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PD Staff
06-21-2012, 02:27 PM
With just over a week before the start of the 2012 Single-Handed Transpac, organizers have made the division breaks made known:

"The division splits for this year's race have been finalized. We'll have two one-boat divisions but that's just the way the cookie crumbles.

Sled - Truth

Spare Hull - Rainbow

Fast & Fun - Idefix, TAZ!!, Hope for the Warriors, RushMoore, Team Open Sailing

30 Somethings - Flight Risk, Slacker, Bandicoot, Moonshadow, Red Sky, Harrier

Big & Comfy - Scaramouche V, Mouton Noir, Frolic, Galaxsea, Champ, Green Buffalo

Plastic Classics - Bela Bartok, Dolce, Tortuga, Darwind"


All images and info below © www.singlehandedtranspac.com


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/31395773928098662860.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/74938317048815221126.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/75658995027455531538.jpg

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http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/71541688746530490762.jpg


http://singlehandedtranspac.com/

Single Hander
06-21-2012, 08:09 PM
Are we doing a pool?

BobJ
06-21-2012, 10:12 PM
I'll put the ratings up on the SSS Forum - that might affect your picks. The ratings shown above are regular PHRF ratings - the race is run using "SHTP ratings."

PD Staff
06-25-2012, 10:26 AM
http://vimeo.com/44644308

A short Primer for SSS Transpac

The 2012 Singlehanded Transpac starts in just two days. In what should be one of the most exciting and easy to follow editions of the race to date, 24 skippers will be racing solo from San Francisco to Kauai. In the fleet this year are everything from an Open 50 ("Truth" ex-Pegasus) to a Mini Transat and everything in between.

I'll be sailing my Moore 24 "US 101", which I have renamed for the race to "Hope for the Warriors"' in honor of my title sponsor. We're fully set up with a full inventory of new Quantum sails, a new B&G autopilot and a thorough refit for the race. I've had some good success with the boat in local offshore stuff this year and after a brutal 400-mile solo qualifying sail, I know that "Hope for the Warriors" is up to the challenge.

But my class in particular is going to be über-competitive. In addition to my Moore is Ruben Gabriel's Moore 24 "Rushmoore". Ruben is an SHTP race vet who lost his rig in the 2008 edition of the race (not on a Moore) and sailed 700 miles under jury rig to reach the finish. He was my double handed partner this year on the Doublehanded Farallones race which we won. He's a great friend but also a very good sailor and should be very competitive. Then there's current race champion Adrian Johnson returning on his Olson 30 "Idefix". Adrian knows the way and he came back to defend his title, so he's obviously a favorite. In addition, there's the Open Sailing Pogo 2 Mini Transat sailed by Jerome Sammarcelli. Jerome just sailed the boat-breaking Guadalupe Island Race and his boat looks beautiful and rather unscathed, so he seems pretty legit. There's also an Express 27 that's a race vet and a Hobie 33 in the mix. So needless to say, this should be a solo ULDB battle all the way to Hawaii.

In the Sled class, there's the Open 50 "Truth" sailed by Alex Mehran. Alex is a fast sailor with a well prepped boat and a very business like approach, so he could be dangerous. Another boat to watch out for is the Cal 40 "Green Buffalo" sailed by Jim Quanci. Undoubtedly the most experienced sailor in the fleet and probably the one who's won the most hardware over the years. Jim is one of my target boats that I'll be closely watching, that's for sure. He will be very competitive. Sprinkle in a mix of cruising boats and racer/ cruisers and it should be a race of epic proportions.

Follow the race at www.singlehandedtranspac.com. The entire fleet will be equipped with Yellow Brick trackers, so that the public can easily follow along.

And major thanks to my title sponsor Hope for the Warriors, Quantum Sail Design Group, West Marine Rigging and all the rest of my sponsors and friends who have helped me get to the starting line yet again. I wouldn't be here without you, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Check out the promo for the race and teaser for an upcoming full-length film that we are working on here with professional sailing videographer Pierson Jacquelin above!

Ronnie Simpson
Moore 24 "US 101"

BobJ
06-27-2012, 06:24 PM
A quick look at some weather charts for Saturday's start and into early next week:

It looks like an easier start than 2010 (10-15 from the NW on Saturday) then building into solid breeze on the coast. The high is massive and appears to be centered due North of Hawaii and due West of us. It will be challenging to pick a spot to cross the ridge, and we may see boats going well south early.

I know too many of these guys to make picks without offending somebody, but they'll get over it!

In the "Plastic Classics" I like TORTUGA. Westsails tend to do well under this rating system and Randy has been sailing the boat a lot. He was one of the four finishers in last Summer's brutal LongPac.

"30 Somethings" is tough to pick from . . . SLACKER won the 600 nm Guadalupe Island race earlier this year, BANDICOOT will be very tough, but I'm leaning towards my nemesis from last season, MOONSHADOW. Dave will be full on all the time. But then there's the General . . .

"Big and Comfy" - GREEN BUFFALO. Jim Q can do this in his sleep . . . and probably will.

"Fast & Fun" is another tough division. I'll take one of the Frenchmen: IDEFIX (2010 Overall Winner) if it's light, and TEAM OPEN SAILING (the Mini) if it gets windy early. It would be a hoot for one of the Moores to win it, but time in the boat will favor the other skippers.

Now the biggie: Will TRUTH take the Monohull elapsed time record? Great boat, top-notch preparation and Alex has some decent time in the boat . . .


Nope, not enough breeze this go-around.

Single Hander
06-29-2012, 10:17 AM
Bob's Division Splits from SHTP Page


NAME, TYPE, SHTPR, DIVISION
Truth, Open 50, -123, Sled

Turbo Camper, Hobie 33, 84, Fast & Fun
Idefix, Olson 30, 99, Fast & Fun
Taz!!, Express 27, 129, Fast & Fun
Hope for the Warriors, Moore 24, 152, Fast & Fun
RushMoore, Moore 24, 152, Fast & Fun
Team Open Sailing, Pogo 2 Mini, 115, Fast & Fun

Rainbow, Crowther 10M, 184, Spare Hull

Flight Risk, Quest 30 (Mod), 97, 30-Somethings
Slacker, Tartan Ten, 140, 30-Somethings
Bandicoot, WylieCat 30, 128, 30-Somethings
Moonshadow, Custom Wylie 31, 160, 30-Somethings
Red Sky, Olson 34 (Ericson), 133, 30-Somethings
Harrier, Finn Flyer 31, 184, 30-Somethings

Scaramouche V, Palmer Johnson S&S 49, 92, Big & Comfy
Mouton Noir, Garcia Passoa 47, 119, Big & Comfy
Frolic, Islander 36 TM, 154, Big & Comfy
Galaxsea, Nauticat 44, 145, Big & Comfy
Champ, Island Packet 380, 156, Big & Comfy
Green Buffalo, Cal 40, 132, Big & Comfy


Bela Bartok, Vindo 31, 200, Plastic Classics
Dolce, Alberg 30, 222, Plastic Classics
Tortuga, Westsail 32, 199, Plastic Classics
Darwind, Pearson Triton 28, 240, Plastic Classics

IOR Geezer
06-29-2012, 12:45 PM
Good luck and safe passages for all!

Photoboy
06-29-2012, 02:02 PM
FLAG DIVISION BOAT NAME SAIL # SKIPPER TYPE
C Plastic Classics Bela Bartok 632 Derk Wolmuth Vindo 40
C Plastic Classics Darwind 107 Tom Watson Triton 28.5
C Plastic Classics Tortuga 207 Randy Leasure Westsail 32

D Thirtysomethings Bandicoot 28530 Al Germain Wyliecat 30
D Thirtysomethings Flight Risk 50530 John Lubimir Quest 30
D Thirtysomethings Harrier 77564 Ken “The General” Roper Finn Flyer 31
D Thirtysomethings Moonshadow 8675 Dave Morris Wylie 31
D Thirtysomethings Red Sky 28340 Brian Boschma Olson 34
D Thirtysomethings Slacker 213 Whitall Stokes Tartan Ten 33

E Big & Comfy Champ 60380 David Liaño Gonzalez IP 380
E Big & Comfy Frolic 47462 Steve Hodges Islander 36
E Big & Comfy Galaxsea 28743 Daniel Willey Nauticat 44
E Big & Comfy Green Buffalo 8538 Jim Quanci Cal 40
E Big & Comfy Mouton Noir 1102409 Mike Jefferson Passoa 47
E Big & Comfy Scaramouche V 74434 Peter Heiberg PJ 50

F Fast & Fun Idefix 74296 Adrian Johnson Olson 30
F Fast & Fun RushMoore 133 Ruben Gabriel Moore 24
F Fast & Fun Taz!! 8100 George Lythcott Express 27
F Fast & Fun Team Open Sailing 806 Jerome Sammarcelli Pogo 21
F Fast & Fun Turbo Camper 87574 Brian VanderZanden Hobie 33
F Fast & Fun US 101/Hope for the Warriors 101 Ronnie Simpson Moore 24

G Spare Hull Rainbow KA-1 Cliff Shaw Crowther 10m 35

J Sled Truth USA 101 Alex Mehran Open 50



http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/61059769022402454448.jpg

Phil MacFarlane
06-29-2012, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the update PB. The Mrs. And I plan on being there to see them off just like every other time since 96.
Latter start than I had thought. Good, don't have to get up so early.
Weather looks light but good. Looks like a nice trip across.

