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Thread: What might have been.

  1. #31
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    I don't know if you're recounting this race from your 2008 log or virtual reality but if the latter, I'll bet that red and white spinnaker belongs to BOMBORA!

    Go Rebecca!

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    I don't know if you're recounting this race from your 2008 log or virtual reality but if the latter, I'll bet that red and white spinnaker belongs to BOMBORA!
    Go Rebecca!
    Don't think the red and white spinny to windward is Express-27 BOMBORA. Rebecca was entered in the canceled 2020 Pac Cup as navigator aboard SURPRISE, the Schumacher 46 and didn't do the SHTP Qualifier...My guess is it's either LOW DOWN, the SC-27; the O-25 SHARK ON BLUE GRASS; Will on SEA WISDOM, or the Westsail 32 HULA. If it's HULA, Bill Stange is sailing exceptionally well, which is quite likely given his experience. Here's HULA with a reddish spinnaker:

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    Speaking of surprises, I haven't seen you since the start, 5 days ago. How's it going up ahead? Wanna share your position? Weather? Any sign of HEDGEHOG, GREEN BUFFALO, MOUNTAIN, or SIREN?

    Though I'm sailing WILDFLOWER in her 2008 configuration using current weather, this account is not from my 2008 Log...
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-02-2020 at 03:52 PM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleddog View Post
    Speaking of surprises, I haven't seen you since the start, 5 days ago.
    The short answer is that July 15th is the new April 15th. I did squeeze the SHF in last Saturday. But you could check with Jim Q to make sure Surprise! isn't sitting on GB's virtual hip.

  4. #34
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    Day 6 7/03/20 Noon Position 29-28 N x 138-20. 24 hour run 137 miles @235m (249T). Speed average = 5.7 knots knots. Current wind ENE (79 T) @11-12 knots with 3-5' seas. 25%% overcast. Baro=1020 mb.

    With the baro dropping, the wind veering, and sunshine now prevailing, we are over the EPAC ridge and entering the tradewinds, which will carry us downwind for the remaining 1215 odd miles to Hanalei.

    Last night was the first I've carried the spinny all night. Good conditions to do so, with 12-13 knots of wind, smooth seas, and no squalls. We sailed 10-15 degrees high most of the night on starboard gybe to keep the speed up, over 5.5 knots, rather than get further south by sailing DDW, half a knot slower. The wind is forecast to clock (veer) further east, and any time the true wind direction goes right of 80 T (67 m) I will throw in a gybe to port, not only to get further south, but also because the port gybe would then be slightly favored.

    Gybing the spinnaker end-for-end in 12 knots of wind is a piece of soup: ease the pole lift, after guy, and old sheet slightly, put the boat on a DDW course with the AP. Push the AP "-10" red button once to turn 10 degrees to port. Walk forward on the starboard side and disconnect butt end of the pole from the mast. "Make" the butt end fitting with the old port sheet. Simultaneously trip the starboard end of the pole from the old starboard guy and connect it to the mast, walk aft on the starboard side, release the main preventer, gybe the main, press the red AP button once more for a further 10 degree turn to port, trim the chute for the new course, and settle in on the new gybe while also taking up the new preventer. Takes about 2 minutes or less.

    When double ending the pole on the foredeck, I wrap my harness tether once around the mast and back to the harness, effectively shortening it to 3'. WILDFLOWER also has 2 windsurfer footstraps screwed to the deck in front of and either side of the mast. Astern, during maneuvers, I tow a temporary 30 foot towline with a loop at its end. This towline is also connected to either the windvane or AP, so if strain comes on it, the self steering system disconnects, strain comes on the tiller, and the boat tacks.

    This whole gybing scenario works until the wind gets to 16 knots. At 18 knots TWS we gybe by dropping the spinnaker first, then either rehoist on the new gybe, or set the twins in its place. Gybing a spinnaker singlehanded in 18 knots of wind or greater is an iffy proposition, and gybing under main alone, not much speed is lost on this displacement hull. I always opt for the conservative approach, though some would argue for the double pole technique as GREEN BUFFALO has perfected.

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    As mentioned earlier, I choose to keep the ship's clock on PDST. This means, as we make our way south and west, the sun rises and sets later each day, ship's time. About 1400 the sun is directly overhead and begins to shade the cockpit and solar panels on the stern pulpit. The shading increases during the afternoon until evening, when the angle of the sun causes it to shine under the foot of the spinnaker and directly into the helms person's eyes.

