View Full Version : LongPac 2017 Tracking and Position Reporting + Chatter

07-05-2017, 01:49 PM
LongPac Tracking is on Jibset, for a limited number of boats with DeLorme devices

LINK: http://sfbaysss.org/main/longpactracker

Position Reports will also be posted to this thread as available. And any other chatter you like.

07-05-2017, 02:12 PM
Here is the new place they moved all the radiofax charts, by the way: http://tgftp.nws.noaa.gov/fax/ptreyes.shtml

Over the next 4 days winds are in a typical Summer pattern, NW in the 20s out on the course.

So I am a bit dismayed to see the tracked fleet all diving South! Maybe they just want to give the Farallones a big duck.


07-05-2017, 04:16 PM
I am a bit dismayed to see the tracked fleet all diving South!

Yep, Pythagoras is still right.

07-05-2017, 04:28 PM
They are tracking more Westward now, and maybe the wind won't allow it, but I would strongly advise the racers to put as much upwind into the bank as early as possible. Beam reaching in general sux, and you want to make the last quarter or third of the race as easy as possible as you will be tired and approaching the lee shore and dense traffic areas.

07-05-2017, 04:42 PM
Six Brothers is past SE Farallon and sailing due west. Kynntana is sailing WSW and had not yet passed the island at her last ping.

The others look like they're headed to Tahiti. Tahiti is nice and all, but...

07-05-2017, 05:17 PM
That must be fun on a Columbia 32 -- I notice that 6Bros is the ONLY DH entry this year. Did last year's sucky weather scare them all off?

Green Buffalo has AIS xmit I know, Jim must be in stealth mode for now... maybe he will start transmitting after dark.

Vessel Finder https://www.vesselfinder.com/ seems to have more our our targets at the moment. I'm not sure how long they will be visible.

07-05-2017, 09:00 PM
Jacqueline has turned around, AIS showing 10 mm SW of GG.

07-05-2017, 09:23 PM
Everybody else got off okay, though? First night out on the ocean for some. Always impressive. Thanks for keeping us in the loop, David and Rick. Do you have someone's boat there at the dock?

07-05-2017, 11:00 PM
If Jim turns things on, I'll bet his track sows NW and then W near Pt. Reyes.

07-05-2017, 11:42 PM
If Jim turns things on, I'll bet his track sows NW and then W near Pt. Reyes.

My thought exactly.

The Smokester
07-06-2017, 12:51 AM
Jacqueline has retired and is back under the bridge. Heading for anchorage at TI.

07-06-2017, 09:11 AM
No racers visible on AIS, but 6 now can be viewed on the Jibeset tracker.

mike cunningham
07-06-2017, 09:43 AM
Jacqueline has retired and is back under the bridge. Heading for anchorage at TI.

Sorry to have bailed, it was all
mental. Boat was fine.

I passed SF about nine miles south of island. Tortuga was a good six miles south of me, Galexsea was about 4 miles south. Kyntana was north about 6 miles. More or less at same longitude.


07-06-2017, 10:31 AM
Positions 05 July at 2000 hrs



07-06-2017, 10:43 AM
Position Report for 06 July 0800 hrs

No report for Green Buffalo.


07-06-2017, 10:50 AM
Listing so you don't have to keep going back to Jibeset


07-06-2017, 11:01 AM
Jibeset Tracker shows ALTHEA turned around? It is updated hourly, unlike the 2 per day official position reporting. Hope he is OK.

07-06-2017, 11:26 AM
Go Carlianne! KYNNTANA likes a breeze, and there is more coming.....20-25 by tomorrow. KYNNTANA has good position being near weathermost in fleet....

07-06-2017, 02:49 PM
ALTHEA definitely heading back for the barn. Nightmare has a weird little bobble, not sure what that was about. Others are trucking along, Tortuga doing ok to the West but at the same latitude as Moss Landing (!). Well, maybe that works for cutters.

The Smokester
07-06-2017, 03:36 PM
Here is Six Brothers on July 6 at 1908 UTC: 37.67175 N/126.20386 W. Heading 272 at 6.3 kn.

07-06-2017, 03:57 PM
Here is Six Brothers on July 6 at 1908 UTC: 37.67175 N/126.20386 W. Heading 272 at 6.3 kn.

Sweet, almost to the touch line after just 30 hours or something. Last time it was closer to 4 days!

07-06-2017, 04:55 PM
Green Buffalo reports touching the line at 4:11pm at 37.19

he reports:
Sunny skies, 13Kn & mild seas.
changed to #1 Jib Top this morning


07-06-2017, 06:15 PM
Green Buffalo reports touching the line at 4:11pm at 37.19
he reports:Sunny skies, 13Kn & mild seas.
changed to #1 Jib Top this morning

Ha! That Quanci Boy. He's some sailor. Big Green Buffalo outsails a double handed carbon sled. Im.Pres.Siv!!

The Smokester
07-06-2017, 06:22 PM
Green Buffalo reports touching the line at 4:11pm at 37.19

he reports:
Sunny skies, 13Kn & mild seas.
changed to #1 Jib Top this morning


Well, he better hang onto his hat.

07-06-2017, 07:07 PM
A full main and JT might get the Buffalo to 20 degrees of heel in 25 knots.

And Philpott using the phrase "double handed carbon sled" makes me smile.

07-06-2017, 07:42 PM
To be clear, Jim was just the first to ping me at the turn.
6 Brothers will update me shortly... I expect they will be headed back east.


07-06-2017, 07:49 PM
Brian reports from hilltop VHF that ALTHEA is app 30 miles from the gate, inbound.
ETA is 0100
Brett's Starboard chain plate is reportedly compromised, hence the turn and heading for home on the other tack


07-06-2017, 10:13 PM
Positions 6 July 2000hrs

ALTHEA and JACQUILINE retired; ALTHEA not yet returned from sea; no report but ETA 0100 Friday morning.

