Boogie Nights

A sweary hyperactive maritime professional, really very keen on laughing a lot, doing their best to avoid all the trappings of societies' expectations by acting on impulse to any adventurous idea that wafts by. Let's go!

bienvenu, hola, ciao!

09 July 2016

Tres Gruyère bound!

Hello there, it's Grace O'Mally, reporting once again, this time for the second leg of the Triangle race 2016

Kinsale to Treguier (leg 2)

here, have an anti barf tablet. May cause hallucinations, a skin rash and a dry mouth. 

Downwind sailing to France? Anyone fancy that? It's all very well if your boat is set up for spinnakering like a pro. Boogie Nights is equipped with a spinnaker and a pole and some ropes and stuff. I've had a look at them and they're not all that. In fact you've gotta be pretty brave to use that set up because it all ends up going arseways pretty quickly... 

But you know what I say? I say, aye it'll be grand. Give it a go. What you got to lose other than your mast or your limbs? Get on with ya. 

Jayne has a fairly strict rule it's not used in anything more than 15kts of wind. Everyone agreed that it's a pretty good rule. That is, if by everyone we mean Jayne. Sue wasn't keen at all. 
On the start line we had around 20kts and most boats were going for the big sails hoist. Sue looked on with mild mannered dismay as Jayne put the spinnaker pole in the ready position and got the Spinnaker bag clipped to the rail. For "just in case" she said. 

the faces of two soon-to-be-shagged-out knackered skippers after hand steering nonstop for over two days. 

Resolute had similar ideas to get away from the start line and build some distance on white sails before hoisting their spinnaker

Anyways, we set off on white sails until the wind died down. Then when everyone had fekked off up ahead with their fancy coloured flappy things, Jayne hoisted the red white and blue thing and then they spent the next few hours faffing trying to get it to fly. 
Which it wouldn't. Though it must have done something good because the other boats weren't really getting any further ahead for a long time.

Until Jayne decided to drop it and try again later. Which went more literally than she intended as the halyard slipped off the mast winch accidentally and nearly launched Jayne skywards.
We ended up with a nice colourful sea anchor around the bow and under it. Barbie caught it in her teeth, risked severing her cable tie she did.  
Sue's training and experience in sail retrieval came in very handy as was Jaynes ability to hove-to in a split second. They rapidly exchanged ends of the boat. Sue dashed forward from helm to bow and Jayne jumped on the wheel and sorted out the various sheets before running forward to join Sue to get the sail back on deck. 

The wet spinnaker was dumped through a forward hatch, inspected and repacked quickly by Jayne while she muttered expletives. No damage luckily, only a dented pride. 
The boats ahead had visibly shrunk in size in the short time Boogie Nights was parked for the retrieval.
We white sailed through the night, gybing every couple of hours or so. The basic model of autopilot on Boogie Nights can't cope with downwind sailing very well. So they took turns, hand steering. 2 on, 2 off. Poor buggers. 

It was extremely tiring. Well, it was for them, not for me. I'm only 7 inches tall with my hat on and can't reach the wheel. Has anyone seen my hat?
Despite having the boom brake pulled to maximum tension, we still crash gybed countless times. The brake took the sting out of the gybes, but not the frustration from whoever was helming at the time. How many times could we crash gybe before something would break?
"How many times could either woman cope with the failure to reach the Minstrels or wine gums before crash gybing again?" 

are we nearly there yet?

Another day, another night of sailing without a single AIS signal or boat in sight. It was morale sapping for the two not to have anyone to spar or race with. (other than each other to the ginger biscuits)
Another unsuccessful attempt to fly the spinnaker was made at lunch time as we passed the shipping lanes,  but a much more successful drop, retrieval and repack, we were back to white sails again. At least the red, white and blue was dry now.

The Irish food that Sue had stocked up on was going down a treat. Another casserole with Irish beef and then the pizza. Oh the Pizza.
It was actually more along the lines of Cheese with cheese and a pizza base hidden within it.
When they were making the pizza back at the little shop in Kinsale, Aoife there shouted to her mate Nell,

"hey Nell, can ya put some cheese on that batch of pizzas?" 
"Aye I did." 
"Well, couldya put a bit more on?"  
"Aye I will. "  
"Make sure there's plenty on there."  
"OK I put some cheese on the cheese"  
"just stick a bit more on, just to be sure like. We can't have 'em thinking we scrimped on the cheese."

Artists impression of Irish pizza. It caused a local shortage of cheese.  
Image courtesy of

Sue and Jayne pondered the risks of becoming cheese-bound as they took turns to eat the entirely cheese based food from their dog bowls. The conversation took a turn for the abstract as Jayne cast a final piece of cheese overboard and pondered the possibility of a dolphin becoming cheese-bound.
Sue suggested that it might be similar to a petrified effect that can only be counteracted by looking at things through a mirror and not directly at it...

