Day 12, 6/30/21

R/C has arrived at the condo overlooking the finish line at Hanalei Bay.
Here are the latest reports from the racers.

Northern Star, 6/29/21, 09:30
Northern Star Daily Check-in. Passed the halfway mark last night, thank you for the party goodies from Randy. All is well aboard Northern Star. Jamie is alive and healthy.


Hula, 6/29/21, 10:23
After a terrible beginning to the relationship, the spinnker sock and I are now the best of friends! He saved my butt twice last night. 3 hour class paid off!!

6/30/21, 06:29
Wild night of driving. Pretended I was an Olson 30 and put a 1 in front of the knotmeter. I hit 19.5 knots!! Naptime…

Green Buffalo, 06/29/21, 10:29
Smooth sailing… 12k-14k… saw 17k a bit (which makes napping a bit “edgier”… going to take some time to acclimate too sleeping under chute in the increasing winds… yes you would think I would be used to it… but not yet).

Read a book yesterday… “Beneath a Scarlet Sky”… great book about a teenager living in Milan in WWII… the brutality, the camaraderie, tragedy, love story (exactly what one would expect from an Italian story/opera).
Not that I planned to read a book. But things are so “steady” – getting a bit bored.
Luckily I had at some point downloaded a few books off Amazon onto my mobile.

And then book #2… what I found in the SHTP goodie bag… half way thru Jackie Philpott’s “Not a Yacht Club” novelette… great fun reading about old friends! And getting to know some old friends a bit better!

Running down the rhumb line…

Green Buffalo

6/30/21, 10:45
Wind picking up a bit… say 15k average… under dark clouds have seen wind speeds in the low 20ks (which makes for restless sleeping). So decided it was time to drop the 3/4 and hoist the 1.5 (which was in a snuffer).

All went well till I finished the hoist and saw the “pull the hoop down” line had untied from the hoop and was now laying at my feet! As they say, snuffers are “cranky”. Maybe drop it tomorrow and rety on the hoop line – so I can be ready for the last few days as the evening winds can be expected to increase (but some chance light to no real squalls because the water is cooler then normal).

Broke the temporary boom vang “sling” (where it attaches to the mast)… just a minute to replace (and I suspect it will break a few more times between now and the finish… a lot of cyclic loading on vangs).

Back to cabbage salad for dinner last night… maybe quesidilla’s for dinner tonight (I wonder how the cheese, guac and sour cream have stood up… I will know soon).

Running down the rhumb line…

Green Buffalo

Shark On Bluegrass, 6/29/21
All well, moving slowly but moving at last!

Finally some wind during the night! All well on the Shark

Mountain, 6/29/21
Quality of life super keen on Mountain

All is peachy on Mountain!

Aloha, 6/29/21
i am here, the trade winds are not.


Perplexity, 6/29/21, 18:39
Tropic birds!!

I’m feeling better because we are ripping along tonight and I think I now appreciate that the wind builds through the day. That said I tied my spinnaker in a knot and dropped my jib over the side today. Oy!

Aloha, 6/29/21 17:58
Well, it’s day eleven underway now and I just passed the 700 nautical miles to go marker a few minutes ago. For those whom are somewhat mathematically challenged, that puts Aloha at just over 2/3 of the way through from San Francisco to Hanalei Bay.

I have begun to slowly try to actually adjust my sleep schedule/internal clock to Hawaii time however the introduction of the trade winds light (as I have been calling them because they are lighter than normal in my experience) makes it difficult. The reason is the trades generally around noon local time or a little later begin to fill in, then as the sun goes down they maintain a steady pressure with the afternoon, but you get the addition of night time squalls. Through the night and into the early morning the squalls tend to build in strength and will have a greater effect on the boat. Then, not long after sunrise, winds die down to a moderate 8 knots or so typically (less the last few days), until about noon when the cycle beings to repeat itself.

The rub being that with this schedule the ideal time to get some rest becomes the hours between about 7am and noon Hawaii time. Tie that all in with other important things onboard such as navigating, keeping a relatively decent watch out, meal prep and eating – so meaningful rest can and will likely be put on the back burner for the remaining few days should the winds continue to build as they are forecasted to.

Today we saw a slight windshift which had been predicted in the gribs. It came in at around 4pm west coast time and led to a gybe back to starboard allowing to gain some mileage back to the west for a better angle to the eventual finish on port tack in a few days time.

Last night for dinner I enjoyed a full serving of lasagna from backpacker pantry, this one I must say is right up there with the beef stroganoff as far as dinner quality goes. Obviously it lacks the form of a proper pan baked lasaga, but all the great flavors are there from the delicious ground beef to the noodles and spicy marinara sauce, what a treat, certainly better than I could ever make from scratch back at home.

Last night I had a minor issue with the autopilot as it decided to veer about 30 degrees downwind of the course which I had set it for. In the span of about a minute before I rolled over in my bunk and noticed it, the spinnaker had taken itself and gotten wrapped around the furrled up staysail at least 8 times. This meant I had to throw on my life jacket and head lamp, tether in and run up to the bow, pull both sails about halfway down and unwrap them. Fortunately at the time, the winds were a fairly moderate 11 knots. After unwrapping the two, the spinnaker was still very much wrapped on its own, so I doused it all the way into the cockpit so that I could run the tapes on it and get out any twists before heading back up to the bow to hook it back up and reset it.

A process that took maybe 15 minutes and shouldn’t have cost me more than a half a mile, but which should be easily avoided had the autopilot done its job and been able to steer a straight course. As I type out this email, the autopilot again has been choosing to vary wildly in heading with a range of about 30 degrees which it is willing to steer. Imagine a blind driver on the I-5 freeway who is taking up all 6 lanes of traffic and only veers one way or the other when he hits the rumble strips on the shoulder, that’s about what I’m dealing with for an autopilot from time to time.

Breakfast this morning was a standard affair of Mountain House granola with blueberries and milk, a very simple one that doesn’t even require heating but still very much hits the spot for breakfast with a bit of sweet along with the grains. For lunch I had a PB&J as per usual and an apple, and while i have two apples left, i fear they may have met their demise as the one i had with lunch had passed by ripe and was no longer at its peak of freshness, a sad moment. After lunch i had a very nice sea shower to wash away the stink of the last few days and a great fresh water rinse from the Waterport. From my observations and experience, simply washing with sea water will never quite do the trick as the salt residue left over always seems to leave me itchy and feeling very dirty, for that I am very grateful for my ability to properly rinse off with pressurized fresh water whenever i feel like it.

With that, I suppose I should begin to rummage around and see what I should have for dinner before calling it an early night to hopefully get some rest should I need to hand steer or make any major corrections this evening. Keep on hopping for wind! Aloha!

Aloha Day 12 Report
6/30/21, 18:32

Another eventful evening last night has given way to a very, very mellow day.

For dinner last night I enjoyed Mountain House Mexican Rice and Chicken which for anyone who has been onboard for dinner knows the elevated levels of flatulence to follow. Fortunately this issue is dramatically reduced when one happens to be sailing alone.