GREEN BUFFALO, RIFF RIDER, and SIX BROTHERS have all reached the turnaround line and are heading back. Possibly others as well but I don't think so.


Detail from above so you can read the names


07-07-2017, 08:53 AM
This is way better than the Kentucky Derby because I know almost all the horses and most of the jockies. Ray Irvine says in Australia everybody bets on sailboat races. Maybe the SSS board could add a bookie position. Or a carbon bookie position.

07-07-2017, 09:37 AM
Positions 7 July 0800

All boats have turned and are heading back.

ALTHEA in port. GREEN BUFFALO ETA 1930. GALAXSEA and SIX BROTHERS are visible on VesselFinder AIS. SIX BROTHERS ETA mid day, they are about 60 nm from the finish and doing 9.1 knots.


07-07-2017, 11:23 AM
9 knots? Smokin' along.

07-07-2017, 12:11 PM
Arrived back at the dock in Alameda at 3am. Now rested, pretty bummed, Althea was humming along, closed hauled in 17kts when I heard a loud pop. "Muddy" water started spitting from my aft starboard chain plate and I went above only to see it had been pulled up a couple inches. With two shrouds left holding the mast up on the starboard side, I tacked onto port. Weighed the decision to continue the last 75nm to 126 40 for all of 5 minutes. Did not want to chance disaster.

Had an amazing sail back to the bay on a port tack - beautiful weather and kind winds - what a great course. Was happy to hear Brian raise me on VHF, 8 miles west of North Farallones. Thanks for checking in.


07-07-2017, 01:17 PM
With two shrouds left holding the mast up on the starboard side, I tacked onto port. Weighed the decision to continue the last 75nm to 126 40 for all of 5 minutes. 2544

Wise choice ... And better now than next year! Sorry that it happened ...

07-07-2017, 02:19 PM

Yes a bummer but you made the right call. No fun being dismasted 200 nm out.

07-07-2017, 02:58 PM
At around 1500, GREEN BUFFALO is abeam SE Farallon Island, and 6BROS is about 5 nm W. of Point Bonita.

6B owes GB 57 sec per mile, or 6 hrs 20 minutes for TOD @ 400nm.

The Buffalo looks good to win on corrected!

07-07-2017, 03:00 PM
And better now than next year!

No doubt, better now than halfway to Hanalei!

And here I thought I was almost out of projects...

07-07-2017, 03:09 PM
Hi Brett,
Bummer about your chainplate but I guess it's better this year than last year about this time. Hope you get things back together soon.

Bill Meanley

07-07-2017, 04:34 PM
SIX BROTHERS approaches finish doing about 6 knots. RC support vessel OWL shown moored near GGYC.


07-07-2017, 04:49 PM

SIX BROTHERS finishes at approximately 1645 PDT. Congratulations!


07-07-2017, 05:00 PM
From the RC:

6 Brothers finish

for a blistering 7.3 kt VMG average over 400 nm.

Can GREEN BUFFALO make it in on time to beat the Bros on corrected time as the wind dies this evening??? The tide will soon swing to his favor, wind or no wind.

The time to beat is 2306 hrs PDT -- unofficial calculation.


San Francisco Bay Entrance (outside), California Current

37.8105° N, 122.5022° W
Flood direction 65° true
Ebb direction 245° true

2017-07-07 16:17 PDT -2.06 knots Max Ebb
2017-07-07 19:27 PDT Moonrise
2017-07-07 19:33 PDT 0.00 knots Slack, Flood Begins
2017-07-07 20:34 PDT Sunset
2017-07-07 22:19 PDT 2.56 knots Max Flood

07-07-2017, 05:30 PM
Lol, you're right, thanks, Bill. Enjoyed seeing your picture and reading a bit about your cruising experience in this months latitude. Lovely family.

for a blistering 7.3 kt VMG average over 400 nm.

Dang. Congrats 6 Brothers.

07-07-2017, 09:18 PM
POSITION REPORT 7 July 2000hrs

SIX BROTHERS finish 16:46:18
GREEN BUFFALO finish 19:12:45


RIFF RIDER, no exact report, but 30 nm W of Farallones

JOU JOU is having rudder trouble and may divert to Monterey.


07-07-2017, 11:58 PM
The Buffalo is put to bed and the skipper just took a shower and wolfed down an In N Out cheeseburger (with onions). All is good in the world (at least for a moment).

07-08-2017, 06:13 AM
The Buffalo is put to bed and the skipper just took a shower and wolfed down an In N Out cheeseburger (with onions). All is good in the world (at least for a moment).

Well done Jim and The Buffalo!! Congrats!!

07-08-2017, 07:47 AM
Great job Jim!

Reported that JOU JOU is motoring back to SF after equipment issues.

GALAXSEA and RIFF RIDER can be seen on VesselFinder about 4 nm W. of Point Bonita, apparently with no wind.

TORTUGA and NIGHTMARE are both about 35 nm out.

Fleet should be all finished before late afternoon I guess.

07-08-2017, 09:19 AM
The weather was kind to the RC too!

07-08-2017, 09:25 AM
POSITIONS 8 July 0800

Crinan 2 finished at 08:20:31

JOU JOU Retired officially at 01:20; inbound under power

most are outside the gate, waiting for breeze

positions will be posted later after some errors are fixed.

07-08-2017, 12:13 PM
As the last boats are creeping in... a little blow by blow...

