A Blog for the sailing crew of Captain Pat Nolan. A place to post sailing experiences, sea adventures, stories, photos, insights, tall tales, outlandish fabrications, the best spots to sail, drink and anchor in all seven seas. A place to catch up with ex-crew members, pick up a crew member, and plan for the next great sail.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Antigua 2006 Press Release
Pat’s intense tactical planning during the week of racing certainly paid off. Boat handling, weather conditions, bowel obstructions, prolapses and a cat with an eating disorder had all been vigorously debated over dinner. Teamwork was identified as a key success factor. As foredeck woman Jill Jinks aptly put it …“success is about being tolerant, generous and supporting each crew member in the way they need most.”
Race one – Seabiscuit got a great start and led around the first mark but it wasn’t long before Acadia took the lead and the chase was on. Useful lessons were learnt about the new light reacher which gained two knots when it flew. Seabiscuit crossed the line in second but local boat Sunshine was placed above Nolan’s crew after corrected time.
Seasickness was a problem at the start of the week. Using her years of experience Pat acclimatised the newer crewmembers with an old sea remedy…. 3 beers at 3, cocktails at 6 and red wine at 8. Such elite athletes were also fortunate to have an expert in nutrition on the crew. The human winch, Elaine from Maine, kept the team at their physical peak, demanding anaerobic superfoods from team support worker Nancy Bell. The peanut butter sandwiches and Snickers were most appreciated, particularly by race 3 which, to everyone’s surprise seemed to be entirely upwind. Winchers Kelly, Becky and Elaine kept Seabiscuit in contention, heroically tacking past the rest of the field keeping Acadia in sight. Only 4 minutes separated the first two boats…but again corrected time placed Seabiscuit in third.
Being an all female crew drew much attention from the competition and having next years Miss Antigua on board, (Peg Eaton, who has recently won a modelling contract with HiHo ladies wear) proved popular with the boys and girls on other boats. Despite leaving Jigsaw for dead on the water the Seabiscuit crew couldn’t quite shake them off on the dance floor. In a dangerous manoeuvre Peg Eaton was floored during a quick jive with fellow crewmember Bev Ayre. Ms Ayre having already received an official warning from a French competitor… “remember Beverley when we are dancing I am the Capitaine and you are the crew”. She was retired immediately from the dance floor, drunk. Her position was taken by the elegant Pat Tyrell, who took on the enigmatic Fritz with gusto.
Whilst other crews were wasting their lay day drinking and relaxing 4 of the Seabiscuit crew were hosting the first England v USA ladies cricket final on Galleon Beach. In a closely fought match the English girls triumphed over a bemused USA. Becky Thom was out for a duck, leg before, from a googlie, during a double wicket maiden over, from a rather smug Louise Muddle. Revenge was sweet later in the week as the USA stormed to victory when Pat Nolan took gold in the cribbage and one arm wrestling event.
Race 4 started controversially for some as English gentleman Jim Brocket on Albert II was protested for barging Sunshine but Nolan steered her best start away from the pack. Seabiscuit were walking on all their class to the upwind mark, however difficulties with the reaching sail let Acadia back in on the downwind leg. A second place corrected again to third left Seabiscuit’s crew determined to improve on the final day.
Stringent preparations began. 3 bottles of Veuve Cliquot were chilled and taken immediately to Shirley Heights where the crew sang “What shall we do with the drunken sailor” in torrential rain.
By Friday, the wind had dropped completely. Starts were postponed and boats were left wallowing in the humidity. Worried her team would lose their edge Nolan ordered her crew into the sea where she made them tread water for hours until the breeze picked up. Race 5 was a 5 hour cat and mouse game with the wind – Nolan was a blur as she moved from helm to foredeck to winch to squeeze 2 knots of boat speed from a tickle of wind. Finally Seabiscuit drifted over the finish line to secure a well-deserved third in class.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Boomer Under New Sail
These photos were taken on Friday, November 25, 2005, in Drake Channel practicing for the the BVIYC race around Tortola. The first day we had any real wind to practice with. Boomer has
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Keith Richard's sister
Monday, November 28, 2005
Welcome to the Blog
The idea for this blog site took shape one windless afternoon on White Bay Beach while having a few beers under a shady spot close to Ivan's Stress Free Bar. There were 8 of us as I recall - plus the flirtatious and slightly drunk bi-coastal chick newly engaged from New York - who looked just fantastic in that white dress - but I digress. The usual suspects were:
Dawn Gregory - First mate (New Orleans)
Mel Adam - Midshipman (Glouscester, Mass)
Bev Ayers (Liverpool, UK - foredeck)
Lou Muddle (Liverpool, UK - trimmer and helmsman)
Petra Mahler von Euw (Zurich - trimmer)
Becky Thom (San Jose, CA - foredeck and helmsman)
Judy James (Georgia - foredeck)
Jennifer Hagan (Palo Alto, CA - Main sail/traveller)
We had all come to the BVI to race with the incomparable Captain Pat Nolan in the Royal British Virgin Island Yacht Club race scheduled for Saturday, November 26, 2005 (founded in 1993), but the winds were so slack that we took a day off of practice to motor to Jost Van Dyke. While discussing our good fortune at having the opportunity to sail again with Captain Pat, and contemplating future possible sails to exotic places, the thought sprang forward that it would be a very cool thing indeed to have a site on the internet where former, present and future students and crew of Captain Pat's could post stories and keep in touch with each other about their sailing experiences. Over a lazy picnic of chicken salad and crisps (potato chips), and in the presence of various shy mongeese and Ivan himself, we fleshed out the idea for Captain Pat and received her enthusiastic blessings (so long as no one says anything bad.)
So it follows, that to those whom Capt. Pat may provide the password, the kingdom of publishing your sailing adventures, stories, calls for crew and photographs now exists for all to read and share.
Captain Pat is not just a great teacher of sailing skills. The thing that makes her truly amazing is her personal charisma and charm, and that in turn, inspires people from all over the globe to venture across continents, oceans and seas to the BVI to sail with her and each other. The sense of community that she is able to build with the crew is memorable, and it shouldn't be lost once the sail is over. This blog site is therefore dedicated to the community of "Ex-Pats" wherever they may be in the world, and wherever they are or may be sailing next. The sail is never really over. Once a crewmember - always a crewmember. Huzzah to the Ex-Pats!