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Fwd: Newsletter 33

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Dee White" <dee crinan net>
Date: July 1, 2005 5:50:59 PM EDT
To: "Dianne Cermak" <dspc comcast net>, "Don Morrison" <dfm mv com>, "Erick Owens" <erick owens tiscali co uk>, "Frances & Bob Hercliffe" <hercliffe btinternet com>, "Garry Burgess" <burgess1969 hotmail co uk>, "Jenny Buxton" <john buxtonhome ntlworld com>, "John & Diane Bullard" <dyandjohn bullard80 freeserve co uk>
Subject: Newsletter 33

Hi folks,
 This may be the last newsletter before I go to La Rochelle.
You can still contact me by the mobile Number I gave you or email me and I'll pick it up on Simon's computer. Especially if you're coming down to
Portsmouth Do try and make it if you can.
Pindar are going so fast but don't seem to be able to overtake at the
moment - it must be so frustrating for them. If you want to send any
more messages do them through me now - before Tuesday as the Pindar ones
will probably not get to them before they arrive.
Keep cheering, crossing everything, praying, anything you can think of.


This race is certainly has massive emotional swings from lows. A couple
days ago we caught up from last over the start line to fifth place and
fleet stayed packed tightly together for two to three days it was
phenomenal. Then suddenly it all goes wrong and the fleet scatters.
half a mile ahead get a lift from the wind and we get nothing and can do
nothing about it and we're plunged into an emotional low. How do we
all that hard earned work how do we remotivate ourselves to do it again
may be again. Why did it happen? My theory is we went through a wind
and got the dead area in the centre the other boats were at the edge and kept the wind. May be we were not watching carefully enough or may be it
just our position and there was nothing we could do about it. If there
is a
squall dead in our path we have to take it on the nose these boats are
fast enough to outrun the weather. We pull ourselves together and try to
live to fight another day but it does lead to petty bickering. I had a
in with one crew member when all I asked him to do was adjust the car
position on the lazy side to match the working side he had adjusted as
we normally do. His manner was as good as a refusal so
eventually I told him to sod off and a lot more unprintable. He's
a candidate for at least one Harken Star**.  Seems I'm not alone as one
member put it to me that as we near the finish we become demob happy and
the frustrations bubble up with the thought we'll never have to see that
person again. Its part of the Challenge and in some ways one of the
parts. No doubt some people feel the same about me.  Trouble is because
tired that sort of confrontation puts me in a bad mood for ages and I'm
grumpy with other crew members.  Fortunately the watch became so busy I
able to forget about it. The wind suddenly came back we'd hanked on the
genoa because the wind is was so light and were about to hoist when the
gusts came in. It always works it's still a big bastard of a sail to
around and once its been hanked on it has to be dragged back and
exhausting but nearly every time we hank it on this happens. We prepare
a reef - the first this leg - we don't have time to change to yankee 2
just smack the reef in. Still the wind builds we go to yankee 2 and
still it
builds go to reef 2. The first time I've put the second reef in since
Cape Town but it goes in slickly haven't forgotten the knack. We call
sail plan a Desmond - Yankee 2 reef 2 -  two two -Tutu Desmond Tutu. I
nearly met him in Cape Town and am told he would have been most amused
I'd explained he had a sail plan named after him!! The wind lasts out
watch and the next so we get a morale boost. I write it's behind us, a
ride and so strong we've dropped the kite and are running rolling from
to side on poled out number 1. We snapped the kicker line on one roll
we nearly broached. 3/4 inch diameter Kevlar! Some power there. We're
back on course for an early arrival at La Rochelle but I don't hold out
my hopes too much that way they don't get trashed ad I never believe in
the lies the "time to go" display reads at the nav station. There is
always a sting in the tail somewhere.
Yesterday night in the pitch dark we blew the 1.5 kite big time. An H
rip across the middle and down both tapes. There's three days stitching
put it back together again. I was trimming it at the time so it must be
fault. Kite was being flown well forward on the wind collapsed and
got caught round the spreaders. It's fortunate for me there is a no
policy on the boat or I'd be in the dog house. If we haven't made this
public please keep it to yourselves so the other boats don't know.
We've just surfed a wave at 18.1 knots and our log under reads!!
That's the news for now - replies to your emails
David G - yes and we'll move back up the fleet again.
Ken & Aud - Looking forward to seeing you on return.
Maureen -  You've got the gist of it but so far its not been that bad
Neptune hasn't finished with us until we tie up in Portsmouth well
Southampton really as we have to take the boats back there before we
God knows what I do next!!
Dianne C - Took me a minute or two to work out getting wet in the tower
as I
only put my foulies on in earnest against the rain yesterday. Gather
not peal ringing weather without aircon.
Chris & Les - Good luck with the surgery Les. No jokes about less of
lip!! Seriously hope all goes well and I do see you in Portsmouth.
Hi Liz - Sounds like I missed some good sailing with Steve and crew but
be back if he'll have me. Is Chris's Alderney pub the one that sells
and gin from the wood. If it is it's the one i bought a lemonade bottle
of gin from dirt cheap. Trouble wad every time I went for a drink of
lemonade on the boat I poured half a tumbler full of gin!!

