I guess it was inevitable that they would try and persuade me to get on Maiden for a leg – or two! I was finally talked into it and got onto ‘Mum’s first born’ (as I call Maiden) to join legendary Skipper Wendy Tuck and the crew for the leg from Vancouver to Seattle.
Jo and I had met in Auckland about a year ago when Maiden was in New Zealand. Jo was doing the delivery on Maiden from Auckland to Honolulu and I had taken a group of Canterbury sailors up to Auckland to be part of the farewell for Maiden out of Auckland.
Everyone on the Maiden had incredible responsibility with numerous positions. When racing with a team working in harmony, it is magical. Assisting with the jib takedowns and deploying the spinnaker required coordinated timing and precision team effort. The first time I went to the foredeck and performed this task was like wing walking on an airplane.
Our Maiden skipper, Liz Wardley, is a remarkable tactical start wizard. She is an unbelievable salty sea dog, having sailed around the world three times. I imagine she birthed out of the womb saying, "Prepare to tack." Athletic and robust in stature yet agile and nimble up the mast like a monkey. Liz was fearless, competitive, gutsy, serious at times, yet quiet with stealthy calculated planning when she sails.
While I’m not tethered into the kitchen and my stove isn’t on a gimbal, I still noticed distinct similarities between my grocery shopping and cooking habits and that of the vast majority of sailors.