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Thread: June or July? Tropical Storm Hernan

  1. #1
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    Default June or July? Tropical Storm Hernan

    Tropical Storm Hernan is veering back toward Hawaii right now. Just a near miss for the return fleet this year, but also a reminder that June might be the wiser month for the start of the SHTP. Wind wise, there did not seem to be any advantage to this years July start.

    The Central Pacific Hurricane Center data states that less than 1% of the Pacific hurricanes occur in June and ~25% occur in July. 46% of the Pacific hurricanes occur in August when this years return fleet is on the water, ouch!

    http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/pages/climatology.php
    Last edited by Robert Stodieck; 08-12-2008 at 03:05 PM.
    R Sailor

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Stodieck View Post
    Tropical Storm Hernan is veering directly toward Hawaii right now. Just a near miss for the return fleet this year, but also a reminder that June might be the wiser month for the start of the SHTP.
    Hi Robert -

    Even June is a little late to be sailing towards Hawaii if you want to miss out on Hurricane season. Heading over in April would be better from a weather perspective, but not as convenient from a racing perspective as the Pacific High is less likely to be south at that time - but the High could be. Below is the hurricane distribution by month for the Hawaiian Islands.

    The current NOAA track forecast has Hernan 300 miles south of the Hawaiian islands with sustained 40 knot winds - that would not be much fun, and NOAA calls for it track well south of the islands.

    Here's a nicely condensed set of Hawaii hurrican data.
    http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/MET/Facu...ter/hurricane/

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Stodieck View Post
    Wind wise, there did not seem to be any advantage to this years July start.
    As regards having specific conditions at race start - it doesn't matter if you start in May, June, July, or August - if you want a specific set of weather conditions for the start, you have to be willing to stage the fleet in San Francisco and then wait for the Pacific High to set up and establish the desired conditions. Sitting here in Alameda today it is impossible to forecast which Saturday (if any) in the summer of 2010 will have the best conditions for departing en route to Kauai. We can forecast how full the Moon will be and the currents at the Golden Gate; an ebb is nice for the start, and a full Moon makes for pleasant night sailing - both of which might influence a race start date decision.

    - rob/beetle

  3. #3
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    Default Iniki Bingo!!

    Hurricane Iniki's track clobbered Kauai and tracked straight up the SH Transpac's return route
    Last edited by Robert Stodieck; 08-16-2008 at 08:09 PM.
    R Sailor

  4. #4
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    You're just Mr. Happiness and Sunshine, aren't you?

  5. #5
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    Default I take that is a second vote for June or earlier as per RobM

    Thanks BobJ! - RobS
    R Sailor

  6. #6
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    Hi Robert,
    Phil MacFarlane here. Do you plan on racing in the next SSS Trans Pac?

  7. #7
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    Default It's always a prospect Phil

    Otherwise I would not be reading the blogs, however I don't think the SHSS should censor outside comment either. I would not consider joining if it did. The intent of my posts are neither malicious or naive. They are sometimes intentional probes. If significant part of the membership cannot deal rationally with the issues raised then I have nothing to gain by becoming a member. (The fleet is welcome to sail to Hawaii in July and August, I will leave a little earlier. I can singlehand by myself after all.) But by-in-large I find the SHTP a continuing source of fascination, which probably means I am hooked, and I greatly respect the society.
    Last edited by Robert Stodieck; 08-18-2008 at 12:37 AM.
    R Sailor

  8. #8
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    Well Robert I hope you do end up doing the race but it is my experience that folks like you who “probe” the SSS membership never do end up racing.
    Just to be clear I am not a member of the SSS this year. This is my first time in eleven years not to be a member. I have served on race committee many times and was commodore for two years. But now I’m not a member and because of that I feel I can speak my mind without fear of being politically incorrect. At least I am not speaking for the SSS, just myself.

    The reason this years race started when it did is because I made that decision. You see I did the 06 race and it sucked big time drifting around out there. If this year’s race had started “on time” it would have been even worse for the racers as I pointed out in a thread on the weather.

    The SSS race started on Saturday the 12th this year and I started on Tuesday the 15th in the Pac Cup. And on Tuesday we had wind. I have done seven crossings between SF and Hawaii now (five of them single handed) and this year starting late, we had the best weather I have ever had out there.
    It is curious to me that the people who “probe” us are almost never members. In 04 during the race we had a guy sitting at his computer raising all sorts of hell about how terrible we were for not starting a search for Barbara on Islander. I think he went so far as to call the Coast Guard. He is not a member or a SSS racer.

    Starting about a year or so before this years race we has a certain mini importer and a multi huller give us never ending grief about our rules for communications. We ended up changing the rules so they could race. They didn’t show up. They are not members or SSS racers.

    I am not a good public speaker, I used to fear it. When I was commodore at my second ever trophy presentation I had a certain Wylie Cat sailor blast me in front of the whole crowed for not getting him a trophy for first place in a two-boat fleet. If he had read our rules he would now that he wasn’t eligible for a trophy. He said and I quote “I get first in class and second overall and get nothing to show for it?” If I was a quicker thinker I would have pointed out that he got a sweat shirt that is worth more than his entry fee, he got people that volunteered to be race committee so he could go and play, he got the management to put together a skippers meeting and a trophy presentation for his benefit and most of all he got a great day of sailing in with the people he likes to sail against. This fellow has never volunteered for a single job with the SSS and is one of the most winning racers we have. He is a member and an SSS racer but never feels the need to give back.

