Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.09
with squalls. Made some miles. 173 left to go. I can't wait! The mainsail
is no longer being a bitch. It is the windvane's turn.
3 pm 7/9/10
I'd like to make it tomorrow, but realistically it looks like Sunday
morning. Last night was challenging. Three squalls hit back to back
to back. Before the first one hit, I was flying everything: the main
had one reef and the twins with up. A squall came up from behind and
changed up the
wind direction. So, I dropped the twins and the main and then the squall
passed and I needed to get everything up again. This happened 3 times.
Haven't slept well because of the conditions out here. I'm getting closer
to land and the shelf under the ocean is causing bumpy, rolling waters.
I'm just chugging along. See you soon! ~Adam
AJ (Second Verse) 2010.07.09
believe it, the penultimate day (two days to go!) and I’m being
hammered by high winds and big seas. The day started out with me tacking
away from a squall for the first time. I usually just deal with it,
but this one looked really bad. Even though I jibed, his little brother
hit me with 30 knots of wind. I’m glad I didn’t see the
big brother! Now I have sustained winds over 20 (that’s OK), but
the seas are increasing with growlers (rolling white foamy water) off
the top of the waves. I broached on a big swell (my boom hit the water),
so I decided to change tactics and stop running DDW. I dropped the main
entirely and now I’m running with the jenny about 150-160 off
the wind. The boat is much happier now, and so am I! It does mean my
ETA into the finish has been pushed back, but that is little consequence
if something breaks. As the motto of the race says, “Sail fast,
to go (yes, I’m counting!).
Verse, signing off.
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.08
DTF. Have twins and main flying and I've wrapped myself in a spinnaker
for good measure. I still have to figure out how to fly my drifter at
the same time as the other sails. There was a fishing trawler that appeared
out of nowhere last night. I had gone down to sleep and came up to scan
the horizon and there it was. I didn't hail it as it was far enough
away, but I can't help but feel like I'm the only one seeing all the
traffic in this part of the Pacific. I'm thinking I will be there sometime
Saturday, but if it gets late I'll wait until the following morning
like everyone else. Think wind! ~ Adam
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.08
at 9:04am HST
Just a Longpac away from paradise! (the Longpac was a 400 mile roundtrip
offshore trip used to qualify for the SHTP) 394 miles to go. Autopilot
gave up the ghost. Hand steered most of last night. Spirits are up and
I can smell pizza. Hanalei here we come!
talked to him at 3:00 pm
368 DTF. Winds have been light. Haven't seen any marine life. Talked
to freighter from Takoma, WA today. Hailed him and we had a good talk.
He said he was glad I hailed him because he didn't even know I was there.
Small boats like mine, he said, are invisible to him. Comforting...
Been chatting on the SSB with whomever's left. I have to say, and
I'm sure the other guys can attest to this, these light wind days are
pretty taxing and tiring. There's breeze right now, however, and the
sails look good. ~Adam
Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.07.07
Warrior's wish' post race blog
July 6, 2010- Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii
Caution: This is a long entry.
So, uh, yeah. It's over. I'm in Kauai after completing my first Singlehanded
Transpac. Was it worth it? Yes. Was it everything I thought it would
be? No. it was more. Was crossing the line in Kauai the best single
moment in my life? It's a distinct possibility. Finishing this race,
in that very moment, was the realization of a dream. Two years ago,
this goal of singlehanding to Hawaii nearly killed me and it took everything
I owned, stranding me in a foreign land with nothing. Except for the
dream. And again this year, this goal of going solo across an ocean
took a year out of my life, threw my life for a loop, depleted my checking
account and actually started adding grey hairs to my 25 year old head.
But now that i've done it, it seems like the time, money and effort
involved in every facet of achieving this dream were all great investments.
My last night at sea was arguably my most enjoyable of the trip. The
breeze went light, which was the only thing stressing me out. I needed
146 miles in 24 hours to make it in by next radio check and in before
dark, which is something I was very concerned about. I stayed awake
the entire night, drinking coffee and eating fig newtons, while listening
to my iPod. I spotted a bunch of squalls right around dark, which has
seemed to be the case while I was sailing in the race. After dark, the
squalls seemed to play themselves out and I rarely saw squalls late
at night. I watched all of the squalls closely; as they went behind
me, in front of me, to port and to starboard. But none hit me. One was
getting very close and looked inevitable though, so I dropped the kite.
It missed me, but I poled out a jib anyways. I stood there in the companionway,
watching the miles slip past my transom as I savored my last night of
SHTP. I tried to sleep, but I was buzzing with anticipation and instant
coffee-induced caffeine. No, I was not sleeping tonight. This was my
last night as an ocean crossing virgin. Tomorrow I was making landfall.
Sun came up before our radio check, so I ran my spinnaker guy and
spinnaker sheet, put up the wrap preventer, dropped the jib and got
the kite on deck. All I had to do was raise the pole and hoist the kite.
I went down below to give my coordinates at 9 AM radio check. I was
70 miles out, having made 76 miles throughout a building night time
breeze. Immediately after check in, I hoisted the kite. It had never
gone up so fast. I was so stoked for that kite hoist! I had one last
kite run before hitting Hawaii. In 15 knots of breeze, I was making
9 knots over the ground. Very solid progress. The breeze started building,
as did my boat speed. I called my girlfriend (who was with RJ) when
I was 40 miles out. I told her I was 5 to 7 hours out, as I figured
it would realistically take me that long. My boat speeds were staying
very solid as the breeze started building more and more. In 25 knots
true, I was blaring Rage Against the Machine and Tool on my iPod while
hand steering the masthead kite towards Kauai. This was quickly turning
in to the best kite run and best sailing of my 2.5 year old sailing
career. I had turned on the handheld GPS and brought it into the cockpit.
I was keeping the boat on a straight line to Hanalei while actively
trimming and steering. We were flying. And then it happened. I spotted
a line in the clouds. I knew I would see it eventually, and for me,
it came at about 31 miles. It was Kauai's north shore on the east side,
rising from the water and turning into a volcano. The clouds shifted
and I couldn't see it again, but I knew it was there. At 28 miles it
became visible again and then increasingly became larger and greener.
We were extremely powered up with that much breeze and the masthead
kite. Powered up enough to reach my highest boat speed ever in Warrior's
Wish. I had seen 14 knots on 2 or 3 occasions, but when we started planing.
And planing. And planing. And planing off of a very large wave, I knew
we were going fast. Fortunately the handheld GPS was there to show that
I was traveling at more than 13 knots for what honestly felt like about
30 seconds, indicating a highest speed of 15.2 knots. I was soooooooooo
stoked to see 15 knots. I have been 20 in a sportboat and 25.6 on a
catamaran, but to reach 15 while solo on a tradewind swell in a 30 foot
keel boat is a whole different ball game. That particular surf will
go down as maybe my best pure sailing moment ever to this point. It
was turning into a very good day.
I called Rob Tryon from my cell phone at 25 out. Then mom. Then Kat
and RJ. Then various sailing friends. "Dude, i'm surfing to Kauai in
cell phone range. Bye!" was my normal conversation. My friends all knew
I was excited. We continued ripping to Kauai in grand fashion, with
the island becoming larger and larger, closer and closer. Finally at
8 miles out, I got Jim Kellam on the VHF. That was a good feeling, being
within VHF range. Still under full kite, I crossed the line at 8 knots.
"Congratulations Warrior's Wish, you have just finished the Singlehanded
Transpac. Welcome to Hanalei". The moment had been played over and over
a million times in my head prior to it happening, but it still set me
back. "It's over. This is it. I did it." I choked back tears and just
said "thanks". I ran deep, went pole forward and doused the kite within
seconds. I sailed a bit further under main alone and then swung around
and hove to so that the committee boat could come greet me. Ladonna
from Latitude 38, Rob Tryon from race committee and my brother RJ all
boarded the boat and then we began sailing around. We entered the boat
as some local sailors sailed laps around us on a small sloop named "Rebel".
A dread locked and very friendly local girl was holding onto the backstay
yelling "Welcome to Hanalei". "Hooray for Warrior's Wish. Welcome!!"
What an awesome freaking greeting. Phil and Maya and Tonya and your
whole group; just know that you made this sailors first tropical landfall
a bit more memorable and a bit more special. So thank you. I felt a
good tropical, fun, laid back vibe from the get go. You locals are part
of what makes Kauai so special. My girlfriend and Adam Correa's girlfriend
Kathe both boarded and we all anchored the boat. Rob and Ladonna interviewed
me, gave me my lei and gave me my drink of choice which was a beer and
a shot. It was actually a small glass of rum and not a shot, but I was
not complaining. More booze.
So yeah, that's about it. I crossed the line at 8 knots under full
kite, after covering 70 miles in just under 7 hours on what had to be
the best downwind romp of my life. We finished under a beautiful blue
sky in what honestly may be the most beautiful place i've ever seen
in my life. And we did it on the 4th of July, in the Warrior boat who
is racing to honor and benefit wounded veterans. I was greeted by friends,
family and wonderful girlfriend. We swam and played, ate food and drank,
watched fireworks on the 4th, and are now just kicking back in Kauai,
which to be honest, i'm already trying to move to and call home. (Yes,
i'm dead serious.)
To Don Gray and everyone who was has supported me along the way: Thank
you. This may be a solo ocean race, but there are a million people who
have made this possible for me. Just know that you helped someone realize
a dream and gave me a great experience that i'll carry with me forever.
Some more relaxing and fun time, and then it's back to work. The boat
is in good shape, but I still have some work to do and some things to
fix before sailing to Oahu and then undergoing the return voyage, doublehanded,
to San Francisco near the end of the month.
Will write more soon.
I will be writing a really comprehensive article for Sailing Anarchy
in a few days and i'll post it up here as well.
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.07
whole lot of wind today. AJ says we should wind tomorrow. My twins and
my main are up, as much canvas as I can fly. 474 DTF. It's beautiful
out here, but some wind would be nice. Haven't listened to any music
until today, finally broke out the iPod. Got autopilot to work...for
now. Think wind...~Adam
George (Taz!!) 2010.07.07
Here is George's last log from sea. I sure have enjoyed playing this
tiny role of updating you. Julie
George called us at 3pm Hawaii time, reporting that he had 41 miles
to go but that he was "becalmed" meaning little to no wind. At that
rate he was projecting a finish at 10:45pm Hawaii time. We immediately
reported this to Race Committee, who had predicted 8-9pm for George.
We are in touch with them multiple times a day at this point and they
are very supportive of our big surprise.
Here is George's Log:
Hi!!!! -- I'll be finishing at around midnight California time/9pm
Hawaii time today or a little later. At the moment I have 63.2 miles
to go and Taz!! and I can smell the finish line. I decided not to hoist
the Spinny today, I decided I'm too tired and too much can go wrong.
Instead I'm sailing wing on wing with the number one pulled out on the
port side. I'm doing 6.7 knots on the flats and 9 coming down the waves.
it's nice to finish this way. I've been making good time for the past
During my morning inspection I noticed xx pins almost gone, falling
out of my starboard lower shroud. Losing that would not probably bring
the mast down but it would be a real pain to replace it underway. In
heavy wind it could have been a stability problem.
These 2100 miles have put a lot of wear on Taz!! The hull and the
standing rigging look fine but the rugging rigging -- jeeps, halyards,
twings etc. are fraying. Then there's the sails. Number 1 is fraying,
Number 3 is trashed, Number 4 is fine, the Main is tired. Spinny looks
good but it's probalby stretched out of its original shape. I've burned
out two auto pilot rams, I hope the third one (and my last) holds up.
I've lost a few blocks and my main sheet... traveler car.
Then there's me. Other than being tired and physically weak I'm just
fine. All the cuts from the first brutal three days have healed. The
cut over my eye from the face plant is healing and I never even had
a headache from it. I've had no gastro-intestinal issues which is a
surprise given all the questionable food I've been eating. Over 2.5
years of pre-race physical training have paid off in spades. My back,
legs, arms and core strength have all me the challenge.
I have loved this isolation. This log is all I've needed. I did talk
to myself every once in awhile when I was reading a sail or fixing something.
It was more of telling myself what to do first, second and third, what
to slack before I crawled up to the the foredeck type of thing. It's
a drag crawling all the way up to the foredeck to do something only
to find out you have to crawl all the way back to un-cleat a line.
So that's all I have to say. Looking forward to the finish. I'm becalmed
right now, I'm doing 4 knots. It's FRUSTRATING as hell. I can literally
taste lobster -- I'm telling you, I'm having lobster somewhere. I love
you guys. I'll talk to you later.
Paul (Culebra) 2010.07.06
here... ah finishing is so sweet. A squall was right on my tail as I
finished, so it was exciting right down to the last moment. The reception
party was terrific. Thank you RC! Oh boy, what an amazing place... my
first visit. It is unreal to see Culebra anchored in this tropical paradise.
And I'm still a bit numb at the thought that she came here under my
watch. So many thanks to everyone who wished me well, sent me notes
of encouragement, shared their kind thoughts! The journey was much more
than managing a long sail, it also stimulated a wonderful sense of connectedness
with others, with self. Thank you all.
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.05
(distance to finish). Slow going today, really light air. From what
I hear wind is supposed to fill in Wednesday. Dropped my twins last
night, which was a good thing since the wind shifted. Went back to the
main and jib and got a little sleep with naps today. Now on a broad
reach heading straight for Hanalei. Had a fun chat with the General
today. I'm going to miss seeing everyone these next couple of days,
I know a lot of guys are finishing. But I'm plugging along. Congratulations
Max (on Solar Wind)! ~Adam
George (Taz!!) 2010.07.05
How were the fireworks last night? I bet they were
fun. I hope it wasn't too cold.
Anyway, Day 17. I feel physically weak today. Probably
lack of good diet and lack of sleep.
I was hand-steering last night about 3 am. The sky
was mesmerizing. The moon was behind some clouds, but through the open
spaces I could see thousands and thousand of stars, and the haze of
the milky way against the black background. I was lost in the thought
of being out in the middle of the Pacific alone, and as I looked straight
up I saw an area where there were no stars. "Hey," I thought.
Then I realized I was looking at a black cloud. I looked for the edges
and it was massive, tracking behind me. Probably the size of Manhattan.
I knew I had little time to prepare. I went below quickly and suited
up. Foul weather pants and jacket, life jacket, harness and hat. I stepped
into the cockpit as I tethered myself and all hell broke loose. The
wind went from 14 knots to easily 25, changed directions by 180 degrees,
and it started to rain heavily. The sails started banging around and
the auto-pilot, now confused, shut down. I took the helm and started
sorting things out. First the #1, which was back-winded and pulled out
on the port side. Luckily, instead of breaking the pole, it collapsed
on itself and de-telescoped itself. I pegged the tiller, went forward
and took the pole down. The sail was now just flapping loudly. Next,
the main sail , it …garbled… against the preventer that
I had rigged earlier. Back to the helm, I eased the preventer line and
released the main. I then steered Taz!! upwind toward Hanalei Bay. Nothing
appeared to be broken. In the rush, I hadn't closed the hatch and the
inside of the boat got wet again. The only time the dampness still bothers
me is early in the morning when it gets cold. I have nothing to cover
me. Last night I used the spinnaker, the one I saved from the head stay
yesterday. I hand-steered Taz!! about another 1.5 hours, until the wind
returned to 62 degrees magnetic and dropped down to 15 knots. I reset
the sails and let the auto-pilot steer. I sat for a while watching the
sky and looking for more squalls. They were there but way off my port
side and not a worry. Today, I've been thinking about how wonderful
this experience continues to be, I am trying to memorize it as much
as I can, as there may be other attempts there will never be another
As of this moment I have 208 miles to go. The roller-coaster
ride is almost over, and you can see the (platform?) ahead. There is
a sadness in thinking about the long line to run it again, if at all.
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.04
Adam at 11:13 am HST 7/4/10
sleep last night. A pod of dolphins showed up around 2 am and put on
a show. Also saw a shooting star. Saved a flying fish this morning.
We are 694 from finish. Can't wait! ~Adam
to Adam at 3:00 pm HST 7/4/10
sleep well. Had my twins (twin headsails) up all night. Lots of rolling
of boat and hand steering. Been napping during the day. Making some
headway, so that's good. I'm thinking I'll douse the twins and go back
to jib and main tonight. Ready to get to Hanalei. Congratulations to
Jeff, Adrian and Ronnie. See you soon! ~Adam
George (Taz!!) 2010.07.04
-- Happy Birthday America!
was the second slow-wind day in a row. I don't know what's going on,
but it's not typical of the Trades. Normally the Trades blow 15-18 and
for the second day in a row it's been under 12.
way, my new estimated finish is 7//7 at 2pm. I've got a quarter, who
I had a sailing scare. I was flying the Spinny and went below. I crawled
up… garbled… All the sails piled in there -- it was great
for my back. Anyway I was staring up through the forward hatch and to
my horror the Spinny was completely wrapped around the headstay. It
must have had 15 wraps on it. In the SHTP 2 years ago, Don was sailing
Warriors WIsh and he got a Spinny wrap that he spent 2 days trying to
fix. When it wraps like that the sail isn't working and you can't hoist
another sail until you clear the mess up. Don tried for 2. 5 days to
unwrap it and finally he taped a flare to a pole and tried to burn it
off. I believe it worked but he almost set his mainsail on fire too.
news for me was that the winds were light. I set up the auto pilot to
use the main to block as much wind as possible -- that quieted the sail
but try as I did I could not pull the twist out. All I succeeded in
doing was tightening it up. There was a bubble in the sail about 20
feet up that was in the wind and holding steady. As I pulled and sweated
for about 40 minutes, there was no success and I was considering Don's
technique as I rested. Pulling it down again I noted that the Spinny
slid down the headstay about an inch and it caught my attention. I lifted
the Halyard and let the Spinny loosen itself and attempted to slide
the whole mess down, alternatively relaxing and puling the Spinny inch-by-inch,
I pulled it down in about an hour. I was so happy -- the Spinny is actually
my favorite sail.
in the check-in is about how to fix stuff going wrong, who cooked what
for dinner, who hasn't slept for how long and why is Max on Solar Wind
moving so fast? He has been trucking along at 7-10 knots when everyone
else is down to 5. I know he's farther south than everyone else and
when someone said they were going to sail down to where he was, he said
"Don't. I'm sucking up all the wind and there won't be any left."
I believe him.
also talk about what they would do differently in the next trace --
equipment, boat type, weather, information etc. We're all called "Bug
Lighters" because someone said awhile ago that the SHTP race is
like a bug light for sailing's weirdos. These guys don't seem weird
to me at all. I guess that says a lot about me.
