Summer 2017 Part 2

My next adventure was a bit different. I am redoing leg 8 of the Clipper race so I can officially cross the finish line in 2018.  So my next UK sailing adventure was with my skipper Dave Hartshorn and some of Team Greenings.  I did level 4 training with them and also with some of the Dare to Lead crew (their skipper had resigned and not yet been replaced so they were put with us.  Our Skipper, Dave Hartshorn is one of the best Teambuilders I have had the privilege to work with.  A retired UK constable, he was in charge of security for the London Olympics and Prince William and Kate’s wedding.  I had him for my level 2 training back in 2015 and he was one of my  favorite trainers so I was elated to be on his team.

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Level 4 was fun as David made sure we were all included and it was a small test of some boat rivalry besides being out against the other clipper boats in training).  It was fun telling secrets and answering questions about what to wear, what to expect, etc.  One of the things Dave is really keen about is safety on the boat.  We did lots of different scenarios of possible issues and I got to star in one…I was to go forward and trip and go unconscious.  It was an academy award performance and the 2 docs on board were both getting really worried when they could not wake me up.  Seems if unresponsive they pinch your earlobe.  Of course, I did not know this and they really did a number on my ear.  Even Skipper Dave thought I was out when my ear started bleeding.

leg 8 ear

During training I also was able to see and utilize the ice cream boat that I had heard about so often in 2015 trainings but had never seen.Ice cream

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Level 4 race to France …a bit of no air and finally cancelled so we could get back to docks.

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Next I spent some time with friend Jen and then in London with Judith, Jo and Annie from Telemed.  Also was doing online course on Day Skipper Theory about tides, etc and planning courses.  And finally completed February 20, 2018.  Note to self…never take a course online.

Then Jen and I took the Day Skipper practical on the boat and learned some amazing ways to use tide and wind together.  I am really fascinated with Tides!! And figuring out how to plot a course using tide in the most effective way.  One of the exercises we did was using strong tide vs. strong wind coming from opposite directions with no sails up to capture a mooring.  I felt like a true cowgirl when it was my turn to lasso the giant mooring.  My mooring skills were good once I remembered I was not on a lake in a J22 and thus could not just head at the mooring ball.

Skipper practicalSetting up our course.

skippe pr2Jen at the helm

skipper pr3Retrieving an anchor that has been at the bottom of the sea for a while…we have become a salvage team.

SK4UK is well guarded!

sk8My percussion friends thought you might enjoy the name on the blue side cover.  Amazing what one sees out in the harbors.

And these in harbors we docked in.  Interesting names?

From there we did a day at Jen’s with a side trip to St. Alban’s Cathedral to hear friends from St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio sing.  Also met up with 2 Ex-Judson students who are married and now live in London, an ex-student from MacArthur in the choir, several more good friends that sang in the choir and Clipper Telemed crew member Elaine.  Dined in the Oldest PUB!

After the concertChristina, Anais, Penny, me, Jen and Elaine.  Sad Maren couldn’t make it but she had tickets to Les Misérables.

Then early morning train to Gosport to help Team Greenings prepare boat for trip up to Liverpool for start of 17-18 race.

Don, who was our Team Coordinator was incredibly organized and we started out with a common house for all to stay in during the training.  Already meals together and living together.

Gosport preraceSeems that I remember doing this a few years ago.

Gosport 2Seriously what was I thinking!! Was great to be back “in the saddle again” though.

2017-01-22 18.19.19Dave checking his list of jobs.

Below, Toni, Victualler for race in confusion.  Second time I got to help at the start with the food.  More fun since I knew what I was doing this time.

volvo boatsThe Volvo Ocean Racers sharing the harbor with Clipper and our Fastnet boat.  Really fun to watch them working on their boats and going out practicing every morning.

The race starts………then tragedy….Leg 1 just off Portugal….Skipper Dave is injured during a gybe and med-avacated off the boat for hand surgery.  Good news, Dan comes aboard to fill in for Dave and though they start behind, with the time given for the emergency stop they manage to win the race!!!

Then Skipper Andy from our Fastnet race comes aboard to take the team for leg 2 and 3 while they wait for Dave to return in good shape.  Leg 2 they win again and also break the record on most miles sailed in a 24 hour period!!keelThis was a picture they took while figuring out why their speed had dropped in Leg 2.  Got most of it off and went on to win!

