FOLLOWING JEROME – Here is a re-cap of Open Sailing USA’s Jerome onboard his mighty Pogo 2 and his race to Hawaii in the 2012 Single-handed Transpac:
“It’s been a couple of weeks since the finish of the Single Handed Transpac and with the boat loaded onto a ship for it’s journey back to California things are starting to return to normal. Of course this experience of a lifetime will linger much longer…
It is July 14th and I just stepped foot on the island of Kaua’i. My son Luca, almost two years old, is only 10 feet away and is looking at me like he doesn’t know who I am. Suddenly, a huge smile lights up his face and with open arms, he runs towards me. Before I knew it, I was crying with emotion.
This is a moment that I will never forget, one of those where it seems like a little video camera was set up on my forehead. It is not a fancy video camera, this is not a wide angle and all I see and remember is Luca in the frame running towards me and embracing me with all his baby power and love. My wife Alisha is slowly approaching. It almost seems like she knows that something magical is happening and she doesn’t want to be in the way. I reach out for her as well as I am holding Luca and for minutes, time stops and I realize how lucky I am to share my life with these two individuals who were so worried for the past 14 days, and what an eventful 14 days it was!
30 seconds before the gun: Why not? I know there is over 2,000nm to go but taking a port start sounds like the only and best way to cross the line. I look one more time under the boom to check the other boats. I have plenty of room and launch the Pogo 2 on port, at the pin. I am clear ahead, with plenty of time to tack back to starboard. I win the start by 5 boat lengths. I have one reef in the main sail and full genoa. I have to reef the genoa down because I am already overpowered. As I do so, the Olson 30 passes me which is actually perfect. I have never sailed out and under the Golden Gate bridge.
With the fog and traffic, it is great to have the Olson 30 in sight to guide me out. I am sailing out of San Francisco, on a boat that, according to some, should be only sailed in a lake because of its size. It is the first time a 21 foot mini transat is participating in the Singlehanded Transpac. I am very proud to be there. Although I am very confident in the boat and my skills, there is also a lot of anxiety. I have never been alone at sea for longer than 7 days. I am not sure what another 7 days will be like. It is a business trip with a goal of promoting the boat. There’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders but I keep thinking about one thing: Luca, Alisha and safety. What’s most important for me is to finish, and I just can’t wait to see them both. Hopefully our timing will work out and they will be watching as I cross the finish line.”
For the rest of his incredible adventure go to OPEN SAILING USA.