God speed sailors !

Photoboy
06-30-2012, 08:23 PM
http://singlehandedtranspac.com/race-viewer/

Slow go for the 2012 edition thus far...start pics uploading...

familysailor
06-30-2012, 09:15 PM
Did Scaramouche turn back?
The little boat icon is pointed the wrong way.......

Edit: the boat thingy is actually pointing north, so um, whatzat mean?

familysailor
06-30-2012, 09:20 PM
Never mind----
I ran the loop and it seems Scarmouche has been sailing backwards since shortly after turning south..... seems fast though.

BobJ
06-30-2012, 11:11 PM
YellowBrick is using the PHRF ratings for the Standings instead of the SHTP ratings. A request to fix this has been sent to the R/C but in the meantime, don't believe everything you read in the funnypapers . . .

Phil MacFarlane
07-01-2012, 01:54 AM
Thanks Bob. I knew those numbers were wrong. I missed you this morning, ?

BobJ
07-01-2012, 09:48 AM
I spent the day at CYC on Friday. This is a great fleet - on average much more experienced than 2010's so the mood was relaxed. There was plenty of opportunity to sit aboard the boats and talk about the competition, past races, etc. - seemingly very little last-minute scrambling to bolt stuff on boats.

The group photo after the skippers' meeting was when it hit me - and I decided not to go back over for the start.

Hopefully 2014. You?

BobJ
07-01-2012, 10:10 AM
YB now has the correct handicaps but isn't doing the corrections properly. I better wait until I'm asked . . .

Phil MacFarlane
07-01-2012, 02:43 PM
Ok, I'm asking.

Me in 2014 ? Probably not. Quite happy watching from here and have other interests now. But you (read I) never know.

Photoboy
07-01-2012, 03:18 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/11151931139882771035.jpg

The fleet has finally escaped the windless fog whick kept hull speeds under 5 knots for most of Saturday after exiting the Bay. In the lead, Alex Mehran's Open 50 Truth is currently at 12.30 knots in 15 knots of breeze, and has already consume nearly 200 nm off the 2,130nm course, despite the sticky start.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/26020898377327773079.jpg


http://singlehandedtranspac.com/race-viewer/



The next closest is Peter Heiberg from Victoria, British Columbia aboard the PJ 50, Scaramouche, leading the "Big & Comfy" division has put 136 nm of green water and gray sky behind him

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/18552782548437310728.jpg





Leading the 30 Somethings, newcomer, John Lubimir, who was featured in the SSS Standown Regatta (http://www.pressure-drop.us/forums/content.php?2544-SSS-Stand-Down-Marathon-A-Closer-Look) coverage along with Brian Boshma who has taken a slightly more northerly course.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/11584016447619946337.jpg




Brian VanderZanden leads the 6 boat Fast & Fun division, his Hobie 33 charging along at 7.6 knots right on the heels of Adrian Johnsons Olson 30, "Idefix"

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/79375159481404303755.jpg




The 3 boat Plastic Classics has Randy Leasure's Westsail 32 "Tortuga" easing along into this 2, 120 nm nautical journey at a leasurly pace

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/03989688646716924345.jpg

The one boat , Spare Hull divison has Cliff Shaw's Crowther Catamaran in 1st, 2nd and Last all at the same time


http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/85981324604006614177.gif

Things should pic up for the SHTP crew in the next couple days as the NPH moves back where it belongs this time of year with gale conditions expected to hurl the fleet towards Hanalei Bay

For more images CLICK HERE! (http://h2oshots.smugmug.com/Sailing/2012-SSS-Single-Handed-Trans/23902974_GjNZ6g)

BobJ
07-01-2012, 09:36 PM
Ok, I'm asking.

Ok, I sent an email to the YB folks and told them what was wrong. They said it should be easy to fix but they won't do it until Monday. So PB's comments as to standings aren't right either. I just love trackers . . .

Photoboy
07-01-2012, 10:28 PM
Ok, I sent an email to the YB folks and told them what was wrong. They said it should be easy to fix but they won't do it until Monday. So PB's comments as to standings aren't right either. I just love trackers . . .

Can't fill in the blanks with unknowns..only the evidence presented....

BobJ
07-01-2012, 10:34 PM
Not complaining PB, and the images are great as always. Hopefully we'll have accurate standings via YB tomorrow.

BobJ
07-02-2012, 10:14 AM
Great race so far!

In the Big & Comfies, ocean veterans Green Buffalo and Scaramouche V are having a drag race. The Buffalo has finally moved ahead by three miles as the wind has lightened - the Cal 40 is almost eight tons lighter. As I'd suspected, the centerboarder Mouton Noir is proving to be a sleeper and is moving up fast. Mike has owned the boat for over ten years and although his previous SHTP's were raced in his Yamaha 33 (the one with six alternators), Mike has plenty of ocean miles aboard the Black Sheep.

Frolic and Galaxsea are both chugging along at 7'ish in 16 knots and Champ is not far behind and has more breeze. No doubt Galaxsea and Champ are neck-and-neck in the ice cream and petite-fours competition.

As the wind lightens and goes aft these guys will have their hands full. Imagine running the kite solo on a 17-ton PJ 49!

A look at the other divisions when I get the urge.

deep6
07-02-2012, 05:30 PM
Great race so far!

In the Big & Comfies, ocean veterans Green Buffalo and Scaramouche V are having a drag race. The Buffalo has finally moved ahead by three miles as the wind has lightened - the Cal 40 is almost eight tons lighter. As I'd suspected, the centerboarder Mouton Noir is proving to be a sleeper and is moving up fast. Mike has owned the boat for over ten years and although his previous SHTP's were raced in his Yamaha 33 (the one with six alternators), Mike has plenty of ocean miles aboard the Black Sheep.

Frolic and Galaxsea are both chugging along at 7'ish in 16 knots and Champ is not far behind and has more breeze. No doubt Galaxsea and Champ are neck-and-neck in the ice cream and petite-fours competition.

As the wind lightens and goes aft these guys will have their hands full. Imagine running the kite solo on a 17-ton PJ 49!

A look at the other divisions when I get the urge.

I am listening to the checkin's on SSB, last night they sounded good but not much chat, sea state / wind = lack of radio time ;)

Propagation this morning was very bad, or they are checking in at some other time "0900 and 2100" PDT, 4.021MHz USB "for now"

deep6
07-02-2012, 11:40 PM
I am listening to the checkin's on SSB, last night they sounded good but not much chat, sea state / wind = lack of radio time ;)

Propagation this morning was very bad, or they are checking in at some other time "0900 and 2100" PDT, 4.021MHz USB "for now"

Had some Cinnabar peeps over tonight "not on the boat", hopping to here the checkins for the SHTP.
Talked to RedSky on HF "40 meters, LSB", he is doing well, and has patched his radio issues "somewhat", he got to talk to his wife and say hi...
I hope to talk to him tomorrow as well.

Checkin's were very faint, with Green Buffalo's radio being one of the few who could climb over the noise, I hope the band clears up...

todd22123
07-03-2012, 12:08 PM
Ok, I sent an email to the YB folks and told them what was wrong. They said it should be easy to fix but they won't do it until Monday. So PB's comments as to standings aren't right either. I just love trackers . . .

So, at this point, are the standings correct with the right ratings? IOW, if in Fast and Fun, 1st is currently Turbo Camper and 2nd is Idefix, is that accurate?

Hanno
07-03-2012, 01:18 PM
So, at this point, are the standings correct with the right ratings? IOW, if in Fast and Fun, 1st is currently Turbo Camper and 2nd is Idefix, is that accurate?
Nope. But Andy of Foolish Muse has apparently worked out the standings and posted them in the thread on the Evil Site.

