James Feldkamp | Crew Diary
A Tale of Woe, Jim Feldkamp
“What Could Possibly Go Wrong?!”~ first blog March 20th, 2022
Hey Sports Fans! As I sit here typing I am struck by the myopic vision I had concerning the above quote I wrote dismissively at the end of my first blog. So, enough with the blatherskite and lets get down to informing our followers what has happened since my last blog.
Setting out from Subic Bay, Philippines was uneventful as we had to motor to our Le Mans start location four days away. During that time we practised various safety evolutions (i.e. man overboard drills), and rehearsing tacking and gybing procedures.
But unbeknownst to the majority of the crew was that we had a stowaway smuggled onboard to enhance our chances. The smugglee (i.e. the coyote) confessed to the crime by stating that his intention was to bring good luck by having an effigy of Njord — the Viking God of the Sea — accompany us on the race to protect us and help propel us to victory.
Well, not so fast shipmate! Unlike our previous mascot ‘Loretta’ , our cute flying pig, this character looked like a molten gob of goo. Although sceptical, and unsure what to do with the Njord mascot, we pinned this absconder to the helming cage to see if he would in fact take care of us…NOT!
At the Le Mans start we jumped to 3rd place as we set sail north to our way-point off of Japan. That is when the fun began. Initially, the lazarette white light would continue to turn on without human help at all hours of the night. Then the heads; the most important piece of equipment on the boat, started failing, which continued to vex our crew. Jammers slipping, and the normal wear and tear of a sailing boat began with chafing repairs on sheets that were stored in the humidity of the tropics for two years. The Yankee 2 head that was then torn, required service by our wizard repair lady. Then the main sail had to be dropped not once, not twice, but three times to repair the stop sliders and battens and a torn luff, which could be attributed to someone playing with the leech lines (Njord?).
And to top it off, as we were doing a ‘letter box drop’ on our Code-3 a plague of dragonflies descended on our sail, and they escaped and infiltrated all parts of the ship below decks. This ‘Lord of the Dragonfies’ plague was to last for days on end.
Now a rational man would caulk these events up to explained events. But whoever said sailors were rational, or sane, human beings? I believe these were not isolated events in toto but were by our stowaway, since he was smuggled aboard many things could not be explained. So, it has become rather apparent to me and others that perhaps it wasn’t Njord who was smuggled onto our boat, but his evil twin brother -LOKI! Only time will tell….
Originally published at https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com.