Whew! After “parking” for some time last night and going into a scheduling panic (worried about meeting my crew in time, getting to Newport ASAP, etc), the wind is back, and I don’t mean the “wind” that results from too much freeze-dried food….:-)
I don’t know if you have been following the weather, but there was a good chance I could have been swallowed up by an expanding Azores high. To avoid getting stuck, I have been working north and east the last few days, but still had to jibe.
North again early this morning. It is strange to head 90 degrees from your destination at 2 kts, but if you can reach wind, that is the thing to do. Apparently the high is moving west a bit so that helped too. So at the moment we’re back on track at 9-10 kts in 8 kts of wind.
If you are wondering why I am so easily freaked out by any delay, check out the schedule we are facing in order to make the start of the Around Alone; (this is assuming we raise enough donations and/or sponsorship by August 1st).
July 10/11: Leave Horta for Newport, allowing for weather 10-14 days max.
July 20/24: Arrive in Newport, head straight for Newport shipyard. ship out sails, etc.
July 24-Aug 19: Complete myriads of structural, performance, and cosmetic jobs (strip and paint bottom, fairing, modify mast bearings, rigging, blah, blah, blah). At least what we can afford to finish, anyway.
Aug 19-22: Relaunch, step mast, rerig. get repaired, modified, or new sails and do tune up daysails.
This gives us only four weeks in Newport to complete the boat before August 23rd when I will attend my brother’s wedding in Seattle. I know what your’re thinking, but the race rules require that the boats be at the race village docks and be pretty much ready to go by August 27th.
Sounds impossible? Does to me, too, but if you told me two years ago that we would build an Open 60 primarily from donations, and that I would sail it singlehanded to the Azores, and be qualified for the 2002 Around Alone….?
I say we have a chance. In fact, while I was writing this I was even able to go up and put a reef in, so perhaps the wind is back for good.
The race for the race is on. Now, will somebody please find us a big sponsor already.?.?
Sailing fast and fast talking,
Bruce + Ocean Planet