After an amazing week spent in New York probably participating in less
sleep than ordinarily achieved within the watch system we are now on our
way across the Atlantic to Derry.
I have been both looking forward to this race and fearing it – after all
sailing the Atlantic is no jaunt on the local pond. Last night I just
couldn’t sleep – a really bad attack of pre-race nerves believe it on not.
At 4 this morning with first light dawning + an elevated heart rate I lay
there thinking something along the lines of ‘I hope you know what you have
let yourself in for’. We sail through the iceberg field which this year is
further south than usual + we will find ourselves in Perfect Storm +
Titanic territory. The profound observation of ‘Oo-er’ came to mind.
Getting down to the marina as one of the early birds was sort of soothing
on the nerves. Not many people there + the boats splendid + regal in the
harbour flag regalia.
Last minute prepping, crew arriving in various stages of disorganisation +
lateness, the amassing crowds swelled by family + friends + generally
interested locals – there was a real party atmosphere as the boats cast
their lines to a succession of blasting crew songs into a perfect sunny
morning with a dazzlingly clear blue sky.
12 racing yachts lining up in an open ocean – Race 14 is now under-way with
all the drama + dazzle of a le Mans start. On the ‘Go’ seeing all the boats
power up, sailing side-by-side – I felt a swell of pride and a great sense
of being part of a bigger whole. And well – we’re actually ‘getting all
right’ (5th place + enjoying it as I type).
The wind is steady + blowing to the east and it is another wonderful sunny
day at the office + if that were not enough the sunset this evening has
just rounded-off a wonderful day. Under such perfect conditions it is hard
to maintain seemingly unjustified concerns.
The forecast is for these conditions to endure – at least for another day
of so. Long may this be so … although being the Atlantic I suspect there
is rough weather to come. But right now I’ll worry about that another time.