From: Guy Jones <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2018 10:37:22 PM
Subject: Day 1
By the time you get these, leg four to Marquesas will be completed and I did not win unless you heard my shout of joy in your homes.
However, looking back, day 1 was interesting. It began like most days with breakfast, washing dishes, brushing teeth and showers, the last for a few days, clearing out and then the unbelievable comment from Don and my response of “what do you mean the watermaker is not working?” The watermaker is rated at 160 gallons per day and we have been running it every day to ensure it was working properly. Five days earlier we had replaced all of the seals and had Martin, a contractor in Santa Cruz, Galapagos check the devise and revise the base to make it easier to service. Two minutes later I had Martin on the phone and we promised to be on the boat by 8:00 AM and he was there. Martin and his tech worked on the unit for about an hour with no success. The unit itself is under the port settee in a locker. We use a 14 ounce test bottle (empty Dawn liquid bottle) to verify the output rate and the devise must fill this bottle in 60 seconds. It was taking 5.5 minutes. Martin said the unit was not getting sufficient pressure and so he sat on the settee and placed his foot on the high pressure hose while the pump was running. The first test bottle was filled in 17 seconds and the second was 14 seconds. Martin was like a boy in the candy store. I can fix that he said but I must go back to my shop. He returned with a simple shut off valve, removed the watermaker from the locker and sitting on the saloon floor he installed the valve. Then he reinstalled the watermaker and fired it up. He, through trial and error determined the desired open/closed position that would then create the correct pressure to produce 14 ounces in one minutes or 160 gallons of water per day. After five bottles, he smiled and said, “my good friend”, it works. We then first marked the position of the handle and then closed the closed the valve completely. Then we repositioned the valve with the orientation aligned to the mark and turned on the watermaker. After 60 seconds, the test bottle was only half full. Upon seeing this Martin again smiled and said “air, do it again”. We did and it worked and it worked every single time. We now a fully functioning watermaker and the team was pleased and we are ready to go to sea.
The night before, Martin, his lovely wife and myself went to dinner at the Red Mangrove, a very nice restaurant in Santa Cruz. It was an exceptional evening as Martin is a very interesting and colorful man with an incredible life story. Towards evenings end, Martin’s wife ask if there was anything we needed and I mentioned that asparagus and broccoli were hard to fine anywhere. She replied that she would look into that and when Martin came back to the boat he had five gorgeous heads of broccoli and 4 packages of exceptionally great looking asparagus. I thanked Martin and ask he to give my thanks also to his wife and immediately placed them in the refrigerator. I was indeed pleased. I wish Martin well, we shook hands and told me that there was no charged and good luck on the passage. As Martin step onto the water taxi I was already checking the oil and other fluids in the generator and the engine and making the appropriate notations in the ship’s log. We had previously set the below decks for sea and now we turned our attention to topsides. Jacklines were positioned on port and starboard sides and the mosquito netting in the cockpit was removed and stored away. The asymmetrical was placed on deck in preparation for deployment, as our tactical plan was to deploy it immediately after start. The fenders were removed and deflated and placed in the lazarette portside locker. With Emitt on the helm engine start was 10:05 AM and I went forward to raise and store the anchor. At 10:27, we hailed WARC Rally Control and advised them the Footloose was departing Santa Cruz Harbor and the game was on.
With 93 minutes before the start, we reviewed our plan for the start and the sailed planed immediately following the start. On Thursday at the skipper briefing, I had said to Freddie, a retired German lawyer (55 years old) and the skipper of a XP 50 that had won every leg of the rally that I would see him he arrived in Marquesas. He looked totally surprised. I assumed he was certain that his translation from English to German was in error. So to follow up on my statement, which had no chance in XXXX of being true, I found Lunatix on the windward end of the start line and maneuvered Footloose to a position directly behind Lunatix. I can only imagine what Freddie was thinking. So Freddie and I danced for position up to one minute before the gun. That was closes I would ever get to Lunatix and I never even saw Freddie again after the sun went down.
At 12:00 PM Galapagos time, 31 vessels approached the line and Footloose had another really great start. In the entire fleet, Footloose is the slowest rated vessel (the prettiest also- thanks Patrick) and so it is fun to have a great start. Within 10 minutes after crossing the line the asymmetrical was flying and we were ninth overall. Martin surprisingly pulled up along side took a few pictures from a motor yacht and shouted good luck as we headed Southwest in search of the trades. Freddie was history, he was not even showing on my AIS.
As the fleet dispersed across the South Pacific, the silhouette of 31 sailing vessel all now only shadows made for a marvelous mental picture with our destination 2,980 miles away. What adventures and miss adventures were just over the next horizon would begin to unfold as we made our way to Marquesas.
Dash to the Trades