After a spectacular sendoff with the drum and cymbal group, dignitaries, fireworks, and good wishes, we did an exhibition start and short race then motored the 100+ miles to start line in order to carefully go through the many fishing nets and boats that are everywhere off of the China coast.
Once we arrived at the designated location (longitude and latitude) we lined up for the Lemans start. In absence of markers/pins for a start line, there is a designated boat who becomes the lead boat and calls everyone together. They will then set up the timing countdown. Everyone then jockeys for a position and at 1 minute left, motors go off, crew is lined up behind the front pedestal and when the count hits zero all move quickly to their position and raise the yankee and staysail as quickly as possible and begin racing. For the Clipper races, no one is allowed to make any sail changes or tacks for the first 10 minutes. Then all is fair.
The beginning of this race was very good weather and enjoyable for all.
Code 2 Kite did a little explosion and now needs attention.
We managed to get all of Code 2 taped and 2/3rds sewn up when the weather became a factor again and work stopped. Great work though by Mark, Kat, Eric, Sean, Jason, and me. Code 2 was finished in Seattle along with Code 3 who had a misadventure later.
A side note about our Mother duty here. Elaine and I were a team and with the crazy weather we had some wild moments….when two of three bowls of Tuna salad went flying in the galley and flew all over the sitting area. That night we had Shrimp curry and several of our crew that were not sick at this time did not eat, self included due to little green monster attack. Those that did eat found themselves sick later that evening. Did discover that tuna, egg and potato are a good combination for tuna salad. In case you haven’t guessed, we had tuna everytime we had mother duty. Not our choice but was the way the day bags were set up. You pull up the bag and then you go with what you pull out of the bag.
March 27th we saw dolphins during our 2am to 6am watch. Also beautiful moon and not overly cold.
Excitement on board when Eric tried cooking bacon and the winds hit. We eventually had a small grease fire and then life settled though wind did not. Good news was that we sighted LMax.
April 1st was a great starry night with amazing lightening flashes that filled the sky. I wondered if the flashes would have been so evident during the day with fairly clear skies. Will have to notice next opportunity. I know they are evident if there are lots of storm clouds during day.
April 3rd we had 40 to 60 knot winds causing top batten to break, main sheet broke, tricing line on port side broke. Is there anything else that might break??
April 4th the first time (we are almost at date line) we saw an amazing meteorite (?) flash behind us. Giant flash of light that seemed really close and way too bright to be a shooting star. During the day we got some rain, sun, hail, snow, sun, etc. That night I was happily cleaning bilges.
My smile was wiped off a bit later as I was taking bucket up to have thrown overboard (THE WATER IN THE BUCKET, NOT THE BUCKET) when while on the steps out of the galley we got a huge hit by a wave, I lost my balance, flew down the stairs, around the corner and into the bilges by the wet locker. Smashed the side of face and right shoulder when I landed. Got some ice on my face, but still had an amazing black eye and red bruise on face for the next few weeks.
April 4th again- Kat and I did a redo of reef three once again and now having to use part of Yankee sheet (outer covering) as anti chafe.
April 6th mother duty again and this time I made some cookies with cooking oil instead of butter (Elaine is allergic to butter). Actually they tasted ok.
Weather has begun to be really bitter cold. Feet and hands feel frozen everytime I am up for watch now. Have begun to put hand warmers under cap to keep them dry and then pull them down to warm hands when I can.
April 8th did yet another version of reef two (redo #4) by splicing together parts of old reef 2 and old reef 3. Another day of sun, sleet, hail, and sun. WHAT IS WITH THIS WEATHER? Had Sean’s pizza for lunch! Yum!!
April 9th All hands on deck called and Code 3 is in the water dragging behind the boat. The halyard had snapped and all hands were on portside working to pull it into the boat. This took about an hour and the kite shredded more the whole time it was dragging back there.
I was not lucky enough to work on this as I was dealing with the immersion/trench foot issue at Nancy’s.
April 11th more excitement when the starboard upper backstay line snapped. Sean went up and fixed it and then we dealt with trying to get the main back up going downwind bare pole (no sails up). The fix and getting the main up took over 3 hours as main kept getting stuck between shroud and mast under first spreader. I wonder if there is a better way to do this in the ocean with rolling waves pushing you forward. My thought would be to turn into the wind. Would this not work in these conditions?
More sunny days followed and finally we see land!
And there was land on both sides. Which is US and which is Canada? Duh, the right side is US and the left side is Canada. The mountains looked higher on the Canadian side but that is ok.
And now for some cleanup while we motor the 100+ miles through the Strait Juan de Fuca.
And just a few fun shots.
That’s it for now. If you become friends of Clipper Telemed you will see some of the posts of the going through the canal. My versions will come once we hit New York.
Have a great few weeks til we meet again!