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@22:32 GMT

Position: 38º 32.131 N x 28º 37.333 W

Speed: At Anchor in Horta, Azores

Course: At Anchor in Horta, Azores

Guest blog written by crew member Lauren

Dearest Wally, our time with you was all too short but you have left a mark on our memories (and our eardrums) that will not soon be forgotten.


You were born in early 2022 in Sri Lanka, at a Quantum sail making facility. You traveled far early in your young life, first to Michigan, then on to Massachusetts and finally to Florida. You joined the rest of your headsail family, Jib, Code 0 and S3, in what was to be a grand adventure, crossing the Atlantic Ocean. You showed great promise, strong and reliable, harnessing the strength of the winds as you pulled Ingwe and her crew forward.

Your namesake, a small dog who lives in California, should have given us a clue about your future. Wally the dog is friendly and spirited, unless he is faced with strong winds while out on a walk. And then he stubbornly refuses to go any further.

When you were faced with elevated winds and a tangled leash on board, you refused to go any further. As you twisted yourself again and again around your older brother Jib, you brought this small crew together in a moment of challenge, a bond that will never be broken. The dolphins who frolicked in the bow wake during the wrestling match seemed to cheer you on, much to the dismay of the valiant crew.

But you were not done with us. After we finally tied you up (as a triple reefed spinnaker) you continued to remind us of your presence, wildly calling to us in a deafening, anxiety inducing way, that drove us to confine ourselves to the main salon as much as possible. You nearly escaped the first night, flailing wildly in the dark but we were able to tame you with additional line. In the morning we continued to apply lashing from above and below, yet your stubbornness was evident by the two trash bag like bulges of sail that continued to violently flap in the breeze. You held on through 4 long days and 4 long nights, seeming to regret your decision to abandon us, fighting against your constraints. 

Your last gasp was in early morning light, in a 30kt squall as we tried to anchor, fighting the stoppage of the journey by keeping the boat from holding fast to the bottom. You sang to the rest of the anchorage as we navigated the other vessels, announcing our arrival with gusto. 

As soon as the rigger stepped aboard the boat this morning, you seemed to know your time was growing short. Part of you tried to flee the vessel, streaming out towards the green hills surrounding the Horta anchorage. You fought against your release as the brave rigger twirled this way and that, dangling in the air, and finally resorted to a knife to free you from the clutches of Jib.

As pieces of you drifted down to the deck, the crew felt a range of emotions. Thankful for the peace brought by the silence, we also mourned your loss. Watching as the rigger made his cuts, we marveled at your strength of character and determination. When the last of you was finally extracted from Jib, we caringly gathered you up and stuffed you in the confines of your sail bag, with thoughts of ways that we could honor your memory. 

Wally, we are glad to have known you, to have sailed with you, and to have battled you. As you begin your eternal nap, may you know that the lessons you have taught us have only made us stronger and wiser. Gradually the emotional scars that you have inflicted will fade. You will forever be part of our lives and of the sea story that is Atlantic Crossing Adventure.

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