Paul (Culebra) 2010.07.04
here, on the home stretch. I'm about due north of the Big Island and
heading straight for Kauai. Just 280 nm to go, about 2 days.
the finish is finally close at hand, what comes to mind first is of
course the excitement of making landfall, seeing my wife (our anniversary
is the same day as my expected landfall), and the reward of having completed
the passage. But I must say, there is an ever-present and building excitement
I've noticed the past couple days. And that has to do with, yep, you
guessed it, food! I crave a bacon and eggs breakfast, greasy burgers,
chili, fries, mmm, fresh salad, real potatoes, fresh veggies, fresh
fruit, ice cold drinks... let's repeat that last one, ice cold drinks!
All the treats I have foregone on this trip. Mmm, I can almost taste
the winds are quite light. Slow progress. Sailing close to DDW. I would
like to raise my kite and go a bit faster. I could head up, and with
the added pressure from the kite I might even improve my VMG a touch.
But I'm concerned about the spare autopilot ram I'm now using. The seas
are so lumpy (from the tropical storms southeast of us I suspect), and
the masthead gyrations that result are pretty big. So flying the kite
would put a bigger strain on the pilot whose life expectancy is a big
unknown. Better to get there a bit slower with the pilot intact than
burn it out with just a couple hundred miles to go. So here we are,
plodding down the course with full main and poled out genoa. Every so
often, one of the primary east swells overtakes us. When it does, the
boat seems to slide downhill backwards, down it's aft-facing slope.
The wind isn't strong enough to keep us moving up the hill. The boat's
stern wags back and forth, the sails make
crashing sounds, the mast gyrates more, and one really could be overcome
by the backwards-moving blues. But no, we press on, dreaming of tasty
food, cold drinks, and warm company. The weather models indicate slightly
increasing winds... soon. Oh let's hope so. Hanalei, here we come, but
at a snail's pace!
Jeff (Hecla) 2010.07.04
from Hanalei! It was really great to finish in the daytime, get Zia
and the kids on board, and wind down with close company and a cool beverage.
18 hours of the sail were not too difficult, though hardly a cake walk.
I held a DDW course for quite a while in strong trades, 18 to 24 knots,
and make great time, even surfing to 16 knots regularly, though frankly
that kind of speed while I am in my bunk makes me nervous, and I pulled
down another reef in the main for safer sleeping. It was also the most
nervous night for me in regards to ship traffic, being only 100 miles
from Honolulu. I did have complete confidence in my AIS and radar detector,
both of which have sounded alarms reliably whenever a ship was in range,
and I did not encounter any traffic that last night.
have one very special experience that night, a moonlight rainbow. A
heavy squall was ahead of me, while behind the sky was clear with a
rising, waning full moon. An unbroken horizon-to-horizon rainbow was
centered perfectly in front of the boat, however because of the very
low light level my eye could not perceive color, and it appeared as
only a bright silvery band.
drawn in behind the squalls was unfortunate, as in that position the
squall outflow wind negates a portion of the normal trade wind and my
observed wind was light. With a big swell astern and little pressure
in the sails I could not stand the rolling and motion of the boom threatening
to gybe, so I switched back to broad reaching, sailing faster, longer,
smoother, with about the same ETA to the finish.
In the early morning I stared into the clouds on the horizon to my south,
hoping to pick out land. Eventually, jagged mountain silhouettes appeared
through the clouds, I found the island again! Yeah!
Hecla fan club assembled in the RCHQ on the bluff and cheering through
the radio, I made my final gybe onto port and came in hot, 12 knots
pointed directly at the breakers crashing on the cliff. I was more nervous
at that moment than at any other time in the race, though for no good
reason, once across the line there is plenty of room to turn down and
depower. I never saw those breakers in the 2008 night time finish! After
13 days of seeing nothing but water, sky, and 4 other vessels, that
was a bit of sensory overload.
likely the last race for Hecla and me, as she is for sale, info can
be found on yachtworld.com. I am moving to another Chris White design,
an Atlantic catamaran, and plan to do some serious cruising after the
new boat delivery next year. I do love the svelt lines and relative
lightness of being of the trimaran Hecla compared to the loftier catamaran,
though the cat makes for a more comfortable platform for guests. Hecla
is a solid and swift ocean crossing companion, and will make a comfortable
performance cruiser for a couple or small family, or for other racing
I am finished with the SSS or Transpac, I have swallowed that damn bug
and remain attracted to the buglight. Help me!
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.03
Adam at 10:37am 7/3/10:
Currently 810 miles out. Long night catching up on sleep. Animal crackers
stash almost gone. i suspect ‘a faction of the race committee’
ate some prior to my departure. Think wind!! ~Adam
Adam at 5:03pm 7/3/10:
Adam’s THREE calls. (Cell reception at Race HQ is spotty.) Flying
my twin headsails and loving it. 779 miles to go! ~Adam
from Adam at 5:40pm HST 7/3/10:
back!! Wind is 10 to 12 knots. Going DDW (dead down wind), trying to
make up some time. Beautiful day, had a good dinner. Been trying a bunch
of different sail configurations with my twin headsails. Finally dropped
the main altogether and have both the headsails poled out.
Working well. More tomorrow! Think wind! ~Adam
spoke to Jean Socrates via SSB on 7/1/10. She is en route to Hanalei!!
She had planned to do the SHTP, but ran out of time getting her new
boat ready. She is currently sailing over from New Zealand to Hawaii
to meet up with everyone.
AJ (Second Verse) 2010.07.04
on Southern Air has the absolute quote of the race so far! Adam, Sam
and I were talking on SSB on our own frequency after roll call tonight.
We are the late bug lighters, or maybe the true "late Pac"!
At one point we were talking about our morning routine.
"Well I get up from bed, have a cup of coffee, scratch my nuts,
then decide what to do."
Put of little southern accent to this is and it's the best! This has
got to be on a plaque or something.
Bob, you are right, one of the best parts of this race is that I'm 780
miles away from land on a boat by myself, but we are all sailing together.
Dave (Saraband) 2010.07.04
Saraband continues to have good sailing conditions. As before, just
a little slow for racing. I am currently wing and wing with a 130% drifter
and reefed main. The broken boom repair is not holding well, thus the
reefed main. I spent another 4 hours today with the sail down attempting
a better fix. I only succeeded in damaging one of my Aries windvane
rudders that I am using as a splint. Regardless of the boom, I expect
to be in in less than 3 more days. And I know that everyone is wishing
me well. There can be no awards ceremony without me. Saraband is carrying
the trophies over. See you soon, Dave
George (Taz!!) 2010.07.03
I have finished by now?
today - it's 4:00 pm by the way - it's been idyllic! Bright sun, white,
puffy clouds overhead, 12 knots of true wind, calm sea state.
already brown as a berry. For the first time in this trip I went forward
and sunned myself on the fore-deck under the spinny.
is humming along.
some oatmeal cookies, the jerky, and a salami sandwich, which for me
is a piece of salami and one piece of bread folded over.
some 481 miles to go, and the call of the finish is deafening. I noticed
at this morning's check-in that I lost most of the gains from the previous
day. Culebra, the nearest competitor to me, made 80 miles last night.
Every time I get close to him, he pulls another trick out of his bag
and thanks me by pulling even farther ahead.
a hard time at night due to my gauges. I can't see them. The screens
are either not bright enough or not working. For some reason, my wind
instruments shut down at about 1:30 every morning. The only other way
to find the wind is to look straight up at my masthead fly. It's illuminated
and always accurate. There are, however, two problems with it. First,
it's difficult to constantly look way up in the air, then down, then
way up in the air, over and over again. You get the picture. Second,
it's illuminated by a bright white LED light which destroys my night
vision. After looking at it, I can't see much else for a while. I usually
set the sails, then go down below. It's damp down there, but at least
there's no chance of a wave slapping me in the face. I then wait for
the noise of the sails to let me know the wind has shifted. I bet I
could have done another 9 miles last night if I would had steered a
lot more of the time. Note to self: …garbled…
is planning to greet me at the finish. That will be great. We plan to
kayak up the river to a water-fall. I hope I'm up to it. I do know there
is a huge - I mean huge - lobster dinner in my very near future.
has been mostly void of sea life for me. I see flying fish all the time,
and just a few birds - maybe 6 in total. I see no other creatures from
a flying fish the other day. It actually flew into my chest and I caught
it before it fell into the cockpit floor. It was about 6 inches long
with 5-inch wing span. It's pectoral-fins (wings) were clear. It was
having a pleasant Saturday. Mine is great. I lost about 12 pounds and
hope to put them all back on with one large - I mean LARGE - lobster
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.03
I am 880
miles from Hanalei! Things are good. I am focused on getting there.
Steady wind, but lighter than yesterday. No more than 12 knots of wind.
Still have plenty of food and water. I've been thinking about the dolphins
that I saw a few days ago. Maybe they were pilot whales. The General
doesn't think so, but there's a few more days to think it over. I'm
still plugging away out here, sailing my heart out. Think wind everyone!
Thank you again for all the halfway goodies everyone! (And Angela, I
just started reading one of the books you gave me in my halfway package.
:) ) ~Blue Moon standing by...
George (Taz!!) 2010.07.02
Happy Friday Everybody!
I'm back to sailing again. (I never actually stopped, just stopped pushing.
I needed a break. I lost a few miles to some of the competitors but
I needed to rest.)
an inventory of my food and water. Water is ok, I have about 15 gallons.
Food is another story. All my prepared food in the cooler is dog meat.
Just the sliced salami lunch meat and hot dogs are still good. That
and a couple of energy bars and some beef jerky will provide me with
protein. I have oranges, some cranberry juice, oatmeal, dried mangoes,
dried blueberries (which are nasty), dried cranberries, 1/2 loaf of
bed, cookies (April's cookies), Janet's brownies and I still have two
of Don's dried fruit ... medleys(?) ... garbled. They're so good I'm
just stretching them as long as I can.
got 661 miles to go. If I can make 140 miles a day, that's 5.2 days,
bringing me to the finish line at 2am on 7/7. I hate to cross the finish
line not under daylight because of the uncharted coral reefs but I'll
take what I can get.
huge waves and 20 knot winds have gone. The water is much gentler and
it's blowing 13 knots and later built to 20. I like about 17. Yesterday's
waves were like rocky mountains. They were jagged and steep. Being tossed
about is NOT fun, especially when you're tired. At one point I did a
face plant on the side of the hull. I hit so hard I just lay there.
The impact stopped me in my tracks. Luckily all I got was, or is, a
black and partially swollen eye.
now I'm ... garbled... from everyone. garbled... equipment is breaking
down. They are sailing more conservatively because .. garbled... they
don't want to break stuff. garbled... Everyone's spin's up, jibs are
up, it's interesting hearing ... garbled... everyone's ... garbled ...
through the radio chatter.
my number three last night. It was all beat to hell. I flew it today
and my patches held.
now I'm sailing and at 12 noon it was bright sun, 80 degrees temperature,
13 knots of wind under the main and spinny. Doing about 6 knots directly
at Hanalei Bay. Gotta go, you know where. I'm learning a lot about myself
on this trip being alone and fighting the elements for 11 days.
AJ (Second Verse) 2010.07.02
I have changed strategy. I have decided to stop running DDW and crack
off a bit and run about 25 degrees off the wind. Here is why: I can’t
get my VMG to be better than 5 knots no matter what I do! If I run DDW,
I go 5 knots. If I run 25 degrees off, I go about 6.7 SOG, which makes
my VMG 5 knots! Well fine, since the VMG is the same, it’s a win
to be off the wind. Reason #1: the motion of the boat is way better!
Doing 30 degree rolls all day (not an exaggeration!) is just short of
torture. Reason #2: The possibility of an accidental jibe is severely
decreased. I already had two of these on the trip, one pretty bad. Dave
on Saraband broke his boom last night from an accidental jibe. Let’s
the strategy of the day. Check in tomorrow for an entirely new one!
The seas are very sloppy, even the vets say this is not normal. This
run is not easy.
Verse, signing off.
John (Dream Chaser) 2010.07.02
from Dream Chaser,
After only 11 days,
it's actually starting to act like the trades. Right now I have 15 to
18 Knots, swell is only a couple of feet and this morning is the first
morning that I didn't get out of bed and put on my polarfleece jacket
to warm up. Not hot, but then neither is HI generally, but very comfortable.
I haven't worn shoes for 5 or 6 days now and am wearing nylon clothing
that is both cool and dries quickly. I haven't hit anything yet that
I would truly consider a significant squall. Right now I am doing the
impossible. I am running dead down wind (DDW) with an asymetric spinnaker.
Cool huh???? Asymmetric spinnakers are supposed to run from just forward
of 90 degrees back to about 150 degrees period. They are not supposed
to work DDW and definitely not meant to be used on the windward side
of the boat. Actually, it's even weirder than that. I am actually running
wing on wing with the spinnaker on the windward side of the boat and,
no, it's not poled out. Since it is huge-eouse I figured running that
would be faster than running wing on wing with the gennie poled out.
I am going to take it down tonight in deference to squalls and so will
be able to tell the difference in speeds then because I will switch
to the gennie poled out. Other than the two times it wrapped around
the headstay, it's been pretty maintenance free. Getting it unwrapped
and reset in 18 Kts true was exciting. Noisy too. Some people talk about
reading 23 books on the way over. I really don't understand that, really.
I have a two page "to do" list (yes, I have lists in the middle of the
ocean too) and it's growing faster than I cross things off it. No failures
of any sort except the autopilot so far, knock on wood. The list is
things like lubricating the Monitor self steering vane and mainsheet
blocks or practicing celestial navigation. Nothing critical on that
list and I hope to get back to SF and still say the same thing. It is
1:26 PM (in CA) and I still haven't eaten anything yet but have been
busy all day so far. Soooo time to do lots reading, I don't think so....
With reasonable winds in the trades, I figure I will be in Hanalei on
Tuesday. That will be 2 weeks and 3 days, just the same as last race.
Bummer, I wanted to better my time..... NBD though.....
It's Friday morning
now......... I didn't finish this Wednesday and Thursday was busy, I
didn't even check email. Let's see. Thursday was pretty blowy and lots
of squalls. The seas were pretty lumpy too, so I was getting thrown
around a bit. I decided to microwave dogfood (chile verde in this case)
to have something quick and easy. I sat down to eat it and had gotten
literally one bite and the boat rounded up. I was still on spinnaker
at that time. I threw the package in the sink, hoping some would still
be in it when I got back down and went up to deal with the boat. I got
that under control and went back down and most of my lunch had not spilled.
I finished it quickly, just in time for another round up and decided
that the spinnaker had to come down. By this time it was blowing about
20 and getting the spinnaker down without an electric autopilot was
not fun. I eventually got it done, nothing broke and I didn't get hurt,
those are the main things. Fast it was not. Then I proceeded to put
up the gennie and staysail and I poled out the gennie with the dreaded
whisker pole. All was well, I was moving nicely, so watched for a while
and went down below. I cleaned up a couple of things and decided I needed
a nap. I don't know how long I had been napping when a BBM came through.
BBM's = Big Black Mothers or big squalls. This one took the wind from
about 18 to about 35 in less than the time it took me to get into the
cockpit. The boat had come up and the poled out gennie was backwinded.
I took it off the steering vane and swung it down again and the gennie
filled with a bang and the extended whisker pole retracted itself, violently.
I found out later that Harrier had a similar experience and his whisker
pole snapped in half, so I guess retracting itself is better??? I then
discovered that the whisker pole had gone way past the stops and didn't
want to extend again. Using a winch and a cleat, I got it out again
to discover that when it self retracted, it came in so fast it sheared
off the heads of the screws holding the end of the pole on. Sheared
them "very" cleanly, I might add. With the number and the intensity
of the squalls down here this race (much worse than 2008) I am not going
to fly the spinnaker or use the whisker pole unless I am watching from
the cockpit and/or steering by hand. This will slow me down, but I will
arrive intact. Saraband snapped his boom in half last night in a squall,
so the winds are something to be careful of. He had jury patched it
by checkin time this morning and was going to try it out soon. 35 Kts
is no big thing, but going from 18 to 35 in less than a minute *IS*.......
Everything on Dream
Chaser is fine, still no significant breakage and I want to keep it
that way. Besides, I don't think there is a chance of beating Harrier
or Saraband on corrected time anyway, so why kill myself? Today is less
windy. I think it's just trying t trick me into flying the spinnaker
again so it can throw a squall at me when I am least expecting it. I
will charge batteries, do dishes, shower and clean up the boat today
and then see what's going on. I will try to eat better today too. I
have tons of great food, but have been busy and when I was done, I just
felt like going to bed, so snacked and went to bed. Band conditions
have been crummy both for talking to Jan on the radio and for doing
HF email, so I guess I will fire up the satellite phone presently and
download several days worth of email and send this.
Home stretch, 571
miles as of 11:13 AM......
Dave (Saraband) 2010.07.02
Yesterday I was going to tell you all how well everything was going
despite the awkward sea state. I never quite got around to it though.
Last night at about 11:45 we experienced an accidental gybe and broke
the boom at the vang/preventer attachment point. Saraband was running
wing and wing with the Yankee on a pole and a reefed Mainsail. Things
were going good with the boat steering well. The seas are running a
bit high though and they pushed me around a little too much. I have
made a double splint using two Aries windvane rudders lashed around
the break. It will get me to Kauai. At prsent, however, I am wing and
wing with the Yankee and Staysail,and still doing near 6k. I am still
racing to the finish. See you soon, Dave
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.07.02
passed the halfway mark! Distance to finish: 999 miles. I opened my
halfway packages this morning. I was really touched. THANK YOU everybody!!
I now completely understand why this tradition exists. I feel renewed
from all the encouragement. The wind was on the lighter side last night.
I managed to get some sleep while making some headway. Took a power
nap early this morning to prepare for a day of hand steering. It's been
consistently blowing by 15-18 knots today. I'm hoping for a 150 mile
day. It's not the most comfortable sailing, I must admit. My boat rolls
a lot due to swell when heading DDW (dead down wind). Douglas-I'm kind
of pining for S/V Tamara (Adam's previous boat, Douglas bought it) right
now. It just surfed down waves @ 14 knots no problem. ;) Had a visit
from a tern, I think, today. He kept circling my boat. He looked like
he wanted to land and rest awhile, but he eventually moved on. Ok, back
to it. Thanks again to my sponsors: Arktisma, Seawhere, RegattaPRO,
Forespar, Serversaurus, Latitude 38, Nautica, Hashimoto Photography,and
Windpilot. And thanks for the texts and halfway presents!! ~Adam
Jeff (Hecla) 2010.07.01
why does the last full day have to be so hard? Yesterday was just fantastic,
classic trade winds, mid-size spinnaker and reefed main hauling deep and
fast. Before sunset the swell built up, probably from the hurricane to
my southeast, which was not alligned with the wind waves and therefore
steering became challenged. Boat motion alone caused big sails to deflate
and repower with a bang, and it doesn't take too many bangs before something
breaks. So down they came. Steering remained difficult, with many nightime
trips to the cockpit to comfort and sort out the autopilot.
