As a wise old sailor once said: “The pessimist curses the wind, the optimist wants to change the wind, the realist adjusts the sails and moves on”. Pam and I are here in Hawaii being realists. Perhaps a better explanation is needed …
The start of the Pac Cup for Bequia, our ride back, was filled with a bit of frustration, followed by exhilaration, followed by frustration. The Pac Cup fleet was greeted by mostly zero wind right outside the Gate. One of the crew, in exasperation, coined the saying “The fun race to the Farralons” which are about 15 miles out. Finally, after two-and-a-half long days, the wind filled in and it was Game On for the crew of Bequia. Reports were coming back about glorious sailing with high boat speeds and a shot at third place overall. When sailing, problems sometimes aren’t recognized as such right off. Apparently, the lack of steering ability on Bequia during this time was one such instance. Innocently enough, I’m told the boat was quite balanced under the current sail plan and moving along nicely until it came time to gybe. Let me set the scene: The Gybe is the act of turning the boat with the stern coming through the wind. A consequence of this is the sails have to be adjusted, in particular the Spinnaker can be a handful when its really blowing, which it was. The timing between the driver, the foredeck person and the spinnaker trimmer is critical to pulling it off without breaking something or hurting anybody. Unknown by anyone on the crew was the lack of steering due to a sheared bolt holding a steering cable pulley. When it came time to gybe, the story goes the spinnaker overpowered the uncontrolled boat and ended up ripping itself to pieces. I’m sure the deck of Bequia at that moment was definitely not G-rated. Fortunately, nobody was hurt during all of this and things were cleaned-up and stowed away in time. The sheared bolt however, was a tougher issue to tackle. Ultimately, the choice to return was made and Bequia limped home under jury-rigged steering.
For us, we chose to fly out to Hawaii as planned. Our dear friend Paul has allowed us to enjoy our time on the islands as a vacation rather than just a stop on our journey.
Pam & Roger