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R2AK Days 9-11: 3 Days and 3 Nights – All Race and No Rest Makes Freddy a Row Boy

By June 24, 2017 No Comments

Once we took to the open water, Gizmo really gave it all she’s got. There’s no stopping us now. As of this post, we are about 10 nautical miles from Ketchikan and rowing our asses off waiting for some distant wind. Team Sistership has been on our tail, but they broke their daggerboard in Comox. Rumor has it they replaced it with a piece of plywood. We saw how that worked out for our rowing station, but hey, good on ya Sistership, but stay back there where you belong. We like seeing your trimaran well behind us. We are hoping for a breeze as we move under 2 knots to their over 5.

Now we are going to spin this story in reverse and maybe we’ll hear some coded message like when you turn a record album the wrong way, which will tell us the secret to pushing through these last few miles. Yesterday Sandy walked the plank before we crossed the boarder into Alaska. We avoided losing time and propulsion by swinging a deal with a local water taxi rather than pulling into shore and ditched our third crew member with a graceful little bump and jump in the middle of the water. He’s safely on shore where he finally found the soap he’d stolen away with his gear. We apologize in advance that you may smell us coming before we round the corner into Ketchikan.

We had a fine run in with a whale along the way. Got as close as we dared to grab some footage and revel in his fluke. Prior to that he had a much less pleasant run in with a cruise ship. It was the middle of the night. We had little wind and even less steerage as the beast gained on our stern. We managed to make more of a run than an actual run in with these monsters and haven’t ended up in the belly of a boat or whale.

The choice to go big with the open water was warned against by the coast guard, but we don’t regret a thing. The sailing has been fine and the waves of the washing machine were not as terrible as they seemed. Freddy has managed not to lose his lunch, which is fortunate, since part of the reason we are moving with such haste is our lack of provisions. Our rations have been quickly dwindling along with our energy, both physical and electronic. We are hoping we have enough juice for Hal to hold out and enough strength in our bruised, unrested bones to bring Gizmo home to Ketchikan. We are reaching for the promise of a cold beer, a hot shower and a loud ring of the bell at the finish. No regrets, R2AK! Stay tuned these next few hours and blow some wind our way like you’re blowing out candles on your 100th birthday cake. HERE WE COME!