After all the preparations on Clarity, we finally left the beach at Ft. Desoto around 8:30 on Saturday, with high hopes of finishing well on our first EC.  Well, reality (and a sandbar) hit, and we didn’t finish.  But wow, did we fly!  We had seas from 3 to 8 feet. 30 knots of wind, and an amazing time.  We saw 11.5 knots on the GPS, with my self-made square topped sail, and we believe we were even faster in Tampa Bay (possibly topping 12 for brief moments). Hats and sunglasses were blown off due to the twin fire-hose blasts of water coming off the aka bow!  I don’t regret a second of it.  We did spring a leak due to my under engineering of the daggerboard trunk, but it wasn’t major (although enough to drop out after the repair failed to hold for more than 24 hours).  We learned a lot, indeed got to see what having simultaneous hypothermia and sunburn was like, and we completely redesigned the boat within the first 6 hours of the start.  And the stories that will be told… especially of our gybe on top of a huge bubble of a wave in Boca Grande pass (it twisted off the bottom foot of our daggerboard!) should provide, well, a tiny modicum of interest.  There will be much to tell!

This year, it was a challenge… next year… a QUEST!

I will post more details soon, but for now, I’m working on recovery from a nasty cold that hit me 24 hours before the start.

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