National Geographic : 1968 Oct
Amazingly enough, Dove averaged 100 miles a day carrying this ridiculous sail com bination, the same distance I had hoped to make good under normal conditions. But without doubt, this was the roughest passage of my life-until then. Two tape entries read: A big wave broke over the side. I saw green water out the portlightfor the second time at sea. My knees are still shaking. There's an awful lot of water in the cabin. Next day: I was taking a noon sun sight when I heard a big bang. Another wave crashed aboard, soaking me and the sextant. This trip is getting to me. I felt like throwing the sextant right through the wind vane, but I thought I'd better not. After 19 days of such weather, as Dove 486 approached the island of Rodrigues, on the track to Mauritius, I became concerned that I might run into it at night. Standing on the overturned dinghy, I strained in vain to see a black dot in the moonlight. .... and then this morning I looked and saw it, a long, solid piece of land, about 20 miles away. Five days later I recorded: Even under shortened sail, I've made Mauritius in 24 days from Cocos, right on time! What a sight to see the island lift up out of the ocean, green and round. At Port Louis a bevy of yachts arrived, some of them old friends-Shireen and Moth er of Pearlfrom England, Edward Bear and Bona Dea from New Zealand, CorsairII from South Africa, and Ohra from Australia. Quite a convention of deep-water vagabonds!