We rolled the screecher out, we rolled the screecher in (with no screeching in between). The spinnaker went up, the spinnaker came down. The breeze, such as it was, was due south. Then due east. Then due west. Then gone. Like, well, the wind. The only good news, we'd later learn, was that there was only one boat ahead of us: Tim Troy's Open 60 Margaret Anna, which was racing in a different class and finished a full day before us. Astern were the remainder of the 25-odd competing boats, including the six boats in our division, which would catch us on neither elapsed nor corrected time. Happily for us, their conditions were no better than ours.
The final indignity was latching on to a fishing trap some 15 miles from the finish. Luckily, we broke free quickly and were treated first to a spectacular sunrise, then to the astounding vision of a school of sharks, dozens of them, looking as if they were on the way to a casting call for Jaws VI. They turned out to be a good omen.