Regattas and races behind me now, I know I have a boat that can break the records. Certainly, by just getting around the globe, I will be the oldest and will have set a record from St. Augustine back to St. Augustine. Hopefully I will break Dodge Morgan’s 150 day record from Bermuda back to Bermuda, and if all goes well, I will be the first to complete a circumnavigation entirely green, as the engine will be sealed as will be the generator, and I will rely on electrical power only from solar panels, wind and water generators.
At the Lyman Morse yards, they will make some fitting changes, remove some of the interior to reduce weight, which means a faster boat, and also they will remove the mast, rigging and sails to check for wear and damage as Kiwi Spirit in her first six months has completed over 6,000 miles!
I am still amazed at the amount of attention Kiwi Spirit gains from experienced sailors and those who work in the marine industry. It brings great credit to Farr and Lyman Morse. In Halifax at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Club, which co-sponsored the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race, I was initially scheduled to go out on a mooring buoy as I was seen as being too big to be docked on the slips they had. But on seeing the boat while I was refueling, they decided to keep the boat on that dock and moved a few things around in order to make it happen. When leaving, I approached the dockmaster to make any payments. He just extended his hand and said “no charges, she is the prettiest boat I have seen, best of luck in your solo.” Everyone it seemed at the Halifax finish appeared to have come and seen the boat, and surely it was the most talked about. The design and the graphics both add to the attraction. At low tide on the fuel dock the graphics were less obvious but they still came. However, as she rose up at high tide, she looked her best.
I have been asked about the flags I fly. The first is the flag of the United States, as the boat is designed, built and documented in the United States, and I am now also a citizen of the U.S., as well as of New Zealand. The latter nation has as its national bird, the flightless Kiwi, and New Zealanders are known as “Kiwi’s.” I also fly the club pennant of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club, which is in Dover, England. My connection there is with The Channel Swimming Association, of which I am currently Vice President and have spent much time for many summers either training to swim the Channel solo (five attempts with two successful completions) or taking part in or sponsoring relays across the channel from my university, the University of St. Augustine. The next flag I fly is that of the Ocean Cruising Club, which is an international club that draws together through its newsletter and magazine, those who cruise for pleasure. Next I fly the flags of the City of St. Augustine, the oldest city in North America, and which is now celebrating its 450th Anniversary. Kiwi Spirit and the City have signed a mutual agreement of cooperation.
There may not be many blogs during the next two months as the boat will be at the yards being prepared. However I will be responding to a few of the questions that have been asked and will in this format share with all who are following the progress of Kiwi Spirit.