JOLLY DOLPHIN made an OK start. Setting the main staysail 3 minutes before 1300, just a bit late. Close to the committee boat, on port tack, our jib, stays’l and main drawing well enough in light 3 to 4 knot breeze from the southeast. The other non-schooner boat, BENNU, crosses the line just as the red shape goes up, about 100 yards ahead of us and a bit faster.
During the starting sequence Skipper gets concerned that there are no AIS targets on the chart plotter. This would be a big issue for watch-keeping that may need to last all night in the light air that is forecast. Crew checks the connectors to the AIS black box. The antenna plug is corroded and the separate core wire won’t make enough contact with a jumped ground shield to work.
Then conversation between crew and helm about PRIDE II becomes anxious. And here she comes, with the Right-of-way, on starboard tack, to leeward on our starboard. We talk about ‘making trees’, queries about opening/closing, will we be clear ahead? “Hold your course”.
We clear PRIDE II without panic.
Satisfied that they are well abaft JOLLY DOLPHIN, although they started forty minutes before us, PRIDE II takes some time to luff and come about. Unless she has lots of momentum it looks like they will pass to our leeward. Skipper is splitting attention between traffic and the electronics in the engine space: rigging an old inverter, pulling out the soldering gun, switching out the copper not knife tip, inserting the soldering tip, finding 5/16″ terminal lugs to swage on the inverter leads. Port battery on, electronics off to see if the corroded connection is the problem.
Meanwhile PRIDE II is overtaking JOLLY DOLPHIN.
Skipper encourages helm to sail a bit higher (maybe E by SSE) to confirm that PRIDE II will pass in our lee. Sure looks like they’re going below us. Are sound signals required of overtaking sailing vessels?
Skipper greets PRIDE II from our ‘windward’ deck and accepts an apology.
“I wanted to go below you but there isn’t enough water on that side.”
Captain Jan is kneeling amidships, starboard, and complements JOLLY DOLPHIN’s looks. We also get a kind wave from her helm.
“That’s OK; this looks relatively painless.”
Well there is still no AIS and only sketchy VHF voice transmission. But there are nice pictures and video of our encounter with the boat that started the GCBSR, thirty-one years after JOLLY DOLPHIN’s keelson was dragged out of the woods by Mr. Jim.
What a great background!
The last time JOLLY DOLPHIN was this close to PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II on the water was October 17, 2013 GCBSR. Jogging back and forth to leeward of the starting line.