Expedition forecast a a quick race... GB finish 8pm or so...just before sunset... based on GRIBS that showed 10-20k on the way out and 15-30k on the return. And the wind being westerly going out - making it hard to go due west - and NW on the return - so coming back from a bit south would be a reach. So for the heavy small rig Cal 40 it would be the upper range of the #1 going out and big jib top coming back. So that was the plan. But it was questionable if it could be done without changing down to the #3 at some point.

Port side of line favored... wanted to port tack start but misjusged the flood and came in a bit late... though late being insude and ahort tacking off crissy paid dividends. Hit the south tower close... so decision time... go out north or south side? There was early ebb and decent breeze at the south side... the route target was 37-25 which is a tad south... the north side looked like lighter air... and the flood would be a lift exiting on the south side (vs a header exiting north side). So south side it was. Almost got out without tacking at the south tower but ended up well inside Mile Rock and a wee bit too close to the bricks. One short tack out and then back to starboard till the turning mark..hard on the wind in 10k-14k for the first 10 miles not laying the mark... and as the wind slowly swung north gradually coming up to the mark. Passed a few miles south of the Farralons now with the #1 on an outside lead with AWA of 40-50 degrees - and stayed that way till 10am Thursday when wind lightened to 10k - so up goes the jib top - knowing it was the right sail for the beam reach home. The #1 was a bit touch and go at times when the wind got as high as 20k but being cracked off 15 degrees made it doable (and changing from the #1 to the #3 alone at night in 20k is to be avoided). The forecast said no more then 20k the first night... fingers crossed.

During the change to the jib top noticed the halyard was a bit chewed up so cut a foot off the halyard and bowline to the jib top head.

Changing from a #1 to a 155% jib top quickly is a bit of a wrestle and firedrill. Was soaking wet with sweat by the time I was done.

Thursday was a beautiful blue sky almost warm day. Ate a bit for the first time (though still on the 2 bonine per day regimen).

Rounded the mark at 36-19 at 4pm. My target was 36-25 but keeping up the #1 forced me a bit further south. The router said a 10 minute loss but I wager an hour or two gain by keeping full speed with the #1 - 7k-8k.

The way back was 65-90 AWA till inside the lightship. Wind averaged 24k with gusts as high as 29k. Again top end of the head sail - having to ease the jib top and vang while footing in the higher wind speeds. Steuggling to get north not wanting to end up gard on the wind the last 30 miles.

Friday morning I am woken up from a nap by a "bang". Jib top going up the headstay... did the rack tear out? Lucky me it was just the tack shackle which was likely 30 years old. The waves were sizable and green water on deck from time to time so quick turn south to make biw work easy, run forward, ease jib halyard, hook up tack to spare shackle, halyard up, turn back to course... maybe 3 minutes... time to get back to napping.

Now what?
Jib top down and dragging alongside the boat. Broken halyard (that one I had shortened). Best to raise on the spare halyard while going a bit to weather so the jib lightly skidded on tbe bow wave. Got a bit fire hosed... which meant I really did have to finally change my underwear. Hope this halyard makes it all the way home...

Funny feeling sitting below napping watching the boat being pooped a few times (cockpit full of water).

Passed two mile to leeward of the Farrallons at 3pm... just like a SH Farallons race!

And just like two ocean races earlier in the year the wind shut off just before Bonita. Was planning to ride early flood on the south side but saw a bit of wind on the north side so north I want (dodging 5 outbound ships in the process). Though almost no wind, the flood carried me in till near the bridge where the wind filled again to the finish. Last of the ebb in the middle under the bridge but strong wide early flood everywhere else. Debated hoisting the chute but with the shifting wind and good flood decided not too.

Then hearing Ben and Lucy on the radio I just had to finish close to the bricks to give them a F2F.

Now where was Six Brothers? This wasn't really there weather conditions being too much reach and almost no chute. But us SH just love to put the heat on the DH.

As an aside...
Otto (the Alpha autopilot) drove 54 of the 57 hours. The skipper slept 10 hours per day... in 30-60 minute chunks (have a love-hate relationship with the loud kitchen timer made for the hard of hearing).
Only woken up once by the AIS proximity alarm.
I need to figure out what is amiss with my AIS transponder as I had it on the while time... though Vessel Finder doesnt see me... MarineTraffic does.

07-08-2017, 06:42 PM
That's a great report. Thanks for posting.

07-09-2017, 01:34 PM
From a small boat

I was really glad to actually sail after all the preparations. It was almost like going to Hawaii but with less water and food. Family also gave me half way packages, drawings and pictures to open every day.

Had a good start and heard Al’s “Good Luck” from the race shore. That was nice to hear! Stayed out of the flood, few tacks as possible and see the scenic Marin coves. Quincy hit the South Tower a bit before I hit the North Tower. Single crew Express 27’s have a lot of leeway unless you sail them almost flat so I wanted to zig-zag the Marin headlands and make that last starboard tack at Pt. Bonita toward Farallones. Six Brothers had the same idea and sailed past me before the Bonita.

I was still carrying the #1 about midway to Farallones before changing down to #3. I had Crazy Rhythm (Santa Cruz 27) on my starboard quarter close enough to see his red foulies in the cockpit. My friend would remain within visual sight all the way to the turnaround point. John and I would do an 8:30 vhf checkin twice a day all through the race. Meant a lot and helped keep me going.

Day 1 was pleasant sailing out, only 1 head sail change from #1 to a #3, no Foulies needed, no water over the bow, dancing in the cockpit to B-52’s, good spirits. Mild winds and mild sea state. I could visually count 12 boats with the naked eye to the north, west and south & only about 5 miles apart. Quanci was way ahead and with 2 other tall masts possibly Don's Wiley 30 and Greg's Wilderness 30sx, two slow movers below were probably Tortuga and Daniel's "Imperial Cruiser". Six Brothers and another larger boat seemed to be high north above a Farallones track. Charles on Cal 40 Riff Rider passed me around the Farallones I believe. Before dark, took first reef and change down to #4. Must be approaching 20 knots.

