12/06/2022 Pacific location S 6.04.914 W 127.27.870 we are 767 miles from Nuku Hiva.It is 6 p.m. We sail under Gennaker with winds between 10 and 15 knots.JK sail in favor of current dominates waves at 9 knots.We are all in the cockpit.The sun, hidden by the imposing 240-square-meter A4, begins to give us pause.We are relaxed.Spin ( Roberto Spinella Yacht Master ) clutches in his large hand the ever-present beer, Ric ( RiccardoPolacchi sailing instructor ) is absorbed at the helm, Johnny ( Luca Franceschetti Owner of a beautiful Oceanis ) and I listen to Caf ( Luca Cafasso – Cilento a Vela ) in one of his many Piratesque tales.Caf is a true expert on the raids of ships that, hoisting the Jolly Roger flag ( the skull with the two crossed shinbones ), put to the sword by plundering merchant ships that plied the Caribbean sea between the 1600s and early 1700s.Did you know that feared pirate Blackbeard after surviving 10 keel turns was impaled in Nassau, piracy headquarters in the Caribbean Sea?We live in a dream that will very soon turn into a nightmare.It all starts with Ric drawing our attention.Guys swall in sight!The Swall is a meteorological phenomenon typical of the Oceans: heaps of clouds charged with energy accumulated as a result of their wandering driven by trade winds.We are 4 days away from arrival feeling invincible.We said goodbye to Panama on 25/05 and after more than 3,000 miles we have the Americas and the Caribbean behind us.At the moment when Ric exclaims swall in sight I make my first mistake: I order the immediate lowering of the Gennaker to be prepared.The wind at that time is still weak 15 knots, but the black clouds are very close.The wind produced by a swall rarely exceeds 30 knots, and with my gennaker, from heavy winds, it would be sufficient to lean back and wait for the weather phenomenon to pass.Instead, I err on the side of presumption.My team, now broken in, will manage to close the majestic sail in time.Of the rest in the bow Caf and Johnny are monsters. They do not miss a maneuver.In a moment Spin, probably reluctantly, abandons the beer and is in position to operate the furling Line ( line to operate the whip to close the headsail ) Ric at the helm, me at the sheet, Caf and Johnny at the bow with life jackets tightly fastened.The wind is gradually increasing, the clouds getting closer, we feel the first drops of waterI would still be in time to abort the maneuver but I don’t, Spin activates the winch, and the furling Line slides quickly onto the return block.One turn, two, three at the bow Caf turns his gaze to the masthead.We are all waiting for his usual okay with his hand covering his thick privateer’s beard confirming that everything is going well.The ok is late in coming the swall now laps us.We sense that something is not going right.Spin in the on the classic Lombard dialect exclaims “vaca légia” which translated into the language of Ric ( Roman ) is equivalent to a “Porca mignotta” Caf ( Neapolitan ) “ma che sfaccimma” and in finally Jonny ( Ferrarese ) “Maial ek guai”.The JK sail team, unlike the Atlantic crossing where Neapolitans led the way, now speaks multiple languages and spans multiple regions.Hearing Spin’s expletive I lead on him: the furling Line had fouled up inside a referral block.My second mistake, this one in boat preparation.In the Atlantic I had problems with the blocks of the mainsail sheets reason why, during a stop in Saint Martin, I spent a fortune to change all the blocks of halyards and sheets.But that silly little rope deferral block that rotates around the whip and produces the closure of our gennaker had remained excluded from any consideration of undersize on my part.Unfortunately, it is in the details that problems creep in.Because of this error of judgment on my part, we find ourselves with the furling Line blocked unable to continue the closing maneuver.I rush below deck, grab a hammer, and demolish the damn blocker, freeing the line, which I now slide with a linkage to a second winch.Everything seems to be settled.the wind is blowing at now more than twenty knots the drizzle has turned into downpours.Spin restarts the closing winch but simultaneously Caf from the bow warns that we have a halyard problem.By now the swall invests us the wind suddenly goes from 20 to more than 30 knots ( the onboard instrumentation will mark a peak at 32.6 ).At that time Ric, according to my instructions, had brought the boat with an angle to the wind of 120 degrees, an angle we had observed as optimal during the Gennaker closing phase.120 degrees to wind, hoisted sail of 240 sq. m., wind gust of more than 30 knots resulted in the immediate upset of JK.The boat landed from the wind as violently as Mike Tayson struck knocking out his opponents.In the blink of a wing we