Hey hey to everyone, I'm back and I want to get serious about posting regularly on this blog again.

My excuse this time: Busy with work, busy with boat work, I never seem to be satisfied with the batteries and electrical, that comes up and so we can't make this or that...

Life in general at times feels like shifty and swirly winds; but I'm finding that there will always be something that can become an excuse not to sail. But thanks to having a wonderful adventure partner, we've been so far sailing much more often - with the goal of going to every club cruise!

TSS Gasparilla Regatta

We made it to the Gasparilla Regatta hosted by the Tampa Sailing Squadron. This is our second year in a row participating in the regatta.

Last year, we crewed aboard Idler - an absolutely wonderful to sail Erickson 35 owned by BCYC member Bill who's become our sailing guide and mentor since we joined BCYC 2 years ago.

This year, Idler was just sold with the help of our friends at Florida West Coast Yachts, closing a couple days before this year's race so we swapped boats and entered SY Petrichor!

We didn't win, but this race had just about everything. This is with a 4 person crew (Asa, Bill, David, and I) who've been sailing together for the last 2 years... and the same crew that won 3rd in this regatta last year.

160 rating = Starting Dead Last

We were entered into the Motherlode class, which essentially means that the race committee determines each entrant's rating if a certified rating isn't handy. We were given a rating of 160 - a lower rating than every other yacht.

This is a pursuit race, so our start time was about 47 minutes and 37 seconds after the first boat of a field of 20 crosses the start line.

Most of the race was a run or board/beam reaching due to low winds at < 5 knots. Sometimes it went down to 0.

There was a love bug and biting fly swarm when the winds died down to 0. So we had about 10 boats bobbing in the water after the 1st mark, absolutely swarmed by bugs.

If that wasn't enough... when we finally got a bit of close reaching and finally to Petrichor's best point of sail: close hauled... Bill spots a huge container barge coming down the channel.

I took a reading of the barge's bow on the sighting compass - 225... waited a long 5 minutes, and then took another reading... - 225... sh*t, we're on a collision course!

We quickly spilled our wind and slowed her way down... and very quickly, the barge steams past us with us taking it to its stern starboard side.

That maneuver meant that we just lost the hard fought mile of distance we had put between us and the other yachts...

So on the last leg, it was a 3.5 nm run to the finish... and right at the finish line, we got a photo finish against fellow BCYC club member Mike on Spendthrift.

We're both running for the far mark on the finish line; we're both on starboard tack heading to the same point; their helmsman, Waldo, is fearless and doesn't budge.

I continue to try to force him to take the finish mark to port (thereby forcing him to do a 360), but Waldo won't budge!

Right at the finish, I come within inches of hitting Mike on the head with our whiskper pole (he was also eeking out every 0.01 knts by the boom)... and then... He beats us by a nose!

We come in 7th and Spendthrift comes in 6th. What a race!

Living on Your Boat

I had a moment during the after regatta party to chat with Waldo. He said a couple somethings that I find pretty subtle but so very true:

  1. That once you move aboard a boat, you'll have so much on there that you'd find reasons not to sail out and just keep it at dock all the time.
  2. What will be your prized items that you take with you?

After thinking about the first point, Asa and I are now considering that we only take what need. All our other earthly treasures should probably go in a storage unit somewhere.

For the second point, it was a different kind of question than I had thought. I thought it meant, "what do you need?".. but what it really meant was, "what do you really need, and now only choose 3 of them."

It can be a log book, a picture.. whatever it is, it must stow somewhere on your boat and you'll take it everywhere with you.

Most People Never Have this Opportunity

So why did I open this post up with a statement about excuses? Well.. that's because that goes in line with some personal experiences shared with John and David (also BCYC members) at the Regatta party..

  1. Most people never have the opportunity to do what we're about to do.
  2. Excuses and life will come up and give you every reason to delay your next steps; so you have to find ways to address those excuses

You know, that's right... we'd be wasting this opportunity with excuses if we don't make an effort to just go. Go sailing; go onto the boat; sail.. sail... sail. Find a way and just do it because every time we've sailed, we learn something new...

Like how to sail your boat into a dock with gusty winds to your beam and bow... but we'll leave that for another post!