This morning the
seas were large and confused, the boat motion was still erratic, slow,
and my onboard email system would not work. Heck with the email, I need
speed. Sail combo after combo, nothing was stable or particularly fast.
Some hours on this. Hosed my second iPod, in salt water this time. So,
knowing my position in the race standings, which will be well south
of first on corrected time but easily the first to finish if nothing
breaks, I turned to the safety and comfort of dead-down-wind, a point
of sail normally to be shunned on a fast reaching boat like Hecla. The
GPS now claims a finish time somewhat sooner than any of the reaching
sail combos I had tried. I'll be there by tea time tomorrow, hold the
tea, please. Take'er to Hanalei, Francis!
Cheers, Jeff /
Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.07.01
2010- 26* 16 N, 151* 47 W, 486 miles to go
Still making good
progress to Hanalei, with less than 500 miles to go now. I anticipate
being there sometime either late Sunday or early Monday. Let's hope
things go well and I don't run into any problems. Looks like the breeze
should hold out quite nicely from what the gribs are showing.
It took me a few
days to realize this, but today I figured something out. I initially
fell 100 miles behind Adrian due to lack of breeze, but the last 40
miles are a different story. He is flat out beating me. He is sailing
his boat better than I am and i'm not ashamed to say it, but i'm getting
beat by a better sailor right now. Damnit he's making that Olson go
fast. Two nights ago I put in a good night that I was very pleased with.
I went into the radio check KNOWING I took at least 5-10 miles out of
him. Nope. He pulled me by 3. And yesterday I put in a solid day up
until radio check, and he pulled another 10 on me. So hats off to Adrian,
he is sailing very very well. I really can't wait to see him in Hanalei.
We've been chatting on the radio a lot after radio checks. We will have
many a story to tell at tree time...
Like last night
for example, was my most thorough ass kicking of the trip. At our 9
pm (we are still on Cali time) radio check, I had been down below to
take everyone's coordinates and give mine when BOOM!, a squall had come
out of nowhere. The boat was rounded up and it took every ounce of strength,
coordination and effort I could muster to get the kite in without doing
any damage to anything. The breeze went from 18 to 26 and it was misting
rain. As if by poetic justice (or irony), there was a beautiful rainbow
off to windward. So I put the kite back up and 30 minutes later I had
a line of squalls approaching, so I doused the kite for the rest of
the night. In the middle of the night, I got hit by a squall bringing
up to 34! knots of wind, so I brought down the poled out jib. It was
3 AM and I was wrecked from the day, and the previous night of no sleep,
so I sailed under main alone for about 3 hours and went down to sleep.
Last night was
an ass kicker. I've tried to get myself prepared for a difficult night
tonight as I think it will be.
I plan to sail
a bit more conservatively from now on. I can't catch Adrian at this
point, so all I can try to do is conserve 2nd in class. I very much
want to complete a successful voyage and continue to take care of the
A few more days
though, and i'll be chillin' on the beach in Hanalei, barring any difficulties.
Wish us luck
Paul (Culebra) 2010.07.01
My tiller pilot
ram gave up the ghost yesterday. I had already rounded up with the kite
3 times and wondered if the cause was that the pilot was not responding
as fast as usual. In fact, I doused the kite after the 3rd round-up
for just that reason, I was sure the pilot was shot. But I didn't get
to the spare ram in time. Shortly after the kite was down, main still
up, winds 25 kts, the ram died completely and allowed the tiller to
go hard alee. I was down below. By the way, Raymarine's solution to
this is a message on the display, Pilot Not Working, You Have the Helm!
Actually no, I don't have the helm, damnit! We rounded up with main
prevented and since the tiller was hard over we kept going through the
turn. The main popped taught as it too finally went through the wind
(its leach side first). Tore about 5" at the top batten near the leach,
but thankfully did not tear the leach. I dug out the spare ram for the
pilot, continued on. But I didn't have the energy to repair the main
before dark, and getting up on the cabin top with that bucking sea was
not in the cards, not in the dark. So I hoisted a jib and poled it out
until I could repair the main in the morning. Doused the main to protect
it from high winds and squalls at night.
Anyway, today is
good. Main repaired. Still made miles with only the poled jib last night.
Disassembled the old pilot and greased up its innards. Got rest. Figured
I don't need to try to go fast in these conditions, I go fast no matter
what scrap of sail is up. So I play it safe, keep the boat on its feet,
keep the new ram's workload down a bit.
There is a funny
part to this story. During that final roundup with the kite I was taking
a sunny cockpit bath. Yes, I was harnessed in, but only wearing soap
and water. So here I am wresting with the tiller, boat pinned on its
beam ends by a flogging spinnaker, and me in my nothings. I was able
to time my attempt to point the bow down at the same time the seas were
shadowing part of the kite. Surprisingly, I got the boat back on her
feet. But all was not good yet. The errant pilot was going to send us
into another roundup immediately if we didn't get the kite down right
then. So, we decided not to finish the bath until the kite was down
and I wrestled that task in my nothings, too. What are the odds of something
bad happening while you're taking your cockpit bath? Pretty good probably.
George (Taz!!) 2010.07.01
He had no report for us to transcribe, and instead just wanted to go
over his list of remaining provisions with me and talk about the sea
state. He needed some help determining the right way to ration his food,
which is in short supply since the coolers with dry ice did not hold
up as planned and all of that frozen food is now spoiled. He is down
to 11 oranges, 1 apple, 1 package dried mangoes, 3 packages dried fruit,
1 package dried cranberries, 1 package dried blueberries, 1 loaf of
bread, 14 packets of oatmeal, 2 energy bars, 2 snickers bars, 10 brownies,
18 chocolate chip cookies, 2 big family sized fig newton cartons, 6
hot dogs, 1 pkg salami, 7oz beef jerky, assorted ketchup, relish and
mustard, 15 gallons of water, 60 packets of EmergenC (electrolyte packets),
and 1/2 bottle cranberry juice. We talked about the benefits of protein
(stays with you longer, feel less hungry) and carbohydrate (gives you
energy), and tried to predict how many days it will take him to arrive
so as to properly ration it all. We talked about water being the most
important thing, and that he had more than enough to get to the end
He said that last
night at check-in the guys were talking about a hurricane down in Mexico,
which they feel is causing the crazy sea state they are experiencing.
As George put it, "The waves last night were like mountains. Waves driven
by wind = natural waves. But adding them to the waves driven by the
storm = confused seas which are really hard to sail through." He was
down below last night when a huge wave hit, and it knocked him hard.
He sat there for awhile just taking stock of himself and decided he
was ok. Today, he has a black eye that is partially closed, but said
reassuringly that he and his eye are fine.
In light of the
seas, his weariness (and wariness) from the hit he took, and his need
to take inventory on his provisions, he "took a break today to take
stock of himself, his food, the boat, the sails, and conditions, and
to mend sails."
to you tomorrow."
AJ (Second Verse) 2010.07.01
At 0935 this morning
Second Verse was 1060 nautical miles from Hanalei! I'm halfway! It has
been a long journey to get here, now it's time to race to the finish.
Al (Bandicoot) 2010.07.01
0800 32,17 143,08 1060 (yahoo!) 250 7.0
opened his midway box while we were on the phone this morning! One of
his cards said "if you're not living on the edge, you're taking
up too much space" -- he embraces that sentiment.
Dave (Saraband) 2010.07.01
Much of this race has been very pleasant sailing. As good as ocean sailing
can be. A spinnaker reach at 5.5k is hard to beat. It's just not good
"racing" conditions. The variety of wind and waves has been confounding.
I had a sign to back down a bit today when the pole guy parted. I quickly
replaced it and repaired the broken one - but ignored the sign. Two
hours later God commenced to remove "Big Red". He left the bagging process
to me. On another note. I love it out here. I eat what ever I want.
I am in Pasta heaven. More later, Dave on Saraband
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.30
It's been a good day! It started with the most amazing wake up "call"
just after 8am. I had just woken up and was still down below deck. All
of a sudden my boat was filled with the sound of sonar, and it was LOUD.
I popped out on deck and was greeted by roughly 50-60 dolphins. At least,
I think they were dolphins. They were larger than bottlenoses, black,
with rounded heads. They were everywhere and so close I could have touched
them! They looked like they were enjoying themselves as some raced me
down the waves, and won. Others would head straight for the side of
the boat fairly fast only to turn at the last minute and fix an eye
on me. They escorted me for about 20 minutes, then went on their way.
I wish I knew what breed of dolphin they were. What a fantastic way
to usher in a new day!
I'm also happy to report that I made some progress and also got some
sleep last night. Today I've had consistent wind all day, around 15-18
knots, up until an hour ago. I've currently got 1110 miles to until
Hanalei, and if the wind fills in tonight, I will hit the halfway point
I had a salt water sitz bath today in the cockpit. Very refreshing!
I'm surprised it's still not very hot yet. I'm sure that will change,
I've gotten a lot of texts from people thru my website. Thank you everyone
for all the encouragement! And if you didn't know, if you go to my website:
www.oceanslogic.com and click on the Sat SMS tab, you can send me a
text. Think wind! ~Adam
Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.30
June 30, 2010- 27* 42 N, 149* 15 W- 647 miles to go
Breeze ON. The breeze filled in yesterday at 3 pm and
i've had it ever since. The grib files don't show it dying, in fact
they show it being quite strong, which it has been all day. Stronger
today than yesterday. Adrian amassed a 120 mile lead on me during the
3 days I had no breeze, and the lead stayed constant throughout the
night, with him gaining 2 miles on me. But that was with me pushing
hard throughout the night! Breeze or no breeze, that guy has sailed
a kick ass race and has made things very difficult for me, so much respect
to him. It looks like he will win our class, barring any problems, and
it will be a deserved win.
I kept the masthead kite up all night long last night.
I put on some warmer clothes (it got a bit chilly) and stayed in the
cockpit. I was on a constant watch for squalls and for round-ups. No
matter how well I try to balance the boat, whenever the autopilot steers
it up a little bit, the kite starts filling from the side and bringing
the boat into a round up. The autopilot will most of the time recover
by itself, but I help it out by easing the spin sheet. I had a squall
pass in front of me, one behind me, and a line of them stay on the same
track as me, but off to starboard for a while last night. I also encountered
two squalls this morning, one of them forcing me to miss radio check-in.
I checked in a half hour later. By being on port jibe though, I was
able to fly the chute all night and not need to drop it.
In fact, i've only had to drop the kite 3 times in
the past two days, and not for the reasons you might think. Not for
squalls, not for gybes, not for sail changes, but for TRASH. Yesterday
I ran over a blue plastic tarp that wrapped itself nicely around the
keel. Drop kite, back down, hop in the water and look to make sure it's
gone, which it was. Today was a large fishing net with orange floating
buoys on it. And again today I hit something that was slowing me down
by over a knot. I never saw what it was, but I went through my backing
down routine and resumed underway, sure enough, being over a knot faster.
Getting ready for another night of standing watch in
George (Taz!!) 2010.06.30
937 NM to go
Well, we've passed
the halfway point. I say, "we" have passed the halfway point because
after opening up all my halfway gift, it is evident that I'm far from
being alone. I hope the race committee doesn't find out. Quiet, don't
tell, it's our secret.
I was overcome
by the outpouring of support from folks who I consider friends. Some
who I haven't seen in a long time, some I see weekly. I started to read
only a couple of the writings and save the rest to the end, but I stayed
up all night during a squall and read everything. It gave me new energy.
I want to thank you all - I'll thank you all when I get back. Dan and
Julie did an amazing job in thinking it up and making it happen. Thanks
guys. What a surprise.
The IYC (Island
Yacht Club) also gave me a halfway gift - it was very practical: food,
dry toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, clean t-shirt, clean underpants,
candy, all sorts of stuff, and a picture of a naked woman.
I was especially
happy to hear from Al, who I thought I had lost, and Kim and Charles.
Thanks for the picture of your big-headed baby. She's lovely and yes,
she has a big head.
to note of yesterday. I finally rounded the high and entered the trade
winds. The wind is blowing straight out at Hanalei Bay. The waves are
now hitting me from the stern causing Taz!! to roll side to side constantly.
I'm trying to get used to it. Every so often a rain storm overtakes
me and the wind suddenly spikes to 25 knots from 18. I've had a number
of knockdowns today in my first round up. The boom is always secured
with a protector and I'm always tethered, so whenever Taz!! lays down
I grab whatever is available with my hands and legs even my butt cheeks.
I've never ... garbled...
I still have to
do my food analysis. I ate something from the first ice box this morning
and it tasted bad... I ate it anyway but I'll feed the rest of it to
the fish. I know I have a ... garbled... package of oatmeal, two packages
of Fig Newtons, dried cranberries and blueberries, a loaf of bread,
Debbie's cookies, my vitamins, some beef jerky, and maybe just maybe
some edible stuff in the second cooler. I'll bet the hot dogs and the
salami are good.
I ran down my batteries
last night ... garbled... working on the single side band radio. The
auto pilot shut down until sun came up and the solar panels recharged
the batteries. I won't make that mistake again.
Anyway things are
going well. I can't see the end, but I'm going straight for it. Stay
focused and finish hard.
Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.30
Not a great
deal to report today. Yesterday was a full day of proper trades winds
(didn't I say that once before?) and I made good time. Mostly clear overnight
with little squall activity; it's so beautiful sailing at night with a
moon. The sailing is truly idyllic now, blue sky, +/- 15 knots of tropical
breeze on the stern quarter, and seas not to bad, though there seems to
be a SE swell making steering difficult, that may be from the remnants
of TS Celia. I've been alternatingly passing through schools of unusually
large and small flying fish, sizes I have never seen before.
The GPS occasionally
blinks "48 hours to go".
All well here,
although there is something in the cabin starting to smell funny.
Jeff / Hecla
Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.30
uninitiated, today was quite the day...
-passed the halfway mark just before check-in
-the winds finally settled into trade wind mode 15-20 kts true since
noon (it is 1930 now)
-I've been flying the big kite since noon also, pointing straight at
Hanalei, no more contrary dogleg in the isobars sending me south
-the autopilot has proven it can handle the still confused sea with
the kite up (cross swell from the N)
-I got to drive the boat with the big kite up as the remnants of a squall
passed over, and let me say this, at 25 kts true wind just off DDW,
Culebra is as stable as a locomotive on rails (we were doing over 10
-handling the boat in the first really fun conditions of the trip has
chased away the grumbling about LIGHT air and completely WRONG gribs;
-I opened my half-way packages (yes, 2), one from the wife and kids
and one from my sailing buddy Larry. Honey (meaning Melissa, not Larry)
THANK YOU for the treats and pictures. The pics are hanging proudly
in the cabin and they bring GREAT cheer. I miss you guys. I especially
like all the fruit treats. I'm craving fruit on this trip. Perfect!
And to the kids, the music is perfect. Thank you, thank you! Now about
Larry's gift, I mest sye thut i thinn ah meyt huv hadd toew muuch! Ah,
no not too much. First a gift to Neptune, then a toast to Larry and
all the family and friends back home, and finally a swig for me. That
would be Ron Matusalem Rum, Gran Reserva from Cuba, well, technically
from Dominican Republic, but the original formula is Cuban. Mmm, very
nice. A very hearty thank you. (I'll be sure to save some for you Larry,
unless of course on the return I get a little thirsty.) Thank you all
great half-way celebration.
Culebra (down into 3 digits now, under 1000 to go, can't wait to see
you Melissa in Hanalei)
AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.29
was a good day. It started our pretty bad and ended up great. I had
a tough night last night, I just couldn’t figure how to get my
boat pointed in the right direction with top speed. I jibed 5 times
during the night (give me a break!). This morning I was resolved to
just head DDW for Hanalei. I prevented the main very deep and pointed
the bow to 245 true. It worked! We made around 6.1 during the entire
day and she was pointed in the right direction! This is the trick. It
is easy to get the boat to 7.5 or even greater, but if she’s pointed
to Japan, who cares! I think I got the hang of the different techniques
regarding wind speed, direction, and sea state. Sailing in the Bay and
sailing on the ocean are two entirely different games.
funny story from today:
few hours ago I happened to fire up the laptop to take a look at my
AIS. Oh shit, a cargo ship was headed right at me and its CPA (closest
point of approach) was only 50 yards! You got to be kidding me, we are
in the middle of the ocean and its CPA is only 50 yards! Also, it’s
TCPA (time to closest point of approach) is in 15 minutes. Not good.
My AIS takes a few minutes to give me the name of the vessel, but I
couldn’t wait for the name, so I started hailing the vessel with
the Lat/Lon coordinates. No response. So I tried again, no response.
Now our TCPA is down to about 10 min. Stress! Finally, I hear a voice
on VHF 16, “This is the cargo ship Triple Seven calling sailing
vessel”. “Yes, this is sailing vessel, go ahead.”
“Sailing vessel, what is your problem, we see you on radar, and
you don’t need to keep calling us.” I haven’t laughed
so loud in a long time! We ended up talking for 20 minutes and had a
great time. He passed me to starboard pretty damn close! I’ll
remember this one.
well aboard the good ship Harrier.
Flying the chute, surfing a bit. Enjoying the moment. Opened half way
gift from Gracie last night. Loved the whale shark with note in his
mouth! It's about the only aquatic animal sighting so far.
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.29
was challenging. Due to very light wind I had to hand steer most of
the night. I did manage to get a couple of little naps in today. I'm
about 2 days away from the halfway point. I'm in the trades, but it
must be an off year. I'm eating well and am glad to still have lots
of fruit left. I'm also glad Nautica gave me some nice, clean clothes.
That's one thing I've got going for me. :) More tomorrow! Adam
George (Taz!!) 2010.06.29
at 4:00 PM PDT:
Food. My first
cooler is warm, and I'm concerned that that food has gone bad. I've
never opened the second cooler. It's been sealed from the start. I'm
afraid to open it because of what I might find. I'll open it later after
my morning chores and evaluate my whole food situation. My water is
I'm in a small
storm, and it's rainig. Winds went from 10 to 19 in a matter of a minute.
the sea state is 3-foot swells with 4-foot waves, and a little bouncy.
I made up a few
miles on a lot of the boats last night. The wind was 13 and sometimes
16. I needed to reef the main, but decided not to - to go forward in
I'm making very
measured movements so as not to make a mistake nor hurt myself. Taz!!
rounded up a few times last night even though I had a lot of backstay
on and the main sheet ...garbled... Didn't sleep much. Hope to nap during
the day today.
I feel good. My
hands are working again. They've been strong most of my adult life and
I've leared to rely on them. I'll have to wait for a quieter sea state
to do my stretches.
It's time to play
some music. I feel like some heavy guitar. Stevie Ray Vaughn, George
Thoroughgood, ZZ Top.
