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Bill Conan, a middle-aged adventurer, has entered a 30,000 mile solo race around the world in the sloop Josephine, seeing it as his last chance to win status and success. Risking the ultimate test of skill, strength and endurance, Conan will follow his course across the vast expanse of the treacherous Atlantic, toward the one disaster a seaman most dreads. Overboard and alone on the open sea, his struggle can have only one end...
Ocean Viking, Ocean Pacer, Southern Star, and Sir John Falstaff, a hundred yards or more ahead of them, and was soon clear of the fleet, heading west-southwest, driving for the southern bank of the Tagus River, alone except for Mary Chatterton who did the same, two hundred yards upstream from the bigger craft. Conan felt the tiller shiver under his hand as he veered Josephine even more off the wind. Josephine heeled over more and picked up speed. He leaned over the weather gunwale—the high
Miles run since noon 11th April—108. Average speed during the night—6 knots. Total miles run to date—1,218. Made extra chafe guards for after lower shrouds and repaired frayed stitching on tack of No. 2 jib.” Conan frowned. He wasn’t doing too well. The gale had helped Josephine along; the fine weather had held her back. For three days the previous week the wind had dropped to mild breezes and light airs. Josephine had wallowed, stopped dead for hours in between creeping along at three knots.
circumstances: open formation if there was little life and few shoals of fish in the waters, and closed formation during the rarer periods when the fish were more numerous. The trek went on, day after day, with the tribe an entity in itself and yet composed of separate individuals all with his or her own characteristics of movement, of thought, of sound, of signals; some were better scouts than others, some more accurate navigators, some gentler nurses or tugs, some more precise depth-sounders,
reasonably steady thing in his world—the horizon. With his stomach still queasy, and his nerves rattled by the thousand squeaks and groans all around him, Conan shifted the awning and lay down on the cockpit seat. But in a few seconds he was up again—the ship had turned and the hot sun was burning his chest through his cotton shirt. Cursing, he clambered down below again and found restless, hot shelter on the drunken berth for another four hours. By two hours after the swift tropical nightfall,
northerly gale as both vessels crossed the Tropic of Capricorn five days before Conan posted his letter. The closest competitor astern of Mary Chatterton was Jack Hanson on board Sundance Kid, three hundred miles astern of Flagrante Delicto, and he in turn was closely trailed by Peter the Pole in Blytskwtska. All four of the remaining race competitors are now, as I write, running before the steady, strong winds of the roaring forties, eastering for the Cape of Good Hope, which, Conan wrote, he