Start of leg 3 from Cape Town on Halloween and Team Greenings discovers what ghosts and goblins can do.  Around midnight they suddenly go aground.

agroundThe team evacuates the boat safely and go through a massive investigation as to what happened.  No one is talking until the official report comes out other than to say “It doesn’t matter who was at the helm, everyone was safe”.  Final report still not out as of this writing.

beached 7Crew going to get sails, anything that might be salvageable that they can help move and their personal belongings off.

The beach was a protected beach so big machinery could not go on it.  Therefore Greenings was cut apart to remove her.  Very sad and many of us shed tears as we saw the pictures.

The good part… I have met some really great people again and discovered Greenings International, a great company that lives up to its slogan “Value Through People”.  Even with our mishap they have been behind us as individuals all the way and are still supporting the Clipper race.

Some of the crew that I will miss being with now that we have worked together (friends from Greenings if your picture is not here it doesn’t mean I won’t miss you.  I just do not have a picture to share yet.)

Derek raising for funds for cancer in memory of his wife.  Even bought a star in the constellation for her.

Martin , Jonas, Neil and Paul

2016-12-25 20.11.10Miles (doesn’t he look like Errol Flynn?), Greg, Seb and Toni

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Derek and Toni….yes they are a fun bunch!

2017-01-23 06.11.03Paul, me, Denise, Jemma, JP, Jeremy and Jonas

All the team was scattered among the other 11 boats.  Now I am on Nasdaq for leg 8 with 2 other Greenings team members.  It will be interesting getting on a boat that I have not met the skipper or crew yet.  Hmmmmmmmmmmm.  Life is always an adventure.  If stock market goes down…not my fault!2016-12-28 01.37.32my fascination with clouds… and what does this appear to be to you?  Flying fish, bird, plane, ………

sunsetAmazing beauty to end this saga with.

Life including Clipper Summer of 2017 and a Few More Sailing Adventures!

Ok, after sailing around the world with Clipper, what to do next??  Well, I ended up being in the UK for 7 weeks this summer doing more big boat sailing.  First draw was Clipper Events entered a boat in the 2017 Fastnet race.  Thought that after the Sydney Hobart it might be fun to add another one of the Rolex 600 mile races so I got into that.  In order to do this I had to do a sea survival course and two qualifying races with the crew and then the Fastnet.  There were 9 of us on the crew plus a skipper and 1st mate.  Some of the crew were past Clipper round the worlders, past Clipper leggers, a charter captain (also Yachtmaster), a Norwegian racer, and a few doing Clipper legs in the 17-18 race.

Our first qualifying race was the Morgan Cup which was a race from Cowes to Guernsey, France.

Channel race

That was interesting as we were the last start and already our skipper, Andy, had warned us that in our start our rating was not the best.  Hmmmm?  Then the start and within 5 minutes, all the sleek asymmetrical spinnakers on much lighter boats were gone and we were still hanging out by the starting line.  You might know the feeling?  We were the only ones with a symmetrical spinnaker and on one of the Clipper 68s with vintage sails.  (If you look closely at the spinnaker you will see it was from the Clipper 11-12 RTW race.)  So much for a tight reach.  Also our boat had successfully gone around the world on 3 of the Clipper races and been a training boat for 12 years.  Lots of miles under her and lots of weight.

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Channel race 2

Our boat with spinnaker on last of the race.  After the depressing start, and about 6 hours of racing I came up for watch and wow, we were in a pack of boats…those with slower ratings that we seemed to pass for the rest of the race.

However we did get to feel better later that Sunday when we returned to the Solent and Skipper Andy asked if we wanted to stay out in the wind and practice or go in.  We all voted to stay out as the wind had picked up and we were enjoying the ride.  So we ended up racing 5 of the Clipper 70s that were doing a practice race and came in 3rd!!!  We felt better then.  Andy is an amazing racer!

Channel 3

Channel team 4

Just for grins I will share a shot of our suite!!  Believe it or not it is much smaller than the Clipper 70s we raced in 15-16.  These boats however did do several round the world races and I am not sure how they managed. Not sure how anyone survived the RTW on the 68s.  Amazing people I guess.  No sail locker so we were right there with the wet sails and even on our short journey everything managed to get wet.

channel 4

The big long black thing is not a giant worm…no it is just one of the sails.

The next Fastnet training was Sea Survival in Southampton one day and then at the clipper office a second.

Next qualifier was the Channel Race from Cowes racing around the Isle of Wight with some other fun marks.

morgan cup

This one was interesting as the winds were pretty exciting the whole race. Also the official race course that was actually decided the morning of the race is what Andy has on his phone.  They like to keep one in suspense.  We were down to 8 crew as Kathy’s mom was put in Intensive care and she took off prior to race start.

