Home for Figowi.

Trip Start Apr 10, 2008
Trip End May 26, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Back on Nantucket  for the season, this place is so comfy. This year my sailing buddy Craig got the great idea to sail in the Figowi race from Hyannis to Nantucket, some 25 miles across the sounds. This wabanaki name is frequently misunderstood to mean Figowi may sound like a drunken version of "where the f**k are we".

I feverishly read the GPS manual and the "Introduction to Sailboat Racing" the nights up to the race. Then plotted a couple courses in the GPS navigational devise. During the day we waited for the skiff to be ready, then the choke on the outboard broke, while frigid winds blew down from the North. Everything was a touch on the overwhelming and under experienced side.

Next day the winds still blew steady as we cast off for Hyannis. We rounded the harbor in to the Jetties to begin our day long sail to get to the beginning of the course. The sails went up like big pillows, the warmth of the sun dulled out the chill of the winds. At the mouth of the sound, half mile later or 24 miles left, the wind died. We lowered the outboard and putted our may across the sound for the afternoon.

In Hyannis were greeted by a harbor full of beautiful sailboats partying away. We grabbed a little dinner when all of a sudden the power went out.  We headed back to the sailboat via water taxi only to discover our boat came off the mooring. Now not everyone reading this may realize some of the boat/sailing lingo but the mooring is what you tie your boat to in the harbor. This had the potential to be really bad, Craig played it cool. Nobody and no boats got hurt.

Next morning, race morning, The start of the race was completely nuts, total chaos, but a chaos that works somehow. I would guess there were three hundred sail boats in the race all bigger than 25 feet and all of them are swarming around the starting area waiting for their division to start. Sailboats are not cheap to replace and watching them all tacking and jibing in such small area was a bit un-easing. Then shot went off from the committee boat, our green flag went up, then it came down, a final shot was fired and we dipped through the starting area with maybe twenty other boats. Press start on the GPS to initiate the preset coarse points and listen to the wind.

Over the six hours that we sailed across Nantucket sound we saw beautiful sailboats as they passed us one by one. We had no illusions that our boat was the fastest or that we would come home with a trophy. I think Craig was taking notes on what kind of boat he would like to sail on in the future. The wind was steady for most of the day out of the North at 14-16 mph really perfect for cruising downwind with little technical effort. We only encountered friendly sailors around us partially because we didn't threaten anyone else's victory.

Craig, myself and the couple other crew enjoyed complete success at our first sailing race. The experience was completely positive crew and clearly worth building on in the future. This was the perfect kick off to the up coming summer season.

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