Moxie's Pet and Glad of it.

posted Dec 15, 2013, 8:53 PM by A Rice   [ updated Dec 15, 2013, 8:58 PM by PacificNorthWest MultihullAssoc ]
Martyn Adams

I'm Moxie (an F31R), and my 2 pets (they seem to think they own me) joined me for a rather wonderful extended trip of nearly 6 weeks that included 3 regattas and 1600 sailing miles.
The pets had me pretty gussied up for the first regatta, which was just for multihulls, up in Port Townsend.

Photo Greg Jacobs

After a fun weekend of racing and a dance or two with another couple (they kept squealing about how fast we were going, but it was only a bit over 17 knots in 12 knots of wind and 4 knots of current), I took the pets over to Victoria, BC, for the annual Swiftsure Regatta.
We had a great time doing the Inshore Classic where we actually had wind, and later I let the pets and some friends ashore to feed at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, who hosted us for the night.
Then we took a couple of lazy days sailing in the Canadian Gulf Islands on the way to Nanaimo for the start of the biennial running of the VanIsle 360. It is a 10-leg point-to-point race around Vancouver Island.
There were big boats and smaller boats, a big cat and a smaller cat, and then me. We were the first to arrive and the next was a rather cool Kerr 46 who snuggled in just ahead of us (what wasn't carbon was titanium), and over the next few days another 39 boats arrived to complete the fleet.
There was much too much fun to tell it all here, but although the winds were light, my screecher proved to be the perfect sail to keep us in the thick of the running.
Most of the legs were upwind, and I never really embarrassed us by getting lost or too far behind, and even managed a few seconds and a first.
The crew was my pets and one of their close friends (he and Linda alternated) and a local fellow who taught me a whole bunch of new things. Another fellow from San Francisco, another one who we have chased from time to time, and one from way back in eastern Canada (he didn't talk funny but some of the others did). I carried 4 people each day and it was delightful.
There was sun, and cloud, and rain, and sun and . . . there was even some wind at times. I sailed in waters that were little changed from what Vancouver sailed in, including the currents and eddies, tide rips and whirlpools. There was the thrill of being in the lead and the agony of being swept away from the finish. I even did 3 (or 4, as my pets can't count very well) 360s in a whirlpool much to the delight of some of the other competitors who then proceeded to clump together and play bumper boats.
I was in fjords of 600 fathoms with towering slopes 2,000 feet above. The greenery of forests, some old when Vancouver arrived, was interspersed with the fresh new softer greens of where they had been cut, harvested to supply the demands of society.
On one leg I heard the plaintive call from the race committee pin boat advising that he was about to be run over by a log raft under tow and then further advising that he was clinging to the rocks and could someone please pick him up.
There was the thrill of the chase and the thrill of being chased. There were tactics and patience and salmon feasts. We spent one night hosted by one of the marine salmon farms and another where every boat was packed in as tightly as sardines. We were "adopted" by the school kids in Uky (who thought I was way cool!). We saw whale skeletons and everyone but Martyn (he still can't get over the fact that no one woke him up!) saw great Humpback whales slapping and cavorting. Bald Eagles everywhere, friendship from everyone, a pageant for all who participated.
I lost a spinnaker halyard, and Bad Kitty (35 ft Nacra 5.8 Cat) lent us Tim, who went up the mast with a part from Dragonfly (F40 Cat) to re-reeve it.   
I had a hiccup on Leg 8. The forecast was for light winds and a chance of fog, and my battery status showed less than 20 percent early in the evening, so my chief pet explained that he did not want to risk dead reckoning into Ucluelet at night in the fog with a bigger question of just "why" the battery was nearly dead (me? I was happy. I wasn't worried.   Then again, I amjust a boat). Seems that Dragonfly never heard my retire call and were amazed to see us just ahead nearing the finish (actually some fun windy sailing).   Once again, help from a competitor brought the battery back to full charge.
Fastest speed we saw was 20.0 knots under reefed main and jib and sailed through Race Passage under reefed main and 850-square-foot fractional kite. Learned we could shift gears on the fly and the pets friends were still friends at the end.
The best sailing I did was on Leg 10. Unable to stay with either Dragonfly or Bad Kitty, I eddy-hopped through a back channel in the San Juan Islands and moved from mid fleet to second place. The 2 fastest big boats were in the lead and I slipped in between them. We stayed with them until the finish. Now, if only Dragonfly and Bad Kittyhad followed the fleet . . . But that is another story.

Moxie performed nearly flawlessly and is a tribute to those who designed and built her.   Like at least one of her "pets," she is showing a few bumps and bruises from age. She has just been outfitted with a furling jib for cruising and will likely get a simpler cruising main.   Her heavy air 850-foot reaching spinnaker is for sale and she will likely sail now with a screecher and a handy small spinnaker we affectionately call the "Thong."
Some friends have asked if we will do another VanIsle360 and I confess, I wondered if I would be able to do this one. Mike Wright said it best: "If I knew I would feel this good, I would have sailed every leg!"
I feel 2 years younger and right now the answer is yes.
My gratitude goes to those who made my dream a reality . . . Linda, who never said "no";  Mike Wright, whose hours of time and effort can never be repaid; Eric Pesty and Jim Thompson, who shared their knowledge; and Rick Walton-Smith and John Heizer, who gambled on an adventure, brought their friendship and skills, and--I hope--left glad they did.   
This is 4 times I have done it. Every time, I have ended up with new friends. I am a better sailor than I was before, but if it weren’t for the likes of the gangs fromDragonfly and Baaaad Kitty, our close competitors; DangereauxCheekee Monkeeand Blue Lightning, boats from the past; Jeffery and Sylvia Motley from Blast Performance Sailing, who put it on; and the fleet we all played with, Linda and I would never have continued.

Two years, folks . . . bucket list a must . . . best darn race in North America.

Thanks Ian,
Martyn Adams
(Moxie's pet and glad of it)