I've been sailing since 1977. Yacht racing is new to me even after all these years. Guess I was never in a hurry. But I had a fun overnight this week. My friend Maury had entered an offshore race from Ponce Inlet north to St. Augustine... about 52 nautical miles. Another friend Eli and I were asked to crew on Maury's Bristol 29-9 cruising sloop. Maury and Eli are from the LAMP Boatworks building traditional small craft at the Lighthouse Museum.
Maury and his wife Phyllis had Impulse built in 1977 (coincidence) and have cruised a good bit on the Chesapeake before moving to Florida. The name comes from the fact that the decision to purchase was made in a couple days. It's been a good decision for them for 34 years and counting.
We started at 1810 Friday with the other Cruising class boats. The Performance and Spinnaker classes were 10 minutes out ahead and pulled away. Wind was out of the east sailing north on a 90 degree beam reach. The set course carried us a bit east of the rhumb line to the St. Augustine sea buoy but we were making good time in the sea conditions. Waves were a couple of feet with a choppy interval. Most of the faster boats reached farther east and ran in in the early morning hours before the wind backed around more to southeast and dropped off. Maury wisely decided to start the downwind run earlier than a number of other cruising boats and we made the sea buoy at 0733, 13 hours and 23 minutes. A couple of boats dropped out finding themselves to far east or south when the wind dropped and the confused seas made it futile and uncomfortable.
It was a lot of fun. I enjoy a stiff breeze and comraderie but I'm still a backwater, dreamy get-there-when-you-get-there kinda' guy. Nevertheless... thanks guys!
|Ready to Race|
|Capt' Maury adjusting the genoa|
|Eli at the helm|
|Impulse approaching the St. Augustine sea buoy|
|Mark! We cross the line.|