Some where between Evening 1 and Day 2, naturally conditions got rougher with wind and seas, so progressively changed down to 2 reefs and #4. Must have been 20-25 plus knots. Close reaching to stay upwind and keep Archimedes stable. Sea sickness was worse than usual even with the Scopolamine patch. The sea state was jostling my insides not just the usual up/down but the more sudden left/right. Puke Festival 2017 just started.

But, not a problem, I prepared by hydrating and nourishing two days before so I was functional despite only eating one Mtn House spaghetti meal, one package Trader Joe’s turkey jerky, two tubes of crackers and ginger ale & water. But, I had to keep things simple. Not racing, just good seamanship.
From Day 2 forward, Staying dry, warm and rested meant little time on deck as possible. Only reefing, lookout and main sheet control with AP driving. I kept two reefs and a #4. Once in a while thought about changing down to storm jib because it felt like 25 knots plus, but cracking off was better than walking the dark fore deck in the un-patterned waves.

I made out Crazy Rhythm’s red bow light and mast strobe near the turnaround point and heard Carliane on Kyntanna was close by. I was rooting for her not just to finish but to do well toward Hawaii eventually. Long ago, she impressed me with her character. After a long solo sail from Hanalei and a tired evening arrival into the tricky Nawiliwili Harbor, she impressed me how she led others putting Archimedes away. She took care of her like her own and with familiarity. Making sure sails were properly folded, lines coiled, and nothing left amiss. Listening to her interact with the other SHTP vets, I told George Lythcott to keep an eye out on her, she will be significant competition in future SHTP’s, because she is not just a racer but a true sailor.

Thank God for Auto Pilots. My Ray Marine ram is named “Rachel.” She has tanned to a gold/brown over time and has cradled me over 3000 miles safely. God bless her and the Hungarian hands who assembled her. Only a few times did she need my company in the worse winds and sea states. She drove and I trimmed the main in and out with puffs and waves.

Sometimes, driving topside in the evening was beautiful. The moonlight on my starboard lee side, the beam reach speeds and the occasional roaring breaker. But, I had to keep my eyes in the back of my head so that I could crouch into a “wave body tuck” position and lessen the impact of breaking waves. I did not want to get body checked to the lee side, so mostly retreated to the cabin during the real nasty stuff. One thing that I always remember about overnight ocean races is that just like visiting a city, each quadrant of the sea is like a different city block with its changing feel and character. Most of the wind gusts seemed to stay below 30 knots, so happy to have no “howling sea desert” to morphi-phrase Mark Twain.

My biggest concern was how much did I need to go upwind to return to SF versus how Archimedes wanted to sail. I ended up close reaching the early part of the return leg and beam reaching the rest. All possible since the wind lived up to forecasted shift left as we worked toward home.
My second concern was squeezing between a night SE Farallones and western approach shipping channel during my most tired state. I stayed awake thru it and crashed slept once safely inside the light ship and well south of the return channel. When I got up in the dark morning, I was surprised how little progress I had made but too tired and nonchalant about unreefing the main, so back to sleep. By daylight morning and better rested, I wanted to get home so un-reefed, chuted up wind in light air and finally changed to a #1 on starboard tack from Bonita to the south tower. I was so focused on my drive that I scared a small fishing boat out of the way and in return a whale scared me by spouting a boat length off the starboard stern. The tail was curled about 10 feet away.

Approaching the Red Gate, starboard beam reach to South Tower and into the security of the Inside Bay. I could let most of my guard down and be at ease. VHF Greetings from Brian on RedSky and visual greetings from the RC was nice. It was nice to see them on the way out, monitoring our progress, and to see them at the Finish. Thank you, Guys and Gals!!

This race was different from other Long Pacs and the start of the 2014 Transpac. 2011 was frustrating, 2013 was scary windy and this one… fun to tolerable leg 1 and queasy, moony, jostling leg 2. It’s a tougher race that SHTP and is suppose to be. I trailed just behind Kyntanna and just a few hours before my friend John on his SC27 Crazy Rythm. Congratulations to you both, I see SHTP 2018 in your futures.

I am still a little queasy on Sunday morning, so more “west & welaxation” as Elmer Fudd would say!

Glad everyone is back in Safely, Can’t wait to hear the stories from the Other Nuts!

P.S. John on the Santa Cruz 27 Crazy Rythm's is actually crazy (but hardcore) for going thru this gauntlet. A soaking, dodger-less ride and tight cramped quarters for a 6'2"

07-09-2017, 08:16 PM
. A soaking, dodger-less ride and tight cramped quarters for a 6'2"

Ah! I feel for you as I can relate to that being 6'6" in an Olson 30.

Great report, thanks for posting and congrats!

07-09-2017, 11:29 PM
As the last boats are creeping in... a little blow by blow...

Expedition forecast a a quick race...
I need to figure out what is amiss with my AIS transponder as I had it on the while time... though Vessel Finder doesnt see me... MarineTraffic does.

Nice report,a nd w well sailed race (with headaches). Thanks, Jim!

07-09-2017, 11:32 PM
From a small boat

I was really glad to actually sail after all the preparations.

Glad everyone is back in Safely, Can’t wait to hear the stories from the Other Nuts!

P.S. John on the Santa Cruz 27 Crazy Rythm's is actually crazy (but hardcore) for going thru this gauntlet. A soaking, dodger-less ride and tight cramped quarters for a 6'2"

Thanks for the report!

