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May 24, 2011

Stephen Colbert's Bermuda triangle

On the plus side, the head aboard Stephen Colbert's racing yacht is working and the comedian says everyone is smelling fine.

Colbert and his crew aboard the Farr 65 "Spirit of Juno" are still near the front of the pack in the 2011 Charleston Bermuda Race, four days into the regatta and about 8 miles behind the leader.

On the other side of the ledger, Colbert is running at about 6 knots with more than 300 miles to go until he reaches Bermuda, according to the online race tracker. There's still time for the toilet to do that special thing they all do at one time or another: go bust.


This isn't the first regatta for television's Walter Mitty, who has speed skated and ridden a bobsled and skeleton sled with Olympians and seems eager to try anything in the name of laughs.

As he told Outside magazine about his introduction to the 777-mile C2B race: "There comes a time in every man's life when he must ask himself, 'What can I endure? Of what mettle am I made?' This was not one of those times. I thought this would be a booze cruise to Bermuda."

Instead, the Charleston native learned about busted heads, the doldrums, running out of (in order) power, fuel and water and losing the rade reflector. His boat finished four days behind the winner.

"What endures I can't rightly describe," Colbert told the magazine. "Looking up at night to see the masts unmoving in your eyes but the stars dancing in sychonized figure eights. Waking to the [ketch] surrounded by the pink poisonous sails of Portuguese man-of-wars as far as the eye could see. Flying fish slapping against the sail. Mats of sargasso in the Gulf Stream. The mahimahi on Day Two, the marlin on Day Seven. Falling off wind to sail around the waterspout. Two ounces of gritty cowboy coffee to start the watch. Eight friend together in a 45-foot world and alone at the center of a referenceless horizon.

"I can't explain what it feels like. I just know I want to feel it again."  

It seems he is.  

Posted by Candus Thomson at 9:57 AM |
About Candus Thomson
In a world of paper vs. plastic and candy mint vs. breath mint, my early memories involved a debate about the merits of freshwater vs. saltwater.

On the one hand, a great uncle’s fishing cabin on the Susquehanna River beckoned, but so did family gatherings on the Jersey Shore.

The correct answer, thankfully, was, “both.”

As The Sun’s outdoors writer for more than a decade, I’ve fished across Maryland in one day, hiked the width of the state in one hour, camped overnight in the median of I-95 to experience the wildlife between the fast lanes and chased mountain bikers in a 24-hour marathon race.

Those are some of the highlights. I’ve also fallen in a raging Gunpowder River during a trout survey (photo available upon request), had a shark spill its guts on my clothes and been stuck in a sub-freezing Vermont wilderness with men armed with flintlocks and hatchets, shuffling along on ancient wooden snowshoes.

And, in my travels I’ve met lots of you, who share a love of the outdoors and the good times and mishaps that go along with it.

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