BobJ
07-03-2012, 10:31 PM
I think YB has the standings sorted - I need to crunch some numbers . . .

deep6
07-03-2012, 11:40 PM
Had some Cinnabar peeps over tonight "not on the boat", hopping to here the checkins for the SHTP.
Talked to RedSky on HF "40 meters, LSB", he is doing well, and has patched his radio issues "somewhat", he got to talk to his wife and say hi...
I hope to talk to him tomorrow as well.

Checkin's were very faint, with Green Buffalo's radio being one of the few who could climb over the noise, I hope the band clears up...


Radio checkins have moved to 6.224MHz, USB

Here is a quick Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4JBusy-B6U&feature=youtu.be

I probably should of just recorded the entire thing and posted the video, but I did put it up live via Ustream "deathspear called me out on it, so I went live". I might do it on Thursday as long as the boats audio is clear.

Super fun to listen to them, something about blowup dolls and ripped kites...

Thing-Fish
07-04-2012, 09:15 PM
Radio checkins have moved to 6.224MHz, USB

Here is a quick Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4JBusy-B6U&feature=youtu.be

I probably should of just recorded the entire thing and posted the video, but I did put it up live via Ustream "deathspear called me out on it, so I went live". I might do it on Thursday as long as the boats audio is clear.

Super fun to listen to them, something about blowup dolls and ripped kites...

I thought that the blowup dolls would be more an issue to be found with other Japanese tsunami debris on the delivery home.

familysailor
07-06-2012, 08:28 AM
Where is everybody?
The Buffalo is roaming at great speed, but the Camper guy must have put up a tent large enough to shelter a village cuz he's moving really quickly....The fast guy that's been DFL from way in front of the fleet is quickly moving up in the standings. He may run out of distance to race before he can get into first mathematically though.
Then there is the unofficial entry from south of the border "Daniel" chasing everybody and trying to create some confusion...

Drama! Mystery!

Who's gonna win?

familysailor
07-06-2012, 08:40 AM
links:

http://yb.tl/Leaderboard/shtranspac2012?tag=1768&useRecentVMG=true&sub=Switch+to+%27Recent+VMG%27+mode*

http://yb.tl/shtranspac2012

BobJ
07-06-2012, 12:24 PM
Based on the last five updates, Mike J's ETA is now in January.

These tracker gizmos add an interesting dynamic to the race . . .

deep6
07-06-2012, 10:51 PM
Where is everybody?
The Buffalo is roaming at great speed, but the Camper guy must have put up a tent large enough to shelter a village cuz he's moving really quickly....The fast guy that's been DFL from way in front of the fleet is quickly moving up in the standings. He may run out of distance to race before he can get into first mathematically though.
Then there is the unofficial entry from south of the border "Daniel" chasing everybody and trying to create some confusion...

Drama! Mystery!

Who's gonna win?

The Major topic of tonights roll call is windows 7 drivers for USB vs. XP, and all kinds of Device manager crap... Some debris in the water for some. It looks like they have energy to burn...

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 01:18 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/35681151491611248818.jpg

Saturday noon position reports less Alex's Truth which is currently 400 nm away from Hanalei Bay, A full week in and the 1/2 way mark has been obtained by Green Buffalo, Slacker, Turbo Camper and of course Truth... On the bubble, Red Sky and Flight Risk, Idefix, and Team Open Sailing.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/01204583940222620302.gif

24 hour surface prediction shows winds still ranging in the 15 to 20 knot range for the majority of the fleet.

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/77559226678662450771.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/89051124564233675440.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/76784435198849695101.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/15358333646980088037.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/98134138250759819408.jpg

http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/09137473963357444676.jpg

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 01:34 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/98131201973018336093.jpg

July 6th:


The days are getting busier, I barely recall what last night was like. Light wind and slowly getting lifted north of the rhumb line to Hanalei? Think so.

First its 9am morning roll call. Its really more about the chit chat… half the boats don’t have SSB so don’t participate… not the same camradarie as in the past where everyone called in every morning (at least in the PacCup they always did). Lot of talk about there being so little wind and how the high is so big and wide there is not getting away from it (sounds like the movie “The Blob”).

Then gave Mary a ring to catch up on the kids, her upcoming birthday and the sort. Was a good chat. Good for morale too!

Next its time for that first jibe. Old lesson is to jibe the very first time you think about it – not because you need to strategically jibe but to shake the cobwebs out of the equipment and crew. Racers chronically put off the first jibe – so many make the first jibe late – and at some hard time like in the middle of the night. So its best to do that first jibe in the morning it first crosses your mind. Then practiced, when you really need to do it, you do – and at the right time. I hadn’t set things up right to do my preferred double pole jibe and had to get the pole on the other side of the boat first. It was blowing 10k and seas were flat – so its time for a classic dip pole jibe – which had me running around (especially when you are tethered in all the time) – but went off without a hitch. Then readjusted lines to do double pole jibes from here out – which I then did four of over the next few hours. First jibe really was too soon so needed to jibe back. Then a big shift caused by a passing squall had me jibing again – and ten minutes later jibing back. Yes I should I have waited before being so quick to jibe… its the 10 minute rule for the rest of this trip.

After working up a sweat, time for a shower – via SunShower (as in warm solar heated water). Then brushed my teeth (I confess, first time this trip).

Had a strange cloud system pass through in the afternoon that I entered on port pole struggling to not head to far south in light air, and ten minites later I had jibed onto starboard pole – and was now head stay reaching on the same bearing I had entered the cloud system with. The wind swung from 60 degrees to 340 degrees – and I was now hard starboard pole head stay reaching only being able to get within 20 degrees of course – and thinking “this is crazy, I may need to put up a white sail!” I decided to enjoy the tight head stay reaching so took the helm for three hours – giving Otto a needed rest (I think I should do this every afternoon for the rest of the race). As those of you that have been here might guess, over the next two hours the wind gradually made its way back to 40 degrees. All in all a pleasant few hours sail at near 7 knots boat speed in 10-11k of wind – much more fun then a dead run in these light airs.

Chili for dinner. I just now realized all I ate today was two apples, an orange, and this can of chili.

Squall just came through just before this evenings roll call (yes it always get interesting at dinner time!). It looked mean but turned out to have no wind – but it did rain (the cockpit needed a good fresh water rinse!). It passed through quickly – so off and away again! I see another squall behind me… hopefully nothing too exciting (if it is, you’ll hear about it tomorrow).

**********************************************

July 5, 2012


Quiet Evening, Busy Day, Quiet Seas

Got a lot of sleep last night. Steady breezes – 15k-20k. Amazing how one gets used to sleeping with the spinnaker up. Roll call went well – going so far south is starting to have its positive benefits (to offset the negative of extra miles sailed).

Weatherman says light air next two days 10k-15k of wind – so changed chutes – from 1.5 AP to 3/4 Runnish (Kame joke – a sail that is half way between a flattish AP that tends to “walk around a lot” and a full stable Runner is a “Runnish”).

Refolded and tightly bricked the jib top (did a quick lazy roll two days back but it was too big to take below). The guy helping me fold the sail was a bit hasty with the head of the sail and clocked my one on the lip. Not a full blown swollen lip – just a wee bit of blood.

Otto came down with Parkinsons. That is in the middle of the afternoon the wheel starting jerking back and forth about once per second. Turned it on and off. Not good. Tried helming via the autopilot “steering wheel”. That was okay. Played with the gain (balance) between the compass and the gyro that provide steering input to the autopilot. Bingo. Pilot works just fine with the gyro basically “off”. Something is amiss with the gyro (needed to steer the boat under spinnaker in big seas and wind) or the way Otto’s brain is processing gyro input. In any case not something I can fix at sea – so time to swap with the back-up autopilot (yes I have twin Ottos – identical autopilots which takes just one bolt to change between). Took a few minutes to plan out the operation – its kind of like doing a heart transplant – needing to keep the patient alive during the operation. In this case changing autopilots without taking the spinnaker down. Took a bit of choreographing the ten things I needed to do in a very specific order in maybe 60-90 seconds, getting tools in place at the right locations, aligning rams, going through in my head what the order needed to be, etc. The transplant was a success and the patient survived. Didn’t even broach. So the newer autopilot is now the back-up – and it works just fine in light winds and seas or going upwind. The back-up autpilot,a veteran of three PacCup deliveries, an old reliable friend, is now doing his thing.

