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Day 114

By Brian Hancock

Now things are getting a bit tricky for Explorer. That, by the way, was what my first wife said to me just as we were about to head into court, but I digress. By the way we are still friends and we share a grandson.

Explorer (and Sterna) are able to get outside weather information because they are officially out of this leg, but weather is a bit like the drunken aunt that comes over on New Years Day; a little unpredictable. The weather will do what it damn well pleases and both boats are going to have to deal with the consequences. Again, with a reference to my aunt, she always had to kiss me all over and to be honest I can still smell her stale perfume 60 years later.

Explorer still have some good breeze that will allow them to fly a spinnaker, well only of they blow into it. There’s not much wind in the Tasman and that pesky Cape Reinga seems to keep moving away just when they think that they are getting closer. I say keep on keeping on; only 414.9 miles to go to Auckland. I love how precise the YB tracker is.

Sterna, you remember them right? They are trucking along in one of those potholes that I already mentioned. At last check they were doing 4.9 knots. Their ETA is for March 17th (just kidding).

While the teams in Auckland are gearing up for Leg 3, I may or may not have a story for you.

So, in the ’85/86 Whitbread race I sailed aboard Drum, the boat that was owned and sponsored by Simon Le Bon and the two managers of Duran Duran, Paul and Michael Barrow. You remember Duran Duran, right? “My name is Rio,” but anyway I digress, yet again, but sing along anyway.

They got a gig to do a commercial from Sasson Jeans and it was to be filmed in the Bay of Islands which is just around the corner of Cape Reinga at the tip on New Zealand on the east side. Now this was a good paying gig. Someone let it slip that it was north of $500K but I can’t confirm. What I can confirm was they they did two magical things. They flew in a few stunning models from New York to help, and they built an underwater walkway so that it looked like Simon was walking on water. Now… I thought that was pretty cool, and it was, because he was towing the boat, but what made it much better (for me at least) is that the models had no inhibitions. Did I mention that they were all stunningly beautiful and I was in my mid 20’s?

At each scene change they would come down below to change clothes; all of them, the clothes that is. I was changing the oil in the generator and I made sure that it took a bloody long time to do an oil change. More of that tomorrow.

We are just waiting for the next leg to start and for our friends on Explorer and Sterna to finally get to enjoy some pavlova. Personally I can’t stand the stuff. Too sweet but the Kiwis seem to like it. What else would they do with all those kiwi fruit? I guess that they are better than mutton birds but me I would rather take a mutton bird smeared in meringue than a pavlova any day.

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