Bermuda Ocean Race 1988

Sean and Charlie Waiting for the Start
In 1988 Tim Kirkpatrick re-assembled our crew for the 1988 BOR on Saker.  This time Don Duvall and Charlie Caputo replaced Don Deering and Chunkies from the 1986 crew.  Returning from 1986 were myself, Sean Kirkpatrick, Howard Parker, Peter Bell, and Fred Selover.

The Fleet Running Down the Bay in Light Air
As in 1986 we had a light air start and the fleet ghosted down the bay under spinnakers.

Sean, After Hoisting the Tri-Radial Spinnaker

Parker Trimming and Duval at the Helm

Fred Selover, Taking a Break from the Navigation Desk

Parker Trimming the Chute

Nearly Over Taken by a Portuguese Man-O-War
The light airs of the bay diminished to a near calm in the early stages of the ocean leg.  Drifting more than sailing we replaced our spinnaker sheets with monofilament fishing line because there was not enough wind pressure to lift the sheets once they became wet.  At one point we entertained ourselves dropping jelly beans into the water and timing how long they remained visible.  The beans disappeared into the abyss after a minute or more during which time we had traveled only a few yards.  We were less concerned with keeping up with the fleet than trying to prevent our being passed by a Portuguese Man O'War.

The Crew Trying to Keep the Chute Flying
Our impatience with these calm conditions forced us to once more abandon the common wisdom of heading south from the mouth of the bay.  Our two-day old weather charts indicated we would pick up more wind to the north.  So we left most of the fleet and headed for what we thought was more favorable conditions. We eventually found the wind, but it was on our nose.  We eventually ended up on a hard beat in 35 - 45 kts of apparent wind.  During this same time the boats that went south were reaching or running under spinnakers.
Duval at the Helm, Close Hauled
The sailing conditions quickly became exhausting.  At one point we had reduced sail to a tripled-reefed main and the storm jib.  The boat motion was too active to allow cooking of meals so we subsisted on cold sandwiches, dry cereal, soda and beer.  At one point Charlie went below to make PBJ sandwiches for everyone on the rail.  First he couldn't find the jelly.  "No problem", we told him, "hold the J".  Then he couldn't find any bread.  So he came back on deck with a jar of peanut butter with a spoon in it.  This we passed back and forth, each taking a hit on the peanut butter, but that was very dry and sticky.  So Charlie disappeared once more below and came back up with a jar of mayonnaise with another spoon.  Thus our main meal of the day was peanut butter with a mayonnaise chaser.
Finally, was we approached Bermuda the winds went light once more.  From monitoring the radio we knew that a large number of yachts had already completed the race.  This was very disheartening because in these light conditions we knew we were as much as 24 hours away from the finish line.

The St. Georges Sport and Dinghy Club
We crossed the finish line in the early morning hours almost 48 hours later than our finish in 1986 and more than 24 hours after the leaders in this race.  Fortunately enough other yachts were still out there that we could find space at the St. Georges Sport and Dinghy Club dock to tie up.
In spite of our disappointment with our performance we were surprised to discover we had still managed to secure a 3rd place in our IMS division.  A combination of a small fleet in this division and a couple of boats who made the same bad decision to stay north allowed us to sneak away with metal once more.  
Hamilton Harbor

Royal Navy Dockyards
After several days playing Hell's Angels on mopeds all over the islands five of us cruised Saker back to the Chesapeake Bay.

The Anchorage in St. Georges Harbor
Incidentally, I took all of these pictures with the same Kodak Disc Camera that spent most of the 1986 race soaking in seawater.  That might not be much of camera, but it was hard to kill.