Sometime around dinner, after I had written my last update about the blind rumble strip driver that was the autopilot, I decided to throw in the towel on that head unit for the pelagic and try out the spare one that I had brought in case the original one died. The spare one is borrowed off of Elliot James’s boat Bloom County and is programmed to face a different direction. Because of this I had to basically duct tape it to the outboard back rest on the port side of the cockpit back rest. However with the “install” complete, I plugged it in and put it to use and it drove (and continues to) drive straight as an arrow! Such a relief to be able to relax knowing the boat will continue on its same course without constant attention from yours truly.

This unfortunately backfired on me some time around midnight as a minor wind shift that I didn’t feel let the spinnaker collapse and wrap itself about a dozen times tightly around the forestay. It couldn’t have been wrapped/wrapping for more than a minute but the damage had been done and it required lowering, disconnecting and an extensive headlamp-lit struggle on the bow in the dark to get it unwrapped.

Eventually after getting it unwrapped and totally doused, then re-packed and re-set, we continued on our merry way with speeds likely never dipping below six or so knots thanks to the continued push by the main and staysail.

I have learned my lesson to avoid sailing deeper angles when attention is not fully on the sails. I can also now say I have totally changed my opinion of spinnaker nets which many shorthanded sailors employ to specifically prevent this issue. I have seen two very tight wraps in my time on other boats that end up back at the dock still sporting a spinnaker wrapped on the forestay, and I must say that I sympathize with them and hope dearly that I don’t find myself in that situation ever and especially not while single handing.

At around 5am Hawaii time I decided to gybe back onto port tack, heading me back in a direction which more closely represents final approach towards Hanalei. I gybed a bit early as you might note if tracking closely, with the intention being that with wind accelerating as we approach the islands it will also shift to a direction more out of the due east and I will get turned a bit down towards Hanalei rather than the course towards more or less Kahului (Maui) that I am currently heading.

To add to the Spanish affair of the night before, I chose the MH Spicy Southwest Hash for breakfast, a nice spicy changeup from the blueberry and oats of days past. In the early morning around the time of the gybe, I ticked past 600 miles and still had decent breeze of the evening which would gradually give way to light air most of the day. Coupled with overcast skies, waves and wind chop that matched up with much windier conditions, it made for a very frustrating morning and early afternoon of painful progress at an angle that I was not quite hoping for.

That being said, it is my hope that while i may be suffering in the lighter air in the morning, I rather hope to not be alone in the struggles with other boats hopefully facing similar conditions that I am.

To pass some time this morning in the lighter air, I finally straightened up the boat a little to film a quick tour of the inside of Aloha. I should emphasize its brevity because there really is not a whole lot to see. After that, having finished the two books I brought, I opened up a book on my kindle app that I have already read, i must say times are getting desperate to pass time in the light stuff and I would so much more enjoy some serious breeze on sailing.

Inside of Aloha has gotten a bit warm and muggy, and gone are the nights of getting warm inside a sleeping bag, but now trying to rest during the heat of the day so I can take advantage of the cool and wind at night.

Lunch was a standard affair PB&J with a cliff bar and a water bottle. The last of the apples bid farewell over the side to hopefully be enjoyed by some happy apple eating fishies out there. Speaking of fish, during the early morning gybe I came across a dead squid up on the bow, and when moving the sail stack a few small flying fish had met their demise when washed up under the sails. Just when settling into the new gybe in the wee hours of the morning i heard something flying in and vibrating really hard and loud – scared the hell out of me before it bounced back into the bucket i have back under the tiller – a quick look down and i realized aloha had passed in the flight path of this unfortunate flying fish who was now flopping around in the bucket. I quickly threw him back, both to maybe keep him alive and but also prevent the whole cockpit from smelling too fishy. I’m not sure I was all that successful in either of those endeavors.

Dinner is yet to be determined for the night but I think I might tap into another freeze dried dessert to cap off the evening – I’m thinking either crème brulee or perhaps the dark chocolate cheesecake, only time will tell.

As for now, the wind has built a little in the afternoon hours and we are moving along at an acceptable pace. Winds are forecasted to improve the entire way into Hanalei so I am very much looking forward to that with not many miles left to get some good trade wind sailing in. Here’s hoping for a good night and next couple days with good wind, wave, and and sunshine. Aloha out.

Day 10, 6/27/21 Halfway

Boats are crossing the halfway point, Opening their gifts and having parties.
Keeping an eye out for the halfway barge ;)

Hula, 11:29
Went to night school last night and took a 3 hour class in spinnaker sockery and wraps. It was taught on the bowsprit.  Holy Crikey– what a mess!!!

Siren, 12:06
Siren Is ready for the second half.

Northern Star, 12:24
Northern Star Daily Report, 28 June. All good aboard Northern Star. Jamie is alive, well, and in great spirits.

Wishing the race cmte safe travels tomorrow to Kauai.


Mountain, 12:53
Mountain soldiers ever onward!

Shark On Bluegrass, 13:11
All well, light winds, still made 134 miles in 24hrs. Crossing half way point today !

Green Buffalo, 13:46
More of the same… 10k-12k wind from astern.  Sun, blue skies and white clouds. Saw 16k of wind a few times last night – but mostly a very relaxing last 24 hrs.

Siren called this morning… just 3 miles or so ahead on the opposite jibe.  So for fun, jibed to stay near her.  :-)
Its nice having a bit of company for today’s “half way party”.  Though I must confess I have cracked into some of the half way stashes already.  A few folks dropped off half way “bags” in the “leaving the dock rush” – and in some cases leaving me unsure which bags came from who.

Now the bag with the Christmas Card from 2016 was close to the heart (Mary, the kids and I at our nieces wedding in Washington).

The race… its a drag race now… maybe jibe once or twice a day running down the rhumb line.

Mac and Cheese… one full Kraft package goes a long way (with tuna thrown in for a bit more protein)…  for dinner, breakfast and brunch… its all gone now… what to do for dinner tonight?

Yesterday afternoon’s music was a bit of Bowie, Ga Ga, and Neil Young.  Maybe Springsteen and Diana Ross, with a bit of Puccini this afternoon?  Saving the Stones for closer in to Hanalei.

Green Buffalo

Aloha, 14:03
its Monday and i a still with us on this side of the ground. Sure do hope the autopiilot keep on kicking as well.


Forewarded from Brian,
When I had embarked on this adventure, I surely never expected to be composing a day 10 update with this many miles yet to be covered, and yet here I am typing with in the vicinity of 870 miles left. For those who aren’t familiar, that distance still represents well over a third of the course yet to be tackled, and while that task may seem daunting given the circumstances of the last week, it is with great joy that I can officially and honestly say that we are into the trade winds and what remains should be downhill sleigh ride to Hanalei.

Such is my confidence in my noble steed Aloha that I have taken the time to dig up the coordinates for the actual finish line and keyed them into the chart plotter as the GO TO waypoint rather than the arbitrary position in about the middle of Hanalei Bay that I had been using before. Changing those two positions made almost no difference, shy of maybe 100 yards, but boy does it feel good to have a finish line in mind rather than just a proposed general destination.

In the evening yesterday, Simrad autopilot was finally mercifully removed from his duties at the helm as he was struggling to cope with the three or four different cross swells that were pushing the boat in different directions whilst trying to steer to the set wind angle. In his place, the Pelagic autopilot was put back in the game. Though this autopilot is not currently integrated to the wind instruments, I felt that its quicker response and better ability to adjust to the waves and movements of the boat might make coping with the increased wave action easier. To drive this point home, i also got out the Pelagic Autopilots secret weapon which is its small key FOB sized clicker which I can use to adjust the course from anywhere on the boat, including but not limited to my bunk. With this feature engaged, I was able to cope with changes in wind direction and sea state and make the appropriate steering corrections without having to get out of bed, a huge improvement from the way i had been operating up until this point.

