photo credit: Amory Ross | Team Alvimedica

Channel Fever is what it’s called, and it’s highly contagious.

My favorite Italian is Pasta Beach, get the Gamberi every time.
Big cup of coffee from Ocean Breeze but for an espresso go to the Shipyard.
Best late night pizza: Nikola’s.
Want a huge steak–you’ve probably got to pony up at 22 Bowens,
And it’s probably too early for a mudslide at the Pearl Patio.

Soon you’re consumed with distracting recollections of home and generally speaking the greater treasures of life on land, and for a moment of inefficiency all you or anyone else can think about is–as the disease’s name implies–entering the channel to the harbor where you eventually disembark.

Some people are really good about it and I like to think I’m one of them. I genuinely enjoy being out here away from the craziness of a land-locked life, especially during the latter stages of this race when I am acutely aware of the remaining days at sea. I purposefully avoid thinking too much about Gamberi, American coffee, and delivery pizza, but with less than 300 miles to go and a slightly different destination—a bed at my parents place and a very familiar town of people and places that I haven’t seen in a really, really long time–I’m finding it much harder than usual!

But the quickest cure for Channel Fever is the leaderboard, motivation enough to stay firmly focused on the racing. We’ve just peeled from the Masthead Zero to the A3 spinnaker to accommodate a building and lifting breeze and soon we’ll be tearing across the Gulf Stream for six hours in 15-20 knots, the strong west-to-east current and our last taste of southern warmth before spearing off into the cold waters of New England. Then the wind is expected to gradually drop to nothing where we may get our only chance to catch the leaders.

It’s not much to bank on but for now the Power of Positive Thinking and some last minute local knowledge is winning the battle—hopefully holding back the Channel Fever for at least another day.

– Amory Ross

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