I raced the Mac Race with Tom Neil on Nitemare. We won and then celebrated like I haven’t celebrated in a LONG time!
We finished at 5am and were at the Pink Pony when they opened at 7am for Breakfast Blood Mary’s – they had jalapeno pickles in them adding to the vegetable content. I don’t exactly remember getting back to my room around 11 but I fell SOUND asleep!
I woke up at 5:30 for an excellent crew dinner. Mediterranean hors d’ourves and shrimp cocktail on the porch of the yacht club, followed by a dinner of local smoked whitefish dip and crackers, salad, filet mignon, homemade mac and cheese topped off with a lobster claw and a medley of summer vegetables. Desert was a turtle cheesecake. We had a cleansing drink on the porch again and watched the wind die feeling sorry for the smaller boats who were still stuck out there but feeling very lucky and grateful to Tom for buying at 70.
After our afternoon naps everyone was more or less ready to go again! The Pink Pony and then Horns where they have a great band every year and yes – I was dancing. WITH a tambourine.. Then there was significant! catching up with old friends. Good news I had my ‘wing men’ with me. There were two guys on the boat who had started to compete for me- One of the early watches when I was steering – I couldn’t hear what they were talking about on the rail but everyone kept looking back and talking and laughing. I asked – what the heck are you guys talking about? The response: We are trying to figure out who you like better Boner or Gary better” Who is your favorite. 🙂 The competition was ON and it continued for the whole race and then into the bar where they were competing to make sure I had drinks. INCLLUDING Jagermeister – NOT a rational tactic but at 2 am no one was rational.
IT really was so much fun sailing with these guys and Tom was on form. I think pretty much everyone knows that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in October and told that he probably wouldn’t see Christmas. In typical Tom form he said screw that! – I have regattas to do. They have done Key West and SORC and then came to Valencia on their honeymoon where Amy was the 18th person. They have also sailed the 70 in the Nood and Chicago Mac and now Port Huron Mac – they have won EVERY race and had a LOT of fun doing so. It was amazing how we were able to get shifts again and again. Tom and I were talking about how we aren’t really as spiritual as some of our friends are but after the magic of this race I think I believe a little more. Bottom line though is that Tom is still kicking Cancer’s ass with an extremely positive attitude and having fun and surrounding himself with great people. I was very grateful to be included in this group once again.