N2E Day 2: Youth Team Ain’t Shabby Friday

IMG_5690Started at 12:10, and the pre-start maneuvers were crazy. Lot’s of tacking and jibing and a sense of competition that’s nothing short of intense. We were a little off perfect timing and crossed the line behind three boats. No worries–it’s a 125 mile race and we made a good clean start.

Anyone who’s sailed multi-day passages knows this life ain’t easy. You’re often cold. You’re usually wet. You sail in shifts through the night, meaning you get 3 hours rest at a time before someone reaches over to where you’re sleeping in the sail bags to tap your shoulder, commanding you to get on watch. Hokahey has seen her fair share of grown men break down in tears after a few days on the ocean. But you know what? Youth Team hasn’t stopped laughing!

The Jackson Hole Ocean Sailing Team has a certain style on the water. First, everyone is tough and rough and doesn’t mind being outdoors. Second, quite a few crew members wear camo.

Youth Team has been busy. They’re filming the dolphin pods that’ve been playing in our boat’s wake for most of the journey. They’re watching the enormous full moon cast sparkles across the waves. Most of all, they’re making the boat go FAST. Thanks to the the whippersnappers’ increasing skills in driving and sail trim, we’ve been averaging 11 knots downwind. Not too shabby, mateys!

Of course, we did have a tough decision to make: Should we fly the spinnaker or not? The spinnaker is a monstrously huge, colorful sail that would pick the boat out of the water and make it surf to Mexico. El Capitan decided not to deploy this sail because the wind was blowing 25 knots in the dark and our young crew was not 100% sure about how to set and trim that beast. So we sail fast and safe…..but not as fast as we could with the spinnaker. The crew wants to come out again and do nothing but set and douse the spinnaker until we are really good at it!