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Day 162

By Brian Hancock

I will come back to the meat portion of this update; no salad just, meat. But first. There has been a bit of a switcheroo overnight and those cowboys on Evrika have slipped by White Shadow. They were so close that they might just have turned their navigation lights off and turned down the music. I am not sure what happened but usually it’s just a lucky puff. No I am not talking about that kind of puff… 🙂

Evrika are just 63 miles from the finish line in Punte del Este in light headwinds. At last check they were doing just over 6 knots. Frustrating sailing but it’s all part of the game. It’s what all of the crews signed up for, a mixed soup of exhilaration and frustration; and in the end a lifetime of memories.

White Shadow (if I have another child – not likely since I got the snip snip), I would have called him White Shadow. How does White Shadow Hancock sound? A bit like Big Sitting Bull, but I digress. Those rock stars are just 73 miles from a cold coke or… But they are going nowhere. So frustrating. Why can’t there be a little less wind in the Southern Ocean and a bit more near the finish in Punta? I will never be able to answer that question despite my best efforts. “Life Hey”.

Now let’s get back to the meat portion. Uruguay (great country by the way) is known for it’s beef. If you are a vegetarian scroll on by and no judgement. We are going to talk about beef and I am not ashamed. The asado (cook out, BBQ or as the South Africans on Sterna would say; lekker braai) that was hosted by the President of Uruguay and it featured meat with meat on the side. I do remember seeing bit of lettuce fly by on the breeze but that was about it. But here is the thing. In Uruguay they do things differently. They don’t remove the skin. Just hefty chunks of steak cooked skin side down and now if you think about it, it’s a clever move. Between the skin and the meat there is a layer of fat and fat is flavor. The smell of the hair being singed is not that pleasant at first but once done the heat starts to render the fat into the meat I am telling you, the meat is by far the best I have ever tasted. And believe me I have enjoyed the nuts of an old goat on the plains of Moldova which were pretty good by the way.

Only problem with this whole scenario, and to a bunch of sailors who may or may not have had a few cervezas, is that the meat comes on your plate with the skin still attached. It’s a little macabre, especially when you scrape it off and leave it on the side (reminds me a little of the movie The Silence of the Lambs). But the treat is in the meat, and the experiance. 

Now to wrap up this digression, you have to understand that if you are in Uruguay and you get a slab of beef with skin still attached, that’s a choice cut. The skin could have been used to make some shoes for a small child who lived on the tundras, but again I digress.

Sterna might look like they are lost in the wilderness (and I am sure that some of them have been). They are heading toward the coast but it’s not their fault. That high pressure to the east is spoon-feeding headwinds making life a challenge. Same to with Explorer. Hang in there guys. Weather is an ever-changing mystery and your time will come to rocket into Punta and enjoy a cerveza and a slab of beef. In fact I can Venmo some money to your restaurant of choice and enjoy a bottle of red and a rare steak on me. If you order it well done, that’s your problem and you can pay for it.

I have more Uruguay stories coming, but for now let’s watch the Yellow Brick Road and see how this finish finishes out. What a race. What great sailors and what a great adventure for all of those sailing in the McIntyre Ocean Globe Race.

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