PROVINCETOWN MA TO PORTLAND ME: Doublehanded With Underpants

Bear front

Lunacy at last, as of early Tuesday morning, is all the way home. I brought along crew for this last mini-leg of the voyage not because it felt necessary, but rather because an old friend, a fellow sailor, Frank “Bear” Gibney, has suddenly reappeared in my life and it seemed the perfect way to reconnect. As you can see in that photo up there, Bear quickly got the hang of Lunacy‘s helm and became adroit at steering with his (well-underpanted) groin.

We blasted over to P-town from Boston on the early morning ferry and dropped the mooring there at noon on Monday. We had strong southerlies straight up the bum all afternoon and on through the night and arrived in Portland 100 miles later at about 0600 hours. We could have done it quite a bit faster, but I was slow shaking out reefs in the mainsail during the lulls, because the forecast was for sudden gusts to 30 knots and I didn’t want to get taken by surprise.

Bear back

Bear from the backside as we approach Portland harbor

Lunacy on dock

Lunacy on the dock at Maine Yacht Center

We now have a fairly long punch list to sort through in Portland before summer cruising can commence, much of it involving the engine, which, as you may recall, is out of alignment. Rather severely so I’d say. It also has a nice oil leak now on the right side, and there is an impeller blade or two wandering around its cooling system somewhere.

The last mechanical adventure leaving P-town involved a massive shaft seal leak, precipitated I assume by the engine misalignment, that manifested itself in very dramatic fashion as we were motorsailing to windward out of the harbor. Fortunately, the leak ceased as soon as we shut down the engine, and we had more than enough wind to get to Portland without it.

Lunacy, as always, is in very good company at Maine Yacht Center, hobnobbing well above her natural station in life, and is currently rubbing shoulders with, among others, Rich Wilson’s latest Vendée Globe ride, Great American IV.

Loyal readers may recall reading here about the refit lavished upon GA4 when she was at MYC last year.

GA4 on dock

Great American IV at MYC last year, before the event

You may also recall reading something here about lightning strikes not so long ago.

So ponder this Ripley’s Believe It Or Not tidbit I garnered from MYC general manager Brian Harris after pulling in on Tuesday. I had heard via the grapevine that GA4 had been hit by lightning shortly after her refit last year, and all her fancy new electrics and electronics had been destroyed and had to be replaced (again!).

GA4 wiring

GA4 wiring, before the bolt

So I asked about that and Brian related that Great American III, Rich’s last Open 60, in which he ran the 2008-09 Vendée Globe, had also been hit by lightning (and lost her all her electronics) while lying on the very same mooring that GA4 was on when she got hit.

Only difference was GA3 got hit before her MYC refit. Lesson learned for Rich: put the damn boat on that mooring before you do any work on it.

Also in residence was Joe Harris’s Class 40 ride Gryphon Solo 2. Coincidentally, it was on Tuesday that Joe publicly announced his plan to attempt to break the non-stop solo circumnavigation record for a 40-foot monohull in GS2.

Gryphon Solo 2

Gryphon Solo 2 under sail. Harris won the Atlantic Cup aboard this boat last year

The current record is 137 days, 20 hours and change, set by a Chinese sailor, Guo Chuan, on a Class 40 in 2013. Joe plans to set out from Newport in early November and to break the record needs to average 195 miles per day (or 8.2 knots overall).

No doubt we’ll be learning more about all this as the summer progresses.

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