The night passed with relative ease albeit short and limited sleep as the ever increasing sea state and wind speeds that are associated with the tradewinds make for a somewhat uncomfortable ride on a boat this small and light. As morning broke, the winds were as forecasted in the 12 knot range which allowed yours truly to take the helm for a few hours and enjoy some good sailing before the sun would begin to cook all things on deck to a crisp. Before long though it was back inside to escape the blistering sunshine and let the tandem of autopilot and solar panels keep this perpetual motion machine moving.

For breakfast I enjoyed some mountain house breakfast hash spiced up with Cholula hot sauce and some salt and pepper. I should also say that for dinner last night to cap off the day’s halfway mark celebrations I indulged in a crowd favorite of the freeze dried meals which is the mountain house beef stroganoff followed by some leftover raspberry crumble, what a meal that was. All that was missing was a glass or two of wine with dinner and a nice port to accompany dessert, perhaps in a few days time we can rectify that need. With the time zones as they are, I have not yet indulged in lunch, though i suspect it will be a standard affair of a PB&J and perhaps a Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt Cliff Bar to top it off, mixed in with the occasional hunk of beef jerky and a slice of dried mango. the cuisine onboard has been nothing too fancy, but plenty of flavors to keep at least some parts of the voyage from being too monotonous.

With temps and humidity beginning to climb onboard, I suspect today might be the first usage of Aloha’s secret onboard air conditioning to keep the place nice and “cool” (2 small 12 volt fans), between that and trying to rest during the day as much as possible should I need to be up and monitoring or driving through the night, hopefully the miles will keep peeling away with the islands seemingly just over the horizon. That’s about all from here, I will try to provide an evening update later today should the wind and wave not pick up too much. Aloha out.

Day 9, 6/27/21 Moving Again

As the Eastern Pacific high pressure begins to stabilize and move north, our racers will feel the trade winds fill in. 

From Mountain, 07:15
Hello from nearly half way!
In honor of National Dave Letterman day I made a top ten list to share.
Here in no particular order are my top ten unique sailing terms and  deep cut gems from the Mountain ipod:

10. Revenge of scorpio – Ted hawkins
9.  fraculator
8. the seed – The Roots
7. scantlings
6. bad luck city – R.L. Burnside
5. monkey butt
4.  stranger in a strange land – Leon Russell
3.  baggywrinkle
2. for my next trick – Warren Zevon
1. Soak it!

Wishing a peaceful night to friends, family and armchair yachties everywhere…
Sail fast,

Hula, 11:30
Dr. Frankenstein has successfully re-attached the head of the half ounce spinnaker. It’s ALIVE!!!!!

Nozomi, 12:10
Nozomi checking in. So far so good…

Northern Star, 12:10
Northern Star Daily Report. All happy and well aboard Northern Star. Jamie is alive, well, and even typed this message himself!

Happy to be in the Tradewinds, it is a beautiful day.


Shark On Bluegrass, 12:15
Wind finally picked up, 105 miles in the last 24 hrs.  Nice tropical breeze….

Sea Wisdom, 12:19
Hi RC,

The wind die down last night and this morning.  It started pick up again, blowing 8-10 knots from NW. Better than no wind!

Hope everyone is well.


Aloha, 14:41
i think i can see Hanalei!!!!! very small of course…..

Good afternoon from a sunny Aloha, I am writing today’s update from a much better place than we were in yesterday both mentally and physically. As many of you might be able to imagine, the hole in the middle of the course was quite taxing on the sailors out here (speaking for myself anyway) and as it progressed it had seemed like there would be no end in sight. Forecasts downloaded each day made it appear that all we had to do was make it through that respective day and even if no forward progress was made at all, the wind would fill in and it would be right back to racing. After the third day of telling myself that i just had to make it to tomorrow, I quite honestly had a bit of a breakdown of faith in my ability to continue to cope with the lack of progress being made.

Thankfully, not too long after I composed yesterdays update which was written after having sat in about 1 to 2 knots of wind making about the same in speed, some wind did fill in and has mostly stayed with me since then. Last night i went to bed early being that I had suspected I was due for a busy night. Bed time came before the sun had even set and I kept a close eye on my course as it was slowly was beginning to veer again to the north as winds shifted into trade winds with a more east west component. The goal was to keep the apparent wind angle constant but unfortunately to do so the auto pilot had to head up.

At around 1130 (2330) I hit my upper limit which was a persistent course of around 270 (due west) which was about 35 degrees to the north at the time of rhumb line to Hanalei. Getting out of bed was an interesting treat which brought me to a near panic as i looked directly back out of the companion way (due east) and saw what appeared to be either a large tanker on fire about 5 miles back, or perhaps a fishing vessel illuminating the area as squid boats do that was much closer. I stared at it for a minute and contemplated hailing them on the VHF as checks of the chart plotter revealed no AIS signal. The next minute or two passed and I slowly began to realize that i was in fact watching the moon rise between the sea surface and the clouds and much as the setting sun glows a violent orange, so was the rising moon that was reflecting both off the ocean and glowing the clouds orange. Once i realized this to be the case i was able to relax a little bit and enjoy the beauty that nature sometimes provides.

A few minutes later, it was on to the task at hand which would be a midnight gybe to port tack which will have the boat more or less pointed towards the islands. Though not the prettiest or fastest gybe even conducted, it got done with the whole sail stack moved over and the boat dialed in now on port tack at a heading of about 210. Throughout the rest of the night and early morning, winds came and went, but were mostly in the 10 knot range at a direction that had me mainly steering a course of about 220.

Sunrise brought some clouds which i have come to know as a very good thing with regards to wind speed and direction as winds increased from about 9 to 15 with puffs up to 17. A little bit of legitimately fun trade wind sailing ensued before the winds calmed back down for a bit. In the 2018 pacific cup, i came to realize that in the trades, the mid morning is typically a break from the winds of the afternoon and evening, this seemed to be the case most of morning till a little after 1 west coast time when wind built from about 6 to 9 or 10 which is much closer to the forecasted 11 that i should have for the next day or so. This morning we crossed over the halfway marker with 1065.5 miles to go at 5:07 and i will soon be passing to less than 1000 miles to go (just checked while tying and it’s at 1004). Crossing over the halfway marker meant the opening of a few much anticipated halfway gifts.

The first one came as a bit of a mystery to me as it was labeled to Aloha from SV Tortuga, now what’s weird is that I don’t actually know an SV Tortuga, my buddy Elliott has a motorboat called Tortuga but after asking him he confirmed that it wasn’t him. So without the slightest idea who it was from, i dug into a care package that included a bounty of party supplies for a halfway bash for one which included two party poppers, a bunch of glow sticks, some powdered hawaiian punch, some hot chocolate mix (in case you cross halfway in the middle of the night), a lime (to ward off scurvy perhaps)  and a few other goodies along with a hand written note From Captatin Randy of the Westsail 32 Tortuga who competed in the 2012 SHTP wishing good luck and to enjoy the halfway party. If you happen to see this Randy, thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.

