Before sailing Kiwi Spirit back to Maine, I paid a quick visit to Salt Lake City to attend the conference of the American Physical Therapy Association and be present for a board meeting of the Foundation for Physical Therapy. During the banquet/gala that followed, we were able to raise additional funds for the Foundation from those wishing to place their names on the hull of Kiwi Spirit. We also auctioned off a day-long sail on Kiwi Spirit for $4,000 dollars. All of the money raised goes entirely to the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Anyone can have their name placed on the boat for just $100.
Returning from the conference I attended the awards ceremony for the Bermuda One Two Yacht Race, which were held in Newport. I collected my awards for being first finish in both legs of the race. I then sailed Kiwi Spirit back to the boatyard to get tuned up for her next and final race before the circumnavigation.
This race is the Marblehead, Massachusetts to Halifax, Nova Scotia. It will be a tough race in which to do well. Each boat will have multiple crew members but I shall have just one, as I am still learning to sail solo as the circumnavigation will require. Up against fully crewed boats, Kiwi Spirit cannot be expected to do well. None the less, we shall try in this shorter race, which is only 363 miles.
Here at the boatyard it has been a hive of activity. The principal effort has been focused on getting my autopilots (2) working and working well. One failed before the race to and from Bermuda, and the second one failed on the way up to Maine following my departure from Newport. I managed to repair one of them while underway, and was very pleased to do so. Autopilots are essential. It is just not possible to steer a boat 24/7 when you are the only person on the boat. Six hours has been my max. One has to eat, sleep and go to the restroom, all of which require that the auto pilot functions reliably.
So later today I sail to Marblehead for the Marblehead to Halifax race which begins Sunday. Again you can follow me on Yellow Brick at http://my.yb.tl/kiwispirit.