MC actual race

Not sure how Andy was able to plan this one.  Yes, we beat all the boats that he said we would be competitive against both in this race and the Morgan Cup.

To check in at start of race each boat had to display their reflector and fire blanket.  Richard and 1st mate Judy.  This race was wild…lots of wind!!!, rain and anything else that could come our way.  This race we came in 16 of 23 and beat the 4 boats that Andy said we should be able to beat plus three more!  They all actually dropped out of the race but they were far behind us when they did.

checking in

End of the race was a bit hairy as the winds and the rain decided to come play.

Big rainDark seas

Sounds like we just worked hard…well, yes but we still had time to have fun.  My crazy crewmates Chris, Richard and Maggie with Bob our overboard man.  And Denise working hard and Bob and I just having fun



After doing the qualifying races and training, it was time to prepare for the Fastnet.

1st, eliminate all extra weight on the boat….extra foul weather gear of which there were approximately 20 sets, take off the extra spinnaker pole (when explained how they used to gybe with the two poles I was more than happy to do a dip pole gybe and make sue the other pole was not on the boat…besides it was REALLY heavy), all excess equipment that we would not be using, excess lines, reposition the anchor and if we could think of it something would disappear including Bob.  All our personal gear that would not be used was put up in cars.

Here we are eliminating the Velcro patches that no longer stayed velcroed over the staysail hanks.

Fastnet 1

Andy and Craig (maintenance rigger) tuning rig.Fastnet 2

Next is our version of cleaning the bottom with an old line and then a dinghy with a sponge vs. the Volvo boats with a diver scrubbing the bottom every morning.

Fastnet 3

Fastnet 5

I bet they have new sails too!

Andy checking the course and the tide schedule and the weather.  Weather reports were not so good as they changed every hour.  After the Channel race he predicted that we would finish the Fastnet in 4 days, 2 hours plus or minus 30 minutes if the weather was close to normal for early August.  However….they were not so good so we played out in the ocean a little bit longer!

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Andy proved himself to be a master of planning with weather and tide.  Great privilege to sail with him.

Boat officially ready to go with Rolex sticker on bow, Sail numbers on the side and Rolex Flag on the backstay.

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Below is the race course and the dark yellow line is our course.

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Fastnet 9

Had to check in at start line with storm sail up. Fastnet 10

Of Course some storm sails were bigger than ours!fastnet 11

Below is the biggest multihull I have ever seen.  The motor boats following it looked like little ants waiting to be crushed should it flatten out.fastnet 12

And then there are always last minute fixes prior to race start.fastnet 13

Some of the action by the starting line.  With 400 boats out there it was a bit exciting. Just glad they had several starts.fastnet 14

Fastnet 15

My favorite Volvo boat on its way to pass us from behind.  Great theme!Fastnet 16

Andy wanting to race the Volvo group.Fastnet 17

Love it when we are on starboard.fastnet 18

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Looking ahead about one hour into the race…..lots of boats in front of us…probably around 375 of the 400. But just wait.fastnet 20

This boat ended up grounded.  Story is they had to wait 6 hours for rescue boat due to it was diverted for a bigger emergency.fastnet 21

Passing the Needles.fastnet 22

OK, I just like nature.  The racing was getting too intense.fastnet 24

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Finally, Fastnet Rock!! Winds were pretty light and shifty here.fastnet 26

Andy getting the time we passed a specific point.fastnet 27

Yes, we have now passed all those boats…very cool but most are in the slower classes. It does make one feel good to be able to look behind!fastnet 28

No he is not texting, he is checking the course and weather.  We are close enough to land to do that and one doesn’t have to run up and down to nav station or shout out.fastnet 30

And there is the boat SPARTAN with Gretchen and Clipper friend Javier on it.  They were fortunate that Javier noticed they were going the wrong way as he came up to go on watch in the night.  The navigator check and they had to turn around and retrace steps.  Probably why we had the pleasure of seeing them behind for a bit.fastnet 32

Most of the team once we arrived.  Couldn’t round up everyone due to beer line.fastnet 35Maggie, Judy, Andy, Tony, Anders, Me and Chris

And a chance to see favorite clipper buddy Javi (and later met up with Clipper buddy Craig) and Gretchen.fastnet 36

fastnet 37Gretchen and me with my coke!  Love those boots!

