A beautiful sailing day, 15kts out of the North with a fleet of 50+ boats that include several large schooners, Corsair Tri’s and one other Hobie 18 w/ spinnaker. The race was downwind w/ the other Hobie using their spinnaker was first in fleet. We still do not have a spin or schreecher… damn. Key West Magnum 2nd in class.
Now only a beauitful upwind sail home… until a side shroud stud/chainplate sheers! With a loud bang the mast gentle floaed into the sea. After stowing the sails and lashing the spar a J80 came along to tow us back to the Key West Harbor.
Repair list after one 6 mile race; replace side stay studs, one tiller, one jib haylard and oh I forgot we cracked a centerboard too.
Did I say we’re still having fun? Yep we are crazy.
Drysuit or wetsuit?
I have been having a great debate with what best serves a catamaran sailor. I just am not a fan of drysuits and like the better mobility of the wet suit. A sealed seamed cuffed full wetsuit should provide the necessary water barrier. In the daytime I can wear a simple swim suit and our just drop the upper body for temperature comfort. If the weather is cold and wet stay vipped and warm. Neoprene cap, boots and gloves completes the cold barrier and of course I can pee as I please.
It is hard to believe that this simple 6 mile race out to reef from Key West is something I am looking forward, I’m even anxious for it to begin. Getting ready for the EC so far has been personal challenges for myself and Birch. On Sunday we will line up with 100’+ schooners, large monohulls and even several quick multihulls as well. Hopefully we’ll match up and give them all a good race.
Getting our boat, gear and ourselves ready for this challenge is getting expensive. We still need dry suits and a hooter and of course various safety gear. Time to buckle down and get it done. This weekend a simple fun race here in Key West called the Wreckers Race. Out to the reef and back to the bar. Reef and bar here we come!
With a 1986 hull and equipment, we are trying to eliminate any and all possibilities for equipment breakage. New style rudder-heads, re-rivet the mast fittings and locate any and all leaks in the hulls.
Wow!!! What can I say? Our training sail was completed today and in only 22 hours! Our best laid plans came to naught… we arrived in Flamingo at midnight 12 hours ahead of schedule, so not stop for a leasure dinner right? But at the very lowest of tide for Florida Bay, so off we go! We got a little lost right off the bat and had difficulty finding and staying in the west narrow channel. But we persevered and continued on without many and not insurmountable challenges. Arrived Key Largo at 4:30AM… so no stop for breakfast. What else is there to do but head home via inter coastal to Marathon and then into the open Gulf of Mexico. We cut a corner a little close and hit the bottom hard and broke our starboard rudderhead. Out in the Gulf we experienced the most and harrowing conditions, 25kyts 6-8 following seas. Forsafety we throttled back until reentering the back country at the Jewfish Basin. Home only 30 mintues away! We made it, very tired but we made it with an average speed of about 8 kts. We have a long list of upgrade items and repairs. We are in the countdown mofe towards the Everglades Challenge. See everyone at Fort DeSoto!
We’re leaving this evening Friday the 13th of all the days for a test sail. Key West to Flamingo and then across the Florida Bay to the finish line at Key Largo. Weather is expected to be 15-25kts for most of the trip with it being out of the North. So we start with a 80 mile beat to Flamingo. The sail is to test the boat and crew and get the tricky navigation set for the sail across the Florida Bay. Our dry-suits have not arrived yet but we should be find as long as we do not push the boat to hard.
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