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Day 127

By Brian Hancock

The good news is that Explorer is ‘up and out’ as my Mom used to say to me when I tried to sleep in on a Saturday morning. They are back in the game and looked excellent leaving the dock. They are true troopers. (Super Troopers if ABBA was commenting on this race…🙂). They didn’t get the time on the beach or better yet time to lounge in the hot springs that New Zealand has to offer, or better yet time to go bungee jumping, (or skydiving if you have read my earlier posts – New Zealand offers everything), or even better yet, to go fly-fishing at Lake Taupo. I went there once and all I caught was a cold, but they got things together and they are off and running; well sailing, to be more precise. Right now they have a fairly decent easterly with waves coming over the port side, but I bet that they have big smiles on their faces as they start to dip into this most amazing leg of this most amazing adventure.

Speaking of which, the fleet is dipping south like a dog looking for its bone that he buried three years ago. There is a whole-of-nothing just ahead of them, meaning that the wind will go light, but like every little kid at Christmas, there will be some gifts ahead, they just have to wait. They just have to make it through the light patch and then the northerlies will kick in and then, speaking of Christmas, they will be able to hitch a ride on the Polar Express (with Tom Hanks).

I know that I make light of some of this but I have noticed how much the weather is changing. Back in the old days, and I am not that old, I am only 25, there was a book that sailors/navigators could use called Ocean Passages of the World. It laid out how a boats could get from A to B and what winds they could expect, and they were mostly right; the wind was as expected. No more. It’s like a Goat’s Head Soup out there these days. The familiar wind patterns have been replaced by one of the Rolling Stone’s best selling albums.

Still that’s yacht racing for you. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. I see Triana kicking some proverbial butt. First in IRC and first in Adventure Class. Good on yer maties, as they say in Australia. Give it some bloody hell. Who let’s the dogs out? They are a great team and deserve a win. And don’t we all?

Spirit of Helsinki – and as aside here – I may have mentioned this before (I think) the boat was originally called Fazer Finland and was sponsored by Peter Fazer, a chocolatier from Helsinki. I sailed a good 15,000 miles on that boat and we never ran out of chocolate. I always wondered what happened to him. His chocolate was great and I don’t even like chocolate; but I digress. They are smoking along (technical term) and are leading in the Sayula Class. Go for it guys, swill down the pickled herring with vodka and kick some ass. (what’s the Finnish word for ass?)

Maiden is also kicking some ass (what’s the British word for ass – Oh, I remember now – arse). They are on a roll and I think that they might have found a good lane. As I have mentioned before, there is a whole lot of no wind ahead of the fleet. Maiden may be able to skirt around the edges of it and ride the waves south just like that beautiful boat was meant to do.

I try and get to everyone in these updates, but sometimes my fingers get tired and there is snow to shovel outside so lots of love to all who follow this great adventure. It’s worth your time to see what’s going on and how it’s all going to play out. Rock on Sterna. Rock on LSD and rock on all of the rest of the fleet.

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