By Brian Hancock
The glue is getting unstuck for most of the competitors in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race. Except for those flip-flop wearing South Africans on Sterna and the explorers on Explorer. They are still making their way to the big Turning Point. It looks like they are going to have a decent wind up the chuff and good for them. They deserve it and by the way, I miss Godspeed. They were a fun bunch, but I digress. Sterna and Explorer are coming in hot and hard (sorry Tracy) and looking ahead there is good breeze and fair sailing and let’s all keep our fingers crossed for a fine and easy rounding. They, more than any of the other boats, deserve it.
Speaking of other boats they are making good progress up the coast of Argentina (well except Translated 9 – I feel so bad for them). They were kicking some serious butt, until they weren’t. That’s yacht racing for you.
There are little pockets of puss coming their way (sorry I never use the word puss, but I just did, hence the apology) but there is a sneaky little low coming in to mess up their Sunday dinner. I actually got a copy of the menu on Pen Duick VI. Foie gras, medium rare steak with horseradish sauce, and a little (and I mean a little because the great Marie Tabarly would not allow a lot) of a fine Bourgueil which is usually served on the third Thursday in November but a grape is a grape and they have no idea what season it is when they are racing around the world. We all get confused.
So back to my story… You may or may not have noticed that I have done some stupid sh*t in my life, but this is a good one. The first around-the-world-race that I did stopped in Mar del Plata Argentina. I love that country and I love the people. We were invited to a fancy dinner on a fancy battleship. I have never liked those two words put together; battle and ship. Can’t we just call them sailboats with big engines. I did stop off on the way to the dinner to visit Evita Peron’s grave. Well it’s not really a grave. It’s more of a mausoleum. She was locked in there like a prisoner trapped in a hole above ground, but I digress. As usual.
We had all sorts of good drinks and good food and rubbed shoulders with military brass and they were all very nice. Maybe not me; I think that I was drunk, but little did we know that they were were just waiting for us to get the heck out of there, and literally, a day after we started the next leg of the race back to England they invaded the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas). The buggers knew it even as they were swirling down good wine and probably a martini or two. Yup true story and that’s how life plays out. Anyway there we were, a bunch of pasty face idiots rubbing shoulders with the best of Argentina’s military. By the way, this is an aside, I use the word digress too much, but I digress. I did visit Eva Peyron’s grave again on the way home. I had to scale the fence and it was spookey as all hell, but, me being me, I kind of loved it.
As I may have mentioned before, life comes in small beautiful packages and you open them when you can.
Sorry, it’s Superbowl Sunday and I may have already had that rum punch. Looking ahead there is some fun and fair breeze coming from behind for Pun Duick VI. And by fun and fair I mean fun and fair. The wind is getting warmer. There is the smell of an asado coming off the coast of Argentina, maybe a hint of Courvoisier as a pick-me-up and pretty soon they will be in the beautiful city of Punte del Este. As my great friend Chris de Burgh sang, “Where Peaceful Waters Flow.” Let’s hope for some peaceful waters ahead for the great McOGR fleet and a safe rounding for Sterna and Explorer.