Oh, and I should
reach the halfway point today. I'll dance around playing my air guitar
and open my halfway presents.
This race is about
endurance - of the boat and the body and the spirit. Push too hard and
the first two suffer. Don't push hard enough and the last one takes
I have to learn
to define my victory as I see it. Time to rock with some music.
I passed the halfway
point at about 12:30 today. Danced around the boat a little bit. Didn't
dance to music because I was busy sailing, and the sea state wouldn't
let me get up out of my seat so I just danced with my shoulders and
my legs, sitting down.
I'm really, really,
really tired. Didnt eat much all day - just a handful of dried cranberries.
So I'm coking some food now. I put up some smaller sails, and I'm down
below getting out of the sun, and I'm taking care of business.
Love you all, take
care, and I'll talk to you later.
By the way, thanks
for the encoragement.
Dan tells me that
there are a lot of people following my trip and supporting me. And I
really appreciate it. I need all the help I can get.
Talk to you guys
later. See you when I see you.
[P.S. from Dan
- George said on the phone that he was planning to open his halfway
package tonight around sundown, once he gets a little food and rest.]
Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.29
2010- 30* 00 N, 146* 32 W, 839 miles to go.
So i'm still sitting
here in the middle of the ocean with 3 knots of breeze, making 2 knots
of boat speed. This. Is. So. Old.
Oh well. Breeze
will eventually come, and i'll eventually get there. I think breeze
might *actually* start filling in tomorrow. Hopefully like 10-12 out
of the east, and something reliable....
The good news is
I got to be a glutton on Fig Newtons this morning. (Kat, we definitely
should have gotten the fruit bars from the fruit stand. I would kill
for those peach apricot ones. Next time... Can you bring a pack of the
peach apricot, fig and strawberry ones to hawaii? I'm craving them in
this light air.)
It is extremely
sunny and hot. Humid as well. The definite trade wind weather pattern
(except for the wind) is definitely alive and well, with white cumulus
clouds and occasional grey cumulonimbus rain clouds in the day. And
last night, I had my first squall. I had 10-12 knots of breeze for a
couple of hours, and was flying the chute at the time. Because I had
decent breeze and had the kite up at night, I was in the cockpit. All
of a sudden the breeze jumped to 15-18 and the boat started to round
up slightly. Just as the autopilot was fully maxed out in turning the
rudder, I grabbed the tiller, pressed 'stop' on the AP, and did a huge
ease on the spin sheet. I saved it perfectly, and then went dead downwind
and doused the kite. I waited it out a coupe minutes and had 22-24 knots
of breeze with the cold rain that squalls are famous for. I hand-steered
through it, and after 10-15 minutes, it ended and the breeze moderated,
so I went back up with a poled out jib. Don would have been proud. For
the first time in days, I patted myself on the back and was extremely
Still on a slow
boat to Hawaii.... I think we are going to make commemorative shirts
after the race for the "Great Transpacific Yacht Crawl". Will this be
the slowest year in history???? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode
of "Yacht Drifters"!
Unless the breeze
improves drastically, this will be my 3rd consecutive sub-100 mile day.
I've had more productive days on a $1,000 Cal 25. Wow.
Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.29
tropical routine is as I described earlier, but the rapid transition from
day conditions to night conditions is fascinating. The clear, dry, hot
and mellow day conditions start to fade about an hour before sunset. Large
cottony clouds start to form where minutes earlier there was clear sky.
A dampness formed on the deck from condensation, and some clouds started
to drop rain. A few to my east sported small segments of vividly colored
rainbows benieth them, no need for a radar to know what is happening there.
By actual sunset the sky was fully cloud covered, with a few mean looking
dark clouds lurking in the mess. Then come the wind shifts +/- 40 degrees,
and speed change from 3 to 20 knots. The behaivior of these shifts is
somewhat predictable, knowing that the squall is a downdraft which causes
winds to fan out around it and add that wind component to the big picture
steady winds. If I was able to gybe in 2 minutes instead of 20, I could
work these shifts to my advantage. But, Hecla is a big boat and one ordinary
human being without any power assist cannot perform these functions any
faster. I just make sure I don't have too much sail up, hold my course
and hang on.
At 5am I woke up
surrounded by big black clouds. A few silvery shafts of moon light pierced
the scene. The radar showed I was completely encircled by about 5 squall
cells, each with good rain. No "exit stage left" out of this one! It
felt as if I were being escorted by a troupe of hippogriffs, mythical
creatures that are powerful, meanacing, capable of either serious damage
if insulted or generous assistance if treated with respect. I have been
paying my respect to these creatures, and I had a good ride. For an
hour I remained encircled, enjoyed 20 knots of wind, and advanced my
position toward Hanalei by 12 miles. The squalls eventually dissipated
and I was left with clear sky. Some good wind remains!
Jeff / Hecla
June 29, 11am
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.28
not much wind today. I'm sailing wing-on-wing with one of my twin headsails.
I've been going about 4-1/2 knots. Just waiting for the wind to fill
in. I covered about 100 miles yesterday, but I'll be lucky to get anywhere
close to that today. Had a Matson tanker, the Mokihana, hail me today.
We had a nice little chat. He said that they were on their way to Oakland
from Hawaii, then down to L.A. and back to Hawaii. He said he'd pass
me again on the way back. At this rate, that's possible. Thinking about
putting up the spinnaker if the wind is this light again tomorrow.
Other than wishing for wind, I'm doing my routine of eating, napping,
and talking on the SSB. AJ and I were trash-talking earlier. It's on,
AJ! It's actually been on for a few days now, but that's not the point.
More tomorrow! ~Adam
Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.27
I like to do the fun race to Monterey, the Spinnaker
Cup. And usually its a blast down with a chute after you round San Pedro
Rocks. One yeaer we had light winds on the nose the entire way (a southerly
surge I guess). We dubbed it the Genoa Cup. Maybe we should call this
the Transpacific Yacht Crawl. I have been reaching in beam seas since
day 1. Even the past 2 days when I had the chute up it was only because
winds were so light I could push the apparent wind forward to the beam
and reach. These contrary isobars are nutty. I've been riding a dogleg
in the isobars that takes me almost due south. So this morning I doused
the chute and put up the genoa again. I'm reaching to Hanalei! Bob,
where are those fabled long steady swells and mid-teen winds off the
Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.28
1010- 30* 23 N, 144* 47 W
have actually gotten slower. I have exactly 0 knots of breeze right
now, and have not had more than 3 knots of breeze all day long. With
my sails up, i'm at least drifting in the right direction, making about
.8 knots of boat speed at the moment. I have the main prevented out
and jib poled out, both flapping back and forth, and it at least lets
me move at wind speed. I had a serious talk with myself yesterday, and
decided that I needed an attitude adjustment. I was set to be in a more
positive mood, but this is getting old with a quickness. I don't mind
a long passage, but at least let me make progress. This is ridiculous.
I would need to look back through the SH Transpac records, but I think
this may very well go down as the slowest SH Transpac in history. Adrian
is south of me, and has some kind of lane, because he had 12-18 knots
all day yesterday and had breeze through the night. He is like 50+ miles
up on me now, steadily pulling away. He has gained 100+ miles on me
in 2 days. Grib files are showing 7-8 knots of breeze for my location,
but i'm at 1.8 right now. Now 2.4, now 1.6, now 0.4, now 2.0, now 1.2.
You get the idea. I hate to sound like a whiny bitch, but this is relentless.
I didn't bring enough books either.
the plus side, my iPod is charged, it's really sunny out, and I can
lounge around in the cockpit. Unfortunately, this no longer feels like
a "race" when your competitors can sail away and you are sitting
still. Oh well. Trying to just relax and have a good time now, and make
it to Hawaii. Eventually.
Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.28
was very busy with thick squalls all around, a good deck washing rain,
though none of them packed much wind power. There is an old rhyme, "rain
before the wind, sheets and halyards mind" meaning if rain from a squall
is first to arrive, then expect a blast of wind to follow. So the drill
went something like rain, take down big sail, wait, wait, wind peaks at
14 knots, then back to 3. Sigh. OK, it doesn't really rhyme, but it's
the best modern english can come up with and it works for me.
Now mid-day it
is a roaster-drifter. I am making 5.0 knots good to Hanalei in 4.7 knots
of true wind with a blazing tropical sun directly overhead. This condition
is Baby Huey's specialty, combined with Francis's tight steering performance.
I would be hard pressed to maintain this speed performance if I was
forced to hand-steer. The big spinnaker in light air will only draw
in a very narrow wind angle range, and the true wind is constantly wandering
about +/- 10 degrees or so.
development, the refrigeration coolant pump failed, and the beer was
getting warm. Spare installed, all good!
Cheers, Jeff /
George (Taz!!) 2010.06.28
12:30 PM PDT
I fixed the traveler
this morning. I like what I did. It should hold up for the remainder
of the trip. I can now adjust the traveler no matter what tack I'm on.
My hands felt week.
I'm not sure what that's about, but I feel OK. I feel a little lethargic,
but not stir crazy even though there's a lot to do here and a small
place to do it.
I made 55 miles
last night, which is pretty good, given the light, variable winds. This
morning it died at sunrise, by 11:00 picked up to 8 knots true.
I can't head directly
toward Hanalei. The wind is driving me south, and I have to keep the
apparent wind up. It's the apparent wind - the wind over the sails -
that actually drives the boat. At this rate I'll finish around Halloween.
just 20 miles ahead told me this morning that we are in a narrow band
of light winds and it should pick up. He can download weather information.
I, on the other hand, can only just try to sail this puppy as fast as
I cried like an
old fool last night and this morning. I hit a wall - a psychological
one. If I'm not going to win, then what? It's pretty evident that I'm
not even close.
I found a little
package Kelsey gave me when I pushed off two Saturdays ago. It contains
little cards that she made up - one for every day. They are Ögarbled..
little nautical stuff glued on, funny stuff, scriptures, and words of
encouragement. One in particular really touched me. She said how lucky
I was to be able to live my dream. That did it for me, because she's
right. It's all the motivation I really need. You know what they say,
out of the mouths of babes. We've always been good for each other, and
this time she's right on the mark.
I'm starving, the
wind has just picked up even stronger, and now I'm pointing straight
at Hanalei Bay at 7 knots. And, by the way, it's starting to rain.
Take care, thanks
for everything, love you guys,
John (Dream Chaser) 2010.06.28
It is currently
raining, well, heavy misting actually, and the wind just stopped (again).
My spinnaker is just hanging limp and I'm going nowhere. This has been
the case all too often over the last 36 hours. Actually, just thought
"what a good time to run the engine and charge the batteries" so I am
multitasking and doing that now too. I know several of us are frustrated
and somewhat depressed by the lack of wind. I had thought this was going
to be a windy year and for the first couple of days it was, but since
then it's been a drift-a-thon........ Nice conditions for working on
the boat, relaxing either in the cockpit or down below, cooking, cleaning
up (I took a hot shower yesterday, felt good), reading, working on hobbies,
etc, but not good for sailboat racing. It does polish up your light
air sailing technique though or can if you try to keep the boat moving
and not just heave to and wait for the wind to come back. For instance,
I am doing 1.3 Kts now, and I'm thinking it's the exhaust from running
the engine, acting like a jet engine, that's pushing me forward, cause
there's no wind out there. The good news is the 1.3 Kts is pushing me
toward Hanalei anyway. It is really hard to think in "race mode" after
days and days of these conditions. I wanted to race, not do boat chores
and read and clean up things......... It is pleasant conditions and
I *am* on the water on the way to one of the prettiest spots on the
planet though, so I guess I shouldn't pout just cause I don't have any
wind right now??? I try to keep thinking like that, but I slip back
into race mode and get frustrated occasionally. Another positive is
I have had the dreaded spinnaker up and down several times, mostly up,
over the last 36 hours. I am no longer afraid of it and know pretty
well what it will and won't do and when to get it down (in a hurry sometimes).
Great thing I had it too, because I would be 200 miles behind where
I am without it. Funny too, as I used it for about 4 hours on the 2008
race and the rest of the time I was either close hauled or DDW. At my
current rate of progress, I will have to leave the boat in Hanalei for
the winter because I will not get there much before Hurricane season.
:-) Just kidding. We will get wind one of these days and the second
half of the race is always way faster than the first. I remember thinking
in 2008, about the same point in the race, that I would not make the
finish in time for the banquet. Then I got into the trades and did a
couple 180+ mile days and there I was in Hanalei. The General and I
were just talking to AJ on HF and I think he was more depressed than
I was. Ken and I assured him it would get better and, yes, he would
make the banquet. Just keep slogging along and make as many miles as
you can in the right direction in the light air even though it's frustrating.
I wanted to just drop the sails last night, for instance, and still
managed to drift 42 miles toward Hanalei. With wind, I should do double
that in the same 12 hour period, hence the frustration, but 42 miles
is *way* better than 0 miles, which is what I would have seen with the
Other than that,
let's see. I caught a piece of a fishing net, probably on the prop yesterday.
Fortunately I saw something orange trailing deep behind the boat. I
stopped and got it with a boat hook and brought it in. I had to tug
to pull it loose so I think it was snagged on the prop. It was orange
and black and the orange part was trailing. If the black part was trailing,
I might not have seen it and if it was, indeed, caught on the prop,
when I started the engine and put it in gear in Hanalei, things could
have gotten very ugly very quickly.......
Ahhhhhhh, the wind
is filling in, I am up to 1.9 Kts.................. Scratch that, I
reread the message and I'm at 1.3 again.......
Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.27
been lots of sailing so far. :) Been tidying up the boat. Everything was
everywhere and wet, too. Taking advantage of the warmer weather to dry
things out. Hoisted up one of my new twin headsails today. It's a very
nice looking sail! Let's see if I can put it to work. Yesterday, I averaged
112 miles, even with a few light air spots. I'm trying to keep the little
folk boat going 5, sometimes even 5-1/2, knots at minimum. I've been exploring
all my food options. I'm enjoying protein shakes right now.
Since I've been
out here, I noticed the rhythm I've gotten into and sleep isn't an issue
anymore. At night, I reef in the main and tighten in the jib; I keep
the AIS on at night to alert me of freighters; turn on my timer that's
set to ring every 30 minutes; then I go to sleep. Every 30 minutes,
I get up and scan the horizon, maybe adjust the windvane a bit and repeat
this until I'm ready to be awake. Then, later in the day when the mood
suits me, I go down below and take a nap, or two, using the same 30
minute timer. A funny thing happened last night, however, I did my routine,
I turned on my timer, but when it went off I thought, "Man, that was
quick." This thought repeated itself in my head a few more times before
I figured out that somehow my 30 minute timer was now a 7 minute timer.
That explains why I felt so exhausted! Tomorrow, I'm planning on hand
steering most of the day and probably for the next couple of days. I
feel like I'm just on the edge of the trade winds. The wind actually
feels like it's picking up so I will sign off.
Hi to my family!
And just wanted my GD and GM to know that Miss Emmie, the windvane,
steered a great course during those first couple of bad weather days.
She's a trooper!
Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.27
2010- 31* 21 N, 143* 29 W
There is NO breeze right now. It's blowing 3 in the trades right now,
and if you've ever tried to sail downwind in 3 knots of breeze, you'll
know how frustrating it is. This blows. (Figuratively, not literally.)
My 50 mile lead on Idefix had dwindled to 24 by last night, and this
morning, he was 3 miles up on me. So I lost 27 miles overnight. Ouch.
And i'm surely losing more today.
But I can't let that ruin me, there's still a lot of sailing to do before
Hawaii. I have gybed 3 times today and am now on a port gybe heading
almost due south, trying to heat it up on a reach and create more boat
speed. Right now i'm doing 3.4 knots of boat speed in 3.2 knots of breeze.
I just hope Adrian is going as slow. Otherwise, he's going to kill me.
Normally, I wouldn't go south of say 200 degrees or north of 280 degrees
as Stan Honey and Skip Allan recommend, but desperate times call for
desperate measures. I've got to keep the boat moving.
Ok, enough negativity. Last night I reached the halfway point of 1060
miles to go. I opened up my halfway gift from my girlfriend and it was
a moment i'll never forget. I was bobbing around in the ocean, furious
with the lack of wind, and then I read her sweet card, saw the thoughtful
book she gave me, saw some pictures of us together that she had put
in there, and it was just very special. So thank you to Kat for your
love and support. You made my night. And Ladonna and Rob, you guys rock!
Likewise, your friendship is very special to me and the halfway gift
meant a lot to me. Also, Jan and his wife from Marina Village Yacht
Harbor and Gary Gebhard and his wife each gave me a bottle of red wine
for a halfway gift. I haven't had any yet. Maybe it would put me in
a better mood....
I've never worked so hard to go so slow! I'm working my butt off out
here constantly trimming sails, hand steering, gybing, and adjusting
the autopilot to get max boat speed. I hate letting Adrian get away.
I wish I could just cruise and have fun, but i'm too competitive for
that. It's a race and I want to do as well as possible, so bobbing around
while my competitor gains steadily on me just kills me. Gybing is an
interesting process. Steer downwind, douse kite, re-set EVERYTHING to
the other side, gybe the main, then re-hoist the kite and adjust course.
Takes about 30 minutes. Oh well, i'm staying busy....
4 now! Gotta go.
1016 miles to Kauai
Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.27
I have sailed a lot of miles in this ocean looking for reliable wind,
and I thought now that I am in the trade wind zone I would have it to
the finish. But no! Today is a drifter, squeezing what I can out of
a 5 knot, barely perceptible breeze. It is a nice day though, I have
come to accept my late arrival and possible mistakes along the way as
what it is, and I'm enjoying the journey as best I can! Lots of beer
left (sorry for those of you in Hanalei expecting some) and where is
that fishing pole anyway?
On a treasure
hunt: Jeff / Hecla
|from Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.27
here, as of 1430 on June 27...
fine little boat. (Craig, you would be so proud of her!) I have been
watching the speedo in the cockpit for the past 2 hours with true winds
in the mid-teens and apparent wind just aft of the beam (to make her
go fast). The .75 oz. kite is up (has been for 48 hrs straight), there's
a slight beam sea, and the workhorse autopilot is at the helm. Boat
speeds have been in the 7s and 8s continuously, and she's remained balanced
and stable. A fine boat indeed, and cozy inside. Incidentally, the autopilot
never complains, tolerates long watches, and helms like a pro (better
than I can). Sure, he doesn't like foredeck work, but who does. I take
care of trim and sail changes. It's a good partnership. We had a good
run last 24 hrs despite the still weaker winds of nighttime and early
morning. I expect another good run today. Hanalei (the promised land)
I heard a thumping on the hull that I recalled hearing subconsciously
days before. Oh no, had I been dragging something for days? Is it scratching
the hull? One becomes familiar with every sound a boat makes at sea,
and an unfamiliar one can drive you mad. Reluctantly, just as the miles
were finally ticking down, I decided to try Skip's suggested maneuver
to clear debris, one he calls "backing down" the boat. I doused
the chute, headed into the wind with the main backed, and forced the
boat to "sail" backwards. With luck, the opposite flow of
the water over the keel (or rudder) would clear any hung debris. Well,
a monster floater of PVC pipe appeared under the bow. Impossible. No
way could that have been attached to the boat. Must have already been
right here, just didn't see it as I was backing her down. Took video
of the thing and cursed anyway. After much labor in repacking and hoisting
the chute (my first attempt at hoisting failed--I tried without repacking
and nearly tied the thing in knots half-way up), I climbed back into
my berth for a short rest. Wouldn't you know it, the thumping was still
there. Well I wasn't going swimming, and I was getting really perturbed.