Food…
Sardine sandwich for lunch (my wife is not a fan of sardine sandwiches so the race is an opportunity to eat all the sardine sandwiches I want).
Cabbage salad with tuna for dinner (its actually quite good… cabbage, uncooked crumbled ramen, canned tuna, and oil).

Opened the day 5 letter from my wife Mary (she typically gives me a few letters when I am doing a crossing without her – I get to open letters at day 5 and 10 on this trip).
“never ever stop dreaming big crazy dreams”. Priceless. I miss her.

What next? I smelled something a bit sweet… that diesel line bleed screw coming loss again and dripping? Yup.
Yes keeping a boat going is a 24×7 job.

Last…
How long will we have light wind? Its been 15k-15k all day now. This light air i getting old already (though I needed a break after the prior 4 days of constantly pushing the boat to go where I wanted it to).
Looks like its going to be this light at least another day or two more – and even then its looking like modest winds all the rest of the way to Hawaii (a good thing for me so those lightweight competitors don’t surf by me). But you really cannot trust that weatherman too much… he keeps changing his mind.

************************************************** **



July 4,

Out of range of saimail in the morning – so till we get a bit closer to the sailmail station in Hawaii, it will be one report per day. There is a longer discussion behind this… about signal propagation, impact of the sun on the troposphere, etc. Check your Wikipedia.

Wednesday Morning

It was a long night – little to no sleep.

Wind was oscillating from 340 degrees to 20 degrees every 15-25 minutes. Had to mind Otto to correct our heading on each shift. Trying to work farther west – but with the wind not moving solidly to the NE (as it was supposed to do) and with it being a brisk breeze (quite a bit of 18k-20k), we’ve been driven 30 miles south of our planned track (though at pretty good speed).

Debating putting up the shy kite and reaching west – but the weatherman says the shift to a NE breeze and light air is coming so maybe getting blown south is a good thing? I suspect it won’t look good on the “miles to go” this morning (unless the folks to the North are in much lighter air).

Hope I can get some sleep this morning after roll call… if the wind moderates… though maybe I need to change down to the shy kite before sleep. Roll call should be enlightening… folks that made a lot of west likely took down their chutes for the night… those that made a lot of south like me likely left their chutes up all night.

Thinking Dinty Moore stew for lunch…maybe over rice. For sure if the conditions lighten a bit so cooking is a bit easier.

Last… how many “no sleep” nights like last night am I up for on this trip? We’ll find out… oh and as I am finishing writing this Otto just got the new speed record for the trip… 14k. Doesn’t it always happen when you are trying to get stuff done below deck and would give your left arm for calmer seas and winds?

Wednesday evening.

Put up the 1.5 “big bertha” after roll call this morning. It has a much gentler and easier motion then the 3/4 when your charging through the waves. Settles the nerves.

As I suspected, going so far South resulted in my miles made good to the finish not look so good – I lost ground to several competitors. Is that real lost ground – pr will I make it back if/when the wind lightens on the north side of the course? We’ll know three days from now.

Its still blowing near 20k and the wind has started to go right – but I am still struggling to keep my desired course. So still sagging a bit. The wind shift from N to NE that was supposed to happen 36 hours ago has still not fully happened. The wind lightening to 14k-16k as forecast hasn’t happened either. Head stay reaching in a good sea state and 20k of wind – sometimes 23k. Makes for uncomfortable sleeping (catching up from lost sleep from last night). Been shook out of bed a few times today due to round ups caused by an occasional sneaker wave the Otto struggled with. Should I get out of bed or should I wait to see if Otto will fix this himself (sometimes the round up is due to he wind heading 10-20 degrees as we go under a cloud – which Otto cannot deal with on his own).

Had a classic dinner tonight – Dinty Moore leftovers a a la round up. Happens every time. Stirring the pot, wind goes from 17k to 23k and heads 25 degrees (the biggest header of the day). So now what? Pot down. Look out the hatch. Otto being uncommunicative (later realized because he had the boat pointed in the right direction – but Otto didn’t know the chute was ragging and the boat was sideways). Think about whether to disconnect Otto – or use Otto to manually drive the boat down. Okay go for using Otto to drive us down. Hard over. Come on Otto you can do it. Can he do it? He’s done it! Okay now need to get the boat settled down and Otto dialed in to the new “headed” heading. Okay that’s done. What next? Oh yes – back to warming up the Dinty Moore.

So you want to marry and ocean racer?
Some male sailors think having a sailor wife must be heaven. But it has its down sides. I called my wide by sat phone this morning – first time we’ve talked since before the start. So after 5 days away, what do you think the first thing she said is? How you feeling? No. You are you sleeping? No. You okay? No. The first thing she said was “why are you so far south? The unsaid being “are you taking a flyer?”. So don’t get me wrong. Having a wife who loves sailing and has done several races to Hawaii is a great thing. We share a lot. But there are times I would be better off if she knew a bit less about sailing. :-)

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July 3,

A very busy day.

Put the 3/4 chute up right after 9am roll call. Must have taken me an hour – what would more typically take 10 minutes (though the spinnaker net and outgrabber are added complexities you only see going to Hawaii). I think three days without much food was catching up with me – so next priority was real food. But not yet as the wind gods decided after hoisting the 3/4, they wanted it to blow 22k-24k – ugh. Should I take it down and put up the 1.5? Rode it out… the wind dropped to 16k within the hour. At this point I was on a nice broad reach and went below to make some real food. Kraft macaroni and cheese it was for lunch and dinner. Threw some canned tuna in for the dinner version (shade of my deceased mother in-laws tuna noodle casserole). Also sucked down canned pears and an huge orange. Finally starting to feel like myself again.

Next on the to do list was to unbrick the #1 that has been laying on deck since yesterday – and rebrick the right way (now that the deck was mostly level and dry). Saw some damage from being on deck two nights back – work for my sail Doctor – Dr. Richards next month.

Late afternoon the autopilot stop obeying me though I quickly spotted the problem – harness (with strobe, and tether) sitting on the bench directly over the autopilots compass.
The wind was steadily goining left – when it should have been going right. Ended up on a head stay reach for several hours – a bit tricky with Otto driving.

Next stop checking the fuel tank to see how much fuel I’ve been using to keep Otto going, 25 gallons left – so about 5 gallons used in 3.5 days. So no worries about having enough fuel to supply Otto juice – but at the current rate of consumption there will only be a few gallons left when I reach Hanalei. Going to run the engine at a lower RPM, run it only when voltage drops below 12.5, and only run it an hour at a time (all to insure when its running, its putting maximum charge into the batteries).

Checked the engine oil level – looking good – at the “max” oil level line (unlike the 2010 PacCup when she was eating a quart of oil every two days).

Got up from a short knap only to see squalls astern. The weatherman and history say there are no squalls at 32 degrees latitude – the air and water are not warm enough. We are only now about to cross the border to Mexico. And these squalls were making 225 degrees (mag) – same as me – whereas all squalls are supposed to go 260-270 degrees (mag). At this point Otto and the 3/4 asked me to step in and take the helm (not unreasonable as I hadn’t helmed the boat since exiting Pt. Bonita). Felt pretty good helming the Buff off the wind again in a nice breeze… had to run off below course as we passed near the edge of one (of several) squalls which threw us a 25k breeze for a bit (the 3/4 was afraid of ending up in the sail makers emergency room before it had a chance to see Hanalei)

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July 3,

Another quiet night – with wind lightening a bit and oscillating between 80 and 110 apparent. Just taunting me to put the chute up.

Had a bowel movement – always a good thing in those first few days.

Spent the morning before roll call finishing setting up the spinnaker gear – sheets are out, halyard on the lifeline, pole up, reaching strut in place. Just need to decide which chute. Its 17k on a reach which would be pushing the 3/4 oz – but a bit light for the 1.5 oz. If the wind swings back to a steady 120 degrees apparent – which is likely as the day goes on – the 3/4 oz is the right tool for the job. Maybe I’ll put up the 3/4 and as the wind oscillates forward just turn the boat down a bit – though that means my working the autopilot much of the day (so I lose out on my afternoon beauty sleep).

Maybe things will settle after roll call and the decision on which chute will get easier. Or should I wait to put the chute up after lunch – and have my first real lunch today? Kraft Macaroni & Cheese?

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July 2,

Still beam reaching… 16k-20k of wind. Overcast all day long. Not pleasant – but the Buff is making real good time – putting her full waterline to good use. Need to get all the miles I can in front of the ultralights during these beam reaching conditions – as they’ll start running me down as soon as the spinnakers go up.

