It was a struggle against some gnarly currents yesterday, but Gizmo and Sandy managed to pull 8 knots under the spinnaker and blew the numbers right off the sail. We didn’t make pace to get through the Narrows in slack tide, so we docked and sneaked in for a hot meal, which we ate alongside Team Away Team. After we arm wrestled and before we taunted each other, of course. Kidding. That is the thing about this race. The spirit of Race to Alaska wreaks of adventure, goodwill and camaraderie. Speaking of wreaking, it’s a good thing this photo is not scratch and sniff. Notice no one at the tables around us.
Then it happens…The sun falls, and our bravery rises with the moon. We sneak down the gangway in the veil of night and slip the knots out of our lines, ease the halyard in a whisper and prepare to take the most harrowing section, Seymour Narrows, in the dark of night. At that moment, the veil lifts and out of the dark we hear a strange voice shouting warnings, “Did you know you are missing a screw?” It’s not the first time I’d been told I had a screw loose, but this seemed more urgent. The mystery man had noticed that we were missing a bolt in our rudder. No rudder no tiller, no tiller no helm, no helm no steering. That chap, whoever he was, saved our butts before attempting one of the gnarliest crossings in the middle of night. We had no choice but to stay overnight. We will find a bolt and possibly a shower, then face the Narrows with everything we’ve got. This race continues to prove that the Gremlins are running the show, but the spirit of Race to Alaska prevails.