    When I joined the SSS in 97 and started racing with the group it never crossed my mind to question the people who had been doing it for all those years. I though, hey I think I’ll start doing those races they look like fun. And I did. And I had fun. And I managed never to insult the volunteer’s or other racers. I never questioned the rules or the dates of the races. I figured that the people running the show must have it under control and if they need help I can volunteer, which, as you know I did later only to be second-guessed by people who have never done what I have done and probably never will.

    It is not my intention to censor your comments nor any one else’s. That is not my place or my wish. It is my intention to tell my feelings towards people who “probe push prod harass and insult” the SSS, it’s volunteers or it’s racers.
    You say your comments aren’t malicious, well in another thread you said “there must be one real sailor in the fleet” That to me in an insult coming from a man who has never even sailed the easy part of a round trip to Hawaii single handed. That to me is just so ridicules for some one in your shoes to say. You list your closest experience as a trip up the Baja Coast as your qualifications. With three crew! I’ve done Baja, Not the same. And by the way it’s less than 750 miles long.

    So if I seem a bit bitchy, well sorry, I am. I am just a bit tiered of the same old person sitting at there computer telling those who have done it how they are doing it all wrong.
    And just like you are free to say what you like on this forum so am I.

    If you are serious about racing in the Trans Pac and you are local. The best thing you can do is start racing the local races with the SSS as soon as possible. Get to know the people. Talk to them in person. Maybe it will be clear then that you really don’t mean to insult, which is not so clear on the web.


    Phil MacFarlane

  9. #9
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    Robert, if you're hooked, then there are two races in the season left that you can do. "Becoming a member" of the SSS costs a little more than $100, which entitles you to a season of racing, t-shirts upon t-shirts, the opportunity to volunteer and make things "better" according to your vision which you have acquainted us with, here on the forum, and a community of really great people to hang out with.

    I'm going to copy here, a excerpt from a message I recently sent to Synthia, aka "Eyrie" our fantastic 2008 SHTP race chairwoman, winner of a number of SSS races here on the Bay, 2006 SHTP participant, winner of the 2004 Pacific Cup doublehanded division, and 2004-2006 Vice Commodore of the Singlehanded Sailing Society.

    I have this philosophy. It sounds like this:

    If I'm not happy with how something is getting done, then I can ruddy well get off my ass and volunteer to make it better. If I'm not willing to do that, than I'm obliged to shut my trap and deal with it.

    If whoever-it-is who is doing whatever-it-is has the grace and strength and of course, wisdom to ask for my insightful input, then I can give it. But if I want to piss and moan and whine about whatever-it-is, then the corollary to that is for me to step up to the plate and make it better. If I'm not willing to step up then I can smile and just shut my trap.


    There are people in the SSS who have done 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 TransPacific crossings, crewed, doublehanded and solo. There are people who have cruised for months and years. There are people who have gone on to do amazing things in ocean racing. There are people who do boat repair for a living. The wealth of knowledge in the SSS is mind-boggling.

    Are you entitled to speak your mind on the SSS forum? Yes, you are, as long as it's civil and some-sort-of-constructive. Trust me, the lines you have to cross before you get censored on this board are pretty darned far out there. I don't see anybody censoring you. But talk, and **Especially** "internet talk" is really cheap. "DO" counts a whole, whole, whole lot more than "talk".

    If you want people in the SSS to take you seriously, then I strongly, strongly suggest that you join the association and do some races. Even better, how about volunteering for some work to keep it going? "Checking us out" by posting critical stuff on the forum and seeing how we react, is, pardon my french, bullshit.
    S-2 7.9: "Wildcat of Loch Awe"
    1968 Selmer Series 9 B-flat and A clarinets
    1962Buesher "Aristocrat" tenor saxophone
    Piper One Design 24, Hull #35; "Alpha"

  10. #10
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    Hi Robert -

    Please don't misconstrue what I wrote as a vote for a TransPac start in June or earlier.

    I prefer June for race start simply because it gives the skippers increased latitude upon when to depart; if you stay into September the possibility of running into severe storm on the return trip increases. At least that's my argument for starting in late June.

    On the hurricane front, Iniki was was in September 1992 and I had helped deliver a boat to Hanalei from San Francisco just a few months prior, and that boat was badly damaged while in Nawiliwili by Iniki. So missed that one by a few months.

    I was in the anchorage on my own boat at Kaneohe when hurricane Daniel did a fly-by in 2000; that was an interesting several days watching Daniel approach, the television news coverage, and receiving the US Navy forecasts at the yacht club. Fortunately Daniel veered northeast just prior to landfall and bypassed the anchorage.

    The TransPac is a race, and a race calls for good sailing conditions. Given the unknowable quality of conditions this far in advance of the next race, I give a big nod to moon brightness (full is best) and current conditions for exiting the Gate (ebb is best) a greater significance than the risk of running into a major storm while approaching or at Hanalei for determining the start date of the race.

    All that said, if you're interested in the race, why not come over to one of the SSS skipper's meetings and meet up with the folks that have done the race? Lots of stories to be swapped at the meetings! If you're nearby Pillar Point Harbor this weekend, stop on by the Half Moon Bay yacht club - the racers will be there having dinner Saturday night.

    - rob/beetle
    Last edited by tiger beetle; 08-18-2008 at 08:07 PM.

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