Sunday 23 June 2019

Arctic Smoke and the Jester Baltimore Challenge - Part 2 - The Decision and Preperations

Following her Atlantic Adventures of 2015 and 16/17, I was undertaking a fairly major re-fit on Arctic Smoke over the period Autumn 2017 to Spring 2019 when, over a cup of tea with my pal Bernie, we got round to discussing his progress in preparing his 'new' boat, 'Mischief' an Achilles 24 for entry in the 2020 Jester Azores Challenge. As part of his preparations he intended to participate in the 2019 Jester Baltimore Challenge. He had already completed that Challenge in 2017 in his 22 foot Mackwester but found her windward performance too poor to contemplate using her in the Azores Challenge. Bernie is quite remarkable. An ex merchant seaman who can make or fix just about anything you care to mention and of course a first rate mariner. He has turned Mischief from a neglected river racer into an off-shore passage-maker and has helped me with a variety of jobs on Arctic Smoke when my limited practicable skills ran out of puff. He is an archetypical Jester.

Anyway back to that cup of tea. As we discussed his plans I started to consider the possibility of my own participation. After more than a year's no sailing on Arctic Smoke, I was keen to get sailing again and realised that there was no way I would get Arctic Smoke ready for Iceland in time for sailing in 2019 which had been an objective lurking at the back of my mind. With Bernie's encouragement, I therefore approached Ewen with my request and the rest is history. Work re-doubled on Arctic Smoke including the installation of a replacement Bush DV10 engine and stern gear. The trials and tribulations of that episode can be read in the Arctic Smoke blog.

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