Let’s just pretend that it hasn’t been months and months since the last posting. Since then, we’ve been to Cyprus for vacation during the 10 weeks back in Abu Dhabi, and then we came home but soon we went to France – Paris and Strasbourg; Mark went on to spend a couple more weeks in Abu Dhabi while I stayed on for some “alone time” with Paris.
Then I went to Alabama, where I met up with my Abu Dhabi besties Donnette and Terry, and then on to Baltimore for my niece’s wedding – where I joined a girl band called the Temptresses with my sister Mary. Mark stayed home and worked on the boat.
In July, Mark and I went on a road trip to Nashville and Memphis; we went camping in Montana, Wyoming, and Utah; we went to my 40th high school reunion in Michigan, (where a lot of people said they had read and enjoyed the blog!) and since then we’ve been traipsing back and forth to the San Francisco Bay Area as we finally got Wildcard back in the water.
Jeez, so far this sounds like a Christmas letter …
All of these trips had very blog-worthy moments, (we caught a Paris pickpocket with Mark’s wallet in his hand and ejected him from the train!) but I could not find enough time to write and maintain the quality that I have come to demand of myself. I have a folder full of barely-started blog posts.
But not writing depresses me. So, I’m going to try something different: not so much editing, not so much scrutiny. Not so many photos. Not so many links. I’m going to try for shorter posts. Because, while I am writing for you, dear imaginary reader, I am also writing for myself – the older me, 35 or 40 years from now, who wants to remember all the cool stuff we did.
So: Wildcard is back in the water!!! We spent a ton of time and money on her, and maybe someday Mark will grace us with a recap of the process. But suffice to say, all her problems are fixed and we have a jewel of a boat. Just as we were paying the final boatyard invoices to paint the bottom and launch the boat, Wildcard’s sister ship in Los Angeles, Celerity, was finishing first in the Transpac Race from San Diego to Hawaii. This was heartening, to say the least.
We raced our first big race a couple of weeks ago. The Jazz Cup starts off of Treasure Island in SF Bay and finishes 26 miles later at Benicia, in the Carquinez Straits which is the gateway to the Sacramento Delta. We had our old friend and Quantum Sails pro, Jeff Thorpe, on board, along with a crew that was … well, we’re good but we were very rusty and our bowman was rather unfamiliar with our setup. First spinnaker set, the halyard was fouled and we couldn’t get a full hoist. But we recovered and, long story short, we won our division and placed 3rd overall in the 94-boat fleet!
Now, we’re preparing to drive down to San Diego with our OTHER sailboat, the “little” one, the J70 Prime Number that we own with our Aussie partner Peter (who appears in an early blog post when he came to visit us in Abu Dhabi.) When people’s eyebrows go up I say, “It’s not 70 feet, it’s 7.0 meters! About 22 feet.” We’re sailing in the J70 Nationals, and we were the 50th boat to enter the other day. We expect to be racing against some of the very best sailors in the USA, and probably the world. Olympic class guys (I use that term in a non-gender-specific way.) But that’s what we love about sailing – what other sport is there, where you can be out of shape, even drink during beer the competition, and go to awesome parties where you rub elbows with the best of the best?
So … stay tuned, because Wildcard – and her little sister, the J70 Prime Number – are back, and we are traveling.