Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.--Ernest Benn

Monday, December 12, 2011

Dear Joe Letter

Dear Joe,

I think it might have been easier watching what we were doing yesterday than doing what you were watching. I actually mentioned to the crew several (at least three) times that I hoped you were not watching! Truth is I felt your eyes on us much of the race. I'm just glad you didn't see the start.

In 2-3 knots of wind, I was forced to use the momentum tactic: pushing the boat forward at five knots and then switching off the diesel with 4+ minutes to go. The problem was that I mentally zoned out and was too far from the line when I hit the switch. Plus there was a huge adverse current. But the real problem is my mind. I just do not have that competitive cutting mental edge any more. Trophy Wife was puzzled. She doesn't understand  my wish to resume civilian (land-lubbering) life. Far from spending time on the water not learning anything more, I am actually unlearning stuff that I know I knew before.

For instance, results in a yacht race are due to the accumulated mistakes made by each boat. For me, one deja vu learning is that racing actually leads me into bad seamanship at times. When I get into trouble, I often resort to improbable, low-percentage, long-shot, risky efforts to recoup losses. For example, you saw how we endeavored to keep the spinnaker up by over-standing K-Mark far enough so we could gybe around it instead of dousing and tacking. From shore, it must have looked like shit. Except it happened so slowly, you probably lost enough interest at several points not to have understood what we were trying to do.

The only thing I can say about the start is to focus on other facts: it wouldn't have made any difference in the long run: ultimately, we weren't able to complete the course because the current was going twice the speed of the wind and we were swept outside the gate. Secondly, we were not the only boat to abandon.

But Thank you for loaning me two crew. Both were good sailors and quality people. K looked like she had grown up lifting spinnaker poles and J was ever ready and capable to take on anything. I hope I haven't embarrassed myself so much on that start, not to be able to get another waiver on these two wonderful people in the future, should my needs arise...

Well, irony of irony. Yesterday was the make-up for the Memorial Day Race, which was cancelled because the wind was 40 knots? Go figure.

No matter. I'm done. Insert fork.

1 comment:

  1. You're not the only one that takes risky, low-percentage fliers to try and recoup losses :)
    It's what Cinderella stories are made of. Sometimes.