Next it was on to the flashdrive that Brian had put together with what i have been told is about 25 minutes of warm wishes from family and friends back home. Unfortunately due to technical difficulties with the laptop not recognizing that a usb had been inserted, i am not able to actually see or hear the video until i get to the completion of the second half where Dad assures me he will have a laptop that we can try it again on, or perhaps when i get cell reception near the islands (like 30 miles out) i can get it emailed and watch it then. Regardless, id like to thank everyone who contributed, it means a lot that there’s so many people back home keeping up with my progress on this great adventure that i have embarked on. Lastly was a lovely letter and pictures from our recent adventures in Tahoe and up the Stockton from my lovely girlfriend Eliza.

Though it may just be me out here, I can’t say there was a single dry eye onboard. On to a celebratory lunch which was topped off by  my first mountain house dessert which was a raspberry crumble, absolutely fantastic and because it serves 4, there’s plenty leftover for dessert after dinner this evening.  After lunch the sailing has improved with winds building out of the 6 knot range up to about 9 to 10, not quite what the grib files indicated but after that last few days, it’s hard for me to complain at all. Trusty Simrad autopilot is still back there steering away to the wind angle and i must say doing a very fine job 10/10 would recommend having an autopilot that can be integrated to all your instruments and sensors given the opportunity to do so.

That’s about all from Aloha, again thanks to everyone that contributed to the halfway stuff, i can’t wait to see it as soon as i can, and tank you to everyone following progress from back home. Think windy thoughts. -Aloha.


Green Buffalo, 19:01
Now this is what they call sailing to Hawaii!
10k-12k wind from astern.  Sun, blue skies and white clouds.

The smoothest carper ride ever!
With last week’s Low off the coast, a tropical earlier in the week off Mexico disrupting the trade winds, and the receding High, I have never seen such a flat ocean.  A few foot swell you can barely tell is there, wind waves under two feet… smooth sailing… easy on the chute, good napping/sleeping, and easy on the autopilot (which means low power use with the single 140W solar power keeping the batteries topped and no need to run the engine).

Sardine sandwich for breakfast (one can do that when alone :-) ).

Mac and Cheese for dinner?  Or back to tortellini?
Maybe time for some afternoon music…

Green Buffalo

Mountain, 21:48
Life exists on Mountain!

Day 8, Waiting for wind

Shark On Bluegrass, 12:13
All well on the shark. It’s “Shark On Blue Glass” right now. 57nm in the last 24 hrs. Who said during the skippers meeting “ the pacific high is not going to be in your way?”

Green Buffalo,  13:17
Today mark’s one week on the water… and with the slow going and expected high to head back north tomorrow… likely 8 more days in front of me (if not 9). Slowest of the 19 Hawaii races I have done. C’est la vie. Just be thanful I am not on one of the smaller heavier boats which are doing the math and being unsure if they will make it to Hanalei for the Banquet.

After 20 hrs of a decent run (a decent run is staying above 2k boat speed and not “triple zeroing”), the wind died this morning… 5 hours of slatting with no headsail up. Heard Siren call a freighter passing nearby as he wanted to be sure the freighter knew with so little wind he wouldn’t be able to get out of their way.

Now slatting is good for something… a busy morning… flake and bag the #1, cut the jib halyard back 12 inches to remove a chafe point, and drum roll please… take a shower on the foredeck!
Yes after a week with two clothes changes but no showers, I was starting to smell myself. It was time. Pull out the SunShower, canvas bucket (salt water wash and fresh water rinse), and the Prell (which lathers great in salt water). Boy did that shower feel great!

What else?
I did make that cabbage salad with chicken yesterday for dinner. And had enough left to add some tuna and have for lunch today.

Green Buffalo

Sea Wisdom, 14:39
All is fine, so calm that I flew the drone for some area shot of the SHTP doldrum!
Hope everyone is well. I think we should get wind soon.
All the best,

Hula, 15:48
For those of you flying to Hawaii today, Hula is no longer bright pink, but neon yellow!

Aloha, 17:09
who do i talk to about a refund? these “trade winds” are not what i signed up for!?!?!?!?

22:16, Not a whole lot to convey about the day and night as of right now. I’m not sure I mentioned it in yesterday’s report, but it was up and down three or four times between the code zero and the A2. I climbed in bed at around 11 I believe, west coast time, with the code zero up as the wind had been tight most of the late evening, but not ten minutes after getting in bed the wind backed and I had to swap back to the A2.  

With the moon as bright as it has been out here the last few nights, a headlamp was hardly necessary during the maneuver – lack of visibility is always the most difficult thing about sail changes between sunset and sunrise. Since then it has been all A2 doing its best to keep the boat rolling.

Most of the night from what I could tell we had fairly okay wind, but with the autopilot in wind angle mode, I did wake up to notice a lift had taken us all the way up to a heading on 300 which is quite a long ways off from Hawaii. So while I got ready for a gybe in the wee hours of the morning, the wind fortunately returned to its previous direction just as I was ready to throw the helm over.  

Speaking of gybing, most of the morning was spent very much on starboard in a little bit of wind keeping the boat moving, however watching the plotter and my heading, I noticed the boat slowly heading up from about 235 the night before to about 270. With the autopilot in wind angle mode, this had indicated a fairly sizable shift which is what is expected about now on the course as we should begin to enter the trade winds. With that shift I decided it may be time to gybe over to port and start heading towards Hanalei with the filling trades wind slowly heading me down towards the ultimate destination. But, after maybe two hours on the port board, fate would kick in and the wind out of nearly due west would vanish in favor of the hole that we have been sitting in for the past few days out of the north west. So it was back to starboard tack on a heading of about 250 trying to keep the boat moving in the general direction of Hawaii.

Thinking postive thoughts and hoping to be out of the hole and surfing my way to Hawaii in a few hours. Almost halfway there, Aloha to you all. -Kyle


Day 7, The Doldrums 6/25/21

Northern Star, 12:07, 25 Jun manually-typed check in. Jamie is alive and well with spirits high even though wind speed is not.

First true sunny day and it is hot. Full moon covered by clouds last night but some good shots of it coming up right after sundown.

Hope all is well with the fantastic race cmte.Keep the lights on in Hanalei Bay, going to get in later than I planned :)


Siren, 12:27
Siren is chillin on a gorgeus day out here.

Green Buffalo, 14:12
Slatting, slatting, slatting.
With an occasional sail change and tack.

Saw Mountain on the chartplotter on and off (not sure why most entrants keep turning their AIS transmitter off… what’s the point, its not like one is going to “cover them”… and two large ships have passed by in the last few days and I sure want them to see me).

Spinnaker hoisted and dropped 3 times last night as wind came, went, and came back again from a 90 degree different direction. So dousing chute in forehatch, waiting 10-15 minutes for wind to come in from other side, swapping spinny gear and poles, and rehoisting. Crazy? Yes crazy. Crazier yet, hoisted the #1 this morning beating to the southwest (had the #1 on deck for flaking so was pretty easy to just hoist it). But beating southwest going to Hawaii? Really?

Maybe another two days of this slatting/light variable winds to deal with before the High heads back north to where its “supposed to be”?

Finished last of tortellini for late breakfast, and then a sardine sandwich for lunch. Its getting warm in the afternoon… so maybe dinner tonight is cabbage salad with chicken (not use the stove)?

