One thing that I should point out is that the Mac race story I told you all about was last year. We had a very fast race. Lots of wind all the time and building on the second day.
This year was pretty much a drifter save one nasty mini storm we were in on the first day.
So there I was.... trimming the 1/2 ounce again when we were going in between storm fronts. At the time we had the light air sheet on. As we looked into the storm we were approaching we could see lightning flashes. I said "so there I was headed into a storm, and trimming the half ounce with a light air sheet". Everybody started laughing and Billy, the skipper, scratched his chin and says "you may have a point there". So we got the heavy air sheet back on and Peter took the kite from me for a bit so I could get my foulies on like the rest of the crew. No sooner then I get my gear on then it started to rain. I took over the kite again and the weather just kept building quickly. In what seemed like 10 minutes we were in the storm. I was looking up, of course, when a lightning flash caught my eye. It started directly above the tip of the mast and shot out in two directions with the mast at the center. Of course it wasn't close to us, just overhead, as I am still writing to you. It was awesome. Then the wind built up quick and I mean quick. Before I know it the 1/2 ounce blew, again, in half. We brought it down in a torrent of rain and wind. It was pouring so hard it felt like weights on my back as I scrambled around the deck dragging in the kite and putting up the storm jib. It was intense. But it was over about as soon as it started. I don't think the whole lasted 20 minutes. Maybe that's just my perception/memory playing tricks on me though. I do know that it in no time at all we were losing wind, and boat speed, fast. We were going from storm front to storm front for a little while at that time. We were sailing like at the tips of fingers on a giant hand. After that last storm and before we reached the next one, we sent Captain Billy up the mast to retrieve the kite head and halyard. We had to grind quick so we could get him down before it started rockin' again. This done, we promptly went into another little patch of rain and wind.
Other than fog at the rounding, and having some boats coming out of the the fog heading directly at us in their search for the mark, the whole thing settled into a drifter. We had flies by day and cold by night to torment us. It took us 2 1/2 days to get to the finish line. Compare that to 1 1/2 days last year. About 300 miles. We won't talk about our placement in the finish.
Upon landing we promptly set to squaring away the boat and that done, we promptly set to drinking the island dry. We started by arriving about an hour before last call at the Pink Pony (a sailor's bar by the docks at Mackinac Island) and back to the boat to eliminate the stores of beer on board. I'm happy to report that I did my share and the mission was unsuccessful! We kept trying though and I'm confident that we did manage to put a serious dent in the alcohol supplies on the Island with the help of the 200 or so other race boats in port at that time.
On a more serious note, I didn't manage to find Sailor Jerry's on the island anywhere during our stay.