Captain's Log; Adventures Aboard the "Amethyst"

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Wooden Sailboat Boat Regatta in Southern California

Hello, Capt. Mack here!
I'm the owner and operator of Mariner Sailing Charters in Marina del Rey, California, where "We Take You Sailing!" Visit us at

Welcome to my Blog page!

Well, it's the end of February again and that means it is time for the annual "One More Time" Wooden Boat Sailing Regatta. Every year, fabulous sailing yachts and their owners converge in Southern Californias' premiere yacht anchorage, Marina del Rey, to participate in this race.
It is a spectacle of all manner of wooden sailing craft, from small daysailors to large and famous (among sailors) ocean racers!

"Amethyst", my beautiful Mariner 40 Ketch, will certainly be entered and be a serious contender for a trophy! Amethyst has won her class in previous years, and last year we came within a hairs width of taking top honors.
It was a windy day, blowing 25 knots and the sea had a steep nasty chop. At the start of the race, several yachts decided not to participate, as the day was young and all could tell that is was going to become rougher and more windy as the day progressed. Amethyst and her crew did start, although not exactly with the gun(a little late). However, heavy winds and seas are what Mariner 40's are made for, and one boat by one, we began to overtake the fleet. Soon we found ourselves overtaking the leader, and as I cautiously scanned the horizon, I realized that we were taking the lead!

Well, I can tell you all about the dreams we were having , of visions of trophies and acceptance speaches and the like......however, that was not to be our fate that day. ....

At that moment, a tremendous explosion was heard , that of our foremost sail giving way, right down it's main seam! I guess the poor sail simply had taken enough abuse , and decided to call it quits! I went through all 12 stages of grief, in short order. Denial(we can still sail with it flappin and shredded) Anger(NO!!!! CURSE THE WIND!!!..) Sorrow(why me..why me) and all the rest until finally Acceptance....

I turned the helm over to a crew member and with a couple of bounds was up on the foredeck.
There I stood, back to the mainmast , ready to tackle the billowing monster that our headsail had become. I looked astern of us and following up our wake was the stately schooner, "Bluenose", whom we had just passed, and who would now resume her lead. As she passed, I saluted her , standing as if I was a captain going down with her ship. They saluted back. Formalities then completed, there was then now not a moment to be lost! With the help of the crew, we located the spare sail, and proceded to restore "Amethyst" to the race!

Once again, we began our overtaking of the other vessels, (escorted by dolphins, there as if to help) but alas, the lead made good by the faster vessels was too great, and in the end, for all the efforts of "Amethyst", her Captain and crew, we could not again take the lead. Place we still did however, a respectable 3rd!

It was a great day on the water. A day of action , adventure and comraderie that no one aboard will soon forget. This year we will be back, to claim what should have been our victory! Which reminds me of a saying:
"Man makes plans and the Gods laugh."

See you soon,
Captain Mack.