Chatted with Mary by sat phone… was good to hear her voice! And check how the tomatoes, peppers, and my “baby fern palm tree” are doing up in Napa (and what is up with the boys too). :-)

Green Buffalo

Hula, 15:33
The good news is my wife made a 600 song iPod for me. The bad news is if the wind doesn’t pick up, I may hear the same song twice!!

Shark On Bluegrass, 16:29
SHTP 2021 log Shark On Bluegrass
Transcription of my hand written notes.

Saturday 06/23
Nice send-off: Vanessa , Malina, Tom, Brian, Tibu thank you!
Windy sail to the start.
Light wind outside the gate, change to Genoa, moving at4-5kn.
Sleep in the evening to catch up on my sleep deficit from last week (a lot of work-work finishing and starting a project and the packing prep.)
Change down to #3, don’t want to get caught at night with the Genoa up. Expecting shift to north -which never came as the coastal south Eddie moved between me and the synoptic wind.
Saw a grey whale splashing his fin on the water. He must have been in love with the Shark. Crossing to the north of the north farallones. As predicted fleet split into north and south

Solar cells seem to have plenty of power
Figured out some menu items on the chart plotter. -finally.
Seems I am using the chart plotter as primary navigation tool. INavX app only as cross check. Also keep the chart plotter running most of the time ( despite power consumption)
Dodger: just the way to the start was worth the hassle of getting it. ( overtime, really LOVE the dodger, it allows to keep the companionway open and gives a holding point.) – Thanks Thomas, Brian, Aaron.
Better: dodger with handles on the side and stiffer front. Aaron was right, the natural tendency is to grab the higher point and not the handles on the deck.

Sunday 06/20
Somewhat cold during the night, lucky I brought the additional blanket. Gloomy day, calm. Worried that solar cells do not charge enough, but they do, even on overcast day.4.5-5 knin7-8 kn of wind.
Put the Genoa up. Fast but more stress. Autopilot can’t handle the puffs. Worried to get caught in big wind. Genoa requires a trip to the foredeck to get it down. Big heavy sail. Spin can be doused from the cockpit. ( after a few more days I am now convinced that hanks are the better option for this type of sailing. Jib / Genoa comes down by itself while staying attached without the need to go forward. It’s a Safety feature in heavy wind or seas… Can put up second sail without the need to take the first one off as well)
Decide to keep direct route northerly seems plenty of wind. Find out later that this was the wind circling the hole bringing me dead into the middle of the anti clock wise Eddie. Well second most west boat for tonight, did not last long so.
Still seasick, all the pasta with tomatoe sauce is coming out again. Together with all the water.
Still cold at night , need blanket and sleeping bag.

Additional light blanket (Delta ~ Westin business class blanket for the connoisseurs ) additional layer when needed or as light blanket for naps.
Sleep most of the time in the windward berth. Lee cloth work! Faster into the cockpit. Fore peak is for quiet nights w.o. Foulies, even has a proper sheet.

Monday 06/21
Sailed into the wind hole, the only way around is to gybe, go north and put the spin up.
Light winds, so mostly slept through Sunday and Sunday nights,still working off the sleep deficit. Turns out I don’t need the alarm to wake me up to check. I wake up when the noises change:
Bow wave splashing = speed
Trim = flogging sails
Balance = autopilot only working short bursts not long side to side moves
Overpowered = heel
Traffic – AIS beeping – this one works beautiful I am happy I installed the transponder after Long Pac
Well and once in a while take a peek around of course.
First sunny day

Buckets without flimsy handles. Took the handles off on both buckets and cut holes near the rim to pull string through.

Tue 6/22
Found the wind last night. Making 8kn on a beam reach with the spin up under autopilot, while sleeping!!!.
It got too windy so needed to take the spin down. Manage to shrimp it which tore one clew off the spin. That’s why you use old sails for this. This was a 2011 spin. RIP. Change to #3 as we finally got into the wind.
Slept 6 hrs straight, nice, woke up to a dead main battery. Switched to backup. Let’s see; over discharged li Ion batteries go into sleep mode, manual says solar charger will wake them up. Tried to “jump start’ with the second battery before …. bad idea cable got warm quick. Let the charger do it’s work. Measured the voltage as the battery , creeping up from 11,80 to 12,40 over two hours or so. Battery comes back to life. Nice to see theory in practice….
First sunny evening. Beam reaching, with cross waves. Not quite comfortable.

tool box with voltmeter.
Buying the autopilot one size up ( st 2000 tiller pilot) able to handle a lot. Thanks Rufus for the recommendation.
Less useful: mast instrument, boat speed, and digital compass. I sail mostly after COG and SOG. So take them off the MEMA network to save 0.4A in the power budget .
Useful: camomile tea, no appetite for any of the sodas or power drinks I brought. Drinking lots of water from then jar. The Lee cloth really work (not a common equipment on an Olson 25) allows me to sleep near the cockpit. Also noticed that I am very diligent to keep the cabin and cockpit orderly and clean.

We 06/23
Made 70 or so miles over night on a beam reach at7-8 kn. Slept from 9 pm to 7am with few interruptions.
One AIS alarm. Build into my dream. DCA 1.4 miles in 20 min. Hail the freighter that I see him amd change course slightly to pass his tern more clearly.
Main battery all well at 12.6V in the morning. Once the backup is charged combine both solar panels to charge the main. Getting 6-8A out of 150W solar. Compared to 2-3A use, depending on what is running. Very happy with the solar set up.
Decide against going to Genoa in the morning wind is about 12-13kn. It’s getting lighter rapidly…. I am about 50nm south of the rump line. So the calm of the High is in the way. Keep.going South_West around 215-220 on a beam reach under spin ( my other older spin, likely 20 years old, came with the boat – 1.5 oz cloth so this should hold.). Don’t want to go even more south. The gamble is how much distance to add to go south. I have a short light boat so Minimize additional distance while keeping moving in lighter winds vs the bigger boat. Well see…. from the standings I am in the middle of the field.

Washday, head to toe wet wiping and fresh cloth – very nice – spa experience

Not useful: not bringing hand soap. The bottle I grabbed is shampoo plus conditioner – too oily. Socks; I am basically barefoot all the time. Except when I go forward I put the boots on.
Useful: the Spinlock harness, comfortable, and less bulky than the inflatable. So much easier to keep on all the time.

Ahh, officially managed 1/4 of the to go distance. Let’s s celebrate – freeze dried pasta in tomato sauce, check, apple check, bell pepper check.

Thursday 06/24
Good spin run yesterday evening amd last night. Wind calmed down over night. 5-6kn under autopilot in 7-9kn of wind – autopilot is able to handle it. So go to bed.

Found the Pacific high! It’s where the weather models say it would be…. contemplating or the last two days . Running SW at 210-215 for three days now. Going more south? I am not going to make 200n, to get into the strongest trades. From the position reports none of the competitors went that far south staying north see,s risky as the high sits there. Same conclusion, keep reaching amd keep the boat moving. Making 5kn in little wind…

Have been keeping up with the family amd friends. Amazing that the Sattelite modem works re;active;y seamless even for casual calls. I also opened the first messages in the bottle. A jar full of wishes from friends amd family. Thank you Vanessa f-r organizing. Thanks to all who wrote so,etching. Today I found messages from Fran amd the cousins…

Knee pads – finally started wearing them all the time, who would have thought what a useful invention. Chafe control – probably a know. One to he experience sailor. Manage to nearly cut through a spin sheet rubbing on the life lines on Tuesday. Caught it early enough. Very careful now to keep everything separated

Despite the annoyingly slow progress, this is the first fully enjoyable and comfortable day. It’s warm. The boat does not roll and keeps a steady pace. Finally go to do some house keeping amd to type up my notes from the last days no promises I will keep that up….

