Friday, May 01, 2009


Frivolous yacht race meets life and death struggle.

Wednesday night's race was another light no- wind struggle. Well, I always say there's always some wind. The problem arises when there's not enough wind to contend with current.

But Wednesday night's race from start to finish was a doldrums drifter. Boats were so close together for so long and so slow that you could talk to each other, without VHS.

15 minutes into the race a sea lion pup swam around the fleet, and then hitched a ride on our boat. Now, isn't that slow - even for a sailboat race? He (gender assumed) plopped up on our stern swim platform, for a bask in the failing sunlight. All the boats around us were greatly amused.

Our stowaway abandoned yacht after about 20 minutes to swim around the fleet looking for a more comfortable roost. Within five minutes he came back and boarded us again. After deliberation, we decided to name him Tipperary.
He definitely made like he wanted to ascend into the cockpit, but couldn't master the steps on the folding ladder. We offered ol' Tip some Coronas but all we had was cold. He/she would have preferred it warm, me thinks.

Tip stayed with us into the slip. Against all advice - I couldn't resist -
I patted him (with gloved hand) on the pate as we left the Marina.

Because Tip was obviously a sick puppy, all of us reported his presence to the local Marine Mammal Center and the Harbor Patrol. Between them, he was rescued later that evening. Our predominant fear is that his behavior is attributed to Domoic Acid Poisoning. I wish a Tip a full recovery and a long life, but that's without any knowledge of his prognosis. Whether he makes it or not, I feel warm that he picked our rescue-friendly stern for some of his last moments. That's probably close to what I'd pick for myself, too, if allowed such an option.

We finished this particular race in last place. But the 1st-rate company aboard made that bearable ...