Superior couple sets sail on Pacific adventureThomas and Barbara Agerter of Superior are no strangers to outdoor adventure.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Thomas and Barbara Agerter of Superior are no strangers to outdoor adventure.
Last week, the couple that climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last year set sail for a 2,070 nautical mile journey from San Francisco, Calif., to Kaneohe, Hawaii, as part of the 2012 Pacific Cup. The trip, which started July 16, is expected to take two weeks to complete.
“We are moving along now,” Barb Agerter posted on the couple’s sailing blog Thursday. “Last night was exciting. I hate what they call ‘slatting.’ There is no wind so you just bounce all over from the swells … We got a spinnaker up and then the wind came up and we took off. Geez. Then the wind switched and we had to take it down in a hurry.”
The couple, both 54, is still aboard their 30-foot sailboat named Weatherly, anticipating an awards ceremony at Kaneohe Yacht Club scheduled for Aug. 2. The annual race ends when the couple reaches the Hawaiian island of Oahu’s lush windward side.
That’s, of course, if they finish on time. Current projections suggest they may not finish until Aug. 3.
Sunday proved to be an eventful day for the Superior couple.
“Squall passing now so taking this chance to write,” the couple added to the blog. “Lost to the sea today, 1 bowl and 1 spinnaker sheet. The bowl I left on the cockpit floor and stepped on it, and the spinnaker sheet shook the shackle lose from the spinny and I never put in a stopper knot. Now all sheets have stopper knots. TIKI J passed us today and threw clementine oranges for us. They were bad shots and we caught only one of 6. It was tasty.”
Well in advance of the race, Pacific Cup Yacht Club staged a series of preparation seminars and events designed to equip up to 46 boats and their crews to make the passage from San Francisco to Kaneohe Bay. The participants in the race range from first-timers in relatively slow family cruisers to experienced professional crews on a high-tech racing machine. Many entries are double-handed, meaning that they make the crossing with just two aboard.
“Ahoy. I feel like I'm on a bucking bronco typing this,” Barb Agerter posted Monday. “Sailors think weird things are fun. We saw a boat yesterday! That was exciting. It was Tiki J. They threw us clementines as they passed by. Only 1 of 6 made it to the boat but it sure was tasty. Now we won't get scurvy at sea. At 5 p.m. every day they have a radio show called "The Children's Hour" One boat in the race MC's it and all the other boats can call in and talk about stuff on the race. It's fun to listen to, she noted.
Tom and Barb Agerter, originally from Escanaba, Mich., relish adventure. Tom is a seasoned sailor and has sailed each of the Great Lakes single-handedly. Together with Barb, they completed the Newport to Bermuda Yacht Race in 2010. Tom sailed the Weatherly solo from Newport, R.I. to Bermuda where Barb joined the crew and doubled-handed back to Newport.
The couple’s adventures on the water turned skyward in February 2011, when they climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Additionally, the Agerters have hiked the entire 275-mile Superior Hiking Trail. Finally, Tom built kayaks the Agerters often use to explore St. Louis and Superior Bays.
“What is on your bucket list? Think of it and DO it!” This advice was a recent post from Barb Agerter prior to her and her husband’s departure on a 2,000 mile sailing adventure.
The trip can be tracked at www.sailblogs.com/member/weatherly and followed on a tracker at www.pacificcup.org.