    This morning at 0830 I had a bowl of Tom's Best Granola saturated with Long Life milk. WILDFLOWER has never had refrigeration, nor have we ever carried ice. Between breakfast and lunch I snack on dried fruit and my own "gorp" recipe, a combo of cashews, peanuts, raisins or chocolate chips. Lunchtime, today at ~1400, I threw together an avo, mayo and cheese sandwich with a hard boiled egg and peeled orange. Other sandwich possibilities include tunafish, mayo, and relish; and PB, mayo, and pickle slices.

    That takes me to Happy Hour, the hour before sunset, when I snack on treats from the treat locker: anchovy fillets on Triscuits; carrots;, salami slices and Englehofers mustard on Triscuits; wheat thins; dolmas; peanut butter on celery;, jicama slices;, you name it, we have it as a treat possibility. We only carry one 6 pack of beer aboard, for the second half of the race. Though I can't chill any drinks, anything I want cool goes under the floorboards. Sunset drinks might either be a can of Squirt or pre-mixed powdered lemonade. I'm saving the first beer for the half way party, when we cross longitude 141 W, likely tomorrow evening
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-03-2020 at 08:41 PM.

  5. #35
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    It looks like it's getting hot while running downwind during the day. Do you have any shade? Are you still hand steering occasionally or is the vane/autopilot doing most of the driving?

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Gutoff View Post
    It looks like it's getting hot while running downwind during the day. Do you have any shade? Are you still hand steering occasionally or is the vane/autopilot doing most of the driving?
    Hi Jonathan,
    WILDFLOWER has now emerged from under cloud cover that frequents the early half of most Transpacs. Direct sun can be energy sapping, especially with its declination passing nearly overhead. On ILLUSION with Stan and Sally, we carried a large (6') Cinzano umbrella that was stepped over the helm. During frequent gybing (Stan likes to gybe on 5 degree shifts, we all had our positions, and Jon Andron, a world class sailor, was detailed to gybe the umbrella side to side.

    On WILDFLOWER I have a 5'x7 Sunbrella cockpit awning I set each morning and furl each afternoon. It has two cross slats, sets from the backstay, and can be easily angled to maximize shade over the driver. I consider cockpit shade vital. But most racers would scoff at a sailing awning or Bimini on a raceboat.

    After local apparent noon, the sun begins to go behind the spinny or twin jibs, and by mid-afternoon I can roll up the cockpit awning as the cockpit is shaded. The little awning stays rigged, hanging off the backstay, looking like a furled miniature square sail.

    I would love to let self steering drive all the time. However, sometimes under spinnaker, it is faster and/or more fun to hand steer. WILDFLOWER won't plane. But sometimes thinks she can. I remember one memorable sunrise squall approaching Kaneohe. The wind went from 20 to 35. I thought there was no way the .75 spinny would last. But it did, during 15 minutes time when we were going faster than the boat ever had in her life. Giddyup, Buttercup!

    So yes, I handsteer during the day under spinnaker, max 3-4 hours without a break. Neither the AP nor windvane qualifies as a reliable driver for the spinnaker except in smooth conditions with steady breeze like last night. I used to be able to handsteer 3-4 hours on a dark night. But no more. If there's a full moon, like the one coming up in a few days, night hand steering can be a treat, and I would tend to fly the spinnaker more.

    Changing between poled out jib(s) and spinnaker, and then back, can be costly in time and distance, often costing a mile, or even more, when running under main alone while getting things squared away, especially with a net in the foretriangle that will likely have to come down. I don't carry a net or sock on WILDFLOWER, but we did have both on ILLUSION. I enjoy simplicity in the foretriangle and WILDFLOWER has 1 spinny halyard, and 1 jib halyard. There are tracer lines rigged for spares. But rarely need them.

    Hope I answered your queries. It's not black and white, and makes fertile subject for discussion both pre-race and under the Tree.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-03-2020 at 05:36 PM.

  7. #37
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    Wildflower, Wildflower, this is Dura Mater. Do you read me? I'm in the bay but have learned how to change my masthead antenna from LO to HI. Finally.

    Do you see Rainbow in your rear view mirror? He sailed under the Golden Gate with main alone last Wednesday July One, exiting shortly after noon.

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    You probably hope your competition can't track you on Wildflower, but here is Cliff's tracking site. I think it's okay to share it because he won't expect to catch you.

    Although last night at 8 pm he WAS going almost 7 knots. Go, MotherShip!

    https://share.garmin.com/CliffordShaw
    *
    Last edited by Philpott; 07-04-2020 at 07:27 AM.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philpott View Post
    Do you see Rainbow in your rear view mirror? He sailed under the Golden Gate with main alone last Wednesday July One, exiting shortly after noon.
    https://share.garmin.com/CliffordShaw*
    Thanks, Jackie! Good to hear long time friend Cliff Shaw and mothership RAiNBOW will be meeting up with WILDFLOWER and the 2020 SHTP fleet in Hanalei Bay.

