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  1. #1
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    Default What might have been.

    A week out from the original start date, windy shows the high far north with a rhumb line racecourse.
    Another fast year? Will we ever see a “normal” year again?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBChristie View Post
    A week out from the original start date, windy shows the high far north with a rhumb line racecourse.
    Another fast year? Will we ever see a “normal” year again?
    This summer's 2020 Singlehanded Transpac, slated to start Saturday, June 27, is postponed a year. Nevertheless, its never too early to begin, or continue prep to make 2021 SHTP a safe, fun, and fast SHTP passage.

    In this vein, as well rekindling fond memories of a wonderful boat, I hope to virtually sail my 27' sloop WILDFLOWER from the Corinthian Yacht Club start line to Hanalei Bay finish using her 2008 configuration, equipment, polars, sail combinations, and notes from my log book. Everything pretty much as it was 12 years ago, except I will use current available weather analysis and forecasts to make the passage as fast as possible given this year's June/July 2020 weather patterns and winds.

    Potential SHTP entrants and other interested parties are encouraged to “run what you got,” and begin to observe weather patterns this summer, rather than waiting until next year. Things can be learned and practiced, even with the boat tied to the dock and operating from Shelter in Place, including power consumption, understanding of Eastern Pacific weather patterns, and possible sail combinations, among other things.

    My plan, as it stands, is to post each day WILDFLOWER's theoretical DR position based on the previous 24 hour course and speed. Our course will be determined by whatever estimate will get us to Hanalei the fastest given the location and strength of the Pacific High and other weather influencers like an upper level low to the north, or tropical activity to the south. No, I don't have any routing program like Expedition.

    WILDFLOWER's reported 24 hour average boat speed will be a theoretical estimate derived from that day's projection of wind speed and direction in the area of the WILDFLOWER's position.

    Encouraging any and all to join in and “run what ya got” starting next Saturday, June 27, Noon PDST. No handicaps, safety inspections, qualifying, racing rules or expense required.

    Here's today's Anal (Pacific Surface Analysis)
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    Last edited by sleddog; 06-21-2020 at 12:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    Great! this will be interesting. Thanks for doing this

  4. #4
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    To reaffirm my previous post above, at noon Saturday, June 27th, several hours after 30 odd singlehanders start the 2020 rescheduled Singlehanded Farallones Race near max ebb, WILDFLOWER and I will start sailing from the CYC start line with an imaginary 2020 Singlehanded Transpac fleet on a virtual passage to Hanalei

    At X+1, 24 hours after the start, I will post WF's position based on previous 24 hour average course and speed. These posts will continue daily until reaching the Hanalei Finish.
    .
    Our course will be determined by whatever estimate will get us to Hanalei the quickest given the location and strength of the Pacific High and other weather influences such as an upper level low to the north, or tropical activity to the south.

    I do not intend to mention ratings or handicaps. Probably after the first night, I won't see any other boats. But who knows what might be dreamt up...WF dueling gybes with SHARK ON BLUEGRASS?

    Whatever weather forecasting I use will be generic....am not using any routing program, just eyeball and best guess....With a strong Pacific High and out of season trof passing the Bay Area this Saturday evening, looks like Gale Alley will be in full cry Sunday and Monday. My course to Pt.A will take us south of the area of maximum winds, forecast to be 30-35 knots, and keep us in the 20-25 knot range, still plenty of breeze and sea conditions for the first night, a dark one, on a 27 foot boat in this year's virtual Singlehanded Transpac.

    Any and all are welcome to join in...

    Here's WILDFLOWER, and Norton Smith's SC-27 SOLITAIRE, dueling an hour after the start of the first Singlehanded Transpac, June 15, 1978.
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    Last edited by sleddog; 06-25-2020 at 07:39 PM.

  5. #5
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    So, right about now we'd all be gathering for the skippers meeting in the ballroom at CYC... followed by lunch at noon.
    I suppose we can dispense with the com plan and other features of the skippers meeting; Skip, if you want to add a weather brief, great...
    I'm planning on playing along here; expeditions open, polars are loaded. But that's just a fancy form of DR in this case.

