It has been asked by quite a few, “shall I restart?” As to it being from Cape Town where I am now headed, the answer is a clear and concise “no!” My goal was to leave from St. Augustine, during its 450th celebration (now my adopted home), via Bermuda, where I lived for three years and from where the record of 150 days was set by Dodge Morgan. My eldest son, Alan, is a Bermudian, and the first from that nation to have circumnavigated – something we have both done in years past- he solo, me with friends and family. So, it’s St. Augustine via Bermuda or not at all.
To make this decision, I need to have complete confidence in the repairs, modifications and replacements to Kiwi Spirit. We have in this past year gained a great deal of experience that will help us enhance performance and increase safety. It would be a pity to waste this learning, but I shall remain cautious and delay a final decision until I am completely satisfied on all counts. In the meantime, we will proceed as though we are going to restart in late November from St. Augustine.
I am at present proceeding to Cape Town and expected to arrive Monday or Tuesday. I will be met by my wife, Catherine, and Steve Tofield. Steve is from Lyman Morse in Maine, who did a great job in building the boat. Once he is onboard, he will take over. Needed repairs will be done in Cape Town, then the boat, with a crew of two or three, will sail to Antigua and be docked there, awaiting weather in May to proceed to Maine for all necessary work.
By the time Kiwi Spirit arrives in Maine, much consultation and planning will have taken place, so that we get it right. I will be responsible for this.
I suspect I can now consider myself an experienced “solo” sailor, having logged some 62 solo days at sea by the time I reach Cape Town – 48 since the departure from St. Augustine. Experience should never be wasted.