Perplexity, 17:15
This is the first ‘race’ report from Perplexity. I hope others have wind – well, not really! I haven’t had it since I congratulated myself on having crossed the high without having to jibe south. Oops. I worked really hard to do that and then let my guard down when I thought I made it. Rookie mistake #12.

On the other hand, it is beautiful out here and I think I’ll go swimming this afternoon.

The race itself has been a real adventure. The sail out the gate was marvelous and the first couple of days were also intense with so many boats in contact. The next few days were great in terms of ideal reaching conditions with a blast reacher, storm jib and reefed main.

Getting used to going with little sleep and taking an hour to change a sail because of all of the back and forth crawling on the deck were also new adventures. The light wind conditions since then have been less great -except I am no longer crawling and getting lots of sleep. But – yesterday 10 days to finish, today 10 days to finish.
Just checked my fresh water…

Big thanks to all of the volunteers who make this ‘race’ possible!

S/V Perplexity

I really do wish that I could tell you today has been an eventful day of sailing, but sadly it really has not been, with that said, it has however been a good day aboard the good ship Aloha with some not particularly sailing related happenings to share.

The day started off rather early on in the evening as I was dragging the watt and sea hydrogenerator overnight, atop the power converter which convert the electricity to charge the batteries is a glowing pad which indicates the status of the incoming power when charging or when no charge is coming in it indicates the status of the batteries. If I recall correctly, the blue glow is used to indicate that between 100 and 200 watts is being fed into the batteries, however in my dazed status, I saw that the inside of the boat was glowing with a faint blue light and I thought “gee, it must be the morning, I feel like I just fell asleep, I can’t believe I slept through the whole night!” after getting out of bed and crawling over to my phone on the charging pad, i realized that it was not in fact morning, but rather it was 1130 at night and between the very bright full moon illuminating the outside and the blue light glowing the inside, i had been completely fooled. Luckily however it wasn’t long before i was able to resume my evening rest after a quick scan of the horizon and the chart plotter.

For those who may be wondering what the sleep/rest schedule in fact is, it’s not a whole lot different from that. I have generally been doing my absolute best to set the boat up under the helm of the autopilot for the conditions which we are in at the moment and the conditions I expect to be in within the next few hours, then I will scan the horizon for any signs of anything and also check the chart plotter for AIS targets. If none are present, and there have been very few, I will rack out as best I can usually with a quick check of the chart plotter for speed, heading and if there are any contacts every so often till I actually fall asleep.

With the size and weight of Aloha, nearly any change in trim, heel, speed (by the noise of the water on the hull, or the pitch of the watt & sea) I can feel in my light state of sleep and will get out of bed and at the very least check the plotter or check sails and helm if need be. If all is satisfactory then it’s back to bed. This process in not just exclusive to the night time, because rest is generally so short and interrupted at night time, I will try to extend this process after breakfast and in the early evening/late afternoon as well to maximize my rest hours.

Speaking of breakfast, this morning was consumed by Mountain House’s Southwest Spicy Breakfast Hash, which is quite good if not very sneakily spicy! lunch consisted of my very first PB&J onboard this crossing coupled with a Fuji apple which made me feel like I was straight out of elementary school setting my PB&J on my knee while I take a bite out of my apple and drink my bottled water, all I was missing was the dried mangoes which I had for an afternoon snack. With the progressing time change as I make my way west, I can’t quite say its dinner time nor do I have any idea what I will be getting after for dinner.

As far as the actual sailing has been today, it has been a mixed bag for sure. All night I had the trusty A2 spinnaker up and had done quite well with it for some time. Come about mid morning the wind had dropped some and shifted forward a bit and after heading down to a course lower than I want to be sailing, I dropped the A2 and put up the Code Zero for a few hours, this sail did phenomenal in the very light air which i have been dealing with all day and was generally able to keep the boat moving at very near the wind speed in much of the lighter 3 to 5 knot conditions when the wind was forward of about 130 degrees true wind angle. Then as of about an hour ago at 5 west coast time, the wind moved back aft and it was time to switch back to the A2. Not long after swapping to the A2 I decided it might finally be time to fold and bag the jib as I very much hope it won’t be seeing any more action for the remainder of the race.

Winds continue to be very light and boat speed is still sadly quite low although on the bright side we are pointing in the right Hawaiian direction and there should be better breeze in the days to come. With that small bit of optimism, I bid thee farewell from the trusty Aloha.

Day 6, 6/24/21

Hula, 13:12
Hey,. I was going 7 knots an hour ago, and now I can row my El Toro faster than this!

Green Buffalo, 13:17
Had that tortellini last night… with red sauce… half a package made two meals worth (so tortellini again tonight).

Wind finally went aft late last night so put the chute up this morning.  Only 10k of wind so cannot drive as low as I would like – to get under the dropping high – but c’est la vie.  Sailing to Hawaii is always a struggle to drive the boat low without going to slow (or accidentally gybing).

Suspect another day or day to be south enough to turn west and aim at the finish.  Though the weather looks light “most of the way”… 10k-12k of wind… so going to be a “long one” (Mary will get to Hanalei a day or two before I do).

The broken vang bracket was despite all I tried to stabilize it was just not good enough… especially thinking about heavy air squalls later in the race.  So after thinking, planning, thinking, napping and gathering all the needed tools and hardware, went forward this morning and removed the solid vang.  Took the blocks, plus a few extras I had on the boat, plus a few shackles and loups, and reinstalled them – so now I have a “regular” vang (12:1 purchase instead of the sold vangs 24:1 purchase). A rare job I didn’t have to go back and forth to finish up.

Took a good long time to flake the Jib Top… such a big sail so a lot of back and forth from point to midship.  Now I need to flake the code zero (ripped) and the hard one – the #1.  Not sure I can get the #1 out the forehatch as It was a bit “big” when I stuffed it away (was that two days ago?).  Maybe tomorrow I tackle flaking the #1 tight.

Heard Robb on Nozomi talk to Siren on VHF last night… but I couldn’t hear Siren and they couldn’t hear me.  So they are “in the neighborhood” but not close.  Late last night Reed from Mountain rang and we talked for just a minute (signal strength was a bit week)… but it was real nice talking to someone after 4+ days alone.

Broke into the boys half way cache for my candy fix… the boys know well about my Walgreen’s candy aisle “habit”.
Cherry licorice… mmm mmm good!

Green Buffalo

Aloha, 13:19
im alive! now if only the wind had as much energy as lunch just gave me….

Day 5, 6/23/2021

Mountain, 02:40
Greetings from Mountain, where the ship smells of feet and the Captain wishes he smelled half that good.

All is well here – Mountain and I are working hard.  According to the  latest fleet position reports though, so is everyone else! Really fun race so far- just hitting my stride.  Taking naps, tweaking the sails, making repairs, enjoying the view.
Many thanks to all who helped with our prep the last few days leading up to the start.
Hi Grady!