Going back to Gosport.  Awesome skipper Andy and 1st mate Judy with me at the helmfastnet 38

fastnet 39Our final team.  Chris, Tony, Richard, Andy, Anders, Denise, Maggie, Judy, Helen and me.  Kathy was with her mother in intensive care and Nick home with bruised ribs from the Channel race.

What I learned in History!!  Why would there be both an American flag and a British flag at this location in Plymouth??fastnet 40

Turns out the Mayflower loaded up and sailed from here in July 1620 to America.  The Pilgrims are on the way.fastnet 41

What else did I learn?  Never to think that a big spinnaker would gybe like a J22 chute.  You know, just ease a little and let it float around?  HaHa!  When you release the line from the winch, let go!!!!!

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So the Fastnet Saga is done.  Next up will be training for 17-18 Clipper Round the World Leg 8 and Day Skipper Practical.fastnet 34

There will always be a beautiful sunset!

Life After Clipper 2017 Part 3

April 2017 was a fun filled Tahiti trip planned by amazing Emilie and involving two catamarans and about 21 people.  Our boat had something very special…Fran, Mike and Stephen… three generations of a family.  Yes, I was on the calm boat!!


Big dinner time all together with Julian and Emilie our fearless leaders up front!


We went to Bora Bora, Taha’a, Huahuine, Maupiti and Raiatea.  My favorite was Maupiti.


Always lush and colorful vegetation.  Cool things to see and do….rainbows, paddle boarding, fishing (Guys), sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving (for others, not me), sun bathing, reading (I read 3 books) and watching the locals…..


The house built by seashells!


From the top of the mountain on Maupiti.  Below you can see the coral atoll that surrounds it.  Very interesting getting in with the tide and current.IMGP1568

You can see one of our group laboring to pull self up the mountain.   Lots of work but great payoff.  Amazing water color.


Then there is a symbol that many who have been there leave as their signature.  Ourselves included.  We left a blue and white float with all our names/signatures everywhere we went.

Bora Bora had some interesting moments snorkeling.  Yes that is what you think it is, a SHARK!

How would you like to live in one of these huts on Bora Bora with a bit of a nice backdrop?

A WWII cannon was discovered…one of the guarding forces.


Local entertainment was great.

Our own entertainment was also pretty amazing!

And then there was the sailing…the part I loved the most.

And of course one romance began between Brenda (UK) and Mike (Austin)


And no blog of mine would be complete without some nature shots …..

So life in the Islands is pretty cool.

Life After Clipper Part 2

Once upon a time I had a student that was quite a character.  Of course he was a drummer….who became a percussionist, Kevin Brubaker.  If you followed my journey on the clipper race you would have seen the adventures I had with Kevin and wife Cheryl in New York.  Well, they sold their place in Brooklyn and bought a Leopard Catamaran.  Moving onto it with Mr. Toast,

Mr. Toast

they sat out the hurricane season in St. Petersburg and then commenced to go to the Bahamas.  I met them in Nassau and we took off from there.

happy kitchen

Kevin working from the boat.  Always searching for a hotspot.

First stop was Allen Cay, the land of the Iguanas.

They are really BIG but just looking for food handouts, not trying to hurt anyone.

Exploring the Cay with rain pouring down at different times led us to an old hut.  Too bad it wasn’t big enough to shelter all!

In the hut

Snorkeling was fun here also but I didn’t count on the current being so strong so it was interesting working against it.  Some great wonders to see by the shores.

From there we raced another catamaran to Norman Cay.

Trim will help go faster!!  Kevin was quite the taskmaster.

…famous for serving as headquarters for Carlos Lehder’s drug smuggling operation from 1978-1982.  The airport is still there and we went over and checked out an airplane that had not made the landing!

One evening we had a bonfire on the beach with our friends from other boats.

And then there was an opportunity to try paddleboarding.  Interesting with a current!

paddle boaard 2

Kevin was a very patient teacher!

And then it was time to head back.  Cheryl tried her hand at fishing but as luck would have it it was good there was food onboard.

cheryl and fish

She did put up a good fight!

We tried to set the spinnaker and that was interesting.  We also tried it on land and it was still an issue.  Kevin, have you had it flying yet?

In all a great time with some super friends and life was good!

sunsetmother nature

You didn’t think I would post something without some great nature moments!

Have a great day!

Life after Clipper, 2017 Part 1

Wow, It has been a long time since I have been on the blog and technical ways to accomplish what had become so easy has now become a new learning situation.  Hopefully you will be patient with me and allow me to stumble for a few pages.

