HISC to Palm Beach 2013

Again Magic's Skipper invited me for this one so the crew was Michael, Brenda, Dave, Jim and me with our new guy Shir.
We left the dock and headed out to the start line with very cloudy skies and wind forecast to be SSE at 8-12kts. And a 40% chance of scattered thunderstorms.

We were greeted by a lot of Dolphins swimming around the start line and we considered it good luck, as most sailors do. The hard part is catching a photo of them!

For once, the weather guessers got it right… sort of! They forgot to mention the parts where there were much stronger winds and also the dead calms!

It turned into one of those days where you get 4 or 5 different races all in one race. The boats who went way outside missed the storms completely and those who stayed in close to the beach seemed to get hit the worst. Those of us who went only far enough out to get about 3kts of 'stream' in our favor, got hit pretty badly.

We took a knockdown that had the water coming into the cockpit over the coaming and nearly floated my GPS and iPhone overboard! They were stashed in the side pocket of the coaming since the GPS is waterproof and the phone was in a LifeProof case. When the water started to come over the side I grabbed both and tossed them below in fear that they'd float OUT of the boat! Luckily both survived but needless to say, in the survival conditions, I wasn't able to get any photos! Too bad Michael didn't get to turn on the 'Go Pro'! Might have had some exciting video, but he too was not exactly in a position to turn it on!
We did, sadly, shred the spinnaker but everyone stayed aboard and no one was hurt and nothing else was broken. Lessons learned… get the vang off faster and release the spin sheet faster in those conditions! Better yet… get it down early and reef the main if you suspect strong wind is coming! (Note to crew: Listen to Brenda when she says we have big wind coming!)
So we recovered and got the jib out and before long, got the A sail up and we were doing great making fast numbers in the high 8s and low 9s over the bottom and all directly towards the finish line. We were being careful not to work our way in too early, as we didn't want to lose the favorable current we had. Life was GOOD until about 1.75nm to the finish when the wind decided to take a vacation! We actually did a 360º just trying to keep the boat moving and we changed to the lightest sail we had, which is a .5 round kite that is too small for the boat. But, it worked and we managed to get moving again in the right direction and finally crossed the line!
I had booked a room at the Windsor Gardens, which is just under a mile up US1 and it turned out to be a great idea. The bartender was friendly and offered to get me rides to and from the boat, which I probably would have accepted if the rain had come back but it became a lovely evening and the walk to the dinner party was easy.
After dinner, Tom walked me back so I didn't have to do it alone after dark and we had a cocktail poolside in front of the fireplace...which, I was very surprised and pleased to see, was LIT! Feet up! NICE. The bartender offered Tom a ride back to the boat but he said he wanted to walk and did.
The next day, I walked back to the boat and Shir caught a ride back from his g/f and sailed home with us too. All in all, it was a great weekend!
Our race results were less than stellar, mostly due to being becalmed just before the finish but 7th of 11 isn't terrible either!

Once posted, the results will be here: http://hisc.org/RaceResults/RaceResults.html