Shark On Bluegrass, 12:02
All well, smooth sailing 12 kn, beam reach, sunshine …

Northern Star, 12:04
All good aboard Northern Star. Jamie alive and healthy.

Green Buffalo, 13:52
First… took me over an hour to send email via Iridium GO! yesterday.  Something was “amiss” with the Iridium satellite network.  After a lot of patience and retries it all went through.  Maybe less satellite coverage over the ocean… or maybe older slower satellites over the ocean?  Just guessing.

Things that go bang in the night.
Wind was in the 20k’s – peak 29k – most of the night reaching along under jibtop.  “Bang!”  That didn’t sound good but nothing obvious.  An hour later “bang” again.  hmmm

When the sun rose… the boom vang bracket to the mast had broen two of its four “wings/tabs”.  Unreliable butt welds… sign.
A few spanish windlasses with spectra and looks “good enough” – but time will tell.  Broke these same welds in the 2018 PacCup.  Time to talk to the fabricator (Robb of Nozomi told me so back in 2018).

Four days and still nor running under chute… unusual.  Due to the High being so far south have not yet made it to its southeast quarter where the wind swings (and I swing west).  Tonight or tomorrow for sure “kite up”.

The sun peaked out today and then went away… 4 days overcast… getting old.
It is getting warmer… after 4 days in the same long johns, today was a “wipey” shower below deck – and a fresh pair of long johns… boy does that feel good!  Boy did I stink! Maybe tomorrow or more likely the day after a real fresh water shower in the cockpit?

Sardine sandwich for lunch. Thinking tortellini with red sauce for dinner.

Green Buffalo

Hula, 14:18
No spinnaker, no 7 knots, and alas, no more bird companion. For two days we shared music, stories, and hemp seeds..

Perplexity, 15:36
I was having some email issues but was also sending the go track message everyday. Anyway, things are going well out here. I haven’t received competitor updates in a few days but I’ve never looked at them and don’t think I will. I am just going to sail my race. I have a mast sail track issue at the moment, but checking with the company. I’m hoping it’s not a problem and I’ll be able to shake the reef out soon.

Still cloudy and cld at night but its warming up!

Day 4, 6/22/2021

There’s a bird spending the night on the ship’s bell. He’s a very good listener.

Green Buffalo
Busy last 24 hours.
gribs made it clear I needed to head north a bit to clear the low – while most of the fleet was heading south.  Roll the dice.
Dropped the #1 (a beast to flake… will need to reflake at some point) and hoisted the code zero… at sunset the wind went aft… before midnight a jibe and building wind.  Finally heading south in the “real” ocean winds… out of the coastal low,

Went to sleep…
Only to wake up with a bit of thrashing as the wind had increased quite a bit a blew up the code zero (I bought it used and it was a bit worn out so not much of a loss).
Had hanked on the Jib Top early in the evening knowing the wind might increase. Dousing the tattered code zero and raising the jib top was strenuous but straight forward.

Noticed a ring ding on the deck when “cleaning up”… and saw it had fallen off the main tack pin… and the main tack pin was half way out (this happened two weeks before resulting in the main slugs pulling out of the track)… couldn’t get the pin fully back in so jammed in a screwdriver and some sail tape to get me till morning (too damn dark to sort out… sorted out at daylight).

Flew Jib Top all night… set up preventer as the boom was banging a bit.
Now when do I raise the kite?  Now?  Later today?  Tomorrow morning?
About to get fresh gribs to help me decide (kits up after just two days is “pretty early”… but there is a high building on the track we need to head south to get under).

No more bonine… feeling good… went to bathroom a few times… everything “working”.
Maybe some real food tonight?

Still overcast.  Warming up a bit… though I did run the diesel space heater this morning to take the edge off the chill.

With the solar panel, turns out I just need to run the engine twice a day for just an hour each to keep the batteries up.

Green Buffalo

Another busy last 24 hours.

After reaching all night under the big (155%) jib top… come morning the wind went aft… “aha now the wind swings toward Hawaii” – but I was wrong.

Flew the kite 8 hours only to be steadily headed.  Strange… looked at gribs a second time… aha, the wind turning east around the bottom of the low.
Time to drop the kite and back to the jib top.  I am getting too old for this… back and forth several times between cockpit, mast and bow… dragging sails, dragging lines, getting everything ready for the kite hoist and jib top douse.  Oh and don’t forget untangling and hoisting the spinnaker net… and then reversing all this late in the day.

Good thing I went back to the jib top… over night the wind varied from 14k to 24k from 80 to 110 degrees apparent.  Perfect for jib top… ugly for a kite.
So reaching along under jib top for 20 hours making great time straight to my “waypoint”.

Am I going to far south or not south enough?  Time will tell. Getting a grib as I sent this email that will tell me more…

Food… grapes, raisins, about to cook another 2 cups of rice plus a ramen cup of soup.  “Real food” will need to wait till we get off tis “bumpy” reach.
Tomorrow?  Maybe Tortellini?
Cheese and crackers?

Still overcast.

Green Buffalo

Shark On Bluegrass

Tue 22 , all well on the shark. Found wind. Hat fun with the spin last night, shredded it , that why uyou use old sails …

Northern Star
Northern Star 22 Jun Daily Check in and position report. All is well aboard Northern Star. Jamie is alive and healthy.

Hope all is well with Race Cmte

Wx: Cloudy, 67 degrees, 71% humidity, winds 340 17-18, seas 6-8’ waves from stbd qtr

Position: 35 03.051N. 129 09.341W


Everything is groovy

From Will Lee s/v Sea Wisdom @ 1654 on 06.22.21

Hi Jackie, good afternoon. This is Will from Sea Wisdom. My email system is acting up and takes me hours to send and receive email msgs. So I’m switch to texting as my primary way of communicating with other people. I informed Brian about this already. Just in case if you don’t know it yet. Thanks for your email. Because you don’t have Facebook, I can text you my daily blog entry.

Day 3, June 21, “It’s getting hot here in the doldrum.”

Day 3 began with light wind, and the sun came out for the first time since last Saturday. The wind was so light, there were actually more work on the boat. I had to make every slight adjustments to the sails in order to take advantage the occasionally rare but short lived breeze. For example, spending 30 minutes to set up the whisker pole to only use it for a few hours before taking it down.

I made some fresh water today using the water maker, and was able to make sparkling water from the ocean with my Sodastream! I don’t need to carry any plastic water bottles. I even added some EmergenC to the homemade sparkling water, then I get to drink soda that is healthy.

I started the morning with a nori ginger soup to warm up my body. The ginger helps me getting my sea legs. To celebrate the change to warmer weather today, I modified the Beef Stroganoff to have Cajun spices. At noon, the color of the ocean is deep and dense blue, amazing to watch each of the 10 foot swell goes underneath the boat ever so quietly. I went from wearing 5 layers of fleece and foul weather gear to just wearing a think base layer.

Around noon time was when I receive the position report from the race committee on where all the racers are. Oh boy, was I wrong about picking the southern route. Here I was getting stuck and trying to figure out a way out of the doldrum. I am in one of the last places in the race.