07-10-2017, 07:53 AM
This was my first multi-day offshore race, my first time beyond the Farallones, and the first time managing myself and my boat over a much longer period of time and distance. My goal was to qualify for the SH Transpac and learn as much as possible in the process. In the end I had a disappointing finish to the LongPac. However, I feel that I accomplished all of my major goals in entering the race. Here follows a short re-cap of my experience on JouJou.

We had ideal weather for the sail out, and looking back at the tracker I seemed to hold my own and then some. My rudder started to clank alarmingly and periodically bind up on the first day and I considered retiring before the Farallones. I alerted the race committee to the potential rudder problems and decided to keep going and to monitor the situation. My first night was a struggle as I could not sleep. This was my first night at sea in JouJou and between the adrenaline and the anxiety of barreling along in 18 kts of wind in total darkness I just could not settle in. I finally found a spot on the floor of the cockpit (!) where I could get comfortable. I got perhaps 30 min of sleep total that night. Not good.

The second day was in a word: glorious. Perfect sailing conditions for hours and hours. I ended up close hauled for the last 50 miles to the turn-around point, hitting the mark at 8:00 PM. This was four hours behind Green Buffalo, with whom I had crossed tacks two hours earlier. I waved as we passed, but apparently Jim was down below sleeping one of his 10 hours that day, or mixing cocktails, or whatever else he does on these races. I knew that he was going to kill everyone in the race, but he could at least try to make it look a bit harder.

On the second day it felt like my rudder had stabilized, but in retrospect I think I had just become accustomed to the stiffness of the steering and that we were sailing in pretty benign conditions.

On the third day things began to unravel. The wind went from 15-18 knots overnight to 25-27 knots, gusting to 30. My target course back to SF had me at ~90 AWA, and beam-reaching in the growing seas got more and more difficult as the day progressed. There seemed to be two wave trains, one dominant train that I had to fight against, and a lesser train that actually helped a bit. It is where they mixed chaotically that there were problems. By mid-day I was getting smacked around like a toy. The biggest problem was with the dominant train on the beam where I would periodically get hit by the breaking wave crest, filling the cockpit and spinning me helplessly into the wind. This happened 6-7 times before I gave up and bore off. At 110 AWA it was much better, but this put me on a course for Monterey, not SF. My autopilot under these conditions was completely useless, so I hand steered for 12 hours straight. And my rudder was binding up so much that It was getting more and more difficult to make the sharp moves necessary to avoid wiping out. At this point I resigned myself to running downwind to spare the boat and to avoid catastrophic rudder failure. Looking back at the tracking data from other boats, it looks like if I had just held on for a couple of more hours things would have improved and I would have been able to head up to SF. Oh, well. Always easy in retrospect.

Having borne off, by midnight I was on course for Monterey with 10+ hours ahead of me. My foggy brain finally began to explore other options. The wind was down to 18 knots by then and I realized that I could head up to HMB at 60 AWA and that the autopilot could actually handle the conditions. So I sailed for a couple of hours on that tack, managing to sleep a bit. I further realized that by heading up to 40 AWA I could make SF, which was ~50 nm away. In retrospect, I realized that I could have beat back north and finish under sail, but the constant anxiety about the rudder took its toll on my judgment and I just wanted to get the boat back home in one piece. So I dropped the jib, started the engine, and motor-sailed back to SF. Of course, the moment I started the engine the wind dropped to a lovely 15 knots, the seas disappeared, and there was a full moon and clear skies and a dome of stars above. Utterly predictable.

In conclusion, I am disappointed in not finishing the race, particularly as it now clear that it was possible. I the process though, I learned an enormous amount about myself, the boat, and longer-term race management. In that respect, the race accomplished exactly what it was designed to do: serve as a stepping stone to the SH Transpac. According to my tracker data, I sailed 415 nm before retiring, so I believe that I managed my Transpac qualification. And I have a year to implement all the lessons learned. Meanwhile, I will be hauling out the boat and having a look at those rudder bearings. A job I clearly should have done before the race. And I plan on only mellow day sails on the Bay, perhaps a trip up the Delta – I am done with the ocean for a while.


07-10-2017, 02:25 PM
Sorry I missed you... how close did we pass it other? Next time buzz me on 16. Neighbors are scarce out there and need to be embraced...

07-10-2017, 07:19 PM
I am done with the ocean for a while.


I enjoyed reading about your adventure and tribulations. "Failure" in the 2011 Long Pac did not feel good either, but it paid huge dividends later. I think you did Well! The decisions made seemed like wise prudent seamanship to me.

I am done with the ocean, too - for at least a month. Somehow I am reminded of that scene in Clockwork Orange where the antagonist is adversely conditioned to violence by forcing his eye lids open and being subjected to many TV images. Well, I get queasy just looking at the sea or my left over food now. Damaged goods I am!

Someone mentioned the results at the end of an email today and I really didn't want to know. Can someone put my boat away?


07-10-2017, 07:40 PM
#1 going out and big jib top coming back. ... and the flood would be a lift exiting on the south side (vs a header exiting north side).

Jim, you ride that Buffalo well and reading your playbook is great! Thanks for sharing!

Is the Jib Top configured more for reaching and what's that % compared to the #1.

Also, can you elaborate on the lifting exit flood at the south more. I don't quite follow.

Is that what Expedition can do. Provide latitude points to aim for based upon forecasted grids and best (least) sail time.


07-10-2017, 10:34 PM
2017 LongPac Report

It’s Monday afternoon and I just got home and finished unpacking from the race. Even after writing in my log, it is all a bit of a blur but writing helps.

This was my first LongPac and a lot of other firsts along with it. Hopefully it will all fill in.

