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Water Adventure
(sail 'round the world)

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A Race Across the Pond Previous Log
Date: 26 January 2009 Next Log
Atlantic Ocean > 6733 Kilometres @ Course 278° True Log Menu

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The Start Line -- Cape Town, South Africa (03 January 2009)

Racing in Table Bay: Warm-up Racing in the Cape Town Crocs Regatta.Table Mountain loomed from across the bay. Helicopters buzzed overhead. Spectator boats swarmed around the sidelines. There is definitely excitement in the air as we surge towards the start line, and we're definitely not going to be crossing it alone. In 15 seconds, the start gun will fire and hopefully our bow will be one of the first to point westward towards Brazil.

This is the start of the longest single-ocean yacht race in the world with over 3600 nautical miles of deep, blue South Atlantic ocean water separating South Africa from Brazil. It is the 2009 Heineken Cape to Bahia Race.

A closer shot of racing on "BallyHoo". That's me on the right.It is an emotional experience to race under the shadow of Table Mountain - one of those moments in your life you never thought you'd see, and as we hang all our weight over the rail and over the green water of Table Bay, we can't keep the smiles off our faces. Are we really here? Is this really happening? Wow!

The clock ticked down and with a bang, the naval ship positioned at the start line fired its cannon. Loud cheering came from each boat as it passed over the line and set sights towards the west. This is it! Brazil here we come!

The Stopover -- Jamestown, St. Helena (13 January 2009)

Welcome to St. Helena; Arriving at St. Helena for a 24-hour stopover (See previous blog for details!)As my previous blog described, St. Helena is a quiet place and while it suited me just fine, it was described as boring by others and considered unsuitable for a longer stay. Boring?! Is there not a giant set of stairs to keep us entertained? Are the waters not warm and clear? Is there not interesting shrubbery and faunae to examine? This led to my latest philosophical musing:

There are no boring places. Just easily-bored people.

The Finish Line -- Salvador de Bahia, Brazil (26 January 2009)

The following 12 days dragged on a little as light winds engulfed the entire fleet, and not even our largest coloured sails could raise our spirits greatly. Our greatest consolation lay in fresh fish, which were plentiful and delicious.

Finally, on the 26th, we crossed the finish line (2nd place on Line Honours) with a great upwind reach into the bay amid fireworks, a chase boat and a nice gathering of race organizers, journalists, and well-wishers waiting on the dock and handing us beers and caipirinhas. 3 Oceans Complete!  Now where's my caipirinha?

I suppose if one is to consider the world's oceans as one united body of water, I have now sailed across it. Cowabunga! But overall, I am now 91% towards fulfilling my goal of sailing around the world with 3 oceans complete. Only 3000-odd miles lie between me and my personal finish line at 77 Degrees West in the Caribbean Sea.

The adventure is nearly over, and thank goodness; I am getting tired.

However, the ocean still keeps calling me back. Not long after the mooring lines are tied to the dock, I find myself looking back out to the open ocean, which I feel accepts my shortcomings and makes me feel strong no matter how weak I get. The ocean makes me feel good for being me, and I can be as imperfect or foul-mooded or wrong any old time and never get called on it. The ocean never gives me advice when I just want it to listen.

Yes, Cape Town is quite windy.The finish line is getting close. I'm ready for it. I'm ready to come home to Canada. And when I do, I'll be ready for a big salad with chick peas in it, a pitcher of lemonade, a McDonald's milkshake (vanilla flavour) and lots of corn on the cob, please.

Ciao from Brazil, Stay tuned!

Gonna Get Ya!
Here we come! (with me scrambling around on the foredeck)
How do you stop this thing?!
"Now THIS is madness"
- Sam
(note: he survived..somehow)
Leaving Cape Town
Looking back on South Africa after the start of the 2009 Heineken Cape-to-Bahia Race
The Meridian!
The crew celebrates crossing the 0-degree mark! Hooooray for the Western Hemisphere!
Got our Game Faces on
We run a very tight ship, you know.
A Nice Way to Spend 3 Weeks
The Finish Line
Welcome to Salvador, Brazil! (ummmm is this really it?)
ICAP Leopard 3
This is the world's fastest sailboat, completing the race in 9 days. Luckily she was in another division!
:: Inukshuk ::

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