Monday, July 28, 2008

Almost to Kaneohe

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, it is hard to believe we are almost to Kaneohe. We expect to dock around noon tomorrow, just about the time the boys and Linda are scheduled to land at the airport. I am ready for a big hug from Sam, but I know full well while giving me the obligatory hug he will have the corner of his eye on the yacht club swimming pool....

As expected from reports from other boats, last night tested everyone's limits. We had the mother of all squalls (at least in my limited ocean sailing world) and it was one long night for the crew. Eliza reported gusts to 32 while she was driving, and the wave trains were making their presence known, too. I stayed below, periodically glanced at the radar just to scare myself for fun, and listened to the sounds of the boat cracking again, and again. We busted another preventer while Dave was on the helm... and he fully understood what I had experienced just a few nights ago.

John has stepped up and been driving with a steady, confident determination. Everyone has had to have guts and strength behind the helm of this cruiser. I don't know where their strength comes from, but when there is no choice I guess the body can do amazing things. Sandy's hands should have given out days ago. Still, she drives.

Right now we have steady apparent winds of 20-25 knots, wing-on-wing with the main reefed. We are getting 8-10 knots of speed. perhaps not the fastest formation, but we are exactly on the rhumb line and at a controlled pace that will not kill the drivers in the next 24 hours.

Skies are blue, we have swells 10-15 feet, and are seeing more and more birds as each hour passes. Three boats have hit sleeping whales on this race, and we are hoping we are not added to the list. Oh, the stories that are about to unfold at the club.

Ah, the race. We dropped one standing to our utter dismay, but we remind ourselves why we set out on this journey in the first place. I would summarize with one sentence, but I am sure the expectations, hopes and outcomes are and will continue to be different for all of us.

For me, at this moment, I have learned to truly appreciate the talents and gifts each one of us has brought to the crew, forgive myself when I knew I had exceeded my own limitations,that asking for help is OK, and to quote Elizabeth Cohen, fully realize that on this planet, "No one is as smart as all of us together."

Thank you Mother Nature, for the beautiful seas. Oh, and if you can, a quiet starry filled last night would be appreciated!



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