I am feeling a little bit gangster today as I wrap the plastic and tape round and round Pandemic The Magic Bicycle. After a couple of minutes of this treatment she begins to protest. Pandemic doesn’t quite understand why I am suffocating her with plastic sheeting and tape and lashing her to the side of a yacht. But Pandemic ocean salt causes rust and corrosion, I say out loud, as I finish up with the final knot, firmly securing Pandemic to the sailboat for the Darwin to Ambon, Indonesia yacht race.
I have been talking to myself for most of the morning as I sort out the best way to keep ocean salt and waves away from Pandemic as we cross the ocean to Indonesia. I helped repair a bicycle this week that had run into a gear death by salt situation. As I remove as many of Pandemic’s bicycle components as possible, I try to sort out which worries the skipper of the boat the most, talking to myself or suffocating a bicycle. Turns out that he had me figured for a mad cyclist long before I started suffocating my bicycle while talking to her about the danger of ocean salt and yacht races.
The skipper has taken to calling me the mad cyclist on every occasion. But after meeting the rest of the yachties, the last 3 nights at race reception dinners, I am certain that if I am mad, I am in great company with these beer swilling, fun loving, yachties. My liver, the past week, has had a hard time keeping up with my sailing lessons, for the first rule of sailing is cold beer. I have learned a tad bit more about sailing then drinking beer this week so according to my new yachty (and yes that rhymes with naughty) friends this is the correct ratio of sailing knowledge to beer in which to arrive at the starting line of the race. Tomorrow morning we depart for Ambon, Indonesia which is 600 nautical miles away or about 6 days. The winds are predicted at 35 knots. I am sailing on Maralinga a 55 foot concrete mono hull with 5 other crew members , 489 cans of beer and 1 magic bicycle. If you would like to follow the race throughout the week The Dinah Beach Yacht Club website will be providing updates. When they have a free hand that is…..