Started to rig the spinnaker gear seeing the wind starting to swing a wee bit aft… though will be tomorrow before the chute goes up (at the earliest).
Starting to get my sea legs… had half a sandwich and a large piece of Jarlsberg cheese… not a lot of food for a whole day… but more then yesterday… I suspect tomorrow I’ll be starting the stove for the first time and having a real meal… and nightly cup o’noodles (ramen).

Have been getting lots of sleep… makes me feel for the guys on the little boats who are doing a lot of hand steering. I suspect all this sleep is coming to an end in the next day or two when the spinnaker goes up. Though that depends on how steady the winds will be – and how good a job Otto does. Time will tell.

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July 2,

Blowing 16k-22k from the beam all night long – with building seas – so quite unpleasant. Dragged the #1 off the foredeck first thing this morning and rolled it up (quite a mess being full of water). The jib top is doing its job dragging the Buff along at 8k-9k.

The rudder is doing a bit more squeaking then usual – likely just because of the heavy beam reaching – but will have a look at the upper rudder bearing later this morning.

Still on water only rations – and very much looking forward to the wind going aft so I can start eating again (or my sea legs come in… though usually takes three days for my stomach to acclimate).

Glad all the entrants have the yellow brick trackers – because its clear from check-in last night that most of the small boats are struggling with SSB communications (those that have it). That said, it just may be the heavy air beam reaching conditions that makes working the SSB just too much work when doing anything is slow and difficult.

Chute late today or tomorrow? Saw 100 degrees apparent wind angle for a few minutes this morning – before it went back to the more typical 75 degrees apparent. The chute goes up as soon as the wind is steadily over 100 degrees apparent.

Time to check for the position report email from the race committee. After calling out positions to the fleet yesterday, it feels like most of the fleet just wants to know each boats miles to finish – dealing with all those lat-lon is too much work in these beam reaching conditions.

Its overcast at the moment… had a few hours of sun mid-day yesterday…. hope the sun comes back this afternoon.

I could use a shower… but its clearly going to have to wait till tomorrow (two days in the same pair of long underwear is a bit much).


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July 2,

Read the position report to the fleet in the morning – but not clear to me anyone is interested in anything but each boats miles to go to the finish. Its a bit tedious reading lat-lon and distance to go for 23 boats.

Reaching along in 12k-20k of wind. Seas are building a bit – which has me feeling a bit queezy – despite my taking my morning Bonine pill. Did manage to eat half a sandwich – otherwise its a water only diet till I get my sea legs (hopefully tomorrow… Tuesday at the latest).

One “oops” = the main bolt holding the autopilot arm fell out. Took me just a minute to figure out what went wrong – and then 10 minutes to get the sails trimmed and helm tied off so the boat was stable enough for me to leave the helm. Only took a few minutes to get the main bolt back in (which I had tightened just a month ago including using locktite).

I probably slept a total of 12 hours last night and today – in one hour chunks – so well rested. With the autopilot doing its thing and wind shifts just once in a while, there isn’t all that much to do – and feeling queezy, sleep it is. You can tell I have a lot of faith in the AIS alarm to avoid large ships – and I do. It went off a few times during the last day – always giving me plenty of time to avoid a close encounter.

Gribs are looking “windy all the way” – good to go fast – but I hope not too windy once the chute goes up.

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July 2,

Quiet evening/night. 8k-12k of wind. Just slightly cracked off – as wind oscillates every hour or so from West to Northwest. Slept most of the night in one hour chunks – getting up for a few minutes each hour to tweak the sail trim and autopilot heading.

As always happens, its near check-in time, the wind has gone far enough North (and picked up to 14k) its time I can put up the jib top (which I had hanked on at sunset last night so its all ready to go) – but that will have to wait till after check-in.

And I see some diesel dripping out from the engine box… will figure that one out this morning too… suspect the bleeding screw has come a little loose.

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June 30,

Nice start (both waving to Mary on the Angel Island ferry… and on the line at the favored end within maybe 10 seconds of the gun.

Gusty getting out to the bridge – gusts off yellow bluff over 20k – glad had #3 up.
Had sveral close-ups with schooners… we all had the same idea… go to yellow buff to catch the strong ebb… Eros is a real beauty.

Played classic ebb exit – exiting off the hip of Bonita, close by Bonita Channel Buoy – several tacks playing the north side of the potato patch getting the ebb lift. Wind dropped to under 12 just after passing Bonita Channel Buoy – so up went the #1. It was a bit tricky as it was grand central station as I changed the jib with close passes by Bandicoot and Slacker.

The AISs on all the boats were driving me crazy for a while – Bandicoot, Slacker, Scaramouche and Idefix all have broadcast AIS – and three of the four were near me much of the day – resulting in lots of AIS alarms (annoying but not all that bad as we are in pretty thick fog).

Starting going South at the Lightbucket – though found myself being hunted down by a large container ship… a bit too close.

Spent rest of the day going southwest… long starboard tacks with an occasional short port tack hitch – to stay on my desired track – and work a bit more west to catch the forecast building NW – which just started coming in at dinner time. No more tacking – sheets eased a wee bit and heading staright to the first check point in 10 knots of wind with the Buff doing 7.4k. Easy fast sailing.

And the whales. I just cannot avoid them. A pod of five or so Blue Whales passed through – and two of them were really really big. They were going to pass maybe 150 yards in front of the Buff – but two decided they needed to check me out – so came at me broadside. 50 yards off the port bow – just as I was about to grab the wheel in case an abrupt maneuver was needed – they dove and passed under the boat. The tails on these whales were huge… I didn’t relax till I saw them breach 300 yards off my starboard stern.

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 01:41 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/28715608685935925644.jpg


July 5,

From Lori: I talked to Dave on Satellite phone tonight and he is doing good. He sounds rested and happy, just wishing he had headed south for more wind. If he turns south now, it could backfire. Otherwise he is enjoying himself. It has warmed up and he spent part of the day in shorts and a t-shirt and barefoot. He said it would be absolutely perfect if he wasn’t racing :) He saw a big fish swim by today and the water is beautiful. The only decent wind was a few downdrafts from little storm clouds. Hopefully he will hit the trades tomorrow and pick up speed.

From Dave: Hey Darlin, Had a beautiful day for sailing just too light of wind for racing. Sailed in shorts and shirt sleeves comfortable and blue skies. Had about 6 knots of wind all day to just keep the boat moving at 5-6. Not very good progress today. But a beautiful day none the less. I am sure you were busy with work. Hope you are not stressing too much. And that the girls are getting along good and you are enjoying them. Got a nap today mid day when the winds where steady and the autopilot could drive well. Just about time for radio check in so need to get this sent off.

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July 5,

After about 11pm spent the rest of the night running around the boat trying to create wind. It died and went all different directions so sails were flogging and generally just being miserable. Finally at 3 I got a configuration that seemed to work some with the big #1 on the down wind side and the High cut jib poled out forward to windward. That kept me moving albeit slowly. This morning about 5 the main was crashing back and forth so much I just couldn’t ignore it. Not that there was any wind to do anything with. Finally about 7 the wind started to at least have enough direction to hold the sails in one place. Listened to a little news last night on the HF. And a little am radio as well. Trying to work south as I can without taking a huge cut at it. Wind right now favors the rhumb line but in a day or two south is going to pay more I think????? Doing good otherwise.

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July 4,

Talked to Dave. He seems to be doing well. He is getting cat-naps along with a 2-3 hours “full nights” sleep occasionally. Staying dry and warm. Says he hasn’t had time to read much or get bored. He was in good spirits and optimistic about doing well in the race.

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July 3,

From Lori: Talked to Dave tonight and he is in good spirits. He thinks he is going to beat me to Hawaii. That would be great if he did! (Plus, I might win the pool!) I think it’s pretty normal to start talking to inanimate objects when you are at sea for a while by yourself. :) That’s why men name their boats women’s names and talk about them like they are their girlfriends! In this case, Dave has named his windvane “Tor” and his autopilot “Otto”. The autopilot is the new technology, but can be fussy and fail at the worst times. The windvane is a very old technology, but works incredibly well: see web page at http://www.selfsteer.com/

Dave: Well it was about as fine a day of sailing as I have ever had. Started the morning with eggs salami tortilla and coffee and 4 nectarines that were getting beat up. Once the spinnaker went up it stayed up till 2040. I figured I steered with it up on a near beam reach all day and had done enough so time for Tor to take over with a big head sail. That he does well. Spinnaker not so well. And Otto gets real stupid sometimes with the spinnaker and drinks the juice off the battery bank like someone else is buying. So for the night Tor will do the driving and I will do the watching. Passed by a large steel buoy about 3′ long and 1′ in Diameter. Looked like it had rings for moorings of some type but floating along. Would make a nice ding in a boat. Tom Watson’s birthday is today so I had a toast of amaretto to his BD. Got to bring all my wet stuff up and dry it out. That was nice. Beautiful sunny day with a few rain squalls moving through which would bring some extra wind. Not too much just enough to be fun. Saw 9.8 on the speed log for a moment surfing a wave in a puff. Fun stuff. I think I am going to beat you to Kauai.

