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Thread: New Boat 4 Sled

  1. #1491
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    I'd love to see a Ted Ex by those guys!

  2. #1492
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    TMI. You ladies are offending my delicate sensibilities.

  3. #1493
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    There's a party going on this morning at Thomas Basin in Ketchikan, AK. JUNGLE KITTY finished early this morning and won the steak knives for second place in the R2AK. KITTY was followed closely by BRODERNA, MAIL ORDER BRIDE, and MADRONA. Congrats to all!

    Astern, several boats in Hecate Straits have made right turns for shelter behind islands of the Inside Passage as a SE gale sweeps ashore. SE winds, 30-40 knots, against tide, in the shallow waters, turns Hecate into a maelstrom that is not a safe place to be.

    The rest of the R2AK fleet is strung out southward over 600 miles of British Columbia coastline, with the 8 lady rowers on Team KRAKEN UP still pulling northwards, south of Comox.

    Notable in Johnstone Straits is solo sailor/rower Colin Angus on his self-built tri. Colin, Nat Geo 2007 Adventurer of the Year, is a solid choice to win the $1,000 side bet for first under 20 feet to finish the R2AK. ATTACH=CONFIG]1604[/ATTACH]

    Jake Beattie at the R2AK website says it much better than I :

    While the R2AK nation slept sound in the knowledge that they would rise in plenty of time to check the tracker and box out a spot in the online que for the coveted feed of the Ketchikan harbor cam, Team MAD Dog Racing was hurtling through the night on a downwind screamer. 23 knots downwind through the great wide open of Dixon Entrance. Full throttle in the darkest night that the crew had ever seen. No stars, no moon, no lights from an uninhabited shoreline, just black stallion racing into the spray filled darkness. “We couldn’t tell where the horizon started, it was too dark to know where the boat and the water were.” By the time we all woke up and checked the tracker, then checked it again, they were close. Oh my god close. All over Ketchikan you could hear forks hit plates in a mid bite mind blow that had people breaking into a dead sprint, breakfast left half eaten and steaming on the table so they could get to the finish line on time. You know that sweaty nervous panic you get when you oversleep for a job interview? Same thing happened all over town as folks threw on clothes and danced the dance of people trying to put on pants and move at the same time. One driver clocked the M32 along the waterfront road south of town, his car barely keeping pace in an impromptu race within a race that only he knew he was losing. How are they that fast? Team MAD Dog Racing was within sight of the finish line and they were still sending it, fast. Even the press was surprised, some slipping in to the back of the crowd in the hopes that their competitors wouldn’t notice.

    Their two red hulls nosed over the finish line at 7:13, and unless our fading memory of public school math once again miffed the complex +1 of the time zone calc, Team MAD Dog finished the R2AKin 3 days, 20 hours, and 13 minutes, smashing last year’s top finish by…well, a lot…way more than a day…you do the math.They were greeted on the dock by a crowd still hustling down the gangway, Colin’s mom who exploded in the emotion of complete celebration and unfettered relief—hard to have a dry eye when an exhausted racer is embraced by the love and pride of his exhausted mom who had likely slept more than her dry-suited son, but not much. So proud. They nailed the landing, rang the bell, had the rare experience of clearing customs with smiling officers who seemed to want to shake their hands as much as they wanted to look at their passports. They posed for pictures, pressed the press, double fisted coffee and beer until adrenaline shrank to number two or three on the ranked list of their bodily fluids, before Randy received the R2AK’s version of a NASCAR shower and beer sprayed towards faces in a well-deserved celebration. They made it. More than that, they crushed it, and landed on the dock with deeply satisfied smiles that masked their exhaustion. Triumph would win over sleep for a few more hours, but only barely.

    The cameras and microphones asked the questions we all wanted to: Did you sleep? 20 minutes at a time, maybe every 12 hours, in a bivvy sack, in their drysuits, arms crossed to wedge themselves into position on the rack that felt most secure. Yes, it was eerily like a body bag. In one hand they’d grasp a knife in case they had to cut themselves out in the event that their dreams turned into the least exciting/most terrifying kind of wet. Tacking upwind cut the sleeping shifts short, and no matter how short the interval they’d wake, emerge from, stow the bivvy, move to the high side, and then crawl back in to catch whatever sleep they could grab before it happened again. How often? There are a lot of narrow passages, and with a fast boat sometimes hours would go by without 10 minutes between maneuvers. How did you avoid driftwood? Mostly, these sailing Jedi used the force. “When it gets dark the driftwood seems to disappear.” Aren’t you tired? How are you still standing? The answer to that was met with laughter and an answer to the next question. They saw whales, no bears, were blown away by their luck in the tidal gates, amazed and satisfied that the work they had done to battle harden their spindly mess of high tension speed to the rigors of a non-stop charge through the wild coast had been successful. “We raced the boat hard beforehand to identify components that needed strengthened” You mean you broke a lot of stuff in some other races? “Yeah.”