I'm going to leave this conversation here.
They had been hand steering for quite some time and that was A LOT of cheese.

No word from Barbie on the matter. I'm surprised, I thought she was a fan of dolphins. And cheese.

After another exhausting night of hand steering and crash gybing, we emerged the other side of darkness to be greeted with the scent of land.
The wind shifted and finally a brief spell of autopilot to give Jayne a welcome rest while Sue was off-watch in her bunk. 

Jayne took the opportunity as the sun rose and the invisible crew was steering, to make some brioche toast for breakfast, followed by a nail manicure and a cucumber face mask pamper time in the cockpit. 

Nobody said that yacht racing absolutely HAS to be without home comforts and little luxuries right?
That's the beauty about racing your house. Inevitably something slightly odd will be left in the cupboard that isn't strictly speaking a necessity for racing. 

evidence of "lady times"
After a morning into early afternoon of sailing fast and furious, the wind gradually started to die as Boogie Nights approached the finish line. The tide was due to turn any time. 
It was like the two women were cheering a football match with odd random outbursts of "c'MON!" as they willed the boat on and the wind not to die and it couldn't have been more perfect. Sue clocked our finish time on the mark, we were on the end of slack water and the tide was just turning.

Then arrived the two French Customs dolphins, named Eeeheeehh eee Eeee ee and Ee Eeeeheeeh eep ee, (roughly translated that's Davide and Davidette) escorting all yachts in through the rocky entrance to the River. They swam alongside, almost touching the boat sometimes they were so close. Jayne stood helming but leaning over the side to get a better view. What she got was a face full of Davidettes blow-hole. Oh yes, and in public too. Nothing to declare. Nothing to see here. Move along. 
Our journey down the river was easy and there was finally a little time to look around and enjoy the scenery.

On arrival both ladies were quickly showered and ushered onto Amylou which was resplendent with its cockpit tent. How many people can fit into the cockpit of a Maxi 1100? Somewhere in the region of 13 people enjoyed the cosy space. Not once, but two nights in a row. It's always a good night when you see the night turn to day again. 

Now this is where it all gets a bit photographic and less wordy...

Gary (the owner of Amylou - on the left) was top host, along with his co-skipper

Russell (co-skipper of Amylou - on the right)
Both chaps not only sailed like gentlemen, but also made sure to call their wives as they picked up a signal via the Scillies on their way to their 4th place in France. 

Sue sits next to James (owner/skipper of Katisha, a Contessa 32 came first in class 3 in leg 1 and 2.)  

evidence of drinking past and drinking future.

evidence of the benefits  of cockpit tables, even when racing. 

team Resolute Dave and Gary, are just taking a little power nap at the back of Amylou.
They're like coiled springs though. 

There was the usual parade through the town, up to the cloisters in the Cathedral. And the ladies got the jet wash and dremmel out. They scrubbed up alright.

You wouldn't believe how much cheese these women can eat. 

Team Arrow, they came prepared for the parade. 

Alan?   Alan?   Alan?   Alan?   Alan?   Al?   Al?   Al?   Steve?   Steve?   Steve?   Steve? If you were part of the triangle fleet that were kept awake by the revellers shouting the above, then you need to see the following video link. If you heard anyone shouting Dave! Gary! Phil! etc, that was most likely Jayne, or Sue, or Phil, or Gary, or Dave, or possibly Russell, maybe someone else...

There's a bit of weed in this river. Some boats were hemp'd in... I said they were hemp'd in...
weed...I'll get my coat.  

Anthony and Yves of Big Doris were one of the nine boats that didn't make it over to Ireland due to the weather, so they came straight to France and rejoined the race from there. Anthony has taken part in every race since 1998 and still can't pose for a photo. 

Some small adjustments to his chartered boat, A J109 called Bonfire 4. Gaffer tape has many uses, it's not just for kidnappings and stopping water leaks on hatches.  

Mister Lucky, an Australian entry in the race and much welcomed by the fleet. 

Sue has lost her parrot and her wooden leg. If you see either, please get in touch.  

the fleet are finally back together in France, minus a couple of casualties who remained elsewhere to make repairs. 

fellow triangleurs discuss techniques for catching Sues parrot. 

Team Katisha (James and Phil on a Contessa 32) practice their gangster poses and acceptance speeches as they aim for the hat trick, hoping to win three out of three in their class.

The river that leads to Treguier is pretty with interesting houses and a real sense of history on the banks.

Sue googles "Dolphin petrification through cheese consumption" as we head out of Treguier for the start of the next leg.

has anyone seen the figure head?

abandoned cable tie? Has anyone seen Barbie?

to be continued...

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