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July 2,

Lori: Spoke to Dave last night on the phone at about 9:30 PM. He sounded in good spirits. He did ask me to go buy “the warmest, best wool, thickest socks you can find”. Dave always has cold feet, and it doesn’t help that his sailing boots are constantly getting splashed and filled with water. We talked about warm polypro and wool clothes, but I guess he never packed the warm socks or thought about needing them!

The seas have been rough the last 2 days and the sailors are in some big winds. Several skippers have commented on how they expected to be running (going downwind), but are on close reaches (sailing close or tight to the wind) instead. The combination of wind and high seas is making for some cold, uncomfortable conditions out there. Many of the sailors have been seasick and are just starting to eat their first meals. The boats are healed hard (tipped on their sides) and everyone is getting wet when they are out changing sails.

Dave said that it is getting harder and harder to hear the other sailors as they check in. The pack is just starting to spread out a bit.

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It was a cold wet night. Stayed out driving till early am. Had to do a mid night headsail change down to the storm jib once it hit 25 knts. That kept the boat balanced pretty well but after riding the bow through a couple waves I was drenched. Got some hot tea in me and after the umteenth wave rolled across the boat I decided Tor could do as well as me. Tor is the Monitor windvane. He takes over when I am sore, cold, tired, wet or while I try to sleep. 2 container ships passed. Second one seemed he was bearing down on me so I hailed him and saw that he changed course slightly to pass behind. Time to download gribs. Wind clocked more out of the North while I was sleeping this morning and so Tor took me more north than I wanted. Such is life. Tor is still a good stick to have around.


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July 2,

Life is good. Should have started with the smaller headsail but that is the learning curve. Still straight up.
All seems to be working as it is suppose to. Hopefully it will stay that way.

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July 1,

N36’20 W12544 at 10 pm Sunday night. Wind was on the nose for the first day. Today it has slowly built to now gust to 25 steady 19 Seas are building from nothing yesterday to 8′ and messy. Better than no wind though… Double reef and a small headsail still have the 3 reef and storm jib to go if I wasn’t racing I would but 7.5 knots this way or 5 knots the other. Wind vane has been steering since I got clear of land. Does a good job. And so far more dependable than any auto pilot. I have been snacking all day. Lots of bananas before they go bad. Took a good drenching on the bow so I did a wipe down bath after I was done. Opened a can of soup and took 2 bites and a wave hit so I dropped it to keep from flying across the boat. Cleaned that up before it got to the bilge. Sitting here in my bathing suit shorts, wool sweater and sheepskin boots. Comfy. Getting sleepy so I will take a nap.

Later: Saw 2 container ships pass earlier today. Heard a whale last night blowing by the boat but never saw it. Green Buffalo had 2 blue whales approach his boat yesterday.
J

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July 1,

Had a good night. Moon was in and out of the fog then cleared off and was beautiful. Wind built up in the night so had to go down to a smaller head sail till early this morning. Wind is clocking off more from the north as forecast. Taking a wave over the bow occasionally. Really nice sailing actually. Turbo camper passed by my stern about 2 am tracking more southerly. Didn’t see any one in the cockpit. Bean bag chair is great. Dodger is great. Windvane has been steering the whole time. Lori,I will need you to call Scanmar in Richmond 510-215-2010 and have them send you two plastic knobs that are used to secure the wind paddle to the monitor bracket. Part 68 (airvane clamp Knob) When I was putting on the paddle one of the knobs twisted off in my hand so the other probably isn’t far behind it and I would like to have them for the trip back I don’t have one in my spares bag. For now I use a pair of pliers. Otherwise all is well. Feeling good. I have to get this out and download grib files before check in.
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Posted on June 30, 2012 by ladonna

I had the wrong sail up for the start. Should have know it would be lighter in the area of the start. Changed to a smaller sail till I got about 2 miles out the gate. Patrick Melley, Hunter and Anna joined me out the gate for a bit. Got a few pictures of them. About that time my nerves started to settle down. Now it is just a foggy drippy sail at 4 – 5 knts with the wind straight from where I want to go. Figured I would check out the HF radio operation while things were calm. All seems to be working great. The windvane steering has been engaged since Pt. Bonita it is doing pretty good. Nice and quiet and no power required. All good things. Wind forecast for tomorrow is to build to 15-17 and clock out of the NW more. So I am going to work south of the rhumb line as 3-4 days from now it looks to be stronger south a bit. All is good.

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 01:48 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/91031881071665132738.jpg


July 6,

It just turned to the seventh day of this adventure and today was a pretty good despite the lack of wind most of the fleet was seeing. I had the first descent sunset of trip, read a hundred pages in my book, patched a sail, epoxied the broken trim piece on the counter and basically got some boat work done.

I suppose the highlight of my day was taking some sights, I was able to shoot the sun and first (brightest) star in the handle of the big dipper name Alioth. Shooting star sights is really pretty difficult because its hard to pick out the horizon in the dark. The sun is actually your primary star in celestial navigation. I will try some more stars this evening once the moon lights things up a bit (its partly cloudy now)

The wind is still light and I am flying the full main, #1 and the big spin (Dolly) so we are seeing 5 knots on a broad reach heading 245 degrees true. This wind is supposed to back a bit and pick up overnight so I will once again be sleeping with the spinnaker sheet led through a cam cleet and then in the cabin to my bed so if we round up, I can blow the sheet before I even get out of bed.

Here is a pic of the sunset tonight and a glimpse at what we do for celestial navigation.

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July 5,

Today has been slow until about 20 minutes ago. The SUN just poked out and 10 knots ish of breeze piped up so we are reaching along with Dolly at 5-6 knots directly towards Hanalei! There is nothing better than the feeling of getting going after bobbing around all day. This is why we do this. Not for the 6 days of clouds, but for the 1 afternoon of reaching along in flat water in glorious sunshine!

I just love the sounds of flat water gurgling past the hull. Its very peaceful way out here in the middle of nowhere. 20 minutes of sun can wipe away 6 days of clouds just like that mentally! Thank you Sun.

So, I really like getting emails about your lives. My friend Jen is crazier than I am and she bought a wooden boat! I loved hearing about her first sail on it. Way to go Jen! So anyhow, if you time, write me a line about whats going on in your life. I would love to know.

I am reading this crazy book. Its by John Irving and I had NO idea what the book was about. I really liked a prayer for Owen Meany so when I saw that book at a book exchange in a marina, I swapped it out without a thought (at 700+ pages, i figured it would kill some time out here). Well, what a story it is. Irving has such a way of captivating you with narrative and developing characters you care about, root for who are tragic and endearing. I guess its a coming of age story about Jack Burns, a bastard child whos mom was knocked up by the organ player at her church (she was a choir girl). The story starts out as she drags jack across europe at age 4 in search of her father (who absconded), Alice (his mother) learned to tattoo from her father and makes a living tattooing along the way. Jack takes after his father in the looks department and is breaking hearts from the very beginning. He attends his first school at a formally all girls school and meets his soon to be life best friend and sister-in-common-law-ish (thats complicated too) Emma. They have a complicated relationship to say the least. The story is awkward at best, amusing, sad, disgusting and frankly sexual enough this sailor would blush retelling the tales. Anyhow, if you have the stomach for that kind of thing, I have to say I love John Irving.

1459 miles to go!


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July 5,

The wind has as predicted gone a bit light and behind the beam so I finally am able to fly Dolly. (I have taken to naming everything). George (the #1) is below deck awaiting repair and Wilson has the helm. Things went smoothly on the launch and I managed to stay completely dry. The great thing is, the motion is so much better and the speed is only down to 5.9kts. I am driving a great circle from where I am towards Hanalei for probably the next 300 miles but every 6 hours that can change (for those who dont know, weather models are updated every 6 hours),. It is a great relief to have the kite up and to see the wind do what it was predicted to do. I am gaining more confidence in my systems and use of them.

