Last Thursday morning dawned rainy and cold in Seattle when my alarm started chirping at 0430 hours. A 'quick' half hour of physical therapy (PT) for my still-recovering 'bionic' shoulder, a fast cup of tea and a few minutes later my wife dropped me off at Shilshole Bay Marina where I met my friends for a delivery up to Vancouver. The rest of the crew was preparing for the annual Southern Straits Race, but I was just psyched to spend some time on a sweet yacht, reel off a hundred-plus miles and-most importantly-to spend some time on the water after having been forced (by my own 'user errors' in my younger days) to 'invest' so much time 'enjoying' my daily PT and gym sessions.
My surgeon (also a sailor) might have won our battle of wills over racing for this season, but at least I was sliding this delivery past his goal post. After all, the surgeon’s order of 'no racing' certainly leaves a lot of grey area regarding activities such as deliveries and 'cruising'!
We slipped our dock lines, donned our foulies and brewed-up some tea. The windless morning lent itself to the Iron Jenny, and by the time we reached Port Townsend, aided by a strong following tide, the clouds parted, the rains abated, and the SUN emerged. (If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll understand my use of the caps-lock button and the word 'SUN'!) Still no breeze, but soon the rugged outline of the San Juan Islands hove into view. Few experiences have felt finer in the past year and a half than simply soaking up Vitamin D with my friends, listening to great tunes and savoring my (temporary) removal from the influence of smartphones, email and PT.
Some thirteen hours after debarking from Shileshole, our dock lines were once again made fast, this time at the lovely Royal Vancouver Yacht Club. Four sun-scoured faces sat around the settee, enjoying a splash of fine rum and some age-old sailor’s tales (hey, some of them might even have been true!) and it hit me how VITAL it is to simply get out on the water, unplug and ENJOY the fine trappings of the sailing life.
If you haven’t been out on the water in a while, I have a simple, one-word bit of advice: Go. Your soul will not regret it’s holiday, irrespective of (no) wind, rain and stars, that much I promise!
Alt 8181 - BVI Spring Regatta 2013
Meanwhile, on sailing’s grander stage, the BVI Spring Regatta has been delivering some fantastic racing conditions for the lucky sailors down at Tortolla’s Nanny Cay resort and marina. 'I just love coming here, the weather on the East Coast of the States is pretty bad at this time of the year and I love the spirit of the BVI Spring Regatta; it has the right balance of competition and fun,' said Siebe Noordzy, navigator of the Swan 53 'Nai’a'. 'It’s my favorite regatta anywhere in the Caribbean.'
Alt 8191 - BVI Spring Regatta 2013
Racing has wrapped at this time-honored event, so stay tuned to the website for updates, as they unfurl, and be sure to check-out all the great BVI Spring Regatta-related media..
Nacra 17 training in strong winds - 43rd Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapre
And in Palma de Mallorca at the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre (ISAF Sailing World Cup), Olympic-class sailors have been enjoying a boisterous start to one of the first serious international events of the 2016 Olympic 'quad'. 'Having lost the Finn selection, in 2012 I only did a few events because I was off doing the AC 45 stuff so I just did the [British] nationals in Falmouth before the Worlds and Sail for Gold and [I] won them both,' said British Finn sailor Giles Scott. ‘So in this next quadrennial there are, for me, some wrongs to correct.'
1364690196006 - 43rd Trofeo Princesa Sofia Mapre
Get the full media scoop from this prestigious event by staying tuned to the website for the latest Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre-related news, as it becomes known.
Also be sure to get the latest updates from the Magic Marine Easter Regatta, the OK Dinghy World Championships and the Garda Optimist Meeting 2013.
2013 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival - Day 2
And finally, don’t miss photographer Leighton O'Connor’s great image gallery from the BVI Spring Regatta...if you’re like me, these sun-soaked images will leave you pondering the true depths of the term 'Against Medical Advice'.
May the four winds blow you safely home,