The NW wind finally came in the late afternoon. I could not be happier. There are still 1900 miles to go, so anything could happen. My number 1 priority is to get to Kauai safely.

I have more gear issues to deal with. The Iridium Go system is not able to send and receive email reliably. I spent hours trying and I got lucky a few times. But texting works. Also, the Gsrmin inReach is my spare satellite communicator and tracker. It decided not to work anymore. At least I still have 2 independent satellite devices that work, Iridium text and a handheld Inmarsat.

The block holding the starboard jib sheet is showing some metal fatigue because when there was no wind, things get banged around. If that block fails, I have a few other blocks that can do the work. Having redundancy and spare parts are so important when I need to be self sufficient.

Day 3 – 6/21/21

All boats have checked in and are doing well.

Latest reports.

Mountain, is loving life.

Northern Star, All good aboard, Jame alive and in good health. Morale high.

Aloha, As you all may have noticed last night was a pretty big turning point in the race for most if not all of us out here.  I began the evening firmly on port tack with the code zero up. through the night several times the southerly wind attempted to die and give way to the synoptic northerly, for me this happened at i believe around 1 am PST when I slowly headed more and more south before committing a gybe to starboard tack that was taking me north at a heading of around 300. Not much later the wind went forward and i was able to continue on a course of about 250 as the wind slowly began to build. During the night after the transition, I was very happy to have popped my head out and noticed some stars attempting to poke through the wet marine layer which had soaked the boat with a light drizzle for a few hours before the sun came up. At day break, the clouds persisted but were beginning to show signs far off on the horizon. Not long after, i made the decision to change headsails to the A5 spinnaker which is the smallest I have onboard. Though winds were not too high at the time, they were forecasted to increase as the day went on and this spinnaker would provide me the best opportunity to make good progress in the direction I want to sail without getting pushed too low. With morning winds in the low to mid teens and the sun making an appearance in a blue sky, I was able to put together a few good hours of boat speed with the waves lining up well with my course and surfing waves from a steady 8 knots u to about 12.5. Noon time brought some lightening winds which although frustrating at times certainly could have been worse and as we ease into the third evening underway the winds from this morning seem to have returned. Not present however is the agreeable sea state that had allowed for surfing before, but now I am seeing a bit of a swell well forward of the beam making for a somewhat bumpy ocean.  Once again, the sun is unfortunately long gone, but the temperature seems to have gotten maybe a little warmer since yesterday and the night before so that a small gain. Tomorrow will likely see the beginnings of the freeze dried selections as I intend to finish up the last slice of pizza for dinner this evening. For those curious, I haven’t seen any whales since the first afternoon which has been somewhat pleasant as they gave me quite a few scares early on. I have seen a few jelly fish and a sun fish today along with a couple balls of discarded mooring or fishing lines.

Latest News

Green Buffalo

06/19/2021. 18:00
The brisk breeze at the start carried well offshore… most of the way to the lightship.
Doing my best to stay on the south side of the course and fleet… where “maybe” the light air is “narrowest”.

A wee bit past the Farallones as I write this.
There were a LOT of fishing boats around the rocks… a bit of weaving to avoid getting to close to them… and only some of them some of them show on AIS.
Passed about 3 miles south of the rocks…

Wind now 7k (changed from #3 to #1 just past the lightship)…

Wind oscillating from 185mag to 210mag. Hard to sleep when the wind has the big oscillations every 10-20 minutes.

Ate Mary’s Peunut Butter & Honey sandwiches… mmm mmm good!

Anyone catch my needing to raise the main 3 times before the start? A long story… I had to raise the main 3 times just before the 2012 start too.
A story for Tree.

Green Buffalo

Northern Star.
 manual daily check in. Northern Star in good condition; Jamie alive, healthy, and in great spirits. Many thanks for the great start and sendoff yesterday.

Sea Wisdom
William Lee is at Pacific Ocean, Public

Day 1, June 19, “You got a spare?”
The first day was full excitement. Many thanks to my family and friends sending me off from StFYC to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was blowing 20-25 knots at the starting line. I put on a reef and and started my race. The initial passage was a wet one. I had water coming in through the closed hatches. I decided to head west and aiming to pass Farallon on starboard. Along the way, a whale came up and took a deep breath. I could feel the vibration from her spout. Just when I get to enjoy the ocean at the Farallon. I noticed on the current gauge that something was drawing 6 amps when I was not using any electricity. I shut down the breaker and saw that bilge light was on. But the bilge pump was not pumping any water. The bilge pump was relatively new. Good thing that I carried the old bilge pump as a spare. There is no way I would want to keep sailing if there is no electric bilge pump. Changing the bilge pump at sea at the Farallon was not an easy task because I haven’t gotten my sea legs yet. The pump was buried deep in the boat that I had to do some acrobatic move to replace it. The whole ordeal took 3 hours to fix. Lesson learned here is that there is never too many spares. Once I passed Farallon, I kept sailing on the same closed haul port tack on a WSW direction. The wind is light, 8 to 13 knots from the SSW. I’m hoping I can get to the NW synoptic wind soon, may be Sunday night? I haven’t had anything to eat for 24 hours, I’ve been drinking water. Through out the first night, I saw about 5 commerical ships. So there wasn’t much sleep either. I set my alarm every hour to 2 hours.

Today is Father’s Day. Best wishes to all the dads out there.

Sea Wisdom
06/20/2021 18:32
Confirming receipt of position report. I’m doing well. Slowly getting adjusted to life aboard. You probably have seen my log on replacing a burnout bilge pump south of the Farallon. Seems like I’m the southern most boat. Everyone else are up north and further west than me. I hope I’m making the right decision, LOL!
Thank you

Aloha, Day 1
As many of you have maybe read or seen by now, the bay area delivered on its typical summer days of wind cold and some fog. Though i did cross the line well, my pre start decision making was clearly clouded by the lightening forecast as i held off putting a reef in the main as i believe ever other boat had done. after getting walloped by the express and the j109 long before even reaching the golden gate, I finally threw in a reef and was off to the races as it were. Being an early ULDB, Aloha does not excel beating to windward in big breeze and chop, a fact that is made substantially worse with the subtraction of any weight at all from the rail, because of this I was probably one of very few in the fleet to feel a sense of relief as the wind eased up and the reefs came out not too far past Point Bonita. The cloudy overcast bay tried to clear in spots as we eased on towards the Farallons, but unfortunately I haven’t really seen the sun break through as of yet and I get the feeling that trend may persist for quite a few more miles.  As the evening set upon the fleet, the wind backed off even more giving me the opportunity for the first headsail change of the race to the code zero, sadly shifty winds and large swells made this sail difficult to keep pulling through the night so it was back with the jib just before it got dark. The thick cloud cover of the day brought in a cold dark night with just a small glimmer of the moon glowing through, at times the light winds nearly shut off completely making a bad sleep situation even worse as sails needed near constant attention and courses needed changing to keep up with the shifting winds. Speaking of shifting winds, the southerly surge that we sailed into at the beginning of the race is still here for all of us I believe as we continue on port tack in a mostly westerly direction. Most recent models that I  retrieved this morning indicate this should let up by mid afternoon and we might be transitioning into a strong synoptic flow by late this evening at which point it might slowly begin like were actually sailing towards Hawaii. Until then I’ll continue trying to get as much rest as possible before the next few days ahead of windy reaching.