We had a great chat on SSB last night. As the race goes on, people start talking a lot more. We had a Pac Cup Racer get on his radio from the dock back in Alameda so if you have friends with SSB radios and you are along the west coast tune into 6A or B at 9am and pm PDT for the chat.

Time for a cup of tea.

Oh, I found a ginger beer (actually two) saving them for half way which I hope will be this Sunday around midnight (466 miles to go until halfway).

I am now starting to be very curious what is in the halfway packages….

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July 4,

Today is frustrating. I see a big wind hole developing and it turns out I was not correctly using my routing software. What would appear to be obvious to me is it was when you plot a new course you want to optimize your route from your new position starting now. Well, it wasn’t doing this right and I made some decisions over the last couple of days which now have me skimming this windhole starting sometime tomorrow and I am not happy about it. I probably sailed an extra 10-20 miles which really pisses me off. Whats even worse about this is I called it 12 hours early in an email to friend that said prudence would suggest going south…. well, here is hoping it wasn’t too late.

I tried to fly the spinnaker last night, but again, too much breeze, my wind speed indicator is not working so I guess I have gotten used to stronger wind. At 2am, I was on the bow trying to put up the spinnaker net (which is more like a rats nest and is at the time of this writing still snarled up) and we broached so hard I was standing on the lee toe rail, knee deep in pacific ocean hanging from the windward lifelines. I’ve never had a mast in the water broach before…. I had to shimmy along the lifelines so i could get back to the cockpit and right the boat. Fortunately, we didnt go any further over or the open forward hatch would have seriously taken in some water. All of this spinnaker trouble is souring me to that sail selection…. At this point, its causing more harm than good.

I noticed my new rigging has loosened up a bit after all this abuse, so once I get on the other tack I will tighten up the now windward side.

Its starting to get stressful, I am offically a quarter of the way there and Jim Quanci is showing no signs up letting up. He is the man to beat and has me on my toes. The problem with single handed racing is you have to do everything. There is no one on make a meal while you tame a kite, no one to do tactics while you fix a kite or a meal or try and get some sleep, no one to keep watch while you sleep. You get the idea.

Today is gray (again). No fishing today, its too much work and I need to get under this bad wind so I need every 10th of a knot I can get.

The thing is with the race, its been 100 hours, and there are 300 more to go, its a long time to be 100%. A lot of people do this race just to get to Hawaii and trust me, the thought keeps popping in my mind, just back off, finishing is all that matters. Well thats a load of bullshit (for me). Taking it easy is for the return trip, this is war and damn if Jim Quanci isnt kicking my ass. I hear him talking on the radio about taking down the .75 ounce shoot for the 1.5 and I cant even keep mine up for 3 hours…. Much respect for Jim. If fI don’t win, I hope he does.

Having an avacado and wheat thins for lunch. Dont really feel like eating.

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July 3,

I wasted a bunch of miles today… Not sure why I didn’t think to put up my old red kite sooner but I am finally flying a kite and picked up 3/4 of a knot (back to 6 from 5.3). I fell off 4 degrees and although I have the rail buried halfway to china, we are moving along on this beam reach red kite a flying (Its smaller and the material is older so it has “blow bye”). My onboard routing software shows my fastest route is the great circle from where I am so you probably noticed I started going a lot more east than south.

During my second attempt at setting the kite, i came back do the cabin to find my bday fish square on the floor. Apparently it rocked and rolled itself of the shelf and the impact opened the dish and well, fish on the floor. I guess the 10second rule is more like the 10 minute rule out here so a saltwater rinse later and its still on the menu.

I smell, the boat smells, my bunk is wet, but hey, the sun is finally shining, the kite is flying, super tramp is playing on the ipod and I just took my frist sun sight with my neglected sextant of the trip. (I do have a navigators trophy to win you know). I just hope Steve Hodges on Frolic hasnt been DR and getting Loran fixes this whole time. (He is competing against me for the navigators trophy)

Oh yeah, add to the list of shit I have lost overboard. My dog dish (seriously, I am pretty upset about this one), the spinnaker sock (accident I swear), my new spinnaker bag (seriously, WTF, it was clamped to the rail and waves just ripped the stitching off the bag….), and my windvane paddle. I hope this in the end of shit going overboard I dont want to. I am starting to feel like Moitessier in the Sunday Times race when he started pitching everything overboard.

Things I have considered throwing overboard: This stupid playstation and Guitar Hero. Seriously, WTF was I thinking. I will never play this damn thing, its 20 pounds of dead weight. Next time I do this race, it will be on an open 60 with holes drilled in my toothbrush, until then, I guess I will not empty my boat on the way over.
….

Email was interrupted. The leeward lifeline was in the water (not a fast look as some would say) so I went outside to tame the kite and low and behold, a squall was about to run me down. I was so glad to have had a conversation with 15 time Transpacer Jim Quanci (Pac cup and transpac this is his first single handed transpac) about squalls. Basically its a local thunderstorm and cold air is rushing down from up high in the cloud (along with the rain) and the usually travel south to north veered 15degrees from the trade wind. The danger for me is not so much the wind (ok, with a kite up it can be) but when a squall runs over you, you become becalmed for a long time on the backside of it. This is race, so that is not something I want. I immediately turned down wind and doused the kite (no sock anymore) and then headed hard on the wind putting about 60degrees relative to the squall and my heading (this squall was travelling north east to south east veered on the beam reach I was on. I narrowly avoided my first squall but what a good feeling. Thanks Jim! This will be a big help in the race.

So to wrap up my birthday, I finished off my fish sashimi style with some Velvetta shells and cheese and later tonight I will have a double helping of freeze dried bannans Foster (the real thing being my absolute favorite dessert). I found a bottle of Clio (my all time favorite wine) and am debating on drinking it tonight. The problem is I know I will drink the whole damn thing and be wasted. Maybe I will save it for half way to Seattle when I am not racing but it IS my birthday after all… where is that corkscrew?

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July 3,

Well today is my birthday and I woke up to some sunshine and rain and low and behold, a hint of wind behind the beam. Happy birthday to me. I was so excited, i couldn’t be bothered with pants and off I went to set the spinnaker in my boxers. It started pouring rain and for the briefest moment, a rainbow formed so close I could touch it engulfed the bow of Darwind. It was as if Hanalei was saying, “hurry up, get here already! It’s this way”

During what proved to be a very difficult spinnaker set over the next hour became ultimately unsuccessful. I tore my new kite before I even got it up. Technically it was the cursed spinnaker sock which should by all rights of my being pissed off be at the bottom of the pacific is now awaiting my reprimand. It knoted internally somehow and during the fight I tore the kite. Its about a 6 inch tear horizontally which I will rub down with acetone and tape after roll call this morning and try again (Without the sock).

After the failed set, I was sitting back in the cockpit and decided to drown my sorrows in the last coke i had on board, and as I popped it open I saw something I have never seen, a squall ahead with nothing but the brightest thickest rainbow I have seen raining below it It looked is if the cloud was pouring out a rainbow in to the water. It was telling me that its ok, you will fix the kite and light this mother f@*#R up later today!

Yesterday the sea took on the azure blue color I love so much. It is so blue, you felt you could see to the bottom, and it surprising to me when it splashes up that its clear and doesn’t paint the boat blue!

Wind has calmed down to around 13-15kts with gusts to 18, the sea has mellowed out and is more harmonic in its wave pattern and the boat is a bit more upright. Sailing along with full main and #1 doing about 6.5 knots on average. For this last two days I have averaged 6.7 knots (which is a knot above hull speed, don’t ask me how, I am just happily accepting it).

I never did get to eating my fish yesterday, I decided to cook the fresh chicken I brought before it went bad (the ice melted away last night) so today it is fish. The rice worked well in the thermos. I have figured out that grains can sit all day in the thermos, pastas, not so much.

I am soaked to the bone, and I really dont care. I have not worn my foulies once during this trip and I dont freaking plan on it. The air is palpably warmer and so is the ocean. If I was more lives Yves Gilanas I would go for a swim but I will just settle for a bucket shower in the cockpit.

Yesterday I had a lot of time not feeling well, and for the briefest moment I wondered why I am doing this. I am so glad I have the names of all the survivors on my boat, it made me remember to keep pushing! 1767miles to the finish. Like my friends on Ohana say, “We are racing here, people!”


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July 2,

Just after the 9am checkin, I caught this yummy creature. I tell you what, I sure could have used my Grandpa to show me how to prep him again (That and a picnic table covered in newspaper that is not pitching healing and having ice cold buckets of north pacific ocean being thrown on it) He is filleted and I am cooking up some rice for sushi tonight. Damn, I forgot soy sauce, but I do have wasabi!

