Ahoy again Boatbloggers ®
And greetings once more from sunny Grenada where, unlike our friends in the UK, we are sweltering in the heat.
The big news for this instalment of The Boatblog ® is that Ju and Lyn are no longer just a pair of middle aged cruisers (or “yachties” as some prefer to be called, in the hope of sounding less sleazy). We are now officially racers, and have a nice red shiny cap to prove it.
NICE RED SHINY CAP
Let me explain.
As luck would have it, we arrived in Grenada just in time for the start of Grenada Sailing Week. And not only that, it was all scheduled to start in Port Louis Marina, where we just so happened to be berthed.
This is the classic yacht, Galatea. She is an absolute beauty. Built in 1899 she has sailed all over the world. And when I say sailed, I really mean sailed. She does not have an engine.
She is owned and skippered by master mariner Judd Tinius…
For our landlubber friends, I should explain the significance of not having an engine. Berthing (that’s parking to you) is one of the most difficult things to do with a boat, and is often a source of much hilarity for onlookers in the nearby bar. And that’s with an engine. Coming alongside, or up to a buoy under sail is virtually impossible, and something you only ever do in a dire emergency, or if you’re doing your Yachtmaster exam which is the same sort of thing. But of course Judd has to do it all the time, and just makes it all look sooooo easy.
Anyway,Galatea had come to Grenada to enter the regatta, and ended up berthed right next to us in the marina. And we would like to be able to say that Judd immediately spotted our sailing prowess and insisted that we help him crew his boat in the forthcoming race. But that wouldn’t be true.
(I know that at theboatblog.com we don’t normally let the truth get in the way of a good story, but in this case we know that some of the crew of Galetea will be reading it)
What actually happened was that he needed someone to help pull the boat off the dock with the dinghy (remember – no engine) so Ju stopped munching his bacon sarnie and offered to help.
And off they went for the first day’s racing, while Ju brought the dinghy back to the dock.
And they managed a very respectable second place.
On day two, Judd invited us to come along and crew for him, and of course we leapt at the chance. Unfortunately Lyn wasn’t too well that day, but Ju went along anyway.
It’s very exciting being on a proper racing boat, and especially a classic like this. You go incredibly fast…
get pretty wet…
…and tip over a lot.
In the picture above those are Ju’s knees in between the two hatches. You can just about make out the camera in his hand as he takes this picture…
Now that’s what I call tipped over.
But it is all fantastic fun.
Now, I don’t want to take all the credit but with me helping on the second day, Galatea managed to come in 1st place!
On the third day, Lyn came too.
It was vital for us to win this day’s race if were to stand a chance of being overall winners.
It was a really close run thing. All the way round the course, we were neck and neck with the other classic boats, Blue Peter and Coral of Cowes.
It was the second to last leg, and gradually we managed to squeeze into the lead…
We put a couple of boat lengths in between us and Coral of Cowes….
When all of a sudden…
The mast broke.
No one was hurt, so we pulled the sails out of the water and tied them down,
..and were towed back into the harbour.
The whole of the mast from above the second spreader had collapsed and broken in two.
So that was us out of the competition.
OR WAS IT…
Nothing stops Galatea. Overnight, and against all expectations, Judd and the rest of the crew managed to rig up a new forestay, and repair the damaged mainsail in time for the fourth day’s racing.
So off we went with a short mast, a deep reefed mainsail, and the staysail for a jib.
We knew we couldn’t win, but that wasn’t the point. We went out and we completed the course.
And overall we achieved a fantastic 3rd place. As well as an extra special award for Sportsmanship.
So we’d just like to finish with a huge THANK YOU to Judd and all the amazing crew for making us so welcome on board, for teaching us so much, and for giving us such a good time.
Thank you Galatea.
We hope we meet again very soon.
Ju & Lyn