Stage 2, Day 16: Talking To Ourselves, a Wood Stove Finish

From the depths of the R2Archives, we present a Daily Update written in 2018, updated for modern times. (Hey, you’ve read Siddhartha a half dozen times, perhaps you may not have squeezed all the juice out of our written words.)

We’re keeping busy, thanks for asking. The following is an excerpt from a fictitious interview we just had with ourselves about the only thing left to talk to ourselves about: the sweep boat, the hotly contested subject of race fans worldwide.

R2AK: Tell us about the sweep boat.

R2AK: The first rule about the sweep boat is, “Don’t talk about the sweep boat.”

R2AK: Hahahaha, good one. No really, does it exist?

R2AK: Of course it does, it left Port Townsend three days ago.

R2AK: Really, no one can see it on the tracker map.

R2AK: Of course not, it’s not a race boat.

R2AK: That’s pretty weak. Some of the racers left their trackers on and we could see them going to the store in Reno and well, other places… It seems like if we could watch that then you could spare one for the central antagonist of the back of the race.

R2AK: Fair point.

R2AK: So, where is it?

R2AK: Theoretically, it’s right around Kelsey Bay.

R2AK: And actually?

R2AK: Actually that’s none of your business. The chief weapon of the sweep boat is surprise…

R2AK: Spare me.

R2AK: OK, what if I told you that the sweep boat is a little green motor boat that has been cruising around the course for weeks? That’s how I’d do it, wouldn’t you? I mean, no one is going to drop out before Ketchikan anyway, so why wouldn’t you just go cruising when you felt like it, and then just Rosie Ruiz back in whenever the theoretical miles catch up to you? What if I told you that the sweep boat position isn’t much more accurate than the Santa Tracker that all of the weathermen put on the green screen on Christmas Eve?

R2AK: But they use satellites and stuff...

R2AK: Right, same satellites. We just clear out the Command Bunker when Santa NORAD needs to take it over.

R2AK: I can’t tell if you’re making fun of me right now. But given the inverse seasonality, it seems like it would work great. You wouldn’t need two sets of computers, redundant tunneling machines, and we could pool for maintenance and janitorial staff…

At that point, we walked away. The conversation was starting to alternately drift and get redundant. We lost interest. As far as we know, those two parts of our subconscious are still talking about the finer points of low altitude radar on reindeer fertility, and whether or not the crew on the sweep boat have the same health plan as Santa’s elves (“Last I heard they were on an HSA…”).

Back to the point. Global warming, peer pressure, Wonder Woman’s Invisible Jet: just because you can’t see a thing doesn’t mean it’s not real. And the tracker-less sweep boat is making ominous and theoretical progress up the coast, fangs out and a bone in her teeth. At 75 miles a day, the line of disqualification is at Kelsey Bay today, Port Hardy by Saturday, continuing on until it’s all over on the 5th. At their current rate, all four remaining teams seem to be clear of the scythe, but all eyes are on Team Mr. X, who yesterday reported some level of pedal drive failure. Details are thin, but he’s been at it all night with a southerly blowing. Keep that up, and he’ll keep the hook off him.

And a quick report on Team Fairly Fleabag. Liam Pareis soloed his Contessa 26 to the finish line yesterday claiming a world record: “Fastest Wood Stove.” This was the award that Liam was pushing so hard for, even having a countdown timer set to the previous record holder’s time (Team Ziska: Sail Like A Luddite). Liam had put in a nearly uninterrupted 50 hours underway. 

More tomorrow, until then:

R2AK out.

Header photo by Garret Weintrob

Cuts From Course@200x