She is well on the way to being ready, with smaller items like installation of new electronics going on and the major still outstanding items being to tune the rig and test the new sails (which have still to be delivered). She is looking awesome, after a full repaint and new graphics. This 18-year old lady is looking young again.
|"Black Cat" with her new paint & graphics.|
My navigator for this race is Dave Immelman, nicknamed Wavy. Dave has been in charge of the preparations and has done a great job of it. That includes getting the extra work done that resulted from poor "Black Cat" getting squeezed tighter than any lady in a corset. She has been freed, repaired, repainted (again), given the OK by the doctor (scrutineer) and is raring to go.
|New Cat logo on port side. Starboard has the butt end.|
For those who have never experienced this, it is a big one to add to your bucket list. Having done it 3 times before, I can say that it will take a big bucket if it is to hold other items that are bigger than this one. But you have to have a strong sense of adventure and not be easily scared. If you don't have those qualities you will be petrified at times, incapacitated by sheer terror while your shipmates are enjoying a great roller coaster ride that goes on for 2-4 weeks (depending on the speed of your chosen boat), with no chance of getting off the ride.
We have sailed this boat very hard in the past and the new go-fast goodies on her will help us to do so again. We sail her safely but we do so sometimes at very high speed, with lots of spray flying by and mixed in with flying fish, squid, albatross and even the occasional sword fish. "The Cat" enjoys it and allows us to enjoy it with her.