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TSAC Race #3: Sitting in Limbo But Not Sitting Still


PRIDE is tied to the dock in Charleston and waiting for the rest of the TSAC 2009 fleet to arrive…a form of sitting in limbo.

Handicaps are amazing things when it comes to the effort of making very different vessel types all “equal” under sail. It has been over 36 hours since PRIDE crossed the finish line. Behind her are two of her Class B “mates” TECLA and JOLIE BRISE with large handicaps. So large in fact that if TECLA is able to cross the finish line less than 52 hours after PRIDE did, or sometime around noon local time tomorrow (if I have done my sums correctly), TECLA will likely hold onto her 1st in Class and 1stin Fleet…hence my reference to “sitting in limbo”. JOLIE BRISE passed her chance to gobble up PRIDE’s lead sometime around 1700 local time today.

KRUZENSHTERN at dock in Charleston with broken upper foremast.

Limbo time is really not accurate. PRIDE’s crew have been getting after maintenance. On the day of arrival we were docked at 1000 local time and it took till 1600 to clean the ship. Today started at 8 am on maintenance and went to 5:30 pm. Tomorrow will be the same thing. Down river from us is KRUZENSHTERN with a crane next to her holding the broken upper half of the foremast and its associated yards in place with sail still billowing while the crew very carefully and methodically disconnect her rigging, both running and standing, before lowering all to the dock where it will be further disassembled and loaded on deck to be brought home…or so the rumor on the street has it. Makes sense to me. Keep everything you can…do not cut anything you do not have to…no telling how important it all will be as the repairs begin.

Meanwhile I have been listening out for radio chatter among the still sailing TSAC#3 fleet. There has been some hint of ending the race at sea so there will be time to motor to port and be ready for the festival. CAPITAN MIRANDA crossed the finish line today just before 6 pm local and is lying at anchor just outside of Charleston before coming in tomorrow. Now all of the classes have finishers…so it seems unlikely there will be an at-sea-finish. The weather “out there” has been very light and fickle causing much mischief. TECLA mentioned they have been swimming when not sailing to stave off going a little nuts but are sailing pretty well at the moment (2200 UTC). JOLIE BRISE mentioned they are sailing now but the forecast is for less wind in the morning. EUROPA is sailing as well…might make the finish late afternoon tomorrow which might make her the only other Class A to finish…I told you they were being pretty foxy staying so far to the north.

Don’t think I spend all of my time looking over my shoulder at the rest of the fleet. While PRIDE’s crew have been hard at work on caring for PRIDE, I have been steadily at email after email dealing with schedule details for the foreseeable future of this summer’s itinerary. On three separate occasions I have had official business meetings with local authorities and organizers. For the emails I must sit below in a very warm vessel sitting in very warm water with very little flowing breeze going through down below. It is much more comfortable on deck…so the meetings that have interrupted my email progress are somewhat welcome so I can be up for bit of fresh air. But the best part has been being the messenger boy connecting those still out sailing with those here in Charleston that might be able to provide special services such as carpentry and sail repair.

Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II