Wednesday, December 31, 2014
At a time when I was in desperate need of a distraction, I got a call from Amy and Jeff asking me if I would be interested in taking the Mousetrap up to Elizabeth City, NC for the Classic Moth Boat National Championship. With only a couple days notice, I was reluctant to accept the offer. But why? I had very little tying me down to the new city I found myself living in. I justified accepting the invitation by taking a detour on the way home to see my sister and her newborn child. I think my family visit was all of 3 hours.
I set off late after work on a Friday afternoon to make the trek up to North Carolina. It was going to be a long night and sleep wasn't going to be on the horizon. With a need for a good distraction I downloaded an audiobook to listen to on the way to the regatta. As a silly last name related gift from a college friend 30+ years ago my mother was given a copy of Watership Down. For whatever reason I took the tattered book to read a couple weeks prior to the trip. It seemed like a good book to download for the road trip and it would prevent further destruction to a book that had seen better days. For those of you that may not have read the book, it is a story of a small group of rabbits that defect from their warren and search for a new place to start a new life; a theme that seemed to parallel the path I was traveling as I too had recently left my warren.
After a quick two hour nap a couple exits north of the SC/NC border I made it up to the regatta with just enough time to register, rig and get the Mousetrap on the water. What a spectacular weekend for sailing. The breeze was gusty, but persistent enough that I rarely had an opportunity to get out of the hiking straps. Downwind was just as fun as I remembered the boats to be, and upwind, there didn't seem to be a wave on the Albermarle Sound the thin bow of the Mistral deviation wouldn't slice through like a knife. I hadn't been sailing in over 6 months at that point. The last regatta I raced in was a J/22 circuit stop in Shreveport 15 months prior. I am absolutely baffled as to how I let this hobby that brought me so much satisfaction slip away.
The folks in the Classic Moth Boat fleet could not be a nicer group of people, and after a great weekend of sailing, I was hooked...again. A new boat needed to be built. As Jeff had mentioned 10 years prior when he built his boat, "you can always build a better mouse trap". I guess since my boat will be a derivative of his boat, which is a derivative of the Mistral Mk II, my design will be the "Hare Snare".