Halfway Party, A Message to Camille

Yesterday was a special day aboar VALIS: We passed the halfway mark on the way towards Hawaii! Determining when you are halfway can be tricky. Is it halfway in time? No, that wouldn’t make sense, we couldn’t figure that out until we cross the finish line. In our case, we certainly hope the second half of our race doesn’t take as long as our first half. Some people draw a straight line from San Francisco to Hawaii, divide that in two (1035 miles), then figure that when the distance left to Kaneohe hits that number, they’ve passed the halfway point.
On VALIS, we have decided that when our boat is an equal distance between the Golden Gate Bridge (because it’s easy to find on the chart), and the Pac Cup finish line, we are then halfway. This matters so much because it is of no practical value whatsoever.
It also matters because it is a major milestone, and a high-point of the race. The crew all start feeling optimistic again (there are days where we do feel a little down), and we really begin to count the miles, days, hours, to go. We start pllacing bets on our actual finish time, shed grungy, lived-in clothes and take a shower in the cockpit (one at a time, as the mood, or smell, strikes us).
Aboard VALIS we carry the “Tiki God”, a plastic, battery-operated drummer of disputed origin who bangs on two skulls to a lively tune. When not sailing with us, Tiki God is kept safe by John. This time, the Tiki God woke up John, who later appeared in a black bandanna and eye-patch, and with a pirate’s “Arrgh”, helped lead the festivities.
A traditional part of a halfway ceremony is an offering to Neptune, Posiedon, etc, in grateful thanks for our safe passage so far, and with wishes for their further protection. David offered a glass of Mt. Gay Rom (proud sponsor of the Pacific Cup), and the sea accepted it.
We then opened gifts from our friends and loved ones. Many were shared (thanks Edie!), some passed around and admired (balloon animals were a challenge, but we did make a “fish”), and others were held in secrecy (Tirso had better sleep with one eye open). Speeches were made. It was a lot of fun.
Halfway was 1042 miles. At the moment we have 895 miles to go. We’re getting there!
Photo: A message to Camille: “Swim Like the Wind, from the crew of VALIS”


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