January 2009, and another race to Key West aboard Bandana. It was blowing pretty well out of the north, so we practiced a Spinnaker set, a couple of jibes, and takedown. All went very well! I'm always impressed when that works, since we never go out to practice and jibing from one pole to the other can be tricky if you don't do it often.

So, the clock ticks down... the numbers are called, and right on the line in perfect position, the 'kite' goes up....and proceeds to tear! And not just a little bitty tear... it snagged on something up there on the bow and RIPPED beyond use. I'm starting to think we're jinxed with starts and tears on that boat. I just went back to the story I wrote last year, and realized that we had ripped the Jib on the start line! I had forgotten about that until now!

But the race goes on, so we get the kite down and a jib up and flying while we discuss our options. The decision was made to put up the Assym, which is really a cruising kite, with a sock. So we got it up there and it seemed to be the right move. We had a tough fight with the 'round' downwind sails, but we worked it the best we could. We were alongside Sempre Amantes for a long time before we were finally able to sail away from them, and since my friends Michael and Brenda were aboard, I used the opportunity to get some pix . Also got a couple of good ones of Patriot.


Sempre Amantes


Sempre Amantes




And so we take 3 hour watches... we sail, we eat, (sandwich wraps of ham and cheese with tomatoes by me), we sail, we eat (dinner was Pork roast and asparagus by Drew), we change sails...and sail some more. I got some time on the helm, some on the spin trim, some on winch grinding.

We managed to do a pretty good job again, though we really thought we'd lost a lot of our fleet in the dark... it seems they did worse. We got a 2nd in the class of 8 and 4th in the fleet of 24. Race results can be found here: Results

We had already had breakfast aboard, Ham and Scrambled eggs, cooked by Dan, so we cleaned up the boat a bit, and I went to check in to my room at Heron House Court (#4). Sammy came along and we grabbed a little hot tub time.



We all decided that at Conch Harbour, slip 27 or 29 are the ones to request. Fuel hose reaches and lots of dock space for sail folding and partying! Note that it is a wide dock, not just a finger pier next to us ;)

I called my friend Will and Mike and I walked down to the bar near Mallory Square for a couple of Mojitos, and after that, things become a little 'fuzzy'! I know there was some partying on Duvall Street and I do believe I took a taxi back to my room at some point!

Next morning was breakfast at Pepe's and here's the story. If you ever go there and take the corner table outside...wear a wide brimmed hat and don't look UP!!! I didn't think to do that and maybe the below photos will explain.


This is what you see above the corner table. The birds are hard to see but you sure can hear them!


I didn't bring a hat and was too slow with the napkin...had to wash my hair!

Some hot tub time after breakfast was a good call.


Stef and Mike at Heron House Court


Looking at my room from the tub.

 Mike and Drew

When I was at Pepe's the bartender told me that singer Tom Rush would be there that afternoon at 3 so I went back. I'd seen him perform live when I was in college and then to top it off, it turned out to be my High School friend Steve Huntington who announced his set! So I listened to the first one and a few songs from the second, and then off to the awards party.




Next morning, back to Pepe's for breakfast... great Eggs Benedict and Banana nut bread, then back aboard to get ready for the trip home.

We knew the wind was expected to be too much on the nose to bother so we decided to go up the Hawk Channel. I navigated all the way and we were in Miami about 7am. From there we took a quick trip out to the edge of the Gulfstream to say goodbye to an old friend. We had Tiny's ashes with us and so we sent him off to where he belongs, before we turned in for a course to Port Everglades.



Fair Winds Tiny (Timothy Miller)


 And so another hat

for my collection after a great weekend.