Day 15, 7/3/21, Here they come!

Our first finisher arrived this morning just after 10am HST
Kyle Vanderspek aboard the Hobie 33, Aloha. Aloooha Aloha!

Four boats are due to arrive July 4, here’s what they’re up to.

Green Buffalo, 7/2/21, 09:18
After a bit of an uncomfortable night with wind direction and velocity shifts, was run over by a day time squall this morning. Nothing dramatic but it was drizzly (flet good) saw 30k of wind – at the very upper limit of the autopilot when the big kite is up. Its a warning… time for me to shift down to the shy kite before sunset tonight (forewarned is forearmed). Now Siren is right on my tail… so gearing down may “hurt” but c’est la vie as I try to avoid any “night time dramas”.

Two days and change to go… about the length of the LongPac. Will likely finish an hour or two after sunset Sunday – but I can hope its at sunset – or at least I see the island before sunset!

Sunday is going to be a busy one for the race committee… 3 or 4 of us finishing.

Green Buffalo

Perplexity,7/2/21, 15:06
beautiful day with lots of wind. starting to figure the squalls out but nights are a nightmare – can’t see anything!

Hula, 7/2/21, 18:17
Note to self: Always keep enough halyard tension so that jib doesn’t start coming out of foil. It’s really hard in 25k to rehoist and keep it in the groove!

I could feel my luck change the moment I saw that the pressure cooker had landed right side up.

(This is Kyle’s last report prior to finishing!)

7/4/21, 03:43
Day 14 Update
Today has been a very rough and tiring day aboard Aloha, and though we will make it out the other side alive, today has proven that at times we have done so by nothing more than endless will power and at times a heavy dose of sheer luck. This will be a brief update as the weather is not exactly conducive to typing out extended articles, but i will gladly fill in the details tomorrow from what i hope to be the shores of a calm harbor or pool.

After an early chicken and dumpling dinner (think home made chicken pot pie), it was an early night in fairly moderate winds. i proceeded to fall asleep a little too soundly and woke short of midnight to the unsettling sound of silence coming from the spinnaker., once again it had gotten wrapped around the forestay and the staysail, this time i was lucky and was able to get it freed without too much effort, however about 45 minutes later it decided to happen again. The second time was a bad one which required lots of effort and the lowering and eventual re rigging of both sails before they could be re set about a half an hour later. In that time after about midnight west coast time, the wind had begun to pick up and the autopilot could no longer keep up with the building wind and wave. This meant it would be me who would be driving for the remainder of the night and morning.

A large number of squalls brought building winds into the mid 20 knot range and some light rain which was just enough to make it a bit chilly on deck as i was very much underprepared to be on deck driving all night. Not too long after day break, i was steering along and noted that i was at 217 miles to go when much to my surprise the forestay came tumbling down from the top the mast, this left the only think keeping the mast from falling back into my lap being the continued wind pressure on the main and spinnaker. To help with this situation, i threw it on auto for a sec and ran forward to attach a spare jib halyard t the deck and act as a stand in for the now gone forestay. At the time the staysail was on that halyard and it was hastily dropped on deck to be dealt with later as and prolonged absence from the helm would lead to catastrophe as the boat would surely round up and the sails would no longer be keeping the mast held forward. Then 17 miles later at exactly 200 from home the spinnaker that i had up exploded leaving me no choice but to once again surrender the boat to the auto pilot and collect the bits of spinnaker and shove them down the companionway.

Not had much sleep in the last few days and being up solidly attentive to the needs of the boat since before midning (it was around 8 or 9 by now) i needed a rest. So i turned the boat straight downwind under the auto, rigged up the second standby jib halyard to again act in place of the forestay along with the other one and i went inside to collect my thoughts and clean up the mess of spinnaker and staysail that was littered throughout the cabin. After getting myself sorted and pointing straight at the finish line, i laid down for a few minutes and weighed my options.

First and foremost is of course to get there in one piece, preferably with the mast still pointed in the vertical direction. With that in mind and having taken some time to recupperate, i decided that setting the smallest A5 spinnaker would both help speed up the process of getting home as well as stabilize that ride and perhaps keep me in contention while not adding any stresses or strains to the jury rigged forestay situation. So i set the A5 which is hoisted in a handy sock to fascilitate setting and dousing in al conditions and have been following it towards the finish line for the past few hours.

An added bonus of this spinnaker and these conditions at present is that the autopilot seems up to the task of keeping a straight course in the heavy sea state and decent winds. With everything back to running well for the time being, i took the time to handle my first pre arrival task which was to shave my face, and without a proper mirror onboard, it will be interesting to find out how i did tomorrow when i get in. Not too long ago I ticked past 150 miles to go and expect to be safely into Hanalei bay sometime during the daylight hours of tomorrow barring another serious catastrophe.

So with that, i ask everyone please hold their breath and cross all their fingers in hopes of a uneventful night and morning aboard Aloha. And for those wondering, i have pre decided dinner tonight will be beef stroganoff and breakfast tomorrow will be biscuits and gravy, two of my personal favorites for last meals onboard. I love you all and let’s hope for a safe last few hours onboard this rocket ship. ALOHHHAAAA!