Feb. 28, 2012
Let’s step back a moment; the last week or so of my last holiday Dan and Will had been in contact with Phil, the owner of Great Escape a Jeanneau 52 participating in this years Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten. Phil had some spaces left on the yacht and wanted to know if I was interested; at first I wasn’t too keen on it, having just spent 7 of the last 10 weeks in the Caribbean and it wasn’t worth the cost to come back out for just 5 days. The day after I got back to Buffalo that white stuff was falling out of the sky, I took it as a sign from above and quickly started negotiations with Phil via e-mail; by Saturday I was booking flights. My JetBlue flights (two connections) went off almost without a hitch; the only delay was in San Juan where they had to get another plane due to maintenance issues. I was afraid we would get stranded overnight, but an hour and a half later, and $30 at the airport bar, I was on my way. I could tell by their dress and the gear they were carrying a lot of the other passengers were on their way here to race. I only had carry on so I breezed through C&I, then grabbed a bus to Sharons to pick up the phone I had reserved. From there I walked over to the Yacht Club to watch the bridge opening and see if anyone I knew was around. As I was standing there, someone asked if I was Sammy, yes I am I says; turns out it was Carol, I didn’t recognize her with her new hair style which makes her look much younger than her TTOL picture. After the boats had all gone through I headed for the Simpson Bay Yacht Club, where Great Escape was berthed, to meet Ed, the skipper and unload my luggage. As I was about halfway there a car slowed and someone started waving, it was Kay from Coyote II and her friend Kathy who was looking for a ride for the race. I went back to the Yacht Club to have a couple beers with them, shortly after Kays husband Ken came in, the clients who were chartering Coyote for the race had not shown up yet so we had a couple drinks and then I headed off for the marina again, luggage in hand. Got to the marina and finally met Ed, our skipper, along with Matt and JoJo, who will also be staying onboard. We had a welcome drink then headed back to the yacht club for beers and dinner. Andy from Global Yacht Racing, the team Kay and I raced with last year was there and we chatted a bit. Afterwards it was off to Jimbos for nightcaps and then back to the boat to await our training day tomorrow.