I camped out in SF the night before, arriving after the fireworks, and managing to get a good rest. Exciter and nervous I stowed the outboard below and mounted the e-rudder cassette. 09:30 I pushed off and sailed out for my 10:00 start. Checked in with the race committee and crossed the line on port in good order carrying main and #3 jib. Headed for the north tower to work my way out from that side but tacked early to avoid an inbound freighter. South side it is. Other boats opted for more sail and it was paying off. After getting past the lightship I changed up to my 125% which is my #1 and carried it until just before dark. I did manage to get my first nap down below on the port bunk. Things are definitely LOUDER below, with the hull slamming over the waves the reverberations were astonishing. It would rouse me regularly so I could pop my head out for a look around and check AIS.

Seasickness wasn’t too bad but had me pretty lethargic. My first check in Wed. night, trying to text on the Delorme was pretty brutal though. Barely got a very short text off to R/C and home. Maintaining a regime of Dramamine helps.

Changed down to the #3 jib and put a few more layers on as night came and it got cooler. The moon made things beautiful. First night proceeded as the day with regular naps and and lookouts, keeping an eye on AIS. After the moon went down I saw the phosphorecence in the bow wave, absolutely amazing!

Thursday morning brought a new set of issues, the solar system wasn’t charging. After checking in I tried resetting the charge controller through the app in my phone, but trying to focus on that really brought on the seasickness. After a rest I decided I needed to get into the wiring. We hove to for some relief from the swell and dug out the tools and multimeter. After some periods of rest, work, purge, the problem was solved. Aimed west again I went below, dosed up on dramamine and took a nap. Evening check in completed, kept getting a little more food and fluids in me.

About 50nm from turn around I heard Kyntanna on the radio. I called to say hello, and started to chat. Got scolded by USCG Station Long Beach. Oops. at 02:56 Friday I made my turn. Woo hoo!!

Friday things continued to improve as far as seasickness, appetite, and energy level. Communications became easier. Running with the swell helps a lot for me.
Wind began to increase throughout the day with the first reef in midday and apparent wind passing 18 knots, later I tucked in the second after we were hitting 22 plus.
Around 19:00 the tillerpilot ram gave up. Something inside, I‘ll have to take it apart to see if I can fix it. I have and ST2000 for a backup but it couldn’t keep up with the swell and wind waves that were building. With check in I alerted R/C and home I would heave to later for rest. 22:00 I did just that, dozed for a couple hours when a big wave slammed the side and startled me, all was ok so I tried for a little more sleep. Saturday 02:00 I set to getting to the finish, hand steering in that cross sea the last 100 miles.
I tried the backup pilot a couple times when I just couldn’t keep my eyes open but only got a very short nap. As the sun came up it became easier to keep alert. 08:00 check in had me just west of the Farallone Islands with a thick haze keeping them obscured until I was within 2.5 miles. I considered the lee shore for a moment but felt ok passing to the north in the conditions at hand.

Approaching Point Bonita I was pleased to receive Red Sky’s welcome back call on the radio. The wind died and I jibed back and forth to keep apparent wind going, keep us in the flood and between the inbound and outbound shipping traffic, up to the Gate, where the breeze filled in, put us on starboard to the finish. I ran all the way to the breakwater to give R/C a big wave and THANK YOU! Altogether a great race, challenging and exciting!

Sailed back to Richmond, called my wife on the way, and slept hard. Ate and slept some more. Cleaned and stowed the boat on Sunday. Returned the liferaft and headed home on Monday. Whew!

I’m sure there is plenty I’ve missed, hopefully this will suffice.

Oh, I didn’t mention the groover, or bucket and chuck it, as I’ve heard it called.
That was a first under a seaway. We’ll skip the details.

Greg Ashby
S/V Nightmare


07-11-2017, 08:19 AM
Here is a shot of Jaqueline after the start, or maybe just before.


And Riff Rider as we headed for Miles Rocks


07-11-2017, 11:42 AM
First - thanks for the kind words!

On the jib top... its a 155% genoa with a high clew (maybe 5 feet off the deck) that trims near as far aft as the spinnaker sheet. Used when the AWA is between 50 and 85 degrees (and at time as deep as 130 degrees when its too windy to fly a chute). Yes the perfect sail for most of the second half of the race. It sort of works like a "last century's" version of a Code zero (though its heavy material so can be flown off the wind in over 30k). See pic of what looks like a great jib top (but is actually a code zero) - https://www.quantumsails.com/QuantumSails/media/Articles/Header%20Images/code-0-misconceptions-header.jpg?ext=.jpg that clearly shows how high the clew is - or a picture of the Buffalo's jib top - but because of the angle is not so clear how high up the clew is - http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/20949950040810783649.jpg

On lifting exit flood...
When its flooding and the wind is from the NW... when you are exiting the bay...
On the north side as you get past the Bonita Channel buoy the flood sets you N to S. With the wind from the NW the current is dragging you away from the wind -- so you see a drop in wind speed equal to the Flood which is also reflected as a wind direction header (you cannot sail as high as you could if there was no current). When exiting the south side in a flood, the flood is carrying you S to N - toward the NW breeze - so you see both a wind velocity increase as well as a lift (you can sail higher then if there was no current). Its the mirror effect that has us favoring the north side exit in an ebb in a NW wind. This all gets reversed if its a southerly wind like we see in the spring from time to time. Might take a white board and some vector diagrams to really grock what is happening...

