Saturday, April 08, 2006

Go Brian Go!

Waaaaay back in February, I'd written a post in which I included the following paragraph:

Also since I am doing a quick post here I also just HAD to put this up - one of my new friends from the Rosemary Ruth is going off to do a couple of legs of the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race! Way to go, Brian! To quote a Hawaiian-style high school football cheer I dimly recall...GO, GO, GEEV'UM!

Well - I wasn't inclined to post about it the next day but that going-away party ended up just being a bunch of people who like boats having a couple of beers. The race ended up getting postponed as 8 of the 10 boats - all built to the same design, by the same boatyard, specifically for this race - were having some problems. THe Clipper Ventures site describes the trouble thusly:

"From the initial inspection it would seem that there has been a failure of the bond between the hull and the internal strengtheners in the area of the keel. This has caused varying degrees of cracking in 8 of the 10 boats, which in Glasgow’s case was leading to quite severe water ingress."

So the race was delayed until all 10 were repaired & pronounced seaworthy. So Brian got to have another going-away party ("this time, for real"!). Unfortunately I spaced out on this one 'cause of the craziness at work; he said he'd forgive me as long as I come to his welcome-home bash. Since then, he's been sending updates to his friends through his folks, I'm enjoying living vicariously & I thought I'd start sharing these here:

Brian has arrived safely in Qindao, just in time for a very important crew meeting at the "New York Bar." The City of Qindao threw a big banquet and party for the crews and they are getting everything in shape to leave on the Pacific hop on sat.

4/7 - This is Brian writing:
Well, the food is loaded, the tanks are full, the sails are all repaired. At 10:12am tomorrow (10:12pm Fri night for you) we slip our lines and head out for the parade of sail. The starting ceremonies will be televised live to 500 million viewers. Depending on the weather we may have 25-mile motor out to the starting line.

Dame Ellen MacArthur will come around to all the boats at 9:00am to wish us luck.

I'm going to go shopping for a few things and try to find a last Chinese meal. I've had a great time in Qingdao. Especially doing all the food shopping (victualling) yesterday. The supermarkets are amazing places. I'm going to wonder one now.

I have not set up my boat email yet, but will get messages to you somehow.

2 1/2 years of wondering what it will be like to set sail across a great big ocean. I still feel remarkably calm.

Let's all give a big "Wooooooo hooooooooo!"

Love you all,

And this just in today, 4/8:

The race started at noon yesterday. At the midnight sched we were tied for third place. It's been a fairly rough start, with winds of 20-25kts on the nose and short choppy sea. I've already lost track of how many watches I've done.

Going to sleep is pretty easy, staying asleep is harder because my bunk is always on an angle and I always feel like I'm falling. Plus the jarring crashes as we bash through the waves. Getting up is hard, it gets real old real fast. But only 29 days to go.

The start was spectacular, with dragon dances, drummers and gun salutes. Ellen MacArthur came by had a picture taken with each of the boats. 1000s of spectators lined the bay.

The sun is out now, so it's not that cold, but the seas have built up and are around 5-10ft. We've been on angle of 20+ degrees since we started, so moving around below decks is quite tricky.

Well, back to work sailing this boat and winning this race.

Love, Me

Now there is a guy having an adventure.

There were a couple of pictures today but Blogger's photo upload feature is not working tonight.

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