2017 was an amazing year filled with adventures.  January was a trip to visit Clipper Telemed buddy Jen and make a week of musicals, plays, walking the dogs on really LONG but beautiful hikes in the countryside, visiting with Nick and Patsy in an incredible historic home from the 1700s I believe and topping it off with seeing friends in London and a Telemed reunion …..yes at a Pub!  Really great to see all the guys and girls that made it there.  And of course the picture is at home on my PC.  Brilliant Linda.

February was a trip to the Bahamas to visit with Kevin, Cheryl and Mr. Toast on their Leopard Catamaran.  Great fun and interesting times.  And of course the pictures are at home on my PC.  However I have found a way to possibly fool the computer….   wait til you see the giant lizards!! and all the fun moments.

March was the annual Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, New Mexico where Alan and I did our 15 mile walk….we tend to turn off at the 8 mile point rather than do the whole 26.

April was an amazing trip to sail in Tahiti planned by good friend Emilie.

May was the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Memorial Society convention.  Every year there are fewer of the POWs there.  It has become a very sad event for me.

June started my quest to participate in the 2017 Fastnet Race.  To do so we had to qualify by participating in the Morgan Cup Race, The Channel Race, and take the ISAF Offshore Safety Course.

July was the required Level 4 for doing the Leg 8 of the 17-18 Clipper Round the World race and helping with the pre race work on the boats before they departed for Liverpool.  July also included taking my Day Skipper practical and more training for the Fastnet.  A fun filled month.

August was the actual Fastnet race. and then eventually going home.

September was a trip to Orcas Island thanks to Fisher and his family.  What a relaxing time!

November a trip to Israel with Verda, peer band director friend.  History and culture very interesting and quite fascinating.

Pictures and stories will come later….just wanted to get started as 2018 has big things to come.








The End of the Journey

Most of you thought this would never come and many times I have thought so also.  It has been hard for me to write the final blog of this Journey as it really means the incredible 15-16 Clipper Round the World race is over and Clipper Telemed is no longer my home and our fabulous crew is no longer with me every day.  However, it is a time that will live on for me in many different moments.  Having the opportunity to do 5 presentations with more to come about my Journey has awakened many moments and memories back into my heart.  Great friendships, incredible people, amazing sights and insights into different countries and cultures.

Even today while rehearsing for a Christmas program for church tomorrow, as I heard the choir sing so beautifully I had thoughts of that moment on Leg 1 when our watch was awoken to the Karaoke singing of Sweet Caroline at 2am.  Those sounds did not compare to what it was like listening to angels sing this morning. Continue reading

Update on what is happening now that I am home

Yes Yes Yes, I know that you are waiting for more about my Journey.  Please be patient as life has been hectic since I have been back.  Be sure to read to end and help me with future thoughts for you and to organize me!

Having trouble adjusting to all the TRAFFIC and crazy drivers and my driving.  1st day home managed to run over several curbs while making right hand turns (for you friends that drive on the wrong side of the road, this is the side we drive on…the right side of the road in the direction we are going!), couldn’t remember how the cruise control worked so kept turning it off when wanting to lower speeds (yes, I remembered to hit the brake, just when I was ready to put speed in I would manage to turn it off). Continue reading

Special Announcement from Linda

Yes I am slow, but if you can be patient I will finish my journey in due time.  There is so much to share.  Currently working on slide show for TEAMability Welcome Home Party.  Read further for details.

The above picture is where I was able to rejoin Clipper Telemed as they made their way up the Thames.  It is called the Thames Barrier.  Once I was released from the hospital I mad my way back to London and then caught the media boat early the morning of July 30th to join the boats as they came into London.  No, I did not officially finish the race, but did rejoin and yes I did finish the circumnavigation somewhere in the Atlantic during the race from NYC to Derry.  I just missed the finish by approximately 35 miles.

Getting back on boat

Continue reading

Den Helder to London, the Last Race

As you can see by the above picture, everyone gets tired and sometimes has to find a safe place to sleep if the boat is heeling quite a bit and is on the tack that most likely will throw one out of one’s bunk.  Such was the case when I was caught on film.

Our usual parade of ships start but this time with some interesting boats to check out.

Once again we were treated to a fireboat showering the area.  After we passed we saw how massive their water spray was as it completely covered the boat’s image.

Start was good, everyone popped their kite up and it was interesting as some went with Code 1 and others Code 2.  Supposedly Code 2 is better on a tight reach.  Air though was very light and we went with Code 2.  Not sure if Matt was concerned about reaching at some point or not sure our repair job on Code 1 would hold. Continue reading