Glorious sailing, boring racing

The blast reaching drag race north west to Barbuda continues

Thursday March 21st 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: Transoceanic


Jaws, the new Mr. Vice-president, and the fish - a report from djuice 's Stig Westergaard

Forget about sailing. As you all know, we are DFL, (dead f........ last), and frankly - it sucks. We have been hurt big time in the doldrums, and try at the best of our dragon-spirit to gain back. So sail reporting is at present rather meek. So be it.

Anyhow the past few days have not been without it’s episodes.

Firstly-JAWS. In one of our many not too successful encounters with massive doldrums clouds, (this one being the size of Denmark, and whether this means a big cloud or a small country is up to the reader to decide upon) we got sucked in. Into absolutely no wind.

In the reorganization of our stack on the rail, we lost a sail overboard. Forgot to tell you that it was nighttime, so we didn’t realize it until it slowly drifted past the cockpit. “I will go in after it”, I shouted, not sensing the potential dangers of the abyss. Quickly into almost nudity, a rope around the waist and off I went, only to feel the rope go tight halfway to the sail, which was getting rather close to sinking.

Then, halfway between the boat and the sail, in pitch-black darkness, the melody of JAWS came into my head. Du dah du dah du dah. Never I swam so fast before. The guys were preparing some more slack on the rope and wanted me to go back after it. Out of my fish eye perspective, off course I voted for a quick retreat to the safety of the boat.

The outcome was that we had to do a full circle to retrieve the sail. And I had to go in again, only to strain my neck in the attempt to go back quickly. Lesson learnt. Do not let your kids watch horror pictures in young age; it will hunt them for rest of their lives.

Another one of my fears is to get a flying fish in the eye. It’s not a joke. It is actually a real threat. Yesterday, we were doing some power reaching, where the airflow on the windward side of the hull keeps the
flying fish airborne to an altitude of up to three meters. Nocka [Anthony Nossiter], who was helming, suddenly screams up. We think it is some Australian Zen thing. No, he got hit dead centre on the forehead. Only centimeters from the eye. It is not only the concept of being one-eyed, many people have only one eye.

It is equally much the fact that this specific sports injury is not too flashy. One could loose the eye in a wipeout, in a fight with lethal pirates or something else a little more macho than a flying fish. Not to a flying fish.

Anyhow, the last topic of today’s daily report is our newly appointed vice-president of the Lost and Found Association (LAF-Ass in short). I have since long had the honour of presiding. As a parallel thinker (a
person who’s desk looks like a small city with skyscrapers of papers all over - only he can find order in the chaos, and if somebody else cleans up, he will probably hurt them) I have had some difficulty keeping track of all my belongings on the boat. I know exactly where they are until they are lost in a stacking manoeuvre (by somebody else, of course).

This night I have had the pleasure of welcoming the new honourable vice-president of the LAF-Ass. The one and only, Mr. Knut Frostad. Knut, who is normally a very tidy and organized person (more of a serial thinker) lost his shoe during the night. We knew it was a serious matter to Knut, as he spent the most of an hour to locate it.

Finally he had to give up, with the conclusion that the only place it could be, was in the sock of the spinnaker. "Please have a careful look for it as you hoist the kite, next time", he asked us. “Will do”, we all acclaimed, only to find gravity outplay us as the shoe made a perfect arch into the water when the spinnaker was hoisted. A rather tragic-comic situation. The result is that we welcome our new member to the fine LAF-Ass.

And now, lets go sailing.

All the best, Stig [Westergaard]

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