The Race

You may have read and/or heard that we are back in the States. It's a true story. We are here. We spent a couple of days with our good friends Mik and Christina who had sailed their mighty boat Split Crow up to Victoria to meet us. Walking...check. Museums...check. Big city tourists...check. A good time was had by all in the beautiful city of Victoria.

After our last port of call in Canada with our good friends, we decided that a race was in order. A race across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Port Angeles would be the perfect setting for such an event. Split Crow has been our sailing nemesis for as long as I can remember. We have sailed to many a port with them, always with a race along the way, and with many an insult being thrown out on the high seas. Usually I have some smart remark about how my Grandmother can walk faster than Split Crow or something about how my captaining skills are better than his captaining skills. You know the drill...friendly banter (or is it?). The key is to rattle the competition . We both have boats that are old, heavy, and slow. They are pretty evenly matched so any advantage is a good advantage. If a quick one-liner does something to throw the competition off balance then it is a worthwhile endeavor. Now that the course has been set (and insults thrown around) it was time once and for all to see who's boat was the slowest.

The problem that Split Crow had for this race was that the professional crew that has usually been on board for our past races was nowhere to be seen. The 3 girls that were the lifeblood of the ship (Mik and Christina's daughters...and 3 of our favorite girls on the planet) know how to handle the pressure of a big race (they can throw out insults better than me), but they have all moved on to greener pastures (college). That is a big problem for Split Crow's Captain. Since the Captain of the mighty ship Split Crow has no willing crew, he has the same problem as me...we both have wives that think a race with our old, heavy, and slow boats is pointless. Pointless or not, this race is happening. I drag Brenda into it and Mik drags Christina into it...both wives not caring one bit.

The race course is set and it's nearing start time. Start time is officially whenever we feel like getting off of the dock. This happens after coffee, after more insults, and whenever we can get Mik to stop talking. Since silence and Mik don't exist together, we have to leave mid sentence...I have a race to get to and I can't be bothered by mindless chatter. The last thing I hear before we head out to the course is Mik saying something about him wanting us to wait for him at the start line so we can have a fair and honest race. Fair and honest racing and I don't exist together so we do our best cheating and leave the dock a little bit earlier than Split Crow.

The weather is calling for 10-15 knots of wind on our big race. This is the perfect amount of wind for our boat. This amount of wind will propel our slow boat just a little bit less slow than our rival. I know this because of our past races and the fact that when Mik wasn't looking, I tied 3 buckets to the back of Split Crow for him to drag across the Strait...again, fair and honest racing and I don't exist together.

So the race's blowing 12 knots...we are in the lead (because we left earlier)...both boats are looking good...both wives don't care one bit...we are actually pulling could be because of the buckets that I tied to his could be because of my insanely superior captaining skills...who cares because I'm in the lead...then it happens...12 knots of wind becomes 10 knots, then 8, then 6, then 2, then zero knots.........As soon as the race began, it ended. About an hour into our big race that was to determine superiority on the high seas forever, the wind completely died and the race ended. Once again the weather forecasters are 100 % wrong about the weather. I am going to claim victory because I am writing this story and he is not around to dispute my claim. I was in the lead when the wind died and that's all I care about. We are the champions (you can sing the Queen song to that last line over and over if you want...I did when I claimed victory).

We end up motoring the rest of the way to Port Angeles and get checked into our fine county. After we are checked back in to the States, we decide that a trip into the Olympic National Park would be a great way to spend a day, so we rent a car and head up to Hurricane Ridge. Normally when I have a rental car, I prefer to drive the thing like I stole it. Jumps...yep, bunny-hops...uh-huh, 2 wheel better believe it. Since this is the first car that I have driven in 3 months and the first time I have been on a road and around people and traffic, my Duke's of Hazard style driving was a little rusty. I had a hard time keeping the car up to the speed limit of 35. I have been driving a boat for the last 3 months that on a good day goes 7 miles per hour...35 miles per hour seemed really fast. I have been getting used to the traffic on the high seas being miles away from me and now someone wants to tailgate me??? What's that all about??? They weren't really tailgating but it sure seemed like anyone who was within a mile of me was too close.

Anyway, we make it up to Hurricane Ridge and have a great day hiking and admiring our fine country on a beautiful sunny day. It couldn't have been better. I am going to miss the great Northwest when we are gone.

After I returned the rental car (without even one burnout...bummer), we head to Sequim. We hang out one more night with Mik and Christina in the bay and then part ways with them in the morning.  I wanted to get to Sequim before the end of our trip this summer because my Mom and my good buddy Ron are there and I wanted to spend a couple of days with them before Brenda and I leave on our road trip.

We had our tour guide Ron show us around. Sequim is an interesting little town with some interesting things. They have what appears to be the oldest record of human existence in North America (pretty cool), they have a creepy museum with tons of taxidermied animals (not so cool), they have a bridge that Ron claims is the 3rd coolest bridge in the world (definitely a cool bridge), and they have lavender farms up the yin-yang (not cool at all...actually pretty lame to visit a lavender farm...don't do it...ever).

We got the A-1 four star tour from my good buddy and tour guide Ron and I got to hang out with my Mom for a few days. We had a great time in Sequim. I will miss my Mommy on Phase 2 of our trip. It was really a fun few days for us and we both wished we had more time there to spend with my Mom.

After Sequim we headed to Anacortes to officially end Phase 1 of our world travels. Our boat got hauled out of the water and is now sitting on blocks in a yard that has a nice view of the sea. We wanted our good little ship to be in the best yard, with the best view, and have the best care so she would know that we love her and will miss her until we see her again next spring.

So that is that. Our home is on blocks. We are now living in our camper and I now have to get used to driving on the highway and going faster than 7 miles per hour.  


  1. Jeff loves his wife. We all know that. He has told us that 182,722 times over 19 blogs.And love her he should. She was his therapist. She specializes in socio-schizoid-delusional disorders. Marrying one's patient crosses all professional boundaries but that's a topic for another day.
    Delusions? "Our boats" are old, heavy and slow? My boat is sleek and fast. Flies like a butterfly, stings like a bee.
    The delusion,,,,,,,, the concentric delusion is his insult."Are you sailing with your anchor down ?" Well yes, I always have my anchor down when I race with Jeff; 40 kg CQR and 100 feet of 3/8 inch chain. Its great when there's a sandy bottom because letting the anchor drag really equalizes the rating between our boats. So back to the delusional state. His wishful thinking is that his insult is really just an insult, but its reality. He wouldn't know that as he can only see the stern of my boat. My anchor hangs off of the bow.
    And then back to Jeff loving his wife. I love my wife also. We generally make love while racing Jeff as this makes sail trim rather difficult. But my wife and I have made it easy by division of duties. My duty, well of course, its the pole, Chirs, yep, she grinds. When things get unruly sheets fly and terms like got to go to the head or going down below take on a whole new meaning.
    Occasionally we look back and yes, Jeff is still there.

    So yes we were late for the start line but then again we were in the cockpit.......


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Double Birthday and the Italian Connection

Balls Hot

The Garnet Ghost Town