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Day 119

By Brian Hancock

Sterna rocked up in Auckland in fine style. They are known among the whole fleet as the ‘happy crew’. Now think about this for a minute. There are four females and three males on board. This is so absolutely cool. Women are as competent as men, and in many cases more competent. Ask a man to try and give birth.

Back to Sterna. Now, I am totally biased here having been born and raised in South Africa. The crew delayed their arrival into Auckland so that they could arrive in daylight and it was well worth the price of admission. Auckland was lit perfectly and the crew were also perfectly lit; in their South African flag undies, all of them. Makes my heart sing and I am not a patriot. I think that it was Samuel Johnson who once said, “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.” Turns out (thanks to Mr Google) that quite a few people said it, including Mark Twain, but it’s a good saying coming from someone (me) that has much disdain for flags and symbols.

The Sterna crew just looked so young and happy and vibrant and that made my heart fill with love.

It also reminds me (sorry to rub it in) when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup, not this most recent time, but the time before when they won (sorry to rub it in). Prince Happy was there (I like him; I know that some people don’t, but I do – I read his book – the book that he didn’t actually write). Harry (royal titles bore me so to me he is just my mate Harry), went down to the locker room and my favourite rugby player, Springbok scrumhalf (#9) Faf de Klerk was wearing his South African flag underpants and nothing else and was there to greet Harry (the prince…🙂 It’s a classic – Google it). Well to save you the time and extreme effort here it is – well there were so many so I suggest you just Google Faf de Klerk and Prince Harry and you will see what I mean.

Melisa du Toit is stepping down as skipper of Sterna. She was just brought in for one leg and she did a masterful job. Jeremy Bagshaw, one of South Africa’s most experienced sailors will take over. Truthfully, the small moments in life come along when you least expect them. A couple of days before the start in Southampton Jeremy came up to me and introduced himself. Of course I knew who he was but I had no idea that he knew who I was. As my mate Don McIntyre would say, “Life Hey.”

OK so all the chicks (and I am not talking about Maiden but they are part of this great family) are in the nest and life is good, but I know that many of you are dying to know about the lesbian skydive that I did in New Zealand. Two part, or maybe three part series.

For my 45th birthday I thought it might be a good idea to go skydiving. I may have been 45 but I have always had the mind of a child. So I went skydiving. Strangely enough I was not scared even though I have a fear of heights. My tandem jumper was a beautiful lady named Viv (how do you ever forget the name of the first person who you first jumped with). We went up to 13,000 feet, and I may need to point out this little fact, the plane was a bit shady and the pilot was wearing, yup you guessed it, flip-flops.

Now if you are offended by nudity scroll on by. No I was not naked, but in the hangar there were all these polaroid pics (remember them) of scared looking people about to jump with Viv in the background just smiling with a wicked evil look on her face. There was this one naked guy. Just before you jump Viv said, “smile.” There is a camera on the wing. And that’s when they took the pic. Just a second before Viv nudged you off the edge of the plane and you went into freefall.

Anyway I digress. I always do (ADHD). I asked Viv about the naked guy. “Oh, he was a Scot,” she said. “He wanted to jump naked.” I couldn’t believe it. It’s cold at 13,000 feet, so I asked Viv about it. Now, know there are a bunch of harnesses and stuff that has to be strapped on before you can jump. I said, “so how was it getting this Scot into his jumping gear and what about the dangly bits? Viv just smiled and said, “I wasn’t looking. I’m a lesbian and besides he was so sh*t scared there was nothing there to see… 🙂“.

More tomorrow as we continue this great adventure. Right now I am looking out at a fresh blanket of snow and hoping that my wife will volunteer to shovel. So far no luck. She’s a school teacher. Her school was closed today because of the storm. Take care all OGR followers. Leg 3 starts soon.


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