Oh, NO! I said, with the orange digital numbers staring at me as I shot, bolt upright in my Rhode Island bed. My plane leaves in 67 minutes, I said to Rachel as I made a speedy exit, jamming my legs in the pair of pants Id carefully set out the night before. No shower, no shave, no toothbrush. Five minutes later I was in my car and heading for Green Airport and wondering if the exhaustion had helped me sleep through my alarm, or just fooled me into thinking Id set it properly in the first place.
No matter, I was not going to get on my Delta flight to Orlando and then on to Key West. Arriving 25 minutes before takeoff just doesnt cut it anymore, especially on the day they started x-raying all baggage. And so, after due consultation with Janet my travel agent, I got reorganized for a flight through Philly to Miami, followed by a three-and-a-half-hour drive down the Keys.
At least while I waited quietly most of Friday for my newly booked flight I was able to finish writing my overdue Editors Letter for the March issue of Sailing World. I also had the unexpected bonus of a nice lunch with my wife instead of eating airport food in Orlando, Fla., and I enjoyed a long conversation with a software-selling bowman from Maine on the Miami flight.
However, I had a moments regret about the way my travel plans to Key West Race Week had worked out about 12:15 a.m. in Marathon, Fla.–that was about the time a soft-spoken member of the Florida Highway Patrol was letting me off easy with a $78 ticket.
Nonetheless, I arrived at my hotel and found my bed by 2 a.m. The stars were bright, the wind, light, and the temperature above 70. Time to put all the bad karma behind me and prepare for a week of good racing on John Coopers J/29 Cool Breeze and the chance to get to know some of the three or four thousand sailors who are also here.