

  8. Hello Big Matt, “The Macgyver of the Seas” !

    I’m following you day after day in Google Earth. I’m watching you sailing in the direction of the beautiful Brazilian islands of Trindade and Martim Vaz. Guess who fell in love with them? Master Bernard Moitessier. Hope you make pretty pictures of tehm to show us.

    Hey. I quoted you once more in my blog. See!


    Good winds

    Fernando Costa, from Cabo Frio, Brazil

  9. So glad to hear from you and to know that you’re doing okay and glad to hear the winds have picked up. No matter what day you return to Annapolis, I will be there and hope to say hello and tell you how much I admire you. I watched the movie Deep Water per your suggestion and my husband and I were so moved by it. Thank you for recommending it. How amazing that the huge freighter came by to check on you! People are so amazing sometimes, aren’t they? Take care in every way and keep that direction toward Maryland!

  10. Although I am not a sailor, never have been, I read about your gihugeant adventure in our paper here in Ellensburg, Wa. Just want to tell how brave I think you are. I am 72 years old and read voraciously in order to travel vicariously. I pray for your safe return and whenever I ask myself this question, “Whatever happened to those who were once known as a man’s man?” I will think of you. I love your blog and look forward to another. Susan

  11. Hi Matt:
    I am still follow your red-dot daily!!

    Many Thanks for sharing your ongoing personal thoughts & experiences at the site here!
    Your Vega must be getting ‘tired’ .. even with your repair talents..
    I expect you’ll get her & yourself to some R&R&R (Rest, Repair & Recovery) soon!

    ‘Can’t imagine your feelings & thoughts when you head back up into Annapolis!
    Hopefully I’ll get the chance to read about them one day?!
    Ongoing Cheers Man!!! Amazing.

  12. Matt, good luck coming back to the bay. We will be watching for your
    sail up to Annapolis.

  13. When I read the article in the Seattle Times this week, my spirit soared for you!
    My father also wanted to circumnavigate the world on 32ft camper nicholson built in 1968. Chabuka (the name of a wind which means “everything’s normal and then suddenly, something goes snap!) was our home away from home from 1970-1980.

    I grew up reading about Robin Graham aboard the Dove. And that is what I think really got my Dad going!

    However, when Dad took my mom out on the Pacific ocean for a “test drive”…she freaked out. She hated not seeing land. I told him, I would crew with him and we’d have Mom fly to meet us a the “next destination”. His answer was, “I didn’t buy this boat to go sailing with you!” I love it to this day that he stood by his woman. There were married for 60 years. He and Mom spent their years aboard Chabuka going up and down the inside passage from Seattle up to Alaska. They have great stories.

    I cannot imagine your fortitude in doing what you are doing. It is simple amazing.
    And I for one am praying for you. Godspeed Matt!


  14. If you haven’t heard there was a big tri maran that did a circumnavication in 45 days breaking even power boat speeds. Average speed 26 kt’s and top speed 45kt’s. Big crew though.

  15. Keep up the good work Matt. Keira Knightly is likely waiting to welcome you back to Maryland, though she might be in disguise….

    Hope your bilge water is just everyday stuff and not related to the mysterious bumping in the night.

    Rock on!

  16. Matt,
    I read the Seattle Time article last week, and am glad to find the “spirit of adventure” still exists! I pray that you’ll find a tuna hanging on your fishing line. Congratulations on your accomplishments, may the East winds fill your sales and speed your final leg to the Chesapeake!

    God Bless!

    Joseph S.
    Sacramento, CA

  17. Hope to be there when you sail into Annapolis. I am inspired by what you have done. A true hero!

    Pat C.
    Gaithersburg MD

  18. I went to your talk a year ago in Galesville, MD and have been following your blog for the last 8 months. An amazing voyage!! Good luck with your final leg, fair seas and stay well.

  19. Hi Matt!!! Good trip!!! From your current position and your average speed you probably will be near Recife in 5 days. Here we from Cabanga Iate Clube are doing all eforts to get the material you need, specially the handle to start the motor. I will give you a special Cachaça that we call ” Pinga” and represents the best local drink. With some lemons you could squeze it and mix with cachaça and you will have the best brasilian CAIPIRINHA .

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