2015 June 17 – Dispatches from the fleet


Despite our cool titles, flashy van, and newly-acquired habits of being flown around by personal pilots and carrying out large transactions exclusively in cash, the R2AK high command is just like you: we put our pants on one self-impressed leg at a time.

Like you, all day we glean as much information as we can. We stalk the tracker, sift through Facebook, get alerted from Google, eavesdrop the forums – it’s a good thing that this is our job because our obsession with this race would make us the worst at any other – totally unproductive slackers for hire. Other than having a central role in this thing, we justify wearing our self-impressed pants because we get to be there when the teams roll in, like Team Un-Cruise did yesterday.

Team Un-Cruise, our sponsor and (as clearly stated in section 6 paragraph b) our “contractually obligated favorite team,” took some time out of their busy and well documented schedule of yoga, fishing, and whale watching and crossed the finish line in 6th place and suddenly there was singing, all kinds of it, from everyone. Members of the Tlingit Nation (and Dan Blanchard’s adoptive family) welcomed them in with a traditional song and gifts of fish and then Dan led the crowd in the Alaska state song, before everyone on the dock and the two teams still in town were invited back to the KYC yacht club to cook up the fish and swap stories of the race. Despite us paradoxically giving them a hard time because they chipped in to help get this off the ground, we love the trip they had and the fact that they aren’t done. The boat will continue on for a few hundred more miles to its new homeport of Juneau. Race to Alaska and Carry On.

Not to rub it in, but we also get the occasional text from the teams. Here are some of the gems from the last week, unedited and in rough chronology:

Team Kohara (6/11) – This is Kohara checking in — we’re fine — the wind is a bit too big for our most, sitting tight.

Team Mau (6/11, day one on the beach) – What do did the farmer say to the musician? I really dig your beets!!!

Team Kohara (6/12) – Kohara checking in.  Semi serious break.  Worked a bodge.  Going to be limping to ak. (later)  Fix done, and we’re feeling good about it.  Heading out!

Team Sea Runners (6/12) – Searunners and puffin have left Nanaimo headed north

Team Excellent Adventure (6/12) – Team Excellent Adventure has made it to Campbell River after three days fighting to windward behind Texada Island.  We have now crossed the Strait of Georgia four times, all for reasons that were good at the time, each crossing more beautiful than the last! Crew healthy, boat stout as ever, spirits high.  Headed into town for cheeseburgers. Will contest Seymour tomorrow or as weather dictates.  (later)  Tracker won’t load earlier…Are we winning????!

Team Grin (6/12) – Update from Team Grin.  Poached a logging dock in Know bay.  Will stay tied up until dawn.  Turned spot off to save batter.  Will turn back on when we get underway.  Hope everyone is safe.

Team FreeBurd (6/12) – Torn jib has us in port McNeill [sic], stopping for repairs.

Team Soggy Beavers (6/12) – Hi there!  This is the Soggy Beavers.  We have had quite the time this past week.  Pretty simple really…point the bow up wind and paddle.  Safe and sound in Telegraph Cove.  Wonder if we’ll ever get to use our sails…We have officially renamed our boat “the sex-kabob”

Team Mau (6/12, day two on the beach) – Why did the octopus win the fight? He was well armed!!

Team Excellent Adventure (6/13) – Team Excellent Adventure is poised for an early morning run at the Narrows.  This bald eagle show up to keep watch over our anchorage… He must be following the race tracker.

Team Sea Runners (6/13) – Yes.  They (team Puffin) are in Nanaimo working at their new jobs.  They have turned off their Spot because they can’t earn enough to buy batteries with their min wage jobs.  How about you turning down the wind from 11 to 7.  (later)  Escape from Nanaimo – Take 3!

Team Mau (6/13, day three on the beach) – Did you hear about the Mexican train robber? He had LOCOmotives!!!

Team Discovery (6/14) – Had to stop for boat repairs and sswollen hands. Good now ann c basck underway. all good.

Team MOB (6/14) – Supplies running low, should have brought more food. Will press on to provision in Ketchikan.

Team Mau (6/14, day four on the beach) – Why didn’t the Lifeguard save the hippie? He was too far out man!!

Race Boss to Mau – Have I mentioned everyone loves you two?

Team Mau – Haha by “everybody” do you mean “Joanna’s mom”? Because that woman loves the shit out of me.

Team Boatyard Boys (6/16) – Just rowed our asses of against strong headwinds in Seymour Narrows and are now resting in brown bay. Does this count as an official waypoint checkin?

Team Discovery (6/16) – report from discovery Sun night pitchpoled my beach landing at blunden bay at cape cautions and spent night collecting gear and drying out. Monday met up with blackfish and good thing because I was still hypothermic. Rafted up with them and got dry warm and my second hot meal. (Fist one wss from un cruise) I am going to try and keep up with themas long as I csn but if wind picks up I am sure they will pull away. HOPE TO DO LAUNDRY IN BELLA BELLA

Team Sea Runners (6/17, 1219) – Searunners and Puffin have run the gauntlet and are now making Pina Coladas while we wait out the flood

Team Elsie Piddock (6/18) – Rendezvous with Uncruise at the border.






The racers are as different as their reason for racing. These are brief glimpses into an adventure of a lifetime that each are having in their own way. Think of the stories!