Zeke Holland sailed around the world aboard the Atlantic 42 catamaran No Regrets, built by John Lombardi in 1999. Zeke wrote in his new book, A Satisfying Sail Around the World:

Just before dawn was a wild time, the wind blowing 30, the water roaring along the hulls, and the anticipation of wave after wave approaching in the utter darkness. A wave would lift the sterns and propel us forward. My mind would gauge what our speed would rise to in the seconds that followed. Fourteen knots had become no big deal; when the wave caught us just right we would hit 18. Mostly the sailing was “smooth,” in the sense that we were going downwind, riding the waves rather than bashing into them. But occasionally one smacked under the bridge deck and gave the boat a jolt that would have been terrifying months ago. We had grown accustomed to the violence of the seas; what had been terrifying was now merely nerve-wracking.

The forces on the boat had to be immense. Not just the static forces of 30 knots of wind against a reefed mainsail and jib, but the impossible-to-calculate dynamic forces of being lifted and dropped and twisted in every direction. How long could No Regrets withstand such torture?

“What’s the worst that can happen?” I would ask myself, as though speaking with a new crew. The rig could come down, or the structure of the boat might crack. It would be disastrous, but it would not be life-threatening. Stay calm. The boat was designed and built to take these conditions.

Zeke’s comments now:

When we crossed the Indian Ocean we had conditions much worse than those described above, including surfing at 22 knots. We had zero structural problems with No Regrets. I learned to trust the boat’s design and construction more and more as the miles went by. It’s a wonderful thing when you’re caught in a gale to know you can rely on your vessel! Thank you, John Lombardi.

Check out Zeke’s book and photos at www.satisfyingsail.com.