Tumultuous Uproar

A cruising boat with a racing problem...

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We will lack for nothing

02 October 2018
My visit back to the US was very hectic but I sure had a great time. Got to race twice with Ken Quant and crew on Eclipse, even in the storied Louie's Last Regatta (his last regatta has been going on for about 20 years and is a major fund raiser for Children's Hospital). I sure saw a lot of my sailing friends at these events and truth be told, I sort of plan my visits around this regatta.

I get a lot of questions about our travels. One sailor told me, I should have a handout to answer the FAQs. Not so. My sailing friends don't ask the typical questions about Pirates, storms, sharks, and my favorite, “Do you stay in hotels?”

One FAQ is “What is the most difficult part about cruising?” or “What do you miss on Uproar?” The answer to both is easy, family and friends. But someone asked me a more specific question, “What items do you not have on Uproar that you miss?” I paused to think about that and then came up with Lisa's quote from many years ago, “We will lack for nothing!” Even when we sailed Veloce, our Laser 28 to Door County or Michigan for a few weeks, she insisted we would have everything we needed or more importantly wanted. I have to tell you that's a great attitude. We don't need to do without (OK, no Ducati on board). Perhaps that explains why Uproar is down about four inches from the design waterline!

Why am I writing about this now? Easy, I just schlepped 80 pounds of cargo from numerous Amazon packages to the Airport in Milwaukee and through San Francisco to Tahiti, finally arriving on Uproar. Lisa, I didn't think we were lacking for anything but now I'm sure! Just in case, Ken and Missy are coming at the end of the month and I'm sure we will have a bit of cargo for them to bring too.

Someone said cruisers need the skill of hauling a lot of crap on their shoulders back to their boat. How true! It reminds me of the days we were comfortably berthed on D Dock in Mackinley Marina, Milwaukee. Uproar's slip was almost at the far end. There was great parking near the dock but we had that long march out to Uproar. Dock carts were provided and we often used them. But life on D Dock is not that easy. We were one of few sailboats on D Dock. Our dockmates seldom took their boats out of their slips but they sure enjoyed them tied up and plugged in. Their favorite pastime was hanging out on the dock with their friends. Great fun, but they would populate the dock with comfy chairs and cocktail tables.

Lisa and I would parade down the dock with a loaded dock cart and you should have seen the eye rolls and groans when they had to move their chairs to let us through. Sorry for invading your space D Dockers. One day I was carrying our mainsail in a huge bag on my shoulders. It weighed (now we have a high tech, lighter one) 80 pounds. One of the D Dockers said, “Russ, there is a job opening for Sherpers in the Himalayas.” Sure got a chuckle among his cocktailing friends. I would have preferred him saying, “Wow, that looks heavy, can I help you with it?”

What do we miss about cruising? Well, not our “friends” on D Dock. OK, some of them were quite welcoming. Several told me, “Russ, we love having a few sailboats on our dock. We need lightening rods around to protect our boats.” Love you guys too!

But back to being a sherper. I am! Ask Lisa, I can carry nearly my weight, in tropical heat and up hills. In Bermuda, I carried huge bags of laundry up hill to the laundromat. Lisa is a stickler on laundry and I'm all in. Don't mind carrying the load to have nice, clean sheets at night (we shower before bed most nights to keep sheets clean).

This morning I arrived in Tahiti with a full load of goodies. I arrived at Uproar at 8am after flying all night from San Francisco. After packing the 80 pounds of cargo away, I took a shower, ate ramen noodles with fantastic dried mushrooms, that we have an ample supply thereof, and slept for five hours. Lisa has been gone for a week in Rapa Nui (Easter Island) while I was in Milwaukee. She left the boat empty of fresh produce per usual. I decided to hike to the huge, Carrfore store, about a mile away. On my way back, It occurred to me that I am the sherper, carrying about 25 pounds of groceries back to Uproar. Yes, hauling crap on your shoulders is part of the cruising lifestyle.
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Vessel Name: Tumultuous Uproar
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau 42s7
Hailing Port: Milwaukee, WI
Crew: Russ Whitford & Lisa Alberte plus Sophie our Jack Russell Terrier
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