Race 7, Airlie Beach to Da Nang Vietnam Part 1

Hello all,

You are correct, what am I’m thinking doing race 7 when I haven’t finished Leg 3 or Leg 4.  Well, this race turned out very special for me so wanted to share it now.

And yes, I am delinquent but if you have me on your Facebook you know that during the Da Nang stopover I flew home to attend my Aunt Katie’s memorial service.  Am now at DFW waiting for my flight to go back.  That has been interesting as after I left Da Nang, I discovered my visa was a single entry visa.  The Clipper office has been working since the 20th to get me back into the country.  My approval came in a few hours prior to leaving San Antonio today.  Without it I would still be there.

So, the adventure begins!

Last Minute on the bow sprite adding anti chafe to tack line

Last Minute on the bow sprite adding anti chafe to tack line

We left Airlie Beach amid intermittent showers accompanied by cold air and high winds.  The bright side was there were rainbows.
Rainbow at Airlie Beach to start the day

Rainbow at Airlie Beach to start the day

We did the normal parade out of the harbor, then circled a Cruise ship, went around several marks, all of this accompanied by some of the sailboats from Arlie Beach.  My new friend Sandy was on one of the sailboats that is known for it’s bright quilt colored sail cover.

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Sandy and friends and the quilt covered sails.

Then, we motored over 24 hours to make our way outside of the islands, the strong current issues in the passage and the possibility of damaging any of their reefs, especially the Great Barrier Reef.

Once we were at the start point we did a Lemans start (all line up with one boat considered the line and with one minute to go all engines go off with only the main up and you work to stay in line.  Once the gun goes off, the crew runs forward and hoists the stay sail and the Yankee that has been designated.  Sails cannot be changed and no course change for the first 10 minutes.  We had a great start and were soon in first!!!  however, our watch went below to take our 4 hours off and when we came back up we were in back of the pack going through the middle of two islands with Seattle and Mission Performance.  The rest were either in the right side of the islands or the left side of the other one.  Not sure what happened.  The group on the left ended in the lead and then came the right side (LMax, Derry London Derry, Garmin, Great Britain) and then came us.  The fun thing was I saw a shooting star so the night watch was not wasted.

The next few days we had heavy air but and some reefing.

Some exciting seas

Some exciting seas

That was followed by lots of sun and intermittent showers which were actually squalls that brought big wind and cool air for 10 to 20 minutes and then it was over.  I believe we were experiencing a bit of the monsoon season.  Very hot, with all of us sweating most of the time and no air down below so very difficult to sleep.  Also we had to deal with everyone and their wet clothes that did not dry the entire 4 weeks.

my bunk with clothes hanging and it was one of the few that was not obliterated with wet clothing.

my bunk with clothes hanging and it was one of the few that was not obliterated with wet clothing.

I now know why a baby cries when they have diaper rash.  The things I am learning.

Have seen more shooting stars and one amazing one probably because it was in the southern hemisphere.  Can anyone tell me why the southern hemisphere has big explosive shooting stars with a bright long tail and the northern hemisphere does not?  Unbelievable some of the ones that I have seen.

Have been labeled the Trim Queen.  Even got the sails so Ryan could release the wheel for over 2 minutes with it continually returning to correct course.  Waves would eventually knock it off course.

Linda and Mark discussing trim

Linda and Mark discussing trim

Also getting to do a lot of helming this leg even during some of the heavy air.

Ryan as my spotter. They have a hard time making me watch the compass and go solely by it.

Ryan as my spotter. They have a hard time making me watch the compass and go solely by it.

Oh oh, no spotter! Boy am I having fun!

Oh oh, no spotter! Boy am I having fun!

a bit of a gust causing me to work hard at turning wheel.

a bit of a gust causing me to work hard at turning wheel.

Whoops, Ryan is back. Better check the compass!

Whoops, Ryan is back. Better check the compass!

Looks like fun right?  Well, then we hit the doldrums and had a couple of no wind days and extremely hot days.  We had a preview of this on Leg 1 and I am wondering how did I let myself do it again?  And to top it off looks like Leg 7, Seattle to Panama Canal to New York is the same kind of weather for a large portion of the trip.  Am I really going to do it again??  You bet!  Can’t wait to go through the Canal!

During the first few weeks of this race we played tag with Seattle, Mission Performance, LMax and Garmin.  Interesting then if you look at the results of the race.

When we are trimming the kite, one’s bottom gets very sore.  Someone remembered the beanbag and of course used me as the excuse to bring it up to protect my bony bottom.

Judith enjoying then beanbag. It does help!

Judith enjoying then beanbag. It does help! Now they have no trouble getting someone to volunteer to trim!  Thank you Linda!

The heat has gotten so bad that we moved to 4 hour watches during the day and 6 hour watches 6pm to 6am.   Our focus is drained.

Shana on a slow day.

Shana on a slow day.

Squalls and rainbows are a relief!  You can not see it in the picture, but where the rainbow hits the water, the colors simmer on the water.  We also see rainbows in the splash of the boat if the sun is at the right angle.

Check the color

Check the color

Sean trying to control then rainbow!

Sean trying to control the rainbow!

I do not have a picture of this but am working to get one.  There was a MOONBOW caused by the rain and then the moon.  It was during the other watch but apparently very spectacular.

Another fun time was having a bird “Albert” adopt us.

Our friend Albert

Our friend Albert

Albert in Flight

Albert in Flight

We enjoyed Albert but then he flew into the safety net on the bow of the boat.  Ryan and Caz rescued him and he flew away.

Enough for now.  Hope to get one more off before we take off tomorrow.  Depends on my little Surface who has been acting up this evening.

 

4 thoughts on “Race 7, Airlie Beach to Da Nang Vietnam Part 1

  1. Linda, Sorry to here of your aunt’s passing. We just finished the Frostbite Series on Lake Travis and two races had 30 Knot winds! Several crew went swimming in the 55 degree water! Getting ready for Opening Day. We miss you!

    Bill Records

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  2. Hi Linda, I was sorry to hear of your Aunt’s passing too. I’m glad you were able to get your visa squared away relatively quickly! Looking forward to your Seattle visit — I’ll await word on your potential arrival date. You can certainly stay at our house if you’d like – it is 15 miles from downtown. There’s room for another as well if you’d like 🙂 You may yearn for privacy when you get to land though — totally understandable – nothing like quality alone time! I’ll be curious to see how you cross the Pacific! All the best, Nancy

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  3. Saddened by your loss. These last postings from you are fantastic. You look great at the wheel and I have no doubt you are the trim queen…as demonstrated when you sailed September. The crew now looks at me with that “Linda made the boat go faster look”. Sail the dream.

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