    Day 7 7/04/20 Noon posit 28-00 N x 140-43 W 24 hour run 151 miles at 223 M (248 T). Av. speed
    6.2 knots. Wind E (093T) @ 12-13 knots with 3-5' seas. 25% overcast. Baro=1021 mb.

    Happy July 4th All! We are celebrating today, having crossed our 1/2 way point this morning. It's been all port gybe for the last 24 hours with small seas from dead astern making for a comfortable ride. We have ~ 1075 miles to go, and an encouraging forecast of slowly building trades. We continue under spinny with the AP steering, which gives slightly faster course adjustments in these conditions than the windvane, whose oar is currently retracted for less drag.

    We've an interesting weather phenomena in the vicinity: there is a nearly straight line of cloud extending from astern to out of sight ahead. This line or cloud streak I estimate being 2-3 miles wide. Stan Honey has observed, and I concur, that the wind speed increases by 1 or 2 knots at the edge of these cloud streaks due to down drafts from the convective nature of the atmosphere where the air is rising vertically under the cloud. And descending on its edges. The result of this is it is advantageous, if possible, to run along the edge of a cloud streak rather than under it, or away from it....I can see the darker water of the cloud's shadow just to starboard, so we are positioned on its left hand edge, and the wind is 13-14 knots, rather the 11-12 knots we had earlier, a nice little gain for today's holiday.

    Someone once asked my father why our family's boats were always named HOLIDAY. His succinct reply, "Nothing goes faster."

    here's the Surface Map for Monday morning, 0500, July 6th, 2 days hence. Looking strong!
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    Last edited by sleddog; 07-04-2020 at 11:43 AM.

  9. #39
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    Our halfway 4th of July party yesterday started an hour before full moon rise at sunset. Enjoyed a beer and blue tortilla corn chips with salsa, Then steamed some hot dogs with buns and had them with mustard, onions, and ketchup. To complete the red, white, and blue theme, I also steamed an ear of white corn. For dessert, a bowl of blueberries with milk while whistling Stars and Stripes forever. Corny. But bugliters do stuff like that when singlehanding across an ocean.

    Last evening after sunset squalls began to overtake from astern. With the trades currently and uncharacteristically quite easterly in direction (090T) rather than more NE, we continued running on port gybe with the .75 spinny in 14-16 knots of wind at good speed, 6-7 knots the AP steering while I cleaned up.

    As it looked like we'd finally be getting some night time squall action, with the full moon light shining from astern, I prepped the twin jibs and doused the spinny. Set the twins during which time, under main alone, I don't think our speed went under 5 knots. Also switched the AP to wind vane steering, and off we sailed into a most lovely evening.

    About every 20-30 minutes I would take bearings on incoming squalls and estimate if and when we'd be in their sphere of influence. And yes, we did get 3-4 squalls overhead, spaced about an hour apart during the night. The wind would veer (clock) 10-20 degrees with each squall, and windspeed went to 18-22 knots or a bit more for a few minutes. The windvane was fully capable of steering in these conditions. But I liked to be on deck, foulies on hand, and hand steering when the first puff of a squall would descend on WILDFLOWER.

    At dawn this morning the full moon was setting on the bow, and another squall was approaching from astern.
    I didn't want to risk being subject to light winds from a squall collapse at sunrise, so temporarily reached up on port to 225 T(212m) for 15 minutes to get out from under this incoming squall. Things worked as hoped, and windspeed never dropped to less than 15 knots with boat speed a little above 7.

    Today, end of Day 8, our 7/05/20 Noon Position is 27-07 N x 143-30. 24 hour run was 159 miles @239M (252 T). Speed average = 6.6. Current wind E (90 T) @14-16 knots with 3-5' seas. 25% overcast. Baro=1022 mb.

    Here's today's chart with tomorrow's GFS GRIB File winds overlayed:
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    Last edited by sleddog; 07-05-2020 at 12:34 PM.

  10. #40
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    What? A windvane? You must have strengthened your transom before leaving? This surely is not the Navik that threatened to tear off Wildflower's back end last time? Remember when you and Wildflower II were berthed in Berkeley Marina during the summer? Over on O Dock? That was the last time I tried strengthening DM's transom for my windvane. What. A. Mess. I made! Gotta try it again soon, though. Please advise.
    Last edited by Philpott; 07-05-2020 at 11:04 AM.

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