2012 Guadalupe Island Race

I Remember:
  • Eric, Brian, and Tracee aboard Thriller acting as Committee Boat. And enjoying themselves.
  • Seas of glass, yet able to ghost at 3 knots.
  • Ed commenting on how high Slacker was pointing.
  • Being unable to shake Team Open Sailing the first afternoon and evening.
  • Raising the spinnaker shortly after West End.
  • Stars and planets like precious jewels.
  • Sunlight dancing across turbulent seas as Slacker rolled downwind at 7-9 knots.
  • Seeing 15 knots on the GPS.
  • Chatting with the ship Dallas Express, who graciously altered course for Slacker.
  • Sadness and concern upon learning of Slowpoke’s withdrawal.
  • Enjoying the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had: Starbucks Cafe Verona.
  • Elation upon seeing TOS’s masthead light as we approached Guadalupe Island
  • Thinking “knife or flare?” as I awoke at 3am to see a vicious spinnaker wrap
  • Giving Jerome a “Whaahoooo!!!” at 4 am as TOS flew by 20 yards away in the moonlight, launching down a wave and kicking her tail at Slacker.
  • Agreeing with Jerome to spot him 30 miles for the climb back up.
  • Giving my only rum to 3 Mexican fishermen who pulled up next to a becalmed Slacker.
  • Slacker grabbing a 3 mile lead from under the Island by catching wind for 30 minutes beforeTOS, despite being only 200 yards apart. Totally unfair.
  • Disbelief that wind could fluctuate so wildly for so long. Painful for the singlehander.
  • Being watched via SPOT as I tacked.
  • Being watched via SPOT as I ran out of wind.
  • Being watched via SPOT as I peed. (ok, not really)
  • Weirdness as non-competitors knew where competitors were real time and competitors didn’t
  • Fixing the autopilot. Multiple times. In the dark.
  • Repairing a diesel fuel leak.
  • Smooth comfortable sailing on a lovely long period 6-8 foot swell
  • Seeing multiple whale spouts, hundreds of dolphin & porpoise, a sea turtle, and albatross.
  • Attempting to drop the genoa into its bag with 14 knots of wind at dusk. Total fail.
  • Chatting with Chuck at 6 am every day. Oddly intimate.
It was a wonderful, memorable, life-affirming trip. By my wits and work I have safely traversed a challenging sea,
tested my mettle and am the better for it. A wise use of time, despite being away from family and business. I’m
grateful to my competitors who gave it depth, and grateful to the PSSA Team who did so much to organize and
run the race, I’ll be doing the race again, and hope to see the same competitors out there. Mojo found.
Whitall
Slacker