    Family and friends lingered after the crowd subsided and the sunburnt and weary trio sank into the first hot meal they’d had in four days that hadn’t been rehydrated. After so much time hanging onto a bouncing net in pitching seas, they struggled to walk up the ramp, or stand still enough to focus on the menu above the counter. Dry land had become foreign to them.

    After all hands sailing the cell service void of the R2AK’s back nine, they’d been out of touch with the outside world for days, and like anyone in and around the R2AK, it wasn’t long before they shifted their eyes to the tracker checking on teams and getting excited, beginning the process of piecing together the fatigue filled memories into a cogent story and then started getting excited about the progress of teams that impressed them. They traded stories of their favorites. Their first? Team Hodge. Hodge was a garage built 8-footer that made the run in stage one. Hodge. There couldn’t have been a team in the race so opposite to the skittery rocket they’d just ridden to Ketchikan. They were accomplished sailors on a high twitch speed machine. Hodge built his own slab-sided plywood wonder out of a potentially appropriate three sheets, painted her blue, and then cut down some tarps for sails. They wore technical clothing, Hodge wore a sailor hat in a manner that was in the blurry no-mans land in the war between irony and sincerity. Still, after the race of a lifetime and a new world record, they didn’t pause between their bacon filled bites to gush full-mouthed enthusiastic about how impressed they were that he made it across stage one, or how infected they were by his spirit and enthusiasm. They have hearts as big as their skill.

    They worked through the fleet: Team Jungle Kitty’s location brought excitement and memories. “That’s a tricky spot”, as did the four-way battle that was shaping up for the steak knives. “We’ve got a race!” With each bite they relaxed, their fatigue rising to the surface little by little and their excited chatter was replaced with longer and longer stares and sleepy satisfied smiles. Ian broke the silence with a question that revealed just how total had been their focus on the goal “Wait, is there an airport here?”

    Team MAD Dog Racing’s charge north was impressive, and one that had many in the sailing world shaking their heads. “This will end badly.” was a word of warning from a skeptical expert in the know. The M32 was a high stakes gamble. A gust and a capsize and it would be game over. Short of a nearby tugboat there would be no way to get the big cat back on her feet. Their plan—ditch the rig, get her right side down and start pedaling. Each of them wore dry suits kitted out with life jackets, DSC marine band radio Personal Locator Beacons, and some inflatable noodles they could inflate to make it easier for rescue crews to see them. These weren’t maverick yahoos with a death wish, they took safety as seriously as they did their sailing. And while they never needed it, their ace in the hole was a mark of all pro.

    As they trundled off to some much earned sleep, the rest of us shook our heads, checked our math, shook our heads again, checked the tracker, and got excited for the next wave of gritty excellence headed north like a freight train. Four teams in striking distance, two monohulls each being chased by their own Cerberus. They’ll pass soon across Dixon entrance, and all of us will be adjusting our expectations ever earlier. The race has just begun.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-01-2016 at 07:11 AM.

  4. #1494
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    Fantastic report, great writing. Thanks for all the pictures, and your updates from the field!

  5. #1495
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    Yesterday afternoon, Santa Cruz Harbor narrowly escaped a horrific accident.

    After Wednesday's successful launch of the Harbor's new dredge, the professional heavy lift crew turned to hauling out the 30 year old dredge SEABRIGHT, currently listed for sale on Craigs List.

    Rusty and banged up, SEABRIGHT has been leaking for months, needing a full time pump to keep afloat.

    Apparently the heavy lift crew had miscalculated the weight of water remaining in the pontoons and the amount of fuel aboard. SEABRIGHT weighed a lot more than anyone thought. But speed was of essence to clear the Harbor launch ramp for 4th of July holiday visitors.

    Carefully, SEABRIGHT was pulled onto the giant inflatable air bags used to launch TWIN LAKES, and the big winch took up strain. Up came SEABRIGHT, up the angled launch ramp, until 3/4's clear of the water.

