We held Tiki Tuesday on Thursday night this week as Kiko came to town from Hawaii yesterday. He brought us a couple of gems; a big bright yellow sail made by Warren Seaman himself and an intriguing option for the human propulsion side of things.
Shop time was mainly used to catch-up and work on a project for Kiko so he can get his Pahi 26 in the water tomorrow. Thanks to Tim for sharing awesome beer and cat food can alcohol stove designs, and to Ty for lending a hand again.
Scott and I have been doing HTFU training with the help of our buddy Kevin as I posted about a few days ago. While we were trying to survive the cold waters of Puget Sound, it happened that Emily Riedel of The Discovery Channel’s Bering Sea Gold fame wandered down the beach to see what was up with the swimmers. She then proceeded to join us in the water as the countdown timer hit 6 minutes to go. She was pretty casual about it all, laughing and clearly enjoying herself.
Today I had coffee with her to talk to her about cold water, the spirit of Alaska and going for the gold. In her words:
It only hurts until you go numb, I saw you out in the water and thought “kindred spirits” and getting the gold is never easy, it can be a disaster!
When I suggested she join the race, her eyes lit up and she said “I’m fascinated by this race and will consider it in the future.”
Jake Beattie and the Northwest Maritime Center, you better start planning R2AK 2016!
Colin Angus has written a great entry on his blog at Angus Rowboats about who he thinks might win the R2AK. Totally worth reading if you are wondering! Better yet, buy one of his row cruisers and enter the race to win!
Jake Beattie, Director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend and mad man founder of the R2AK will be speaking about the race at the Center for Wooden Boats, South Lake Union 47 37.661 N, 122 20.105 W in Seattle this Friday, January 16th at 67-10 pm. Go! He mentioned something about beer afterwards. As one Alaskan said to me the other day about Alaska “It only hurts until you go numb!”
Weather will play an important role in this race. Big picture weather forecasting like the kind you can get from the below link will only help you so far (and only be available to most of us before the race and at a stop in a town with wifi or computer access.) Local weather will look very different because you can get in microclimates of a particular point of land or inlet. We will rely on radio weather broadcasts, weather guides and local knowledge. Things can change fast. Look out for the black line on the horizon to the northwest.
We should all fill in one of these before we leave on the R2AK race! Or any other trip on the water. How well can your friends and family describe you and your boat from memory after all. Probably not well enough. Suspecting that the Northwest Maritime Center will have their own set of information requirements on each entry. But that is just one event for a few weeks this coming June 4th.
Plans change when you sail/row/paddle small boats. The weather changes. The spot you found to camp is just too sweet to only spend one day at. Or you may be spending the next 6 hours waiting for a tide you got just a bit wrong. You ran into other like minded small boaters and do an impromptu plan change to travel together.
Those you leave behind ashore may start to wonder where you are. Sometimes having a fixed plan is just not possible or your tracker beacon stops working (been there!) or your battery dies on your iPhone or there is no signal and the Find Friends app stops sending (that happens!).
It was almost easier before all those things existed but you did need to add a widow’s walk on top of your house. Regardless, the basic info of a float plan is a good start as is a broad description of where you will be. Sometimes getting a little bit lost is exactly what your plan is. Sometimes the rescuers might benefit by narrowing down the size of the haystack. From my professional experience as a SAR vessel commander, knowing who and how many on board, size, type and description of the vessel and a general idea of where the over due party might be usually increased the chance of a happy outcome. We don’t mind searching for you even if all was well. We chock it up as training.