Sunday, July 4, 2010

NAC Thursday

Sorry this is late but....

We try again! Again, it rains when we try to walk the dogs, but we are not deterred. We head toward Spruce Street, in the direction of Ben and Deb’s house where Ryan hopes to some day sample some cappuccino from Ben’s cool machine.
As we travel, we are greeted by 3 dogs that run off their porch (not much in the way of fences or leashes in these parts) and follow us home. Carrie lifted Alfie for the walk back to the house, Missy and Lexi managed to make friends after the human energy calmed down. They seemed young, one brown hound-y looking male, one brindle pit-mix female with white socks on her front feet, and a small, black male with all-too-prominent ribs. We continued on our way home, with our escorts. As we leave to go racing, the female stayed on our steps.

After another long day of racing, Clinton keeps his gun close-by. One race, but Dave and I came in early after some frustration. John and Susan and Ryan and Carrie had some great races that, of course, didn’t count. The pressure is on for getting 2 races in on Friday. We feel like we’ve been sailing for a really long time. Clinton alerts us to wake up even earlier tomorrow; so much for the civilized 1:00 starts and sea breeze schedule.

On the drive home, Dave remembers the dogs from this am. We hope we don’t see the girl when we pull into the driveway. Sadly, she’s still there. We drove in search of the house she came from, and find some nice folks who seemed to actually be concerned about their missing dog. Her name is Bella.
One of the guys follows us back to our house where she remained (phew!) and he takes her home.

Drinks start at the house, dinner at the club was nice, met some new people, and the annual meeting is blessedly short (a little nip doesn’t hurt!).
Blog entries are a little behind schedule, as dinners tend to go a little late and the mornings get earlier and earlier. No WIFI at the house, but we are thankful for Direct TV and cell phone reception. We ARE in backwoods Mississippi (see Amy’s post for pronunciation cues). The house is great, though, excellent situation for regatta-ing. We “heart” our roomies!

Thanks to Amy, here goes;

IN WHICH the Nannering Nabobs of Negativity had their say.

Thursday of the Flying Scot NACs featuring Guest sailor Hurricane Alex brought us a score! The series began! The RC pushed the schedule early, and we started at 10:30, in lightish air (all to the good!), but alas, when the wind began to die, and the RC called a finish at the leeward gate, it was after only three legs.

The NOR requires four legs for any race. (Insert the sound of Mark Taylor quoting Homer Simpson, DOHH!)

So, a second first race, under cloudy skies as the weather settled. And settled. And, during the final leg, shifted and settled some more. The kind of race where the windward leg becomes the leeward leg, and people are flying ‘chutes on the same leg others are beating to weather. Frustrating. Hot like an oven. Zephyr conditions, with the current just starting to flow…John Dane was about two boat-lengths from the finish when the RC called the time limit of two hours. (Repeat sound of Homer Simpson, in chorus: DOOOHHH!) We were in about 4th or so, ten boat-lengths back, ten minutes or so from finishing.

Back to the harbor under tow, three o’clock in the afternoon of Thursday of the week of racing, and not a single point to post on the finish board. (Unless someone can convince the jury that the offset mark makes another leg of the course, but we think that is a long-decided point.) We were over early that one, had to round the end and restart, and had battled back to top ten – which is nice, but still.

Some muttering and moaning on shore, lots of people glad not to be on the Race Committee. Clinton the PRO told us not to take boats our of the water, but many people figured the breeze was dead for the dead – Marcus Eagan was out on a powerboat, towed us in, and then asked if it was a beer-drinkin night… Still, we kept the Mighty Majestic in the water, loosened the rig some, and then BANG! Next start at 4:3o.

This time with feeling. This time, rather, the first race of the series gets off with a nice little seabreeze ruffling the water. And the current starting up. I imagine the RC was ready to sacrifice small furry animals to whatever gods and goddesses rule the –– WAIT right there, HOLD ON! This is the honest-to-goodness South, and we had a Christian blessing at the opening of this event -- so ix-nay on the acrifice-say! Heathens! They had to be about as frustrated as any of the sailors, let’s say that.

Anyway, although the weather looked very dicey, the wind never really let up (the spinnaker collapsed only a couple of times) and Bang! John Dane won by a mile. Bolyard second. We were top ten. Finished racing at 5:45, sailed to the dock, shower by 6:10. Dinner tonight at the club –– we sure earned it.

It’s astonishing to have had this much racing with so little scoring to show. Ryan and Carrie had a fabulous lead in one race for a long while, putting the petal to the metal on Hogwarts Express 2 2/3. I watched (and was ready to witness!) as Harry Carpenter dealt with a windward mark barger so calmly -- so reasonably! -- it was inspiring. He said, in a calm conversational tone, "Do I have to protest you?" To which the other skipper, nameless, replied, "For what?" as he continued to steer at right angles to the offset leg, on port, with a line of starboard tackers beginning to stack up rub-rail to rub-rail.

I imagine there are a thousand stories to catch tonight, but this is pretty much my entire brain contents for now.

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