Then it came to me in a flash: could it be the smacking of water in
my water tank against the walls of the tank, just under the settee?
Quick investigation revealed, yes! Hoo boy, mystery solved and peace
of mind. (Well, it sounded like thumping on the hull, what can I say.)
A good learning experience (one of many).
Word from Ruth is that David King, DFS ("D...
Fine Sailor") appreciates the fact that Saraband has arrived in
the trade winds. His usual synchrony with boat, sea and wind is evident.
Last night he said his tri-radial spinnaker had been up all day. He
employs the 2 pole gybe to keep "Big Red" functioning as a
"magnificent sail." A 12 inch flying fish landed on board
but was not considered for dinner. Eating goes well, as usual, by Westsail
standards. Of course the albatross keeps vigil. Dave appreciates the
efforts of fellow competitors, particularly, the "Porsche"
and "Ferrari" in the race! Guess he'll be opening his halfway
gift pack very soon!
|from Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.27
Yesterday was a truly glorious sailng day, blue sky,
some clouds, enough wind for some speed though I would be happy with
5 knots more! No problems, not much work. I kept the spinnaker (small
one) up all night again, need everything I can get, so that required
30 minute squall checks all night. Luckily I was in a squall-free lane,
though I saw significant activity both to the north and south. This
morning it is almost back to drifting conditions, quite unusual for
the trade wind zone.
Yesterday afternoon marked the half-way point for me,
1060 miles to go. Cheery presents! Clean underwear and a sponge bath!
Today marks the end of my fresh food! Better make sure
I brought the can opener. I can confirm that the beer is cold and the
bottle opener works.
Jeff / Hecla
|from George (Taz!!) 2010.06.27
It's starting to rain. I just skirted this ominous
black cloud and now I'm looking behind me where the wind is coming from
and I see a very large black cloud. As I look around, there are black
clouds all around me. Where are they coming from? How did they get there?
And then wind, glorious wind. I have plenty of it now.
Now I can play. There's also a double-edged sword. Dark clouds brought
swirling winds that wrapped the spinney around the fore-stay. I cleared
it. The auto-pilot can't handle this much wind in the spinney. I finally
got it down - the spinney, and I'm running off the wind under the main
only. Six knots of boat speed. The sea state is rough and the boat is
being tossed around. So I engaged the preventer to keep the boom on
the port side. I don't need that thing flying about.
The sun will be setting in about 2 hours, and I think
I'll fly the twins tonight. It's safer and still fast. The twins are
a couple of 125% jibs sewn together along the leading edge and flown
poled out on either side of the fore-stay. The auto-pilot will like
that. Some people call it …(garbled)… but it just involves
the spinney, and the main can come down actually if I want it to.
I made some good time today. I was rarely below 6.7
knots. I don't know - I should check in tonight - if I caught Culebra,
which is about 14 miles ahead of me. She beat me by 2 minutes 31 seconds
in last year's 400 mile long-pac race. Under 3 minutes after a 5 1/2
day race. Paul's a good sailor, especially when he smells blood.
The rain stopped just enough to re-energize all the
salt that's coated everything.
I've been thinking about a friend of mine, Robert Gee.
Gee comes from New York Ciy's Chinatown and I've known him for a few
years now. I know him to be honest and not prone to boasting. However,
he claims to make the best ribs in town. Well, I've been known to burn
some pig meat every now and then myself. So I'd like to officially challenge
Gee to a rib-off this summer. I propose that the winner gets boasting
rights and a quarter. If he's not reading this I'll challenge him in
person when I get back. Gee, you've been challenged.
I've been having a difficult time remembering to drink
water. It's such a pain. Note to God: if you ever decide to re-engineer
humans, make the thirst-response kick-in way before you need it, not
after. Well, I've got to put up the twins. Enough lolly-gagging.
[Julie's note: The prior part was written and read
to us, the below was off the cuff...]
That's what I wrote.
Everything's fine, I'm just tired. The boat's always
pitching, it's always moving. The sun's starting to come out, and that
always brightens my spirits. But at night, things are starting to break.
The auto-pilot - I can't adjust it now from inside - I have to go all
the way to the back of the boat to change the heading a couple of degrees.
My head-lamp that I'm wearing at night is starting to flicker and go
out. I've got plenty of batteries. It must be salt starting to get into
So I've realized that there's a physical challenge
to this race, but the mental challenge is staying on it. Wanting it
bad enough to stay on it. And to make those sail changes, and to run
to the back and adjust things, and to pull the jib a little tighter
when it needs to be pulled, in spite of your hands hurting. I undertsand
the marathon now, but it's still a sprint. And the sprint is not forgiving
that I want to win. And if I don't want to win, I want to do myself
proud. I wonder how my competitors - we don't talk about that. I'm not
sure, maybe I'll bring it up at this morning's roll-call. I don't know
where they are. They've got to be hitting the wall, too. Some of them
have probably already hit it. AJ talked about last night he caught a
fish. So he's off fishing. I thought about fishing, and I thought I
don't need another thing to do in my life right now, like fishing. What
am I going to do with it? Just turn it back in? Then I have to get the
hook out of it's mouth, then I'll feel bad that I've injured it - yadda-yadda-ya.
Things are going well. I'm physically great. A little
sore. Hands have to be soaked again. So things are going well. The boat
is holding up. Only because I'm paying attention, I think. If I sailed
as hard as I wanted to all the time, i think things would start to wear
out and break. So I can't push things harder than they can handle, including
Hope you're well. Have some eggs and bacon and grits
or something, because I certainly would love to have some. And you should
Love to you all. Talk to you next time.
|from Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.27
a decent amount of breeze and pretty skies all day. It isn't as warm
as I hoped it would be by now. Had to wake up a few times last night
to tend to the wind vane and re-set it. I'm a little tired today, but
I took a nice nap this afternoon. I'm still on a beam reach.
I'm so happy to have the SSB for my trip. I've really enjoyed the chatter.
The check-ins help create a focus for me. It's been great and motivating
seeing where everyone is in the morning and then again in the evening.
Talked with the General and John on Dream Chaser. They were telling
me how nice it was doing this race on their boats. They don't feel like
they're camping. What's wrong with camping? I've been thinking a lot
about what it would be like on a boat with more of an interior and standing
headroom. Actually, I can see it being worth it on a racy boat because
it would go 16 knots, who cares about your interior then?
It's been a very cool experience so far. I have tremendous respect for
all of the other sailors. And I really appreciate all the support of
the race committee, friends and family, and the support of my sponsors.
The watch Nautica gave me comes in quite handy! More tomorrow! ~Adam
| from Ken (Harrier) 2010.06.26
is well aboard Harrier. Having found a "heavy" glass bottle of Pacifico,
the skipper is forced to sit in the cockpit watching the the breeze
pick up and consume said bottle of beer in order to lighten the ship
and pick up that extra knot or two. Watch out! all those with bets in
| from Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.26
26, 2010- 31* 53 N, 140* 47 W
an absolutely wonderful day yesterday, I had a few very very difficult
hours. All is well right now though and we are sailing under full main
and masthead spinnaker in the trade winds right now. Also, I anticipate
hitting the halfway point of 1060 nm to go sometime tonight. It's all
downhill from there.
was the first time that I was able to fly the kite on this now week
old trip. The trades were pretty fresh yesterday, blowing up to 20 for
much of the day. I got the kite up okay but then had a couple of round
ups, where the boat was completely laid over on its side. They were
very gentle rounds ups and I recovered from them very quickly. Just
ease the spin sheet (a lot) and pull on the tiller until the boat recovers,
sheet back in, and you're on your way! It just took me a little bit
of time to get going and get things under control. There was a cross
swell that was causing the boat to constantly want to round up, though,
and it was difficult to steer to. The autopilot had a lot of difficulties
as well, and it made me round up once while I was below, using the head.
(a white plastic bucket) Even with my sail plan balanced and the sails
properly trimmed, the cross swell made it very difficult to steer to...
I believe the cross swell was because the wind had been blowing out
of the wrong direction for a few days. The autopilot is steering well
right now, though.
we were nice and settled though, the swell began coming more from the
stern and the breeze picked up. SURF CITY. We were surfing all day long.
It was without a doubt the most fun 6-8 hours of sailing in my life.
My iPod was crankin', the sun was out and I had a water bottle and a
couple Clif bars readily accessible so that I didn't have to leave the
helm. I'm sure the autopilot could have steered me just fine, but I
didn't want to leave the helm! I think in her previous life, "Warrior's
Wish" was a surf board. Not sure what my fastest speed over ground was,
but I saw 10s and 11s on the speedo a few times. With more breeze, and
not being loaded full of so much gear, i'm sure this boat could hit
15 or more.
then some trouble happened. The autopilot just stopped working. I was
in the cockpit when it happened, so I quickly grabbed the helm and continued
hand steering, tying the helm off when it was balanced, so that I could
could begin figuring out the problem, in 30 second intervals away from
the helm. I couldn't figure out the problem, so I dropped the spinnaker
and then dropped the main. Getting the kite down with no autopilot was
difficult, as the boat started rounding up slightly when I was dousing
it, and the sail quickly powered up. With the sail halfway down, I blew
the spin sheet and gathered the kite up out of the water. The spinnaker
sheet ended up going under the boat, though, wrapping itself around
the keel and rudder somehow. So when I dropped the main, I dove on the
boat and unwrapped the sheet from the rudder so that I could simply
pull it back on board. I spent a little while cleaning everything up
and then put on the back up tiller pilot. Back up with the main and
the Raymarine ST2000 tiller pilot steered me pretty well actually. But
I couldn't go as deep since it just works off of compass heading. With
the boat moving again, I set out to figure out what was wrong with the
pilot. I went through the whole system and then remembered there was
a switch to switch between back up pilot and autopilot power. Somehow
that switch had been flipped and the hydraulic pump was not getting
power for the primary autopilot. Flip the switch and presto! the autopilot
works. In hindsight, I feel a bit stupid for not checking that switch
first, but oh well, i'm still learning this boat a bit and figuring
her out. Lesson learned.
an extremely frustrating and tense couple of hours.
time, it was almost dark, so I did my 9pm radio check-in, and then set
a poled out jib. I'm not planning on flying the spinnaker at night.
My vision is really bad at night, and I just see too many potential
problems and risks associated with doing so. If it were my own boat,
maybe I would, but it's not my own boat and I don't want to take any
an hour ago, the outhaul for the main sail broke. So the main was all
billowed out, really loose, with no tension on the clew. I had already
eased it a lot since we're running downwind, but i'm guessing it probably
chafed through somehow. It's probably not a very difficult fix, and
won't be expensive, but to fix it properly will require removing the
boom, so it's something i'll do in Hawaii. Fortunately, we are going
downwind, so you don't need much tension at all on the clew. I got a
piece of spectra from inside, and put a small block on the end of the
boom. Running deep, I sheeted way in on the main and traveled it way
up, to take all of the power out of the sail so that I could work with
it. Then I tied a bowline knot around the clew, ran it through the block
on the end of the boom, back up to the clew, wrapped it around a couple
times and tied it off. Should be an effective jury-rig. Fortunately,
we're not going upwind, where you actually need an outhaul and foot
tension. I will check the spectra for chafe, periodically.
looking forward to hitting the halfway point and being on the home stretch!
on the Olson 30 is down to 32 miles. It was up to 44, but I lost 4 miles
to him yesterday when I had problems, and then 8 last night. I wonder
if he's flying his kite at night. I figure my problems yesterday cost
me 15 miles or so, so without those problems, I probably still would
have gained. After 1,000 miles of racing, we're separated by 32 miles
and he's gaining on me! This race is so close!
| from Goerge (Taz!!) 2010.06.26
called at about 12:45 PM today. here's a transcript of the message he
this is day 8. Not written down, just speaking about it.
night was an amazing night. First of all, it was becalmed. The wind
headed about 60 degrees, so I had to drop the spinnaker in the middle
of the night about 3 in the morning, put out the head sail #1. It was
doing fine. About 6:00 I ran into this squall. It wasn't raining, but
it was so thick with fog I was soaking wet. But the wind started picking
up - good news.
7:30 my AIS radar went off and there's a ship bearing down on my called
the Prospector II. It was doing about 25 knots, I was doing at the time
5 knots I think. She came within 6.1 miles of me. I was a little nervous.
Boats are made for waves and wind, not for other boats and rocks and
things like that. So I was very nervous about that, but apparently the
Prospector II saw me. I never saw it because it was so thick in fog,
that I never saw his lights and I'm sure he never saw mine.
at about 8:00 just as the light came up - well, the light was already
up. The wind picked up. It went up to 10, and I put the spinnaker up
- I figured I would make hay while the sun was out. Then the wind started
building more and more and it got up to 17. And I thought there was
no way in the world I was going up front to drop that sail, and I don't
know how much of a wind it would take. But it held. The wind never got
above 17. I was flying. I was doing 9 knots, compared to 3 knots from
the last 2 days. Right now the wind has dropped to 11, I have plenty
of wind. Riding Taz!! is like riding a young horse. It's bucking, it's
dipping, it's going sideways. It's great. I'm having the time of my
life out here.
looks like, if you look at the results (and I've been following them
as you have), the northern route was the way to go this year, and not
the southern route. And of all the southern sailors, I came the furtherst
south so I have a lot of distance to catch up. I don't think I'll ever
catch Adrian or Danny, but I will catch these other boats that are near
me. The ones within 200 miles of me, I'm going to eat them. I'm going
to sail hard. All I needed was wind. 2 days of 3-4 knot winds was just
frustrating. That was the bad news. The good news is I got a lot done.
Now that the wind is up high, it's hard to do things like eat and clean
up. You're basically holding on for dear life and steering. I'm going
faster than the auto-pilot will handle. Right now I'm sort of bearing
off on the wind to give the auto-pilot a chance to take over while I'm
Ö (garbled) Ö I'm looking at my legs. I've got to put some sunblock
on my legs or else I'm going to get burned. I've got my life jacket
on, of course. I've got my tether on. Life is good.
you all, talk to you later. Pray for more wind. Bye.
| from Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.26
winds teens? check. Spinny flying? check. Twing on? check. Boat speed
7-8kts? check. Pointing toward Hanalei? check. Are we racing yet? check.
1300 hrs June 26
| from AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.26
wind, glorious wind!!! Second Verse has found wind and we are moving
again! The speedo is reading 6.5 steady with hints of 7.1. It is hard
to describe the feeling of not being in wind for two days and finally
finding wind; I guess you just have to go through it to know. It was
a dead calm from 11:00pm last night so I lowered all sails and went
to bed. At 0300 I felt the boat was not acting in its normal motion,
there was a slapping on the hull. Slapping, I know what that is, those
are tiny waves, thatís wind! I have been hand steering from 0300 until
now just because it has felt so good!
story from today. Well, of course when you finally get wind you want
to put up as much canvas as possible. So I was flying the spinnaker
(from the picture), then raised the main. All was going well until the
wind increased to about 20 kts true. Had to get the spin down and it
was crazy. Long story short, the spin was in the water and I was hand
over hand bringing it back on board. Nothing ripped, so I consider myself
thought for now: it is so beautiful out here, I am finding myself crying
over every happy memory I have with family and friends. I donít know
why thatís going on.
Verse, signing off.
| from John (Dream Chaser) 2010.06.26
wet, drizzly, cool, overcast, reasonably calm seas, a 6 Knot wind and
I am doing about 6.2 Knots pointed to Kauai. It's perfect. Well perfect
except for the overcast, drizzly and cool part....... I just fired the
SPOT messenger so some of you will have my position as I type this.
I am currently 1392 miles out of Kauai and 3 hours away from racing
for one week now. Yesterday was a good day for me. I overcame laziness,
lethargy and fear all at the same time. The Assymetric Spinnaker for
this thing weighs as much as Rhode Island, sits in a lazerette that
it refuses to come out of without a chain hoist which is also necessary
to get it to the foredeck and has the same surface area as Montana.
Honest, no exaggeration! Truth is, I'm afraid of it. I have only flown
it 3 times. I have only flown *any* spinnaker 3 times. In addition,
the only times I have flown the spinnaker on this boat, the electric
autopilot was steering and since that's out and all I have now is the
Monitor (wind steering vane), I was nervous about that too. I have crewed
on a number of boats that were flying spinnakers, but I was generally
too busy to pay much attention to what the foredeck guys were doing
as I am the mainsheet trimmer and this keeps me very busy. Well, after
check in's and some procrastination and unsuccessful efforts to make
the boat go faster than 3.5 Knots, I decided that I had to get the dreaded
spinnaker out of it's hole. Due to my lack of experience (and fear)
I took my time making sure everything was set, but conditions were perfect
for running with the spinnaker, so finally I was ready. Part of the
fear factor here is when it's been up in the past, one teensy weensy
puff lays this 24,000 pound boat on it's side, it's that big. Well,
up she went and it was really anticlimactic. Soon, I was doing an occasional
7.2 Knots and flying along under perfect conditions pointed at Kauai
and, perhaps, back in the race. I had been the #3 boat overall for a
while early on but managed to screw that up by heading South for a day
when the wind died not moving any closer to Kauai and not going very
far South for that matter. It has been feast or famine wind wise, first
tooo much and then too little or none at all. Jeff on Hecla even said
the trades are light right now. I am well north of the trades right
now and am in no rush to get to them. I have good wind from a good direction
and can go wind speed or a little better with the spinnaker up. I ran
the spinnaker all night long. For part of that, I was sleeping in the
cockpit in the rain, did I mention the rain? This is what 60 year old
guys that don't know better do for fun. Or even 80 year old guys in
the case of the General. I had the spinnaker sheeted in pretty tight
last night when I was down below, but got up this morning (and several
times in the middle of the night) and adjusted it and a couple of minutes
ago I saw an 8.2, that's 0.4 past hull speed. Perfect!
now done everything I can think of (out here) with the electric autopilot
and have pronounced it a dead soldier. I am thinking of ordering another
one and having it shipped to Kauai and installing it there in Hanalei.