find ourselves tilted with the foresail in the water the gennaker skimming the sea which under the effect of the gusts of wind is misting.At the Bow Kaf and Johnny are suspended in the void attached to the only life Line that has proved effective, had it been the buoy I would not be here writing this journal page.In the cockpit Ric, who has fallen to the ground, has lost control of the rudder to which he is holding on to so as not to slide further into the water, Spin remains standing attached to a hold on while I slide dangerously toward the dragnets that by now disappear among the downwind waves.At the bow Caf and Johnny with their legs dangling like on a merry-go-round at any suburban amusement park look at each other and smile.I wonder if their laughter is the result of resignation or the disregard for risk proper to their age.If I were 30 years old.How I wish at that age I had made different choices instead of giving the best years of my life to a job, which still absorbs me so much and in return brought me to my 50s in no time.So many things I could have done.When I was 19, I had long hair and dreamed of leaving for America, my dream was to enroll in a jazz school in Boston and be a musician. Instead, at the age of 20, I was already in short hair, a jacket, a tie and a briefcase in my hand.My dream as a pianist, who would be a dishwasher to support himself, had turned into an insurance policy salesman.In one of his famous films, whose name I can’t remember now, Voody Allen romanticized that the worst punishment for a man is to be locked in a room with an insurance man.So I had gone from being a “possible” acclaimed musician to being a punishment for humanity.Of the same opinion is Spin who says that for him, insurers, bankers and notaries should simply not exist.Caf as he smiles with Johnny yells Captain the Halyard! the Halyard.I am well aware that to take JK away from the fury of the wind, I have to shoot the line that keeps the Gennaker hoisted to the wind.With my feet now in the water I manage to reach the stopper.My eyes do not believe what they see.The part towards the stern of the halyard is thickened by the sock that like an accordion has compressed while of the wall towards the bow only the core of the halyard itself remains.Stopper will not open, impossible to act on the winch to allow it to open.Caf keeps shouting the halyard louder and louder.Or he has never shouted it but my mind now tuned to his for thousands of miles together senses the demand.I have no other solution, I have to grab the safety knife placed near each of the winches and cut the top off.One, two maybe three strokes and the top gives way under the knife blade in the meantime I yell to Ric and Spin: mainsail the mainsail let go.Spin is the first to reach the windward sheet, and with Ric’s help the mainsail is also rescued from the fury of the wind.JK, like the boxer hit by Tyson, has served his 10 seconds that determined the end of the match and gets up unharmed.We all breathe a sigh of relief Kaf and Johnny get off the ride and can finally get back on their feet.The tension eases for just a moment, just enough time to realize that we have a 240 sq. m. sail with associated sheets in the water.The deadly risk is that the sail, sheets, or worse both will go into the wheelhouse decreeing the boat’s unsteerability.Meanwhile it rains the wind blows over thirty knots and the sea mounts.Like 5 fishermen on a fishing boat, we broadside with the intention of hoisting aboard the gennaker, which with its black color blurs among the choppy waters of a deep blue sea.The sail seems glued to the Pacific.The weight of the water holds it back as we see the tops disappear under the hull.I think about the rudders and the risk we are taking.We do not give up, continue to struggle moments that seem eternal.Then, without plausible explanation the whole, not a part, not a flap but the whole gennaker is projected toward JK invading the cockpit and the aft bow walkway.The sail was under wind to the boat so the waves and the same wind hit JK on the opposite side and they cannot be the cause of this event.What could it be that brought back to the boat what the sea forcefully held back?I don’t know.Everyone on board will give their own explanation.Caf recoils to St. Gennaro, Spin to the beautiful Madonnina, Ric remembers that his mom before each of his exams commends herself to St. Rita, Jonny baptized but over time lost his faith, believes in something superior but different from the god he was told.I, who find myself at 57 years old plying the oceans older than my father, am certain that it was his caress that made what the sea wanted to hold back rise.Taken from the diary of Luca Davoli captain of JK sail

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