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Susanne Huber-Curphy making landfall in Tasmania

by Daria Blackwell 23 Feb 08:49 UTC
NEHAJ in Lunenburg-Nova Scotia © Susanne Huber-Curphey

After sailing one and one-half times around the earth solo non-stop in the spirit of Moitessier, NEHAJ and Susanne conclude their tribute journey...

2017 Barton Cup winner Susanne Huber-Curphy writes from sea while circumnavigating during the Longue Route...

Blauwasser Brief

200 miles to Hobart, 19.02.2019
Lat. 43º 23' South
Long. 144º 07' East
250 days at sea, 32.854 NM.

Landfall

Just like 120 days ago the Southwest Cape of Tasmania is lying not far ahead again, but this time Nehaj will arrive in Hobart.

This fantastic journey one and a half times around the world has been exciting, adventurous and full of new experiences for me. Nehaj was wonderful in all weather conditions with 'Miss Aries' steering perfect all the time. We had no dramatic events and apart from one torn old light weather sail there is no damage on board. Besides a few bruises and chips I kept healthy, not taking a single pill or any treatment from the medical box. I guess we were 'lucky'.

Bernard Moitessier was an inspiration to me as he has been for many sailors and will be in the future.

I my opinion the 'GGR 2018' and the 'Longue Route 2018' have clearly shown that it is still a challenge to sail solo and non-stop around the world and proved the huge act of seamanship by Sir Robin and Bernard 50 years ago under much harder conditions.

During her eight months at sea Nehaj sailed 360º + 216º of Longitude and 33.000 nautical miles with an overall speed of 5.5 knots. I'm happy to say that we beat the virtual sailing time of 'Joshua' 50 years ago by four days on her route 360º + 206º of Longitude from Plymouth to Tahiti.

Nehaj and I were well prepared and we sailed with priority on safety over speed. My 'Jordan Series Drogue' is now tattered nearly beyond use, while my hand stitching during the recent weeks replaced only one third of the broken cones. This is the main reason for not carrying on into the southern autumn. I still try to drop a few points into 'Vigor's Black Box of Good Seamanship' every day and ending this journey now might add an imaginary gold coin. John Vigor believes that the content of this invisible black box will keep you out of harm, and when things are getting tough this will decide whether you are 'lucky' or 'unlucky'.

I cannot say if the Canal (2011), the high Arctic (2017) or the deep South (2018) are the best sailing routes to clear the Americas, but after 3 half times round east bound, I can give you this advice for the Southern Ocean: keep the mast out of the water and keep the water out of the boat.

Thank you for following our route, for your concern and for your friendship, Susanne and Nehaj.

On 55% of the 204 days in the Southern Ocean we had winds of force 7 or more:

- In that time 62 low pressure systems or their cold fronts were passing us.
- 6 times Nehaj was lying safely on the Jordan Drogue in storm conditions, a total of 195 hours (8 days).
- 4 times Nehaj was hove to in strong head winds, a total of 84 hours (3 half days).
- 23 times Nehaj was sailing under the try sail (7.3 m") a total of 633 hours (26 days).
- 10 times Nehaj was sailing under the storm jib (5.4 m"), a total of 180 hours (7 half days).
- We had the full mainsail (35 m") without reefs up only 15.5 % of the time (760 hours), so the by 2.8m reduced mast height of the original design and the oversized rigging were perfect.

Update: 20-02-19 1234 GMT - The Longue Route reports on its Facebook page:

End of the road for lady Suzanne Huber-Curphey, arrived this night (French time) in Tasmania, to visit some friends and the fruit trees she planted a few years ago in tribute to Bernard Moitessier. Photos to come.

For more:

- Longue Route 2018 event map
- Daily Position reports: with my call sign N1QFE
- Short daily remarks

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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