I just replaced the Ram with a brand spanky new Raymarine ram, so the
hard part of the installation is done. The rest is just stringing a
couple wires and hanging a couple boxes..... We shall see. I *really*
would like to have the electric autopilot for the trip home. Hell, I
would like to have it right now. So far, the only casualties this trip
are the laptop and the autopilot, course I'm not even half way yet,
so I shouldn't say anything and tempt fate.
eating well, thanks mostly to Jan's efforts prior to the race. I have
had frozen Carnitas, hamburger chile, pulled pork and have even cooked
hamburgers and pork chops. Lots of salads before my lettuce goes south
and bell peppers and tomatoes and so on. It is great to have refrigeration
and a full galley. Sam on Southernaire even showered his second day
out. Hope he keeps track of his water supply!!! I haven't even taken
a full shower yet, just towel showers and I'm sure I have way more water
than Sam. I have watched to movies when I was going nowhere and talked
a lot on the radio and done more email this trip, so have been running
the engine to charge the batteries much more than two years ago. That's
OK though, I am *MUCH* more relaxed than I was two years ago and just
enjoying myself when the conditions allow such luxury. It really doesn't
seem like it's been a week since I left.
- I am losing my fear of the dreaded spinnaker as it's been up for 20
hours now. Well, not all the time, I took it down once when the wind
puffed up, in part just for practice. I am guessing it will be up now
until I am solidly in the trades and then it will have to come down
because Assymetric's don't work DDW (dead down wind) and I will have
to go wing on wing with the Gennie poled out like I did two years ago.
Not a problem, I did several 180+ mile days that way two years ago.
since I have fallen off heading and need to do a course adjustment and
sail trim (about 2000 of these per day generally) I will sign off and
send this when I get back down below.
| from Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.26
night... had winds from 0kt to 14kt true, puffy, shifty, and much of
the time (unfortunately still) just plain dead. Looks like the rest
of the fleet has finally got wind, so now it's my turn! Managed to fly
the chute all night, felt really great with the moon out and watching
the water swish by at 6 kts (well, for about an hour). What a treat.
0900 June 26
| from Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.26
been a very good and very busy day. By late yesterday morning I entered
the nice reliable and powerful trade wind flow, and posted 55 good miles
toward my destination in 6 hours. As the wind built past 12 knots, Baby
Huey the baby blue giant spinnaker started to complain, said nearly
24 hours on duty was making him tired and really wanted a nap. So he
came down cleanly, hustled off to bed and turned over the head sail
tasks to his lanky older brother the Bike Kite, now unfortunately streaked
with bottom paint.
I made light of running a huge spin overnight and sleeping on it, that
is quite a rare experience for a single hander, probably first and last
ever for me. Certainly not in these thermodynamically active trade winds.
I ran Bike Kite into the early night time hours, and saw a row of squalls
approaching in the very beautiful light of the full moon. Night time
dousing rather more complicated (a powerful piercing headlamp is on
the gottahaveit list), and the untidy mess on the foredeck suggests
it was not so clean. So I ran head-sail less squall-safe for a while
to sleep, now have the dual white headsails up and trimmed carefully
each with dual leeward sheets. That's a lot of strings to deal with
but they are safe and routine tasks for a nighttime singlehander. Make
that every possible downwind headsail combination for me in 24 hours.
And gybe them from time to time.
like to wish my cousin and her fiance in Point Arena a happy wedding
day, sorry I am missing the fun. About the time you are popping the
celebration corks I'll be opening my own half-way gift package. I think
there might be a special beer in there!
Jeff / Hecla
June 26, 4am
| from Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.25
The wind picked up around 2 am this morning! When I went to bed I took
the main down and sheeted the jib in tightly. I got up with the wind
and have been cruising along all day. Hoping for a 100 mile day. (Fingers
crossed.) I'm almost on a broad reach heading to Hanalei. Not sure if
I'm in the trades just yet, but moving along. Yesterday, I felt frustrated,
but today I feel hopeful. It's not that I'm not enjoying myself, I'm
having a lot of fun, but I want to get to Hawaii. Today, I cleaned up
the boat. I haven't listened to any music so far, but have been reading
and chatting on the SSB some. I finally talked to AJ again. We were
swapping war stories about the first couple of days. Other than that,
I've been eating and actively sailing. I'm liking the just-add-water
meals that we got at REI and Any Mountain. Also, thanks to Ruben and
Robbie for their instant meal donations! I can't wait to get to the
halfway point so I can look at my halfway goody bag. Hi to everyone!!
And thanks for all the support!! ~Adam
| from AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.25
up today determined to be able to talk on the SSB. I donít know exactly
why today was the day, it just was. I have been able to hear everyone
during each roll call, they just couldnít hear me. So I set out in a
systematic way to determine the problem. Long story short, I found it!
Believe it or not, it was with the tuner itself. When I bypassed the
tuner and connected the antenna lead from the transmitter directly to
the antenna, people can hear me! I was so shocked they answered back,
I almost fell over. ďThis is Second Verse; did you just say you can
hear me?Ē " Yes, we can hear you!" I made some more modifications and
I plan to participate in the 2100 comm. check tonight. Letís keep our
fingers crossed it still works. Does anyone have any idea why bypassing
the AT 140 tuner made it better?
of weather and my position, this is not so good. I have cut my losses
and jibed the boat to 170 degrees true. This will basically take me
just due west of where my original A buoy was, crossing of the 130 degree
W Longitude. It was hard to make this decision, but I looked at the
latest GRIB files for the next few days and it looks like the best call.
It basically makes the last two days superfluous for me in terms of
the race, but I will chalk it up to a steep learning curve and lessoned
learned. As we say in science, there is no failed experiment, just more
may be late for the party, but when I get there, it's on!
Verse, signing off.
| from George (Tazz!!) 2010.06.25
7, part uno
11:25 AM PDT
to finish from yesterday: I brushed my teeth, too.
I found lines getting chafed and sails worn. I'll drop the main and
patch it shortly. I try to inspect everything early in the morning and
just before the sun goes down.
fine. My hands are much better, and I'll do another soaking today. Also
today is apply the sunblock day. I don't need another problem.
seems clear, but if it wasn't, would I know it?
the slow passage, I'm starting to take stock of supplies. 2 apples,
10 oranges, 10 gallons of good bottled water, 12 gallons of water in
a bladder. I have been drinking the later every once in a while, to
see if it will make me sick. It is less than clear and tastes of plastic.
So far, so good.
news about my lighter. Since I have a butane rather than propane stove,
it will light on the spark from the lighter. Most pocket lighters are
butane, you know. So as long as I have flint, I have fire. Yaaay!
a dozen cookies, dried fruit, mangoes, blueberries, cranberries, oatmeal,
and a cooler of food I haven't even opened yet. All in all, I see no
problems with provisioning.
a huge hole along with most of the fleet. It's a weak high that appears
to be dissolving. Right now I'm coasting along at 3.41 knots and 4.5
knots of apparent wind. I could use the wind. A few racers are questioning
whether we can all make the banquet in Hanalei Bay on the 9th. I'm doing
tired of this. Time for oatmeal and a sail patching.
| from Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.25
afternoon I got Baby Huey up, the 2000+ sf baby blue assymetrical spinnaker,
and he is pulling nicely. Baby does not like swell when there is only
6 knots of breeze, it literally knocks the wind out if him. But on a
smooth patch he can match the wind speed up to 8 knots or so. He's doing
a nice job, especially since later in the day when the winds built to
an astounding 11 knots. I planned to keep him up until sleep time or
a squall came through. The weather is not too hot and with 100% cloud
cover the squall activity seems low and it would be hard to see them
anyway. So at dark time I wrapped up in a sleeping bag and watched the
movie North by Northwest. Baby Huey and Francis, my french made autopilot,
cooperated so well during the movie there was not a single "spinnaker
incident" that would send me running to the cockpit. They played so
well together in fact that I went to sleep with them in control. Baby
Huey has been at work for 22 non-stop hours now.
is still a long way to go. I won't be halfway until tomorrow. But I
expect this last half to be faster than the first two.
well rested and recovered from the mast climb. My forecast is 10 to
14 knots of wind all the way now, Baby could do the whole thing theoretically.
That's a lot of miles and a lot of pulling to keep everything together.
the best, Jeff / Hecla
| from Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.25
Boy, last night was busy. I'm sure I didn't make as many sail changes
as Ronnie or Adrian made during their light air stints, but I feel like
I did last night. Winds abeam, dead astern, dead altogether and back
again from astern. A different sail plan for each occasion, whisker
poles included or not, as required. In the wee hours this morning after
messing more than I wanted to, I doused the sails and poles altogether
and went to bed (a hull form will propel itself, in my case at about
a 1/2 to 1 kt, from the rolling and there was plenty of rolling last
night). Of course 2 hrs later the autopilot remote blared in my ear
8" away indicating the wind was back up and blowing the bow off the
wind. Won't complain, wind is good. Enjoying the sunrise now and making
a few knots.
while enjoying some glorious sunshine, the boat ran over some debris
that clunked along the hull and keel. Hmm, not a pleasant sound. Checked
it out astern... was some kind of stout industrial tubing. At first
I thought, oh crap I hit a pipe, sure looked like a pipe. Was about
4-5" diameter and 20' long. But, duh, a pipe? Right, they don't float.
Hand steered for a while to make me feel good (rudder fine). Actually
it was a very soft encounter, the thing was probably mostly rotten and
I was only doing about 2 kts at the time. There's more garbage out here
than I expected, and we're not in the Gyre. Have noticed some funny-looking
critters that skitter along the surface, too, looking a bit like tiny
crabs. Cute. Oh, interesting observation (well, to me)--no flies. Nice.
light day ahead. Will catch up on sleep if the wind doesn't fill.
| from ken (Harrier) 2010.06.25
spoken to "The General" several times. All is well. Sounds upbeat and
happily in the groove.
No Equipment problems/failures to report from the rough weather start.
He's dissappointed for Ben (Mirage) but is very happy to expect him
and Lucie at The Tree.
No balls or toilet seat sightings.
| from George (Taz!!) 2010.06.24
Day 6, part deux
6:30 PM PDT
picked up to 5.7 knots at 3:00 today after no wind all day, and I'm
making 3.41 knots under the #1 and main. I tried not to bring the #1,
but I'm glad I did. I left the #2 home and brought the #3 and #4. I've
trashed the #3. The carbon fibers are all that's holding it together.
It's been thrashing about too much. I'll patch it tonight for use in
this race, but it's history. It was built in 2007 and it' seen a lot
this may gross some of you out, but since it's the truth you'll just
have to deal with it. I finally changed my clothes. On the bottoms,
I was wearing Gore-tex and leather boots, poly socks, poly grungies,
poly long-johns and poly fleece pants. On the top I was wearing poly
long-johns, two poly long-sleeve shirts and a poly fleece jacket. On
top of everything, I was wearing my foul weather gear. I've never taken
anything off except my foul weather gear. I even wore my boots to sleep.
up with my brothers, (I won;t say anything about my sisters) we used
to say that you knew when your underwear was dirty when you threw them
against the wall and they stuck. These would not have stuck, but they
would have left a big smudge. I bathed. I've declared everything I was
wearing hazardous material and placed them in a garbage bag by themselves.
If I get boarded by the Coasties and they open the bag, I'll laugh my
head off. I am now wearing boat shoes, a pair of bright red padded sailing
shorts, and a white long sleeve poly shirt. As night falls I will probably
put my foulies back on.
some medical advice for my swollen hands from the race chair, Bob Johnson,
and soaked them in fresh water to leech out some of the salt. They feel
so much better no. Thanks Bob. I may do the same for my feet.
writing this, the wind has risen to 6.5 knots (apparent) and I am now
making 4.4 knots straight toward Kauai, 247 degrees magnetic.
for dinner - Thai chicken.
| from AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.24
Verse 06242000 31 28N 130 17W DTF: 1656 COG: 231T SOG: 2.2
have rasied and lowered the spinnaker 8 times today. Every time a puff
came up, I would yell, "that's me, I got it!" About 20 minutes later,
past three hours have been pretty good. Conistent brezze from a consistent
direction. Seems like we're flying after going backwards for time!
is the schedule for tonight:
was at 1600
Appetizers at 1830
Dinner at 1930
Movie night starts at 2100
Drinks at 2300 in the cockpit
hurry over, I can save you a good seat for the movie. I think An American
in Paris is playing tonight, but I have to ask.
110 feet Skip. I used a shiny pair of big vice grips. I can't beleive
I can see down that far!
how long do you have the condo rented out for in Hanalei? :-)))
| from Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.24
really beautiful out here! There's really nothing to complain about
except the lack of wind. There's little to none right now. Last night,
I hand steered until 1 am (my windvane doesn't work well without wind...)
then, took down the jib, reefed in the main and went to sleep. Woke
up at 7 am and started all over. Hand steered the boat most of the day.
Since last night, I've only traveled about 20 miles and still have 1,694
miles to go. But it sounds like everyone has been hit with this high.
I've been passing the time by steering, eating, drinking, sleeping,
and trying to keep away scurvy. I finally saw my first marine wildlife,
a humpback whale. Other than that, I saw another freighter. I must be
a magnet for them. (Let's hope not.~kathe) The weather's gotten warmer!
I've been in a t-shirt and shorts all day. But it is like an ice rink
out here. The wind feels like it might be filling in just a bit. Keep
your fingers crossed for me. Hi to everyone!
| from Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.24
24, 2010- 6 pm- 33* 03 N, 135* 45 W
the first time in this trip, I feel as if i'm actually racing towards
Hawaii. I no longer feel that i'm just sailing around in the ocean.
The breeze is filling in and clocking back to its normal direction,
and it's becoming warmer and blue. I need to download a more recent
grib, but I believe i'll be putting a kite up tomorrow, and judging
by several indicators, it will be filled by a trade wind breeze.
around in no wind, Idefix took 27 miles from me in a 12 hour period
to claim a 10 mile lead to the finish. By the next check in, I had reclaimed
a 16 mile lead. This morning, it was 15. So we are definitely running
neck and neck. He is south and east of me though, so I have no idea
what breeze he has had today. Tonight's 9 pm check in will be very interesting.
dissipating high spawned several "mini highs", each with no breeze.
I was becalmed on several occasions, dropping the jib entirely for anywhere
from 10 minutes to 3 hours, and yesterday I had a 24 hour run of just
80 miles made good. And when I did have breeze yesterday, the boat felt
slow when beating to weather on a port tack. I trimmed the sails until
I was blue in the face, but she still seemed slow. I backed down twice
and she still felt slow. I finally dropped all sail and jumped in the
water to check the keel and rudder for trash. There wasn't any, but
she just felt slow. Maybe it was all in my head. She feels fine now.
found myself talking to the boat more and more. Hand steering in very
light air, I sound like an auctioneer when looking at the wind gauge.
If it's blowing 5 i'm saying "gimme a 6, gimme a 6, do I see a 6?" And
when it drops to 4, I curse like a sailor, which is probably fitting
given what i'm doing right now....
is well aboard the boat right now, though. She is treating me well and
i'm treating her well, doing all of the things that Don has been telling
me to do for months now. Things I had been ignoring when in Alameda.
Things like checking the bilges for water religiously. And constantly
sponging up any water that appears. The autopilot's compass sits very
low in the v-berth and god forbid that thing gets wet. Completing rigging
inspections every 12 hours, and making sure a pin isn't about to come
out of a block or shackle, or that I won't loose a windward shroud at
a most inopportune moment. I dropped the main twice to check the halyard
for chafe. Just a bit of chafe on the cover. Should be okay.
can tell, my morale comes and goes with the wind and right now i'm very
pleased. Let's hope things continue and that I do indeed get a kite
up tomorrow. Really looking forward to tonight's check in to see where
exactly 1/3 of the way to Hawaii as of this writing, having covered
707 of 2,120 nautical miles. (i've sailed more than that, but the 2,120
is based on a totally straight line from S.F. to Kauai.)
| from George (Taz!!) 2010.06.24
up this morning becalmed, not a hint of breeze. The Pacific is a glorious
sight. The water is glass smooth with only slight ripples and maybe
a three inch swell. It glistens like a crystal blue new car -- it must
be reflecting the sky. The sky is a pale blue with a high flat greyish-white
cloud above me, and right above me it is cloudless. The sun is about
15 degrees off the horizon and bright. It is warming my back and drying
the water from the deck. If this wasn't a race I'd be perfectly content.
The water is clear and I can see jellyfish go by about three fish deep.
The color of the ocean is a deep blue that I can't compare to anything
else. How does that work? Is the water just reflecting the sky, only
deepening the color? A cup of tea would be nice right now, perhaps a
copy of the Chronicle. There's not a sound except the occasional hum
of the auto pilot trying to keep Taz!! pointing in the right direction.
Oh and there's also the sound of the sails slanting as the breeze bangs
[unintelligible] lines. I'd love to turn everything off and drop the
sails -- the sound of the ocean would be deafening. I'd love a hot dog
or two right now, but do I spend lighter fluid on that? I DO love hot
check-in last night I had the most wind. I wonder who has it now? I'm
sure a few have escaped. It was reported that Al on Bandicoot started
the race from San Francisco Bay at 5:00 yesterday. I'm sure he has wind.
He's starting five days late -- I LIKE THAT SPIRIT. You have something
to do, you just have to get it done. I shall be in Hawaii long enough
to welcome him ashore.
looks like there are wind ripples on the water -- hope the breeze builds.
there's Ben. I can't figure out if he can't make things work or if the
Race Committee won't release him due to inspection issues. I know Ben
wants to race real badly. I suspect the Committee is concerned about
his safety. He is an amazing sailor. I miss him not being here.
[from Race Committee: it was completely Ben's decision to retire
from the race]
what I'll do -- I'll have a couple of oranges and finish reading the
book David gave me.
victory! This morning I thought I lost my stove for the entire trip.
The solenoid kept closing after only a few seconds of the stove being
turned on. I thought for sure this was due to a clogged regulator, and
I forgot to bring a spare on board. With no other option, I began to
remove pieces from the system to try to diagnose the problem. It was
not the regulator, but the switch itself! I removed the switch from
the system and I now have a stove again. This is certainly not to ABYC
standards, but when your 570 miles out, who cares! I will simply open
the tank when I want to use the stove, close the tank when I’m
done, and burn out the remaining gas in the lines; basically I’m
now the switch.
some morning coffee and hot chocolate!
|Hecla-June 24 11:00
synopsis: I repaired the spinnaker halyard and have the small one flying
now. I don't have the strength yet to get the Big Blue whomper chute
out of its storage garage (it's about the size of a Smart car).
afternoon I decided my plan B was workable, and as I glide southward
the seas would likely get bigger, so time to go. I tied my static climbing
rope to the head of the mainsail and rehoisted it, my idea being that
swinging in one direction I would hit the sail which is just fine and
much better than the alternatives. Also climbing the mast while underway
there would be some pressure in the sails, a slight heel to the boat,
and a more stable experience. All proved true.
distance off of the deck the swinging began, which if left uncontrolled
was the paddle-ball experience again, but if I just held onto the mast
or something it was fine. This was also true all the way to the top,
but it took a great deal of strength to stay under control. There were
also the numerous standing rigging attachments to the mast to negotiate.
