Posted by: fullandbye | May 3, 2010

maudlin

Tomorrow is my last day in Port Royal. Bright and early Tuesday Jeffrey the awesome PC staff member will pick me up and we will road trip it up to my new site. I’m excited to head up there. I am also going to miss Port Royal. This town is something special. It is safe and small and friendly and everyone has their nose in everyone else’s business.

Also, I have become something of a B-list celebrity to the local kids. With my newfound powers I can get them to stop hitting each other simply by staring at them. I am so happy I chose to remain living with my host family here rather than moving into my own place. To be sure, my room is kinda small and kinda hot, and it is really loud. But by living here for a full 7 months I have become really close to my landlord and now consider him to be my Jamaican brother. I have an open invitation to come back here whenever I want and I intend to take him up on the offer.
Sail race today. Boat was shorthanded and it was blowing 25-30kts solid, so we decided to sail a white sail race rather than attempt anything with the chute. Some good tactics heading to the first mark put us more than a mile over our competition and everything was going perfectly until the hydraulic backstay ram blew a seal and spewed oil all over the place. Disaster! The piston for the adjuster is maybe 7″ or so, but these seven inches mean the difference between a taut forestay and a slack forestay. They also mean the difference between a properly tensioned mast and a disaster waiting to happen. We finished the downwind leg fully rigged but had to douse the jib before beating back to the finish line. Without the jib, progress was slow and we did not have enough power to really punch through the steep chop. This ultimately meant a lot of pounding and a lot of spray.
Oh well. So long as no one gets hurt and so long as the boat is not seriously damaged, the worst day sail racing is still better than the best day doing most other things. So I really cannot complain. I mean, who else in Peace Corps gets to race sailboats sometimes?

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