Love to all Nick XX
** For the non nautical a Harken make winches and handy winch handles.
spigot in the handle which fits into the top of the winch is in the
shape of
an eight pointed star. You get the drift!!

Hi folks
We're still flying along Pindar seems to know she's going home only 600
miles or so to go. The watches can be pretty boring now as they don't
let me drive in high winds all I have to do is sit and wait my turn at
kicker watch to release it when the boom dips in the water then grind it
in. I grind till my eyes pop out and it sort of makes the boredom more
bearable like it would if you banged your head against the brick wall
then enjoyed doing nothing when you stop. Knocking hell out of my wrist
but they seem to stand up to it with the supports. At times I begin to
look forward to the end of the race and coming home.  Especially when I
feel I'm not contributing much. Today we took down the poled out yankee
1 and put up the 2.2 flanker in such a roly sea I though it's bound to
blow but so far so good and the wind and seas have eased so it's ok at
the moment touch wood. If it goes any lighter we'll be putting up the
repaired 1.5 hope it's ok scared to go near the spinnaker sheet at the
moment. Gives me lots of pit work to do so I'm tired but happy. We're
near the back but at the speeds we're doing only 4 hours behind the
leaders so it could still be anybodies race (I have to keep saying that
to myself to keep motivated). Our strategy is to stay North and pick up
the currents which sweep down Biscay we can't do anything else now so we must keep sailing hard to see if it will pay off. Will be interesting to
see what happens. After the finish line there is a tidal gate to get
into La Rochelle we can only enter 1 hour before to 1 1/2 hours after to
get over the sill as the channel dries out a bit like St Vaas I guess.
So the four hours behind could mean 13 hours behind getting into port or
the lead boats may be held up by the tide and we all go in together.
What am I saying we will be one of the lead boats!!

If France gets the Olympics the sailing will be at La Rochelle and the
Olympic venue is to be announced on 6th July the day Dee arrives at La
Rochelle so if they get the Olympic bid there's going to be one hell of
a party.
Except for replies to emails that's it for a bit need my sleep
Love Nick XX
ALAN & BETTY - Don't worry about Portsmouth it's a long way will catch
up with you one day. There's still only about 4 hours between us and
leaders so even if our strategy doesn't work we should all come in for a
party together and come in at the back will not seem so bad.
TANIA & all at DAVID'S -  Thanks for your news letter and lovely prayer
Tania. One day we'll come back to SA and meet up again. Hope D & G enjoy
Aussie land. Keep barking Eden!
Thanks for all the email via Pindar website it's done the trick but
suggest any future emails you want a reply to go via Dee because I doubt if there will be time for Pindar to forward any to us before Portsmouth.
Have done so little swimming I doubt I'll be allowed in the fast lane.
No haven't swum with dolphins yet only sailed with them and it's too
cold now.
ANGIE etc - Thanks for a lovely message will keep the emails going. Had
a lovely supportive message from Jon. It's especially nice when the
young 'un cheer me on.
MAUREEN - Yes but we're behind again still not too far to pull something
out of the fire or should it be water!!
KATE & TIM - It's a bit frightening to think it will all be over in
three weeks time.  Want to go sailing in the Largs area myself sometime
but think I need to find a job first. Tom enjoy Europe I left it a bit
late for my gap year!!
TONY FORRESTER - We aint given up yet hoping tide and current will see
us through at the end of the day. Hope I'm not interrupting work too
much. What the hell it's better than tax returns. Ouch I've got mine to
do when I get back.
DAUGHTER SARAH & FAMILY - There'll be a few tears in my eyes when we
meet as well as the those reading your messages. Looking forward to that big hug. Have been working the hands hard last few days and it tells but as long as I use the wrist supports seems to keep the pain in check. You
getting much riding on Berry?
DIANA - Hi Di thanks for your message you keeping well?
KEN AUD - Thanks often only when you tell us that I find how well we're
going. keep the messages coming.
Love Nick

I hope you all understand your replies - I'm not sure I do - and its
late and I'm too tired to interpret them.

Lots of love and thanks to you all for your continued support.


Don Morrison <dfm mv com>
"The mind is its own place, and in itself / Can make a Heaven
of Hell, a Hell of Heaven."      -- John Milton, _Paradise Lost_