The view from the top was pretty cool, a gentle wake from Hecla trailing
off into infinity, deep blue all around dotted with sea trash. There
was even a toilet seat and bucket, possible overexuberent result of
a bucket-and-chuck-it marine toilet practice. Sorry, getting off topic.
the most I could climb on the rope was 10" too little. Aarrgh!
Again it took a great deal of exertion to wiggle the foot straps up
just a little bit more and stand up on them, where I could reach the
masthead padeye where I needed to attach the new block. But only with
one hand, and all I have is a loose-pin shackle! I did have a spare
in my pocket. I was so exhausted at this point that my legs and arms
were shaking like a sewing machine, I commanded them to just stand up,
stop shaking and let me get this job done. In true Singlehanded Transpac
spirit, I one-handed held the block, inserted the shackle pin and siezed
down was the most difficult. My arm muscles were screaming in pain and
near failure, but with a "there are no options!" attitude
I worked it down. From time to time I could hug the mast with my knees
trip took two hours. I missed my email check-in schedule but caught
the end of the SSB check-in and luckily could relay my position.
experience. Kids, don't try this at home (or at sea).
Verse (rec'd 6/24 at 0800)
rains, it pours. I have two problems. First, I had very little wind
last night. I thought I could get around this mini-high, nope! Now I’m
trying to head due south to try to find more wind. This may be a tough
problem, George and I may be in the same boat. My propane solenoid valve
keeps closing. I can’t keep the stove lit. I think I know what
it is, the regulator got seawater in it and it’s clogged. When
I unscrew the tank and run the propane until it burns out (before the
solenoid shuts off), the pressure gauge still shows full pressure. Not
good. It should show zero. I don’t have a spare regulator on board.
I will try to attempt to take this one off and clean it, but my guess
is that once they get clogged, they are done.
be a bit thinner when I arrive in Hanalei, around July 20th!
(rec'd 6/23 at 2230)
racing yet? Way too peaceful and soothing in these quiet seas. Enjoyed
a colorful sunrise and and again tonight on the opposite horizon, a
very colorful sunset. Took video. Cleaned up the boat (house chores)
in case any visitors stop by. Also took a long nap to catch up on needed
sleep while the boat "peeled off" 52 nm between checkins.
I'll take it. Wait a minute... is that the sat phone ringing (pause).
Sorry, back now... Was my boss, Troy. Figured I better take the call.
He said no worries, take as much time as you like out there, work can
wait until later. Kidding of course, but I honestly did have a twinge
of guilt today as I relaxed on a gentle ocean while my coworkers are
pulling hard back at home. If you're reading this, hello to all.
of my Dad's birthday and my Norwegian cousins' visit, for dinner I had
fresh roast loin of pork (no joke) with fresh vegetables. Mmm. Noodles
with egg substituted for mashed potatoes (oooh, mashed potatoes and
gravy would have been super). Thank you Melissa for the delicious prep
you did. The ice chest still holds partially frozen milk and the meats
From Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.23 1854:
from Adam@ 6:54pm
sailing all day with the main and the drifter averaging about 4-1/2
knots. Eating, drinking and sleeping well. Heading south and crossing
shipping channels. Saw and talked to 4 freighters. Had really nice conversations
with them. Hailed them on 16, AIS working beautifully. Not seeing much
marine life, however, an albatross did a fly-by not long ago. He seemed
to want to ask me what I was doing in his area of nothing. Been chatting
with some of the other racers on the SSB. Itís been good to catch up
with people and debrief about the first couple of days. (From my perspective:
he sounds very good, happier and more relaxed. He asks every day about
Ben, of Mirage, about the other boats in his division, and today about
AJĖsaid he hadnít heard him on the SSB in a while)
From George (Taz!!) 2010.06.23 2342:
6/23 7:00pm PDT
left his report in two parts on our answering machine, but the second
half didn't record for some reason. I was listening as it came in, so
I'll try to reconstruct it here. He sounded happy and healthy.
is feeling good, except for his hands which are sore and swollen, but
at least they are still doing what he asks them to do. He finally has
a dry pillow. He's eating well and drinking well - about a gallon of
water today. For dinner he had honey BBQ wings and Swedish meatballs,
which were so delicious he sucked up every morsel.
sail that he started the race with is beyond repair, and he has retired
it in favor of his back-up sails.
turned the corner and is now on a straight path for Kaua'i. Since he
doesn't have access to real-time weather reports, he is basing his course
on the weather information from Saturday morning. He headed south to
skirt the high, which he expected to expand. It did expand. Now he expects
it to contract, which he anticipates will strand a few boats without
any wind for a while - hopefully at least 2 days.
the transcription of the second half:
where the wind shifts from it's current 320 degrees heading to about
90 degrees, which will put Kaua'i dead downwind. Those are the trades.
15-18 knots straight through the finish, with a few squalls along the
way. We'll see how this all plays out. Ronnie and Adrian have a big
lead. They will be hard to beat, but not impossible. 9:00 check in tonight
will be both interesting and revealing.
people. I saw only one bird. It was yesterday. It was a brown tapering
to a light brown near it's tail-feathers, and it had a white ring around
it's neck. It's wing span was about 4 feet, and it's body length was
about 14 inches. As it flew it kept skimming the surface of the water.
I lost sight of it as it dived down behind the waves. It either dove
under the water or I just couldn't find it again.
nicely with each other,
From AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.23 2039:
Verse crossed "my" Pt.A at 2037 tonight! Iím so excited! Actually, I
had two Pt.As plotted. Pt A1 was ideal, Pt. A2 was workable. Due to
light airs and sea state, I was closer to Pt. A2. No problem, now I
have Pt. A3 and Pt. A4 plotted before I make the line for Pt. B and
play slotcars (of course, maybe this is what slotcars are!). The strategizing
with the weather and boat speed is really fun! I love being able to
pull down GRIB files and plot new courses. Iím attempting to duck right
under this mini high we have here. So far it seems like Iím in it!
want to be a bit further east, but I calculated the extra miles sailed
was not worth 3 more kts of wind. Iíve been flying a kite since 0930
today and it has worked great! Iíve been doing better than half AWS
(eg, as I type, AWS 6.9, SOG 4.2).
to fly the kite tonight. I was not planning on doing this in this race,
but since the gribs show no more than 10kts true all night, what the
understand that any discussion about weather and tactics is a one way
discussion, I just wanted to share my thoughts.
From Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.23 2342:
these days is warm and comfortable, generally perfect though a wee bit
slow for a passage with family or friends. And that is about all that
is left for me to do now, enjoy the passage, long as it may be. I thought
I was properly set up in the "slot car" strategy, the winds and barometric
pressure I was measuring was right on, then unexpectedly the light air
region expanded much farther south and I, as well as most of the fleet,
are now enduring slow speeds. I was tempted by a potential escape through
the light wind zone to hook on to a developing high pressure system
to the NW, but with each download of weather data the scene changed.
I took that as the clue that the weather there was unstable, and the
only good bet is to get into the proper and reliable trade winds to
the south, as all of the advisors and all of the past winners have done.
I had at least 3 major changes in tactical plan during this time. I
am comfortable knowing that indecision may or may not be one of my problems!
sleeping and eating well, but only have 3 movies and one book left on
keep looking at that mast repair job, knowing what 30% more power could
do for me
Jeff / Hecla
June 23, 16:30
From Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.23 2237:
Wind. My buddy at home says get out the Whomper! Actually, it comes
and goes. Mostly I've had a bit of wind at my position. I should be
wallowing but I'm not--yet. Currently (15:30 pdt, June 23) I'm doing
6 kts with the genoa, apparent wind slightly forward, as if it were
a pleasant day-sail. In fact that's about just how it feels. What a
fine day in the sun. Temps mid-60s. Now let's have those trades kick
in! Kauai is in the sights.
Birthday Dad!! Hello to Lars, Reidun, Anne, Elisabeth and family who
are visiting from Norway!
From Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.23 1819:
23, 2010- 10:10 AM- 33* 27 N, 132* 38 W
day is passing aboard the good ship "Warrior's Wish". An EXTREMELY slow
night. From our 9 pm check in last night to the check in at 9 am this
morning, I only made good 22 miles towards Hawaii. I had a brief spurt
of some very peaceful and beautiful sailing, making 4 knots to weather
under a full moon and overcast sky, where the moon seemed to disappear
for 5 minutes at a time, only to come back and make the water glisten
off my port side. At last night's check in, I was holding a 17 mile
lead over Idefix. By this morning's check in, he had a 10 mile lead
on me. The good news is that the latest high pressure area (of 1022
mb. wtf) appears that it would hit me first, and hit Adrian later. I
am now moving along at 4-5 knots, while at check in, he was making 1.5
knots. Hopefully by tonight's check in I can reclaim the monohull lead.
so hard last night to try and protect the lead, taking advantage of
every little 4 knot puff of breeze. I constantly drank instant coffee
and used tobacco to try to stay awake. I am bordering on severe sleep
deprivation right now. At one point, I passed out in the cockpit for
nearly 1 hour as the main sail popped back and forth. I woke up, furious,
because it was blowing 4 knots and I had therefore been wasting wind
for who knows how long.
happened this morning. During our radio check in, I realized Adrian
had claimed the monohull lead and I felt good for him, even though I
hated losing 27 hard fought miles to him. I knew what he went through
last night, and while he had more breeze being south and east of me,
he fought hard for those miles. I have a deep respect for him as we
are going through the same shit together right now. I have a deep respect
for all of the skippers in the race. And that's one of the things that
makes the Singlehanded Transpac so great. We are all competing in a
race to Hawaii, yet we are all friends, brought together by something
much bigger than ourselves. It seems very fitting that the race started
at a yacht club called "Corinthian". Corinthian is the word that best
embodies the atmosphere of this race. After the check in, Adrian, Adam
(Blue Moon- Int'l Folkboat) and I all joked around on the SSB. I congratulated
Adrian for passing me. He had not slept either, and was severely exhausted.
He said he was preparing a celebratory breakfast and would be dropping
headsail to get some rest. He's earned it.
General", Ken Roper, is sailing in his 11th Singlehanded Transpac, an
all time record. He says he has never seen weather like this during
one of his previous races. Beating to weather in 0-5 knots at this lat/
long is VERY atypical.
that I have more breeze than most of the other boats right now. Hopefully
I have cleared the small 1022 high before everyone else and can reclaim
lost miles and start making steady progress towards Hawaii.
From John (Dream Chaser) 2010.06.23 1756:
about 10 AM on the 23rd but I don't know when I will actually send this.
Chaser is currently flopping around about 525 nautical miles west south
west of the starting line of the race. I flew for the first part of
the race and had thoughts of beating my wife Jan to Kauai (she arrives
on the 5th) or even correcting out against Stan Honey........ Well,
the windy first part of the race has now been replaced by no wind at
all. I spend the night tossing and turning listening for wind and hearing
only the sound of the sails flopping around. No, the repetitive bang
bang bang of the sails flopping back and forth does *not* lull you to
sleep. I made all of 16 miles from 9 PM to 9 AM...... Ugh. Doing hull
speed (7.8 kts) I should make over 90 miles (93.6 to be precise) and
was close early on. The wind picked up a little right after check in's
and I was racing along at 2.3 Kts. There was a problem however. I had
a choice of heading to Cabo or the Aleutian's. Naturally, I chose Cabo....
Currently I am doing 3.8 Kts heading 179 true so better. According to
the weather maps, there is no "good" wind for any of the fleet and won't
be for several days, so no records to be broken this time me thinks.
I wouldn't care at all, but for the whole "race" thing. That kinda makes
we want to "get there." I hit a day or two of dead calm and totally
glassy seas coming home two years ago and it didn't bother me at all.
Well, when I was stuck then it was warm too, and it's cool and overcast
now. I am sitting down below in my foulies with a Polarfleece vest under,
so guess I'm not in the tropics yet.
two laptops on board and lost the first one in the *really* snotty wind
and swells right outside the gate. It bounced off the nav station and
onto the floor and got covered with salt water. It's a goner. I also
had the controller for the autopilot under the dodger and it got water
in it (I think) and turned itself on and went nuts. I shook it and banged
it and put it in the sun, but to no avail. I took it apart yesterday
and couldn't see any signs of water intrusion, so it may just be old
age or ????? I will check the connections to the brain today but am
not holding my breath. I replaced the ram for it before I left because
it had died, but with all the other expenses of preparing I didn't want
to buy a whole new autopilot if I didn't have to. I *really* wanted
an electric autopilot in addition to the self steering vane, so I may
regret that decision if I can't get it working and that's the way it
looks. Last evening, for instance, I would have used the electric autopilot
if it was working. The wind, before it quit altogether, was very light
and fluky and the self steering vane was pretty much useless as the
wind was coming from all over and too light to make it to work. If the
electric autopilot had been working, I could have just set a heading
and forgotten about it. Hell, I might have made an extra 2 or 3 miles
by morning. Smile......
than the minor things mentioned above the only thing that has gotten
worse over time is there is a leak on the starboard side that, in the
very rough conditions, was constantly dripping on the starboard settee
and nav station making both of them unusable. It only seems to happen
when the bow plows through a wave and sends a wall of green water spilling
down the starboard side effectively putting the starboard portholes
under water. When this happens they start to drip onto the cushions
and the nav station. Another thing to fix....... The leak while minor,
was an annoyance, mostly because so much of what I do underway is done
at the nav station (normally)..... All the repairs and improvements
I did prior to the race are working perfectly and Dream Chaser is just
awaiting wind again to get back to flying to HI. In the meantime, I
am eating well and doing boat chores. I might have pork chops on the
BBQ tonight with salad and baked potato??? I try to keep a low profile
about that with the other racers, most of whom are eating trail mix
and granola bars and canned food. They are basically camping out and
I am taking our second home to HI. There *is* a difference in mind set
if nothing else. I did, however, occasionally take steaks and scotch
with me on shorter backpacking trips, so even if I were on a smaller
boat, I would be trying to eat *real* food as much as possible. I would
be practicing my celestial navigation, but it's overcast and cold here,
or did I mention that?
had wind, I would not have the time to write a long post like this,
and won't again when the wind returns, so I thought I would relate the
haps aboard Dream Chaser while I had some "free time." Now to reorganize
the contents of several cabinets that the doors flew open on in the
bad weather spilling the contents all over the floor and to put the
books that flew out back on the book shelf. Then on to breakfast.
From John (Dream Chaser) 2010.06.23 1701:
fleet has gone from feast to famine as far as the wind goes. First too
much and now none at all, for me anyway, and very light for everyone.
At 0900 and all night long I had none and now I am making 2.6 Kts but
I am headed to Cabo......... Sigh.......
to Paul this morning and he said sailmail limits attachments to 20 or
30 Kb so that probably isn't it. I am copying him on this and I think
he's sending another email address to you???? He is *very* difficult
copy direct for me and is in and out and is pretty to very light for
most of the fleet. We tried 6A and it wasn't any different.
I was thinking I would be in Kauai ahead of my wife Jan, I am rethinking
From AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.23 1650:
Log (6/23/10) Second Verse
is a funny story (you might want to edit for the website). During the
first three days the weather was so bad that I took a pee by standing
in the companion and just peeing into the cockpit. I was getting so
many breaking waves into the cockpit that it all washed away in a few
minutes anyways. Well, once the weather calmed down, I forgot to change
my routine. Yes, you guessed it, pee in the cockpit that was not leaving.
So I should have thrown a few buckets of water in right away, but no,
I just let it sit there. This morning I noticed that all my lines in
the cockpit smell really bad! Yuck! So I have spent this morning running
the lines like wraps aft to clean out the smell. I had six lines led
aft at one point, funny! I then gave the cockpit four full buckets of
seawater. It should be worked out now. Good lesson for next time: stop
taking a pee in the cockpit if no breaking waves are around to clean
up for you!
running under spinnaker right now and I am so impressed with my autopilot,
it is driving the spin very well. I havenít tried it yet with the vane,
running the EU2000 Honda generator right now. It is working great! I
have gone from -178 amps to now only -35 amps. I think I run it just
a bit longer. The regulator keeps stepping down the amps so at some
point itís just not worth the fuel.
phone (Iridium 9555) and the mail software from OCENS.com are working
great. I would highly recommend this combination to anyone.
no ships, no nothing, just me in my little world out here.
Verse, signing off.
From AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.23 1548:
many matches! I was so worried about this that I went overboard (three
BBQ lighters, two boxes of mathces, and three more boxes sealed in a
plastic bag). I was trying to think what I would do if I only had three
or four opportunities to light a fire? Maybe try and keep a flame going?
Probably not possible and somewhat dangerous. He might be able to us
a 12volt spark to make a fire, also not very safe.
From Paul (Culebra) 2010.06.22 2045:
you deeply, to everyone who came to see me off, and also warm thanks
to those who wished me well from afar. What a bon voyage you made. Thank
you! This experience certainly does not disappoint. Wish I had started
off a bit more competitive, but I'm still thrilled with the experience.
As I'm sure you've read, seas were rough the first 2+ days. The boat
and all its systems performed perfectly. Unfortunately the skipper didn't.
By nightfall, after an exciting day blasting past the Farallones (abeam
at 1630 hrs!) the skipper succumbed to the longest case of seasickness
he'd ever had. But that's over finally, and I'm getting my energy back,
and definitely enjoying the ride!
at about Lat31N Lon127W I encountered a pelagic bird who hung out for
a couple hours, always at a distance, swooping low over the undulating
sea as I sailed along at about 7 kts. Finally it approached closer,
gliding slowly beside the cockpit and, seemingly curious and contented
by what it saw, it sat down in the water right next to the boat. Of
course the boat kept moving. The bird took to flight again, returned
to the scene and once more lit down. How I wanted to put on the brakes
and take a closer look. It felt inhospitable to leave after such a short
visit. Well, he didn't follow. Huge wing span, slender pointy wings,
brownish color, webbed feet, curious disposition, ugly. Albatross? At
this latitude? Anyway, certainly a first for me!
another first: navigation while underway in rough seas. Some smart boat
designer should have by now come up with a harness, or even a padded
enclosure, for a nav station. How can ANYone operate a pc, read a chart,
write a log, or do anything at a nav station while underway. By the
way, I'm composing from my berth, reigned in by the lee cloth.
along here at 7+ kts most of the day, winds 10-15 true, pointing now
toward Hanalei, subdued seas, sunny off and on, misty off and on, warm.
There's a wandering high that hasn't yet swallowed me, but it will,
along with the rest of the fleet except Jeff of course. I thought it
wouldn't come this far south... should'a thought better. Anyway, go
Jeff in your amazing flying machine. Speaking of flying.. there are
some mighty fine and fast sailors out here. Hats off to you all!
From AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.22 2000:
the fleet doing? Everything OK? I can hear the fleet on SSB, but they
still can not hear me. I will continue to send position reports via
to a christian station right now on SSB. 9.507.0 AM Funny!!
From George (Taz!!) 2010.06.22 1800:
I decided to cook my first hot dinner -- chili and rice. I set everything
up, filled the pot with sea water, and went to light the camping stove
-- NO MATCHES!! I have two coolers of frozen food, about 40 pounds of
dry ice and I can't cook a thing. I rummaged around and found a baggie
with two old lighters in my electrical parts bag. One was DOA, the other
barely had fluid. I quickly lit the stove, saving fuel. I don't know
how many more lights I have out of it, but I bet there's no more than
ten. After boiling the bag for 40 minutes, I lifted it out and the bag
broke, dumping my meal into the boiling soup of water. Shit, I mean
Shoot! I drained out as much of the water as I could and ate it. It
was delicious. A little salty, but I was hungry. I ate every morsel.
For dessert I had one of Debbie's cookies. It looks like my future meals
will be made up of oranges, apples, dried fruit (thanks Don) candy (thanks
Soyster), brownies (thanks Janet) and salami sammies.
is okay. I found a tear in the jib and repaired it. I checked my previous
fixes, they all look good. The auto pilot is finally working!
to the general], I was working too hard during the windy reach. So I've
eased up on the sails a little bit -- I can't go quite as fast but at
least auto pilot is working.
has expanded and slowed the entire fleet. At least from the check-in
it looks like most of us are going south looking for wind. Going south
was always my plan. It adds distance, but sitting in a hole for two
days is really a drag. I want to stay going south until my barometer
drops, and I cross the ridge the sea [scape] has quieted down considerably
-- no breaking waves.
of bumps and bruises and my hands are real sore. I lay down last night
on the soggy pillow. I really needed the rest. I was having trouble
holding the course and staying focused. So I woke up this morning the
pillow was still soggy but at least it was a warm soggy. I feel better
but I need more sleep and water. I am working on both.
have 1830 miles to go.
From Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.22 1550:
High jumped me. It snuck up on me from around a corner, jumped on my
back, punched me twice in the kidneys and then stole my lunch money.
Then it said mean things about my mom. Damnit.
could definitely be worse, but the breeze has gone very light. Last
night I was making fantastic progress while jib reaching under full
main and #2. I had taken 2 more hard fought miles from Idefix, the Olson
30. I was heading south of rhumb line now, and thought I would be able
to turn the corner tomorrow and hook into the trades.
morning from about 0300 to 0500, I had no breeze at all. Down to like
1 knot. I eventually had to drop the jib entirely. The autopilot just
searches back and forth, making noise and wasting power. (And understandably
so). I hand-steered for a few hours in the early morning, and then let
the Autopilot resume steering around day break, as I had 5 knots on
a reach. Breeze again went light, and I was hand steering during our
0900 radio check in, so I skipped it. I was pissed off anyways. (Only
1 comm check is required per day. Will check in tonight at 2100.)
morning from about 0300 to 0500, I had no breeze at all. Down to like
1 knot. I eventually had to drop the jib entirely. The autopilot just
searches back and forth, making noise and wasting power. (And understandably
so). I hand-steered for a few hours in the early morning, and then let
the Autopilot resume steering around day break, as I had 5 knots on
a reach. Breeze again went light, and I was hand steering during our
0900 radio check in, so I skipped it. I was pissed off anyways. (Only
1 comm check is required per day. Will check in tonight at 2100.)
had to hand steer quite a bit, and have adjusted the sails probably
70-100 times today, including two sail changes, as breeze briefly went
to 15-18, then back to being light. I am currently making close to 6
knots of boat speed with about 7.5 knots of apparent breeze. I remember
being on Trippin' (Tripp 40 from San Diego) in a Mexico race last year
when we had 1 knot of breeze. We were holding lit cigarettes in the
air and steering off the wind angle in the middle of the night. I almost
thought "What is the point?". Now I know. I hate to throw in the towel
when it goes light, so i'm trying to make every bit of boat speed I
can with what i'm given.
the light breeze, i've managed to make 109 miles to Hawaii since last
night's 2100 check in. (About 19 hours ago). I'm in damage control mode
right now trying to prevent Idefix from taking more miles out of me.
It will be interesting to see his position tonight. I don't know what
breeze he had today. The next 2-3 days should be very interesting and
have long lasting implications towards the finish. Breeze should go
light for me again and then on the nose. From that point, I believe
I will be back on a jib reach and come down south into the trades.
From Ronnie (Warrior's Wish) 2010.06.21 1645:
been out here for a bit more than two days and i'm finally getting my
sea legs. The first couple of days were very rough. After a less than
stellar start, we pounded to windward in 30 knots of breeze just to
leave the gate. With 1 reef and a #4 I was overpowered and went down
to 2 reefs. Heading southwest from San Francisco at about 225 degrees,
the breeze would eventually ease a bit and I could return to 1 reef.
Hard to weather I was happy with our progress. Before the day was through,
the breeze would pick back up significantly. Back in went the 2nd reef,
then the 3rd reef. For the rest of the first day and most of the 2nd
day, my sail plan would remain like this.
were big and the expected 30 knot blow lived up to its expectations.
Fortunately the sea state was pretty organized, for which i'm very grateful
as the quick transition from being on land to being in big seas was
not good for my system. I've just started being able to hold down my
food. I always say I never get sea sick, and I usually don't, but those
first two days. Wow. The velocity with which my freeze dried spaghetti
exited my mouth and covered the cockpit was most impressive. Feeling
the solid breeze and position of the Pacific High, I thought I would
get a rhumb line shot to Hawaii, but I don't think that's the case.
I made very solid progress during the first few days and I am the closest
monohull to the finish, but I am now having to head a bit more south.
This is not good for my position. I fear that the Olson 30 "Idefix",
my biggest competitor, is going to do some damage to me over the next
48 hours. Damn. Better to give up ground now and get south than to sail
into the high, and remain too far north at the Ridge.
another sail change right now, although i'm making decent speed and
like the balance of the boat. I've cracked off onto a beam reach, almost
broad reach, and am just now starting to get my first taste of Pacific
Ocean surfing which is helping my boat speed.
"Southernaire" did not make the start as he had SSB problems and no
sat phone. Another boat "Bandicoot" has headed back to port with comm
problems, while "Mirage", the Black Soo has headed back with charging
problems. All three boats are expected to re-start, if they haven't
done so already.
to turn the corner within the next 48 hours and get the chute up. It's
a bit wet and messy down below aboard "Warrior's Wish", but i've got
things under control and am working on getting things a bit more dry
and organized. At least we're not getting pounded any more!!
follow all of the boats in the race on the Singlehanded Transpac website,
From Adam (Blue Moon) 2010.06.22 1545:
is going well. Wind has laid down a bit and it is more comfortable now.
I am well rested and eating mostly Whole Foods ramen noodles and drinking
lots of water. No sign of other vessels so far. So glad things are more
calm. Going to weather on Blue MoonIs like being on a sub. Thinking
of buying a bigger boat in HI. This small boat, wet, cold and hungry
is overrated. Actually, all is well with boat. Definitely can't wait
for it to get warmer and to find the slot car (?). Happy Birthday Pops!!
From Jeff (Hecla) 2010.06.22 1430:
I gave a go at climbing the mast at sea, a first for me. The wind was
light and a slight swell was running. I took down all sail and proceded
up the main halyard with new spinakker block and halyard in tow. With
the slight swell and stiff stature of a multihull I was tossed about
like one of those elastic paddle ball toys, sustained some cuts and
body slams to the mast and was not even two body lengths above the boom.
The motion at the top would have been many times amplified, so I quit
that attempt. I am still pondering options but really don't have any
good ideas at the moment.
weather front, as shown by the computer generated weather models, the
strong and favorably positioned high pressure system of a week ago is
rapidly weakening and moving unfavorably and may actually curse most
of the fleet with very light winds for a while. Other things are developing,
that for me to take advantage of would involve tactical risk. I'm not
showing my cards yet!
from the fleet this morning are of too little wind and chilly conditions.
Fleet rumor also has it that I am sunbathing and peeling grapes at my
position. Couldn't be more untrue, I don't have any grapes on board,
Jeff / Hecla
AJ (Second Verse) 2010.06.22 1200:
the spinnaker today! It worked great and when the wind dropped down
to 8 kts, I was still going 6.5. Good stuff. Also, the best part about
the story is that I got the spin down without any problems. I know this
is no sweat for the SHTP vets out there, but a small victory for us
the cooker you gave me works great! I just heat up about an inch of
water under the steamer, throw in a meal packet, and in 5 mins it is
hot and ready to go! The packets are too big, it is definitely two meals.
with a cargo ship captain last night for 90 minutes. I could not get
him off the radio, he really wanted to talk! I think he thought I was
lonely and needed someone to talk to. I learned about his family, his
job, and life on the sea. He also was coming right at me, so I thought
it would be better to keep talking to him. He let me hold course and
he steered clear.
is working great. In fact, Iím getting a higher SOG with the vane than
with the auto pilot. The best part, its dead quiet, no grumbling.
losing track of days.
Verse, signing off.
John (Dream Chaser) 2010.06.22 1000:
All. Most of the fleet has gone from tooooo much wind to too little
wind, but this too will change. The upside is people are not as seasick
and starting to eat as normally as they can out here. Everybody is looking
forward to getting to Hecla's position so they too can be sunbathing
and peeling grapes....... At Dream Chaser's position, it is overcast
and chilly and about 5 kts of wind. Not easy to keep making hull speed
in these conditions and I wish I could as I am very looking forward
to warmer conditions.
John (Dream Chaser) at 2200:
are a little less hectic now. Winds 15-20 and 6-8 foot seas. It even
quit raining inside so I can use the nav station but I'm not sun bathing
and peeling grapes. I even have all three sails out completely.
(for me) Paul on Culebra seems to have the weakest signal so I don't
know if he can take over as comm boat. Warrior's Wish and Saraband have
the strongest signals.
blasting to HI, but more fun now!!!!!!
quickly things can change. From washing machine conditions on
the first day, wet and rough yesterday, and last night with periodic
gusts and surfing at extreme speed that caused me to put in a second
reef so I could get some sleep, to mid morning today when I entered
the fabled "slot car" region with flat(ish) seas, 15 knots
breeze, and absolutely delightful sailing conditions. The slot
car region is a light wind ridge extending off of the high pressure
system, with generally lighter and gradually veering winds. The
skipper's choice of where to enter the slots is a critical tactical
decision, where because of the wind angle I must sail at my deepest
reach angle and cannot go purposely deeper or gybe left, without serious
competitive consequences. My course is stuck for a while and hence
the slot car name (credit to Stan Honey's description).
all of the hardware damage on the mast except for the spinnaker block
and was able to get full hoist on the main, and with only white sails
carefully trimmed and hauled out I can still average 10 knots.
gentler conditions I can catch up on important body functions, like
hydration and brushing my teeth, some details that can get thrown out
when conditions are so difficult that every movement is a challenge
to staying on one's feet and keeping lunch down.
Kathe) Adam said it has been very lumpy and bumpy with big seas. He
estimated 8 to 10 ft seas and it's blowing about 18 to 28 knots. He's
was on a very windy reach but it has modified slightly. It has
been very wet in his cockpit so he's been hanging out down below and
sleeping a fair amount. Like some others, he did feel sick and he is
just getting his appetite back. He has eaten some but not much,
drinking water mostly. He's looking forward to 1) when he hits warmer
weather; 2) the moment when he stops feeling like he's sitting in a
wet diaper; 3) it getting more pleasant out there.
Hello to family and friends!!
Julie) George called us this afternoon and left the following very detailed
message which he asked us to forward to you. We also spoke with
him for a few brief minutes and he reported that today is a "fine
day." We assume that means weather. His demeanor on
the phone was upbeat, like he'd come through the jaws of hell and back,
and is up for the challenge. Words I had trouble understanding
are in brackets.
been out here for two full days now. Let me see, um, um, yeah,
two full days. Um, three words: cold, wet and carnage. I've
been in a storm. Winds have been a minimum of 18 knots and going
up to 25. Waves breaking everywhere. Breaking around me, in front
of me, behind me. Breaking on the boat. I just feel violated
-- it just started to break on me as I go by. I hit a wave and
it explodes and the boat is awash with water. Needless to say
I'm wet, everything I own is wet. My pillow is wet, my sleeping bag
is wet, all my clothes are wet, the floor is wet and I pumped it out
today. My tools are getting rusty still but that's what you have
The [outhaul] on the main block [middlestrap] broke. The main
sheet traveler car exploded. The second [weeping] line, its extra
strap just tore. [That's the] only thing I can see that is not
that really torn apart. I just inspected the boat.
that are working: my solar panels are working great. My
[xx] band radio is working great, obviously this phone -- the satphone
-- is working great. I can track myself on the computer, through
my GPS, so that's working great.
in good shape. I'm bruised up, been thrown about, but that's
par for the course. The most physical thing is the water everywhere.
It's just... everything is just soaked. And it's not regular
water, it's salt water which makes it more difficult. Boy do I
need a bath! I took off my clothes a few minutes ago and I looked
around the cabin to see who else is here because it smells so badly.
I'll get to that eventually.
I haven't been eating much. In fact all I've been eating is fruit
and dried fruit. No appetite. I'm really going to get some um
chili and rice in me. YUM YUM. So I'm going to do that
for lunch in a few minutes.
I haven't been drinking as much as I should, you know, but I'm
going to start drinking again. I went into this race really hydrated
and now I'm dehydrated again I'm sure.
haven't slept much. Oh my auto pilot -- oh that's the big
carnage. Auto pilot just crapped out. The last two days
I've been driving almost 24/7 and I haven't had time to eat I haven't
had time to drink pretty much of anything, just sort of repair... [message
tape ran out]"
had the wrap of the century - both spin halyards and the SSB halyard,
all three wrapped up around the top spindle of the roller furler of
the jib. Not only could I not use any halyard, I also could not
furl the jib, the spindle was wrapped. Two hours later, with me
on my back with binoculars on the foredeck, I got them all free! Before
still waiting for a complete comm boat report. They are transitioning
as HECLA gets out of range. I have positions for Hecla, Second Verse
and Southernaire. Bandicoot is back at the Richmond YC and has retired.
Mirage is coming back in again due to insufficient electrons. Will post
as soon as received.
was there was a lot of wind and big seas. In fact, for two hours
there it was 34 kts sustaining with gusts to 38! The seas were
above my second spreader! I have to admit for those two hours
I wished I were somewhere else. Better now.
the blades of the wind generator ripped off! Gone! Well,
there goes that power source, I will bring a spare set next time.
all this great food but I really have not eaten yet, just one apple
and some jerky. I’ll try to force some food down today.
crossed my path last night when I was asleep. I called him up
on VHF and asked if he ever saw me, nope! Oh well, no reason to
worry about that now.
seas calm down I’ll begin to tidy up, it is a mess in here!
BTW, sleeping on the floor is not that bad, I got a full hour at one
point last night, real good sleep, and I dreamed I was taking a hike
with the kids.
Verse, signing off and searching for the sun and calm seas.
Sorry I did not get a blog out last night, had some issues.
was very good actually, the best news being I was hungry at lunch time
meaning the end of the motion sickness. It was sunny occasionally
and some things dried out, for a short while anyway. I fixed a
great sauteed shrimp plate for dinner, and while enjoying that, and
having launched the small spinnaker during a light air deep reach afternoon,
the masthead spin halyard block exploded, also damaging some other components
on the mast including the main halyard clutch. This cost me some
time and a great deal of energy retrieving the large colorful shrimp
net from beneath the boat. It is also a serious performance hit
for which I have not yet developed a plan. There is a spare but
undersized block up there that I can rig from deck but I expect another
blowout. Stay tuned.
I am also
experiencing difficult satellite phone connections so I often can not
send or retrieve emails on a timely basis. Maybe the other boats
are hogging our local satellite!
no log entries with tonight’s position report so I’ll write
(Taz!!) was too busy to report this morning. His sister Julie says George
had rough weather, causing some equipment breakage of unknown description.
He is still racing along and says he is doing fine.
got underway at 2200 tonight. He has fresh batteries and his solar panel
connection problems are resolved. Mirage was quite wet inside so he’s
been addressing some deck leaks as well. But I think he was really just
spotting George some time, to make it fair.
got underway today from Tiburon and at 1800 was well south of the Farallones.
Sam rented a satphone after his SSB tuner proved faulty just before
the start. He says “Don’t count me out.” Way to go,
is heading back in due to unknown communications problems. A tanker
called me with his position information at 2045, which showed him about
six miles south of the Farallones.
is stretching out her lead and SSB reports are getting harder to hear.
I suspect Paul (Culebra) may be taking over communication boat duties
is doing great with the tracking page. It is tedious work. For example,
the software wants lat/lon numbers in degrees and decimals of degrees
instead of degrees and minutes, which is how the boats report them (and
is proper). So a big thanks to Matt! (My pleasure - mb)
first night is always the worst! In the take-one-for-the-team
department, just after roll call with all the head down computer work
I was forced to revisit my lunch and dinner with little warning.
It was otherwise a dark and slightly scary night, deeply reefed main
and tiny headsail in 30 knots the boat still trucks right along.
The wind out here is much more than forecast, but as I head SW it is
moderating as expected. This morning I am sailing as deep as possible
already in large surfing seas, unexpected before the first full day
of this race is completed. Still a white headsail though, too
much wind for a spinnaker. A few other sick tummies in the fleet,
but we remind ourselves that the last half of the race is why we do
this event! The weather forecast of the EPAC high is strange,
I have chosen a classic route instead of the novel route suggested by
routing software. The classic route is recommended by past winners,
and when they speak, it is wise to listen.
reports: He's doing fine and they're just chugging along! It sounds
windy as hell out there.
halyard wrapped. I will try to make free when I get to calmer
weather. Now 28kts, gusting 32. Got hit by a huge wave last
night, knocked down to about 55 degrees. Tanker reported same
All is well.
we go again, the SHTP2010! Quite different than the drifter first
day of 08, this lives up to the "windy reach" descriptor and
for some including me a queasy stomach or barf fest. The wind
in the Bay was NW and I was able to pass the bridge at center span without
a tack. Stiff gusty winds on an ebb tide made for a few green
waves over the bow while struggling to reef. A few tacks later
and clearing the San Francisco bar gave way to somewhat calmer seas
and the view of 3 Japanese navy vessels inbound. A very commanding
sight at close range to be sure! Making good time now, reefed
down and still averaging 12 knots, water flying everywhere. First
position roll call in about an hour.