    Then, about 4 pm yesterday, gravity took charge.

    A heavy duty strap, holding half of the 4:1 wire-rope tackle, parted with a shot as the weight of SEABRIGHT exceeded the capabilities of the pulling gear. The heavy wire cable snaked across the parking lot. SEABRIGHT took off downhill, in uncontrolled descent , and relaunched itself with a mighty splash.

    Amazingly, no one was injured or maimed.

    The heavy lift crew is packing up, thanking their lucky stars. SEABRIGHT will be kept afloat with pumps while being dismantled in the water.

    For the moment, Santa Cruz Harbor has two dredges.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-01-2016 at 12:32 PM.

  6. #1496
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    Returning from an airport run yesterday I caught the bittersweet End of an Era: After 42 years on public radio, since 1974, Garrison Keillor hosted his final Prairie Home Companion radio variety show before 18,000 people at the Hollywood Bowl.

    What a wonderful run of homespun, folksy stories, music, sound effects, quick wit, and humor. Even President Obama called in to say "thank you" to the self-effacing Keillor

    We'll miss you Garrison. And we'll miss your stories of the folks and country around Lake Wobegon, stories that so filled our imagination. We'll miss Powdermilk Biscuits, Guy Noir, Dusty and Lefty. We'll miss Tim Russell, Sue Scott, pianist Richard Dworsky and the wondrous sound effects of Fred Newman.

    And don't forget the fiddles.

    Godspeed, Garrison Keillor, and thank you for the great listening. Story telling at its best that brought us together around the radio on Saturday afternoons.

    "It was a Lutheran town. Even the atheists were Lutherans."

    Happy 4th of July to all.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-03-2016 at 10:59 PM.

  7. #1497
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    In the mid 70's I lived in Mammoth. Given the right conditions I could pick up radio signals DX from Fresno on FM frequencys. I heard Prairie Home Companion and thought the radio waves had gone through a time machine from the 20's. SDK

  8. #1498
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    I'm not sure what 60 million SUV's falling off a mountain looks like. But that's the imaginative scientific description of a 4,000 foot mountain side recently breaking off and falling onto Lamplugh Glacier, in Glacier Bay National Park.

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    Photo courtesy Paul Swanstrom / Mountain Flying Service

    The estimated 130 million tons of rock was the biggest landslide in recent history. Fortunately, no human life was endangered, and there were no tsunamis, as the broken mountain was well up the glacier. I can't imagine local mountain goats were thrilled. That's a lot of SUVs.

    The cause of the landslide is "under investigation," but likely partially a result of glacier melt, revealing more and more unsupported mountain.

    http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/2016/...theast-alaska/
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-05-2016 at 08:20 AM.

  9. #1499
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    The vanguard of the Singlehanded Transpac, spread north to south over 170 miles of latitude, has crossed 130 degrees longitude in good time. They are now entering "Pt.A", their "slotcar" lanes. Lighter NNE winds, 10-15 knots, of the Pacific High's southeastern ridge will predominate and spinnakers are coming out of the bag.

    In the lighter winds, deviating course to the south is painful, thus Stan Honey's "slotcar" terminology for this section of the course.

    Past the slotcar section and over the ridge the trades begin to fill west of 137W, and south of 30N.

    On the horizon, rapidly intensifying hurricane Blas is many miles south and east. As Blas tracks northwest into cooler waters, up near 20 degrees latitude, it will decay, forecast to ultimately become a post-tropical remnant low with winds below 30 knots and passing behind the SHTP fleet.

    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_ep3...daynl#contents

    The tracker's idiosynchrasies take some getting used to: the icons show miniature boats about 25 miles in length hopping forward like fleas depending when the tracker sends its signal. Speeds and course are often inaccurate, 247 being a popular number. I don't know if the speed reported is instantaneous, or averaged over a certain time.

    The more northern Great Circle route, initially recommended by routing programs as being shorter, with more wind, is now looking iffy later this week as tradewinds fill below 30 degrees. At this point, it's a horse-race, with PAKALA, KATO, NINA, and VENTUS looking good for first-to-finish. KATO and NINA are near sisterships from the same mold, one an Olson-30 and one an Olson-29.

    There remains a long way to go for the Buglighters.
    Last edited by sleddog; 07-05-2016 at 09:32 AM.

  10. #1500
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    "hopping forward like fleas" you do have a way with words. Is a flea a bug?

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