Many magnificent vessels come and go in Bermuda this time of year, each on their way to their winter cruising grounds. There have been many that were larger and undoubtedly more costly than this one.
However, this Hinckley 70 is clearly a cut above almost all the others. From kayak eye level only a very small portion of the varnished bright work is visible. There is a vast amount of it. And, every bit of it is perfect. It is perfect in a way only possible by writing large checks regularly to a small army of varnish professionals. Still, that does not diminish the effort involved or the amazing results. Ten years old, she has had the same Captain and fastidious care for her entire life. It shows. The boat is simply beautiful.
Paddling about earlier that day, minding my own business, a large fleet of racing sailboats that had been randomly milling about, suddenly turned towards me en-mass after the race starting buzzer sounded loudly. They soon were bearing down very rapidly.
Not to worry, though, as: 1. The first mark would have them turning anyway before impact. 2. They were only 1 meter long. And 3. So, even if they had hit me it would be like Sunfish bouncing off a battleship - no big deal.
The local RC Sailboat group does their racing directly across Ferry Reach from where KR had been moored for both hurricanes so I had met the guys and been a spectator on two previous occasions. The decision to paddle over with the camera during the calm weather this past week was a good one both for me and, as it turned out, for them as well. In that particular corner of the Reach there is some form of intermittent radio interference that occasionally conflicts with its owner's control. I chased several of the boats down at various points as they made a run for their freedom. In return, I was allowed to sail #33 (one of the faster boats) around a bit between races.
I want one!
If only I could figure out where to stow it aboard KR. Hmmmm. And the other, very minor problem (Not!) is that the highest end boats can cost well over $5000. Perhaps on Craig's List and not subject to Bermuda import duties, though...
I continue to relax here in Bermuda but am now watching carefully for a good window to move on.
The weather patterns have been odd, to say the least, with two slow moving troughs causing low winds locally and large doubts in the forecast for the waters between here and the Caribbean. The smart play right now seems to be to wait until the Low coming off the US coast later this coming week passes through leaving northerly quadrant winds in its wake. We'll head out with fair winds (but in still bouncy seas) and get as much southing as possible before the winds peter out. This is a pattern very much like the one that we followed out 5 years ago when departing Bermuda for the passage to the Virgin Islands.
By mid-week, the forecasts should be sorted out a bit and final decisions and plans will be made. KR can be made ready for sea very quickly so there is little to do right now except hang about the coffee shop and Bermuda Yacht Services "Yachtie Lounge" and enjoy the other transients as they arrive, recover and eventually depart.
Best to all.