On Expedition...
Given good "as you can really sail" polars for your boat (not theoretical polars which are more about boat trim and speed optimization), you can use Expedition to figure out the "shortest time" turning point for the race. Its a bit iterative... moving the turning point up and down the 126-40 longitude line and rerouting to see which turning point is optimum (shortest time). Using Expedition to do this takes a significant investment in time (and money) learning the tool, learning its quirks - plus developing reasonable polars for your boat as sailed singlehanded (I have developed polars for sailing the Buffalo SH, DH, fully crewed, flat water, big waves... taking into account things like I am not flying the chute in 30k SH but am when fully Crewed). Once you get familiar with Expedition... it only takes 10 minutes to rerun the routing analysis using the latest weather forecast (what I did the last 4 nights before the race and then Wednesday morning before heading to the boat).

Anyone interested in learning more about exiting the bay strategies or routing using Expedition... just reach out. Happy to walk you thru it F2F. The exiting the bay learning curve is short... 10 minutes and you should have it. Using Expedition is not... warning... plan on investing 50+ hours learning and using Expedition before you are no longer dangerous - but not yet an expert (assuming you already have a reasonably good handle on interpreting weather forecasts and patterns).

mike cunningham
07-11-2017, 12:02 PM
Here is a shot of Jaqueline after the start, or maybe just before.


And Riff Rider as we headed for Miles Rocks


Aarghh, don't remind me (he said with a smile). I read everyone's great reports and I kick myself hard for not pressing on.
Thanks for the pic and congrats on a great race. Really enjoyed your report. I have great respect for the grit and determination needed to participate in this race.

07-11-2017, 04:56 PM
I just want to highlight Nightmare's rather casual observation:

"Saturday 02:00 I set to getting to the finish, hand steering in that cross sea the last 100 miles."

I now have some appreciation of what that means. 15 hours at the helm: cold, tired and sleep deprived.

Here's to the determined rookies!

07-11-2017, 10:07 PM
Aarghh, don't remind me (he said with a smile). I read everyone's great reports and I kick myself hard for not pressing on.
Thanks for the pic and congrats on a great race. Really enjoyed your report. I have great respect for the grit and determination needed to participate in this race.

Respect. That is what I have for you. You have done it all already. If your gut says not good, and you go with it, that's a good call.

07-12-2017, 01:38 AM
Why is it that I haven't seen this thread before?! What great reports from all, even those who turned around or had gear trouble. I am learning so much from all of you and learned a TON about Kynntana and my capabilities. I've posted my report somewhere else in this forum, but I had removed a lot of details about my feelings during the race. Reading these reports made me realize that I wasnt the only one who struggled with the violent rhythms of the boat, the confused sea state, sea sickness, etc. I came back pretty convinced that perhaps I'm not really cut out for this. Those doubts did start to diminish over the next day after returning (amazing what a dry bunk, hot shower and food will do to one's mental state), and they have completely disappeared since. Both Michael and Cliff told me to give it time for the experience to settle in before truly deciding on the future. They were right. Joe, your comments from the SHTP really touched me. I came to sailing/racing late in life (actually only a few years ago), but it has taken ahold like nothing else. And that's probably the answer if there are any lingering doubts about doing this again...

Thanks to everyone who put on this race and followed us with words of encouragement! A HUGE thank you to all who loaned me their gear and bloodied some knuckles helping get my boat ready. I especially appreciate Michael Jefferson for his constant words of support and tremendous efforts with Kynntana's upgrades. Then there's my solo badass sailing sista, Margie, who sent me this beautiful card and necklace to commemorate my trip.2569

07-12-2017, 08:28 AM
I can relate to all of the feelings you have shared....it's such a journey to feel them all adn experience each trip fro what it is. I'm so happy for you that you finished. you will know what the next step is when the time is right!!! I always have to remind myself I don't have to do any of this. I can just go anchor somewhere and have a picnic ;-)

07-12-2017, 07:00 PM
A few more words from another small boat

I was at least 30 seconds late to the line for my start. Probably not a huge deal in a long race. But it's always good for moral to have a nice start. I worked my way up the shoreline before heading across to take the North side out the gate. I had the #3 up so I would not have to do a head sail change to early in the day as that is a recipe for mal de mer for me. I could gauge how much this was hurting by watching Archimedes slowly pull away.

Once out on the ocean I was able to keep up with Archimedes and Joe and I would spend the rest of day one in close proximity. Green Buffalo was another story as that gorgeous boat disappeared so fast. Impressive.

Things went well in nearly ideal conditions for the rest of the day. And it was nice to hear the wishes for safe voyage from the folks on the Farallones as we passed by. I finally got ahead of Joe on Archimedes as night fell. But this would not last.

At some point after falling asleep around midnight, the CPA alarm went off and in my fatigue induced stupor, after failing to make contact with the approaching ship (CPA estimate was .18 miles, too close for me) I elected to sail due South for 30 minutes to get clear. In retrospect I should have hit the call button to try a DSC call to the ship. In any case, that was an expensive excursion from desired course.

At dawn on day two I could no longer see any of the fleet and I would remain visually alone until the finish. the second day was only a bit windier than the first and I made good progress towards the magic line. Still not feeling much like eating, although cookies and Gatorade are tolerable and have calories.

By nightfall on day two I am watching the miles toward the touch line evaporate. I'm over powered with the #4 and double reefed main and in the dark elect to just secure the jib on deck and continue under main alone. I swear the closer I get the slower those miles disappear, even though I am still making 6.5 knots. I finally turn around at 10.41 pm.

Friday was noticeably windier and rougher, with the boat getting bounced around pretty good. I tried to sail hard for a few hours but fatigue set in and sometime around mid-day I let the AP take over again and napped down below. Still under double reefed main alone. Later on I try the storm jib and triple reef in the main. I've never used that "long pac reef" before. The boat moves pretty well like this but I have a feeling I should be more powered up. I know Joe is, somewhere out there.

By the time it starts to get dark on Friday, things are getting seriously lumpy and irregular and I opt to take the storm jib down and sail under triple reefed main alone. I should have at least taken one reef out of the main but just wasn't feeling it.

