Paula who sailied on Yoko in the Latituce Ocean Race tells us her story and some great hand drawn pictures
After our midday shed we're asked to maintain a listening watch for an upcoming announcement and the news is our turning latitude is reduced by 3nm. The original bearing would have been another 1/2 hour but we can hear the Blairgowrie YS calling and we have been thumping into it since the start of the race. Our overnight trip down the bay last night had been a bit 'ordinary'* so the reduction in thumping time and possible resurrection of dozing crew would make a welcome reprieve. We circle and head back on the reciprocal course.
I'm now on the helm. Boats still surprise me. I see a wave heading our way that looks particularly large (okay a couple of metres- but it's relative) and I wonder briefly if it will tip or soak us and then it's passed underneath the keel and headed towards the shore.
Directions are shouted from the naviguesser below to the helm- “UP A BIT ”- “STEER 344”- “WHAT ARE YOU STEERING”?-if you get asked this particular question you can bet you're not steering the desired course-when it's decided we have to slow down.
This comes as a shock- we're racing-how do you slow down? We're trying to avoid the wrong tide at the heads. After much consultation over the mobile it is wisely decided that A. we won't hurry, B. we will enter the heads when we get there and C. if any yachts hold out for the flood tide the time spent heaved to can be subtracted from their finish time.
With baited breath from some of us and nonchalance from others we meander into the sloppy seas of the heads- white capped waves everywhere and it seems a never ending passage towards the eventual welcome calmness of the bay.
Elsewhere in the race;
One yacht practised a reverse MOB drill and successful retrieved and returned a divers buoy to the sea.
Drew Price from Time Out made good use of the BtB course and mentor, Bill Marchbank. They have agreed to 'take a number and wait their turn' as they leave the bay finding 2 boats in close proximity while passing a virtual mark makes for interesting navigation. Great results for a newbie to ocean achieving a 3rd, 2nd and 1st for this series. Well done also to Algy Rose and Remedy.
Special thanks to the dedicated ORCV team who got us out there, kept an eye on us and brought us back. Although theoretically one of the easiest races in the ORCV calendar this race can allow new boats and newbie crews on experienced boats to get out of the bay. Thanks for your generosity Robin Hewitt who took 4 new crew onboard.
* Ordinary in yachting terms means either it was cold and rainy or blowing a gale. For example, “How was your trip”? “Oh, it was a bit ordinary".