To begin with, I would like to point out an omission from yesterday's update. Yesterday our master fisherman, Doc, did not catch any
This morning we continued on very nicely with Whomper pulling us along briskly. Our standings in the race were improving with our
biggest spinnaker pulling us. We speeded along at 10-11 knots, with spurts into the 15s a number of times (when gusts of wind and
the downhill sides of waves cooperated just right).
The waves changed a lot. Sometimes we got a regular following swell, and sometimes we were in a confused mess of waves. We were in a
steady breeze of 15-20 knots which accounts for the nice swell. But we were in different eddies and currents associated with the
gulf stream, causing the mixed-up stuff.
With the boat rocking around randomly, the mast can go back and forth 10-20 feet in an instant. This made Whomper flutter around
sometimes and we got some loud crackles, and pops as the sail snapped back into the desired smooth flying shape. (yes, that was
In the afternoon Bob was driving. He proceeded to shred our dear spinnaker, and Whomper was no longer. Just for the record, Bob's
blamed the equipment, as a true sportsman should. And just for the record, I blamed the driver.
It took some time to retrieve the torn remains of Whomper from the air, the water, and the deck and stuff it into the right front
hatch. Then we raised the mainsail all the way and put out the gennaker while we considered our options. This slowed us to about 6-7
knots. During this process, Doc decided to catch another fish and we had a 15 pound dolphin (mahi-mahi for the snobs and granola
heads) on board.
We decided on our littlest spinnaker, Bambi. After the better part of an hour we toiled physically and mentally and got it hoisted
and puffed out pretty. And after another hour or so we figured out how to trim it and speeded up to 8-10 knots.
So we ate supper. Two days ago Steve ordered pizza. He got it tonight. (this is not Domino's!)
An hour or two after dark we got a call on the radio from a boat called Thunderbird. We have been chasing them the entire race.
Thunderbird is a 40 foot trimaran that goes faster than we can.
Unfortunately, they called because their rudder broke and they couldn't steer anymore. We offered to help them fix it or tow them if
they wanted. It took us almost 2 hours to catch them. During this time they tried several methods to steer and get going. When we
got there they were happy to have us tow them. We tied the boats together with about 300 feet of rope. This took quite awhile since
it was dark and wavy. We finally took off with sails down, motors on, and autopilot engaged.
After we got underway, Bob and I played a rip-roaring rendition of In the Mood on our sousaphones for them.