Race 9 - Day 6
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Crew Diary - Race 9 Day 6: Qingdao to Seattle
This morning brought simple pleasures I miss from home, like a change of clean socks, proper coffee (a rare treat), and the camaraderie of friends—among my Skipper, watch, and crew-mates. The morning would also bring a range of pleasures, some subtle and others epic, that I could only have imagined before today.
Climbing onto the deck, I shook the sleep from my eyes was greeted by the mountainous headland of Japan and the sails of our competitors stringing behind our stern like pearls. Ancient currents carried us forward, on water more richly blue than I have vocabulary to express. The wind built steadily, warmed by sunshine. I took the wheel for a rotation on the helm, and had the privilege of feeling this yacht hum ever so slightly as we refined our trim and led the fleet across Mandatory Gate Johnston.
My watch is perfecting the art of sailing in a dramatic range of conditions, and we have discussed techniques to make our sail evolutions more smooth and sure-footed with each watch. No playbook will outpace heart and teamwork—I am proud to report that we have all three in spades. I am also reminded of a great Seattle athletics leader, who famously said that “the separation is in the preparation.”
Crossing that mandatory race gate felt like a sign of commitment to this journey, as we pushed forward towards something greater than any one of us. We are in this race together. As if on cue, two of the volcanoes around us released little plumes, token puffs of steam. I read them as a favourable omen. We are preparing for rougher conditions ahead, and we appreciate encouragements where we can find them. Another leader of minds wrote that “of comfort no man speak,” yet I am confident that this camaraderie will hold and offer consolation as we are tested by towering waves and punishing headwinds. We left our egos behind long ago, and no matter our position at the finish we will have made this journey with humility, caring, and style.
Love and Out. Andy