Date: June 16, 2003
Course: Comox to Campbell River
Distance: 23.90 nautical miles
Well, what can I say… today was certainly a challenging day! We started off from our accommodations at Jaspers at 6 am. We had to be at the boat by 7 am and we really needed to make a stop, Tim Horton’s extra-large coffee was on my list!
We arrived a little late at the Cheekee Monkee and we had to put it in overdrive. The start line was positioned where we had finished the day before and we were in a hurry to make it in time.
The Cheekee Monkee pulled up to the start line 22 minutes before our start, before we knew it, Kim had positioned us at the starboard end of the line. 2 minutes then the one minute horn sounded. The winds were light and there was a small channel of wind which had formed from the Starboard end stretching to the point which we were to round up and head north to Campbell River.
The horn sounded and we were the highest boat to the wind. We were flying our screecher and we quickly hoisted our jib, we were double slotted and began to pull away from the fleet. Sauterelle was the closest boat to us with bad Kitty running their Spinnaker and Redshift on the pin end sticking close to the shore.
We were sailing directly into a hole (little or no wind) and Kim sailed steadily through it coming out the other side the winds building to in excess of 7 knots. We sheeted in, dropped the Jib and headed North with just our Screecher and Main with boat speed of 7 knots well on our way to Campbell River with a great view of the fleet from our stern.
We were undecided which side of the course to take, we decided to cover Redshift. It was difficult to see them however we pulled out our super de duper de, 600x high powered telescope and spotted them heading to the right side of the course.
It was exhilarating to view the entire fleet from our stern I heard the Cheekee Monkee say “are you looking at my bum? You Cheekee Monkee you!”
We were amidst oscillating winds with a positive current push of +1, when the wind shut off there was no wind, none, nadda, zip, zero. I had flashbacks of the infamous Driftsures of past.
We fought very hard to maintain forward momentum and with Kim at the helm, we were making very good forward progression. Kim could feel the shift in the boat and the Cheekee Monkee was so responsive to the current & wind condition, it seemed like the brakes were applied when we were on an incorrect tack.
Many hours after I had promised the Manitoba Prairie winds to come ripping over the mountains, they began to show. The winds, if only for a short while appeared, then shut off again, I wondered if we were going to make the 4 pm cut off time.
7 Miles from the finish the winds slowly began to build, “1 knot” Joe yells! 10 minutes later “2.4 knots” we caught a new wind channel and brought our boat speed up to over 5.5 knots.
The finish line was nearing and I radioed to the race committee that we were going to finish within an hour. We did! When we were 1 mile out we were met by the Canadian Coast Guard who escorted us the rest of the way through the finish line, they were cheering, horn blazing with their water cannon spraying high into the air. There were two jet fighters that flew past 5 minutes prior to our finish, it was an awesome site! It was just too bad there was only the race committee to share it with.
It was an excellent finish however the race committee didn’t have a horn so we received a mere whistle! We circled back and dropped a horn for them to blow for any competitors who finish. They said they were going to give us a pitcher (we never saw the pitcher & the support crew were disappointed) we also got called the “Stinky Monkee!” unbelievable! I did have Chili for lunch & yes all the competitors were down wind from us & yes, they were looking at our bum so… what can I say?
It was a great day, we didn’t take any digital pictures today, out camera was kinda soaked and the buttons were not working quite right from our race on Saturday. I guess with sheets of saltwater coming over the cabin and soaking the camera, what could one expect.
Kim now has a new digital camera and the pictures will be posted from our remaining legs.
We are heading out at 7am for the start line. The race begins in Deep Water Bay and we have to motor quite far to start. Tomorrow night we will be moored at the fish farm and will not have access to much. We are staying on our boats and definitely will not have access to email. We will be sure to send 2 updates Wed night for our next two legs.
Just Monkeeing Around Vancouver Island!
Link to original article (Click Here).