    DH

  6. #6
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    6/26/20 S-1 (day) to start of 2020 Virtual Singlehanded Transpac

    Thanks to the club's generosity eleven 2020 SHTP entries have gathered at Corinthian YC in Tiburon. Despite its small size, this is the most competitive fleet in years with 3-4 challenging for 1st to Finish, and 7-9 a good chance at winning overall. Don't underestimate HULA, the Westsail 32!

    This morning I dove WILDFLOWER in 60 degree water for a last inspection, wipe down, and rubber banding the folding prop. Prop shaft is locked with vise grips, 5 gals of diesel fuel is aboard, 1 gal of that in jug.; 20 gal. of water in numbered jugs, 30 days supply of food (I'll be sailing home and shopping on Kauai is not cheap.), an Avon inflatable dinghy, a cockpit awning, 2 bean bean bags, a Sail-o-mat windvane and 2 tiller pilots. Electronic navigation is minimal: 2 solar panels (1 able to be moved around on deck.) a depth sounder and handheld GPS, which I will power up once per day to update my DR and mark a noon position.

    The weather briefing for tomorrow's noon start was short and sweet. Start will be on the last of a 3.3 ebb, one hour before slack. Winds in the Bay will be 15-20 from the SW. There's a strong EPAC high of 1031 mb anchored near 40Nx149W with intensification expected to 1035 mb near 42x146 in 72 hours, pretty much guaranteeing a fast first half of the race. There are no tropicals of concern. TD Boris is far to the south and west of track and poses no threat.

    Tomorrow evening, X+8 hours, an out-of-season cold front will rapidly veer the wind from SW to NW, then NNW, building strength from 15 knots to 20-25 knots off soundings and 22-28 knots on Sunday (X+2). Seas will build to 7-12 feet by Sunday. More wind north, less wind south, at least to 140 W.(Day 7)


    It should be fast and wet sailing, and I'm glad my CYC slip buddy HEDGEHOG and WILDFLOWER both have hatch dodgers.

    Taped to WILDFLOWER's main bulkhead is my "game plan" aka reminder list.
    Get out of Bay fast and clean. Choose right jib for the start, probably #2 (117%)
    VHF 12, 15 and 45 minutes, VTS transmits shipping bearing and range from Lightbucket. VHF 14 is Lightbucket to SF Bay. VHF 13 is Bridge to Bridge.
    As Stan Honey says, "consider the Farallones your weather mark until outside the SF Bar Channel.
    If struggling, I am trying to hard. Slow down, rest, regroup.
    Practice has shown I need 5 hours of sleep/24 hours. 20-40 minute naps OK.
    Don't get fancy with little details. Remember big picture.
    Have in mind what sails will be needed in next 6-12 hours. Stop spinny well.
    Know where I want to be on Day X+3 when crossing 130-00 W. This is "Pt. A."
    Reach off to broad reach to change headsails when the wind is over 20. No foredeck sail changes after dark. if possible. Always carry jib to bow rolled up and tied with a sail tie. Don't go to bow without knee brace. Crawl to bow except in benign conditions. Reefing/un-reefing OK at night. Keep in mind it takes 5 minutes to change jibs at a loss of 1 knot of speed.
    Keep all halyard and sheet tails in their bags and out of the water.
    Staysail and JT sheets always lead inside lifelines. Cunningham hook hangs up on main luff slugs.
    Be aggressive with spinny in winds <18 knots.
    If in doubt, sail closest gybe. Default course is 230m. No lower than 200m or higher than 270, my "fences."
    Trader Joe's Jambalaya is too spicy. Tuna in yellow curry sauce better.
    Don't trip on Autopilot cord!

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    Last edited by sleddog; 06-28-2020 at 05:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2017
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    Los Osos
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    Good luck on your Race, Sleddog!! We will be following along as will some folks up in PT.
    Are you going to nap on the couch 20 minutes at a time, then run out to Andre to check in with his weather? If so, remember to wear your safety harness when you go out!
    Annie is going to know you are nuts, you realize?

    Cool idea, dude!

  8. #8
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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.

  9. #9
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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.

  10. #10
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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.

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