11/5/01 7:52 AM
I'm in Bahia!
yesterday early afternoon to a spectacular welcome. Three boats
came out to cheer me across the finish line. After I crossed the
line and dropped my sails, Mike Inglis (#56) and Sander Bakker (#194)
jumped on my boat and gave me big hugs and kisses. An arrival party
was waiting at the dock starting with fireworks shot from Notre
Dame du Flot, a classic wooden ketch that followed the race
as a safety boat. I had plenty of help securing the boat to the
dock and furling the sails. I was ushered off my boat to the dock
and handed a very stiff cold drink of which I had one sip and handed
right back. Then I was offered a plate of fresh fruitpineapples,
papayas, and melons. A beautiful Baiain woman dressed in the traditional
festival costume handed me a bouquet of flowers all while being
interview in front of three of four cameras.
a few hours earlier, I was alone on my boat alternating between
looking out at the endless horizon on the ocean and back at the
skyline of high rises of the city of Salvador de Bahia knowing that
soon the serenity I was enjoying would soon be broken by a hustle
bustle world. Then I saw another sail boat. I kept looking and as
I got closer I could see it was another Mini. I wasn't in last place
yet. The other mini was sailing down wind, wing and wing, with the
mainsail on one side and the jib on the other. I was sailing with
my spinnaker earlier in the morning but the wind kept clocking around
from the East to the Northeast until I could no longer hold my course.
So I dropped the spinnaker and decided I would just have a nice
relaxing sail to the finish line. But now I had to set the spinnaker.
I quickly repacked it, set the pole and hoisted it. Bam! It filled
with air and I picked up two knots of boat speed. I sailed a zig
zag course to sail the dead down wind to my next mark. The other
Mini stayed on her dead down wind course wing and wing and was keeping
up with me. How could this be? I was horrified to think that this
other boat was going to beat me across the finish line. Finally,
I pulled ahead and the other boat beared away on a course to take
it south of a shoal area we had to pass. I chose to take a narrow
passage between the mainland and the shoal, the other boat when
to the south of the shoal and I finished a few hours ahead.
in a bit of a fog today trying to regroup to get on with all the
details I will need to work out in the next week to get the boat
and myself back to the US.
boat is for sale. $50,000 includes most equipment required to do
the 2003 race.