Time Bandit

It’s back to the Caribbean leaving a chilly USA east coast for the winter months in the sun.

08 June 2024
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09 November 2023 | Norfolk VA
22 October 2023

Flat Earthers

12 May 2024
Stuart Letton
Seventies music. You can't beat it.

The one and only problem I have with the Seventies is that every time I hear a Golden Oldie on the radio, "That was Hotel California from 1977" I think that was just few years ago. I then do the math and am once again shocked that it is somewhat longer ago than I thought and the reality is that while my head still thinks I'm in my twenties, it's supporting structure and mechanisms however are present day vintage.

This problem sometime gets us in trouble. For instance, our antics over the last two weeks......

Woaaahhhhh. Whoops. Splash. And there we were. In the water along with the turtles, looking at the upside-down hull of an RS something or other. " Not been here for a long time," I thought.

To her credit, Anne's first thought was, "I've lost my hat."

"You dipstick" would have been both understandable and excusable as I'd made a complete pig's ear of what should have been a highly impressive manoeuvre intended to clearly demonstrate that clearly showed our dinghy racing pedigree, executed in front of the cheering crowds thronging the beach.

First, the excuses! It was gusty, and we were racing against kids several decades younger, and the red mist trumped experience, and I blew it, trying to force a gybe when it wasn't ready.

Nonetheless, we clawed our way back to third in the Antigua Race Week Fun Day winning a bottle of rum, so it wasn't all bad.

As you might have read, earlier in the week, along with two other Outremer 51's we formed a mini fleet and did the Round Antigua Race. A. We made a bad start as in the years I've been away they've changed from 10-5-GO to 5-1-GO. It was a real shame I was going the wrong way at what turned out to be the 1 and not the five minute gun.

We fought hard doing as many sail changes as any race crew would do. Slight bear away at the windward mark; Code 0 up. Five miles on, bear off a tad more. Code 0 down. Code D up. Bottom mark. Code D down, Solent back out. Rest. Or more accurately, collapse in a heap.

All this nonsense in a "let's just do it for fun" race, us just two up. The other two boats had crowds on board. I've more entirely plausible excuses why we didn't win but I won't list them here. However, like the dinghy race, we clawed our way back to a podium position. If they'd invited us up on it that is.

Despite having exhausted ourselves, when we should have been sitting back with a digestive biscuit and a cup of tea, we dinghied ashore to the prize giving and cheap rum punches. While we were swopping excuses with the other crews another Scottish yottie, Ian Galbraith, hove into view. Some readers might remember Ian from Inverkip, the Scottish Series at Tarbert or cruising Southern Ireland. We first met Ian in the late mid to late seventies when we raced against him during the Scottish Series, he in JigSaw, and us in Smarty Pants.

Ian was in town to do something like his twenty fifth Antigua Race Week and kindly offered us a spot on the rail for the week. It was just like the Scottish Series but with sunburn.sunburn.

Sheets in, sheets out and ready about. Pole up, pole down. Preventer on. Preventer off. And all of it on a boat that was, as my sister-in-law would say was decidedly "slopey, slopey". Jeez. Tiring stuff climbing around at thirty degrees and two things we now know for certain, A) it's all much easier when you're in your youth and B) there's a lot to be said for sailing on a flat earth boat.

Trust me.

Off to Bermuda next southerly. Our tracker should be working at https://forecast.predictwind.com/tracking/display/TimeBandit/
Comments
Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer 51
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with a super sleek cat and still cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: Next up....the Caribbean. We've left South Africa in our wake and now off to Namibia, St Helena, Brazil, Suriname and into the Caribbean. Well, that' the vague plan. We'll see what happens.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/profile
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