Things continued to deteriorate through the night and after a couple of hours I realize that beam reaching straight for the finish is not the most prudent course of action. Heading up about 20 degrees helps the situation noticeably. But Crazy Rhythm and I are still taking a pounding with frequent waves crashing over the boat causing water to gush in through the closed companionway like a fire hose. We had a couple of really hard hits by breaking waves that pushed the boat sideways, a strange sensation. Took one hit that must have knocked us down the face of the wave, with one hard hit on the port side of the boat, then a sensation of falling followed by an even harder hit on starboard as we landed back in the water.

My sleeping spot on board is the cabin sole and at 6ft 4 I have two positions that work: on my back with my lower legs on to of the cooler/step, or on my right side with my lower legs wrapped around the cooler. In the side position my feet and lower legs are resting on the hull and the amount of movement and flexing I felt was quite surprising. I spent some time wondering just how much abuse 40 year old polyester could take. (Apparently it can take a lot.)

When I went back topside at dawn on Saturday I was greeted with much better conditions and a gorgeous moon set (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EcWc8-do4A). After a quick bite to eat I set to increasing sail and heading for a finish. The Farallones were impossible to see until just four miles away due to the back-lit hazy conditions. From there I had some fun double digit surfing until things began to go light a few miles West of Pt. Bonita. At some point in the Gulf of the Farallones I heard Joe on Archimedes calling the RC announcing his approach to the finish line several hours ahead of my eta. Well done, Joe.

Crossed under the bridge on starboard and headed down the city front past the feeding whales just inside the South tower. They were eating there when I left. Those are some hungry whales. I do not have my prescription glasses (lost down below somewhere) so hard to make out the line. Plus there are a lot of boats in here. Kind of scary sailing so close to other boats! I manage to find the finish line and hear a horn from the RC. Thanks, guys.


Joe, that first day sailing in proximity to Archimedes was great fun. And I want to say thanks to the other folks I chatted with, or just listened to, on the VHF. It was nice to hear another voice and note your positions. I do think Jim on Green Buffalo should be required to slow down a bit so the rest of us can enjoy the view of his beautiful boat a little longer. (And yes, I would love to hear more about your exit strategies and Expedition etc. sometime. We should set up a class.)

Among the things I learned that I should have already known: you should never leave your feet in wet sea boots for 3 days, even if you change to dry socks at the turn around. It's really bad for your feet! And it takes almost as long to put the boat away and clean up the stuff at home as it does to sail the race.

Thanks to everyone who made this possible.

Crazy Rhythm

07-12-2017, 07:48 PM
snip....And it takes almost as long to put the boat away and clean up the stuff at home as it does to sail the race.

OMG, you ain't kidding!

07-14-2017, 08:38 AM
On the jib top...

On lifting exit flood...

On Expedition...

Jim, thank you! Especially about the lifting exit flood. It's been ruminating in my head since your finish and I though I had figured it out, but your description added the missing apparent wind lift/header component. Things that happen below the waterline have always fascinated me since I first read about ancient mariners using underwater sails.


07-14-2017, 06:22 PM
The Longpac race started in a flood. I thought I would look for some of the perpetual ebb by the North Tower. Crinan II tacked at "X" and headed into the flood. Most of the fleet ended up on the North shore with the exception of Jim Quanci and Green Buffalo who played the South Tower and went South of Mile Rock. Crinan II found some relief along the North Shore and headed out from Pt. Bonita on a starboard reach. By the time I was even with the Farallones, Green Buffalo had all but disappeared.

The wind built during the evening hours and after getting some sleep, I came on deck to find the boat rockin and rollin. When sailing in the Bay or just offshore, you often don't get a chance to see how well these boats handle big seas. I was impressed. Nevertheless, I decided it was time to reef.

Thursday was a clear day. I shook out the reef mid-morning and made the turning point about 20:30. During VHF checkins, I talked with Archimedes and Crazy Rhythm.
On Friday the winds and gusts were expected to increase in the afternoon. At mid-morning, I could see that the increase had come early. I headed off 5-10 degrees to get a better angle on the waves. I made the decision before the race that as this was a trial run, I would not invest or make a dodger. Now that the trial run is over, I have resolved not to head into the ocean without one again. It was too uncomfortable to stay on deck. Thankfully, my tiller pilot was doing a great job. I kept trimming the sail and adjusting the course to keep the tiller pilot in the center zone.

At one point in the afternoon when the wind was blowing around 30K, I took wave with a huge bang and crash. I went on deck to check and found that the wave had broken my aft reefing line. Later I discovered that the wave had also blown out one of the windows in the sail. The sail looked ugly. The front was reefed and the end of the wishbone was fully extended. My speed had not changed significantly and the tiller pilot was working well. The VHF weather reported lighter winds closer to shore. I decided to continue with my course with a batten draped over the wishbone and the top of the sail twisted way off.

At 132W, I decided to try a full hoist. I was able to come up enough so I could forget my contingency play to pull in to HMB. I was hoping to make the Gate by 2AM before the tide changed to a strong ebb. Didn't have any trouble with the shipping lanes. When near, I watched my AIS carefully and listened to ch. 12.

At 3AM I was off Pacifica. At 4:30 my GPS said 0.0 while my knotmeter showed 1-2 knots. I could feel my frustration building as I felt that I was a victim of the elements. I noticed the sky turning purple over SF and as the moon set behind me I started to enjoy the sunrise. It has always been my favorite watch on crewed ocean races. I saw some other sails between Mile Rock and the channel markers. Soon the wind picked up and I caught the early flood. As I passed Mile Rock there were three or four wales diving and feeding. At one point I thought I might have to change course to avoid them.