Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Why do we sail the Mac...

Time Machine Sailing Team
It's 1000 hours. Everyone is tired from sailing hard through the night. The boat is on a close reaching course with the #1 and one reef in the main. It's blowing 20-25 knots with a crossing sea, 4-5 foot waves on the beam and 3 foot waves coming in on the bow.

The whole crew is lined up on the rail helping to keep the boat flat. Every 4th or 5th wave creates a wall of spray which washes over the crew, the deck and back to the cockpit. The boat is flying with speeds of 8 to 9 knots.

The grumbling starts.... "I'm wet", "I'm cold", "Damn this is uncomfortable","When is that helmsman going to steer a more comfortable course", "When can we get off the rail and get below?".....

Now it's about 12 hours later. The lake is completely changed. The moon is up and there is no wind on the surface of the lake. Most of the crew has been able to get below for some much needed sleep and the crew on deck is taking full advantage of the wind aloft to keep us moving at 2-3 knots. It's a really neat feeling to move through the water on no wind! There is time to dry out the foul weather gear and just sit and chat....

So why do we do it? I think it's partly the challenge of making it through the rough conditions and partly the reward of a beautiful nighttime light air sail. The reward for the rough stuff is the pleasure of the light stuff.

The efforts of the TIME MACHINE crew resulted in a 5th place finish in class and 31st out of 100 in the overall rankings. This might be our best performance yet.


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