Thursday, April 30, 2015

Classic Week 2015 - Watching the Races

Captain Morgan
Saturday April 18th, 2015
We were fortunate this year to be invited to watch the racing out on the water.  Morgan and Lindsey invited us and several others to go with him and Lindsey to view races one and two. Morgan owns sv Nirvana, a 64 ft Outremer catamaran.  This is a bigass cat and thus a nice, wide, somewhat stable platform that is perfect for race watching.  He also has two bigass engines to help him maneuver around his bigass cat.
Great platform for race viewing
Morgan has done this several years running now and has it down to a science.  We all arrived via dinghies around 9Am.  Next to sv Nirvana, Morgan had already put down a large aluminum fortress anchor with a huge buoy on it and a long line trailing behind with several loops.  We each tied off our dinghy to the loops in the line and scrambled aboard sv Nirvana.  The last aboard were the dinghy wranglers.  When the time came, Morgan just released the line holding the huge buoy to sv Nirvana and we carefully and slowly motored away from the floating island of dinghies and out to the race course.  
A Carriacou sloop sails past our floating dinghy island
Crewmate Lindsey was an airline hostess in a previous life.  Two of her longtime fellow airline hostesses (Kelly and Eileen) were aboard sv Nirvana visiting.  They kicked into high gear acting as the ultimate hostesses, assisting in getting our gear (backpacks) stowed, drinks iced down, taking money for the lunches that had been ordered and generally setting the mood for what was sure to be a great day.  
Morgan's Angles - Kelly, Lindsey, Eileen
Morgan keep sv Nirvana near the start area so we could take in all the pre-start maneuvering and than the start of each class.  We weren't the only ones out there so he had to keep a sharp eye out.  He did a terrific job and we got some spectacular views and pics of all the various yachts.  It was exciting.  I goofed up and didn't bring the yacht info so we had to guess which yacht was which.  The second day Helen brought the listing from her day of volunteering so we were able to know who was who.   Additionally, the first day we didn't know what VHF radio channel the race committee was on.  For some reason it was a big secret.  But I found our from our man Roy of sv Guiding Light, so we were able to listen in on day two which made it that much more interesting.  
Some of the gang enjoying their day onboard sv Nirvana

The ladies
On the first day after all the racing classes had started Morgan made a big announcement.  "Folks, we needed to make some decisions here.  We can head downwind and watch them round the third mark, but I am going to tell you that the trip back in this boat will be bumpy and wet as we will be pounding directly into the wind and waves."  This didn't seem to faze anyone - we are sailors and used to it.  Then he said "OR we can head in now and drink beer and have lunch."  Oddly no one reacted.  We decided Morgan should make the call as captain and thus we headed in.  

We anchored in the back of the anchoring field near the channel with full view of the finish line and enjoyed lunch.  One of the dinghy wranglers that stayed behind, came up and delivered one person to the floating island of dinghies.  Then that person came back to sv Nirvana and got two others and they retrieved the aluminum anchor holding the dinghy island and slowly towed the island back to the mother ship so we would all have easy access tour dinghies.  Day two, Morgan carefully maneuvered up to the floating dinghy island and Tom jumped into one of the dinghies in order to move the dinghy island back to the mother ship.
Tom ready to jump aboard the floating dinghy island
Day three racing is a short day ending with the yacht parade in English Harbor.  The parade is preceded by a Red Hat Mount Gay Rum party - Morgan's favorite so he cancelled "the cruise" aka race watching so he could attend the Red Hat party.  Additionally, we are unsure if the dinghy wranglers will be able to attend because they would probably be needed to get those yachts with engine problems back into the dock in Falmouth as those won't be able to participate in the parade of yachts in English Harbor - it's too narrow with fluky wind in there.  
Out near the start

Chatting between starts
Being out on the water to watch the racing gives one a unique feel for the vibe of the race vs watch from the cliffs ashore.  We appreciate being able to experience that and want to say a big thank you to Morgan and Lindsey. 
Captain Morgan

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