I thought this was supposed to be a downwind race. Day three and still on the weather, This feels too much like the long pac! Last night, in what is a bit of a scary coincidence, i was changing out the wind vance paddle and it blew overboard (just like the longpac) and just then we accidentally gybed and the main sheet caught my leg between it and a stantion. The impact tore open my leg but I dont appear to have suffered any fracture. Its swollen but I am fine.

Its been three days of clouds, (with a touch of sun for an hour or two on the second day) and I could use a shower (especially after cleaning the fish). The sea is a mess, and I think we are all feeling it. Lets hope for a backing wind soon!

Good news is I have my weather downloads working and I can communicate well.

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July 2,

I am not too worried about the place on the tracking site. It’s simply elapsed distance to Kauai so they are closer along the great circle. I am hitting way better wind and will get lifted up back to a shorter route. At our morning checkin, I was ahead of Bela by 6 miles. Ohhhhh yeah bitches! Tortuga has always been slower than me and I have beat him boat for boat in the past but he has had a legend David King from Portland coaching and helping him prep. He beat me out the Gate which floored me so he has me nervous. He owes me one day of time as does Bela so If I can keep them within 140 miles I will snag my division.

Steaming along here at 6.5kts now, i have cracked off a bit. I have the windvane steering again as I am not too worried about headin. As long as it’s generally southwest I will get to better wind faster so let it roll, plus it will grab the lifts. That and I woke up race day with a dead battery and I didnt want to add the extra weight so I went without a new one, running with just the 6 volt bank, so I am trying to charge as much as I can while I have some upwind work.

I have ice tea brewing, quinoa cooking in the thermos (I love it, just add your rice, pasta, etc. and hot water and wait) I hope I don’t over do the qinoa, but I think it needs a long time like rice. The mac and cheese I made last night was more like mush and cheese.

I was ejected from the bunk for my morning nap. I need to finish the lee cloth, rebuild the toilet, epoxy the broken ridge on the counter, cover the upper lifelines with chaffe guard and assemble my series drogue for the trip home. (Projects) We are heeled at 40degrees so some of this will have to wait until we are a bit more vertical.

Day 1 is done, 101 miles basically hard on the weather. Should be only 2036 or so more to go. I’m looking for 140 miles today!

It’s cloudy, a little bumpy but not too bad and my spirits are high. There is no one in sight, but that’s expected and a relief.

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July 1,

Assuming I am at the back of the pack, I am chasing down stern lights in hopes of getting to crack off first and pop the kite before my best friend Galaxsea. He is 2 miles ahead and I have chased him down this evening while he slumbers in the Hilton Pacific. Sleep is for the weak.

I wonder how the battle between the Moore24 goes tonight? The moon is bright and the fog has lifted, who else is tweaking out miles? Is Alex in Hawaii yet?

I wonder how Jim is doing? I get why he brought some serious carbon rags now, get out early and fast, dollar bills be damned, this is a race.

Oh LaDonna, I extrapolated your tip on cooking rice in a thermos to good old mac and cheese, add the noodles, fill with water and wait. Except, you dont need to wait long, maybe a few more minutes than the recommend cooking time, the first attempt was a bit more mush and cheese, but hey, it hit the spot. Thanks for the awesome energy saving tip!

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 01:55 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/25035899129362263784.jpg


July 5,

From Rj: Aloha, here is update number four. The phone call started with Ronnie wanting to know the best way to tie a noose. He said its still cloudy and the batteries are dead. He is hand steering down wind in very light air, less than 5 knots. He is also without any weather information and it’s against the rules for me to provide it, if you are wondering why he doesn’t just get it from me. I’ll keep you guys posted when he calls again.

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July 4,

From Rj: Aloha! Another update from the middle of the Pacific. First off what a long day of sailing by hand with no auto pilot. Ronnie says the wind is blowing good and it’s surfing conditions. He hit 14.7 knots early in the day, with these speeds he might go back in time. When I was talking to him he hit 11.9. His spirits are high and he is having a blast.

The conditions are still overcast. The solar panel ballast is doing a great job keeping the stern firmly in the water, and that’s about it. He says his batteries are getting really low and he is conserving as much as possible. Ron’s sail mail is still down, sooo. Thanks guys take care.

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July 4,



Primary autopilot is still not working, however since I have no way to charge batteries that does not matter at this time. Where is the sun?
Took sails down for a while to try and figure out autopilot problem but no luck.
When I am hand steering with the kite up I can make some good numbers not sure how long I can do that though. Where is the sun?
Do not know where I am in the fleet, so I am sticking to my original plan.
When the sun comes out and the wind goes aft the fun meter will go up

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July 3,

Aloha! Well maybe not yet. I just got a call from Ronnie today and spent the next ten minutes on the side of the road. Hawaii has a no driving while using the cell phone law. Ron also wanted me to write down his every word so I didn’t miss anything.

First off, the primary auto pilot is down and Ron is using the back up tiller. He thinks it is a sensor, but not sure. Also sail mail isn’t working right and he isn’t sure why. So all updates will need to be made via sat phone. He also said right now he is jib reaching and really hauling.

That’s about it so far, when he calls with updates I will post them www.openbluehorizon.com. I hope all of you are following along on yellowbrick. I have to say the iPhone and iPad app are pretty sweet.

Okay, last update for the night from Ron. He is attempting to carry the spinnaker into the night. Surfing conditions are good and the boat is hauling, top speed around 13.7. Like moma always used to say, “theres a good, and there’s a bad.” Actually I have never heard her say that.

A ot of things are going wrong, and Ron needs a good pep talk for sure. His auto pilot is still down and has been for the past day. He hasn’t seen sunlight since he left San Fran so his solar panel is pretty much extra weight along with his batteries. He needs some sun to charge them up, good thing this boat isn’t electric. Sail mail is down, which also means no email or weather data. With that said Ronnie sailed off into the night, until next time…

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 03:13 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/14568488582737068172.jpg

July 5, 2012

This update is in two parts, because I tried to send it this morning but couldn’t get a connection.
Well, the impression of crossing the ridge I had the other day was quite premature. I spent all day yesterday on a tight reach in decidedly un-trade-like conditions. The last 24 hours were all hand steering Idefix or babysitting the autopilot. It seems like every time I go down below to get something or try to get some rest, the wind shifts 15 degrees or more and increases/decreases in speed. The winds are now quite light, maybe 7-8 knots in the puffs, and 3 in the lulls, and still very shifty.
Batteries have been running low, so I’m trying to conserve power as much as possible. Two years ago there was plenty of sun after day 3 or 4 of the race. This year we seem to be under an overcast that stretches on forever. Bad news for the boats with only solar power. Thankfully my solar farm is rather oversized, so I can still run the autopilot a fair bit. But Ronnie and Reuben are probably hurting pretty bad, as you can only fit so many solar panels on a Moore 24. This might explain why we haven’t heard them on the SSB radio check-ins.

I saw a faint white light before sunrise this morning. Pretty sure it was John’s tricolor, as at 05:00 he was 7 miles away in that direction.

Update: after reaching in light air all day, I’ve broken out of the clouds into sun. Thanks to the magic of sunlight, I just had a nice hot freshwater shower on the foredeck. Probably the only shower in the world where you have to wear a safety harness! It feels so good to be clean, clean shaven, and wearing new clothes. I’m going to saute some onions and make myself a gigantic omelette with salami and maybe even sleep six hours straight.

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July 3,

The wind was down to 10-12kts on a beam reach this morning, so I decided to hoist the little spinnaker. It was quite a handful, as it was a tight reach and there were lots of puffs and shifts. I spent almost the whole day hand-steering my way around squally rainclouds, trying to keep as close a reach as possible so as not to get taken south of my rhumbline. Finally after 6 hours of surfing and wiping out, I dropped the chute in a lull around 16:00, and put the jib top back up. I don’t think all the fuss of the chute was worth it; the boat goes almost just as fast with the jib top, and I can read a book or sleep while the autopilot steers.

I had been eyeing an area of clear skies up ahead and finally popped out into it, and it’s full of little tradewind clouds. The winds are still pretty northerly, but it finally seems like we’re crossing the ridge. About time – my batteries could use some sun on the panels, and I could use a rest, a bath and some dry clothes.

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July 2,

I was so exhausted last night I let the boat go way south in exchange for 3 hours of solid sleep. On my planned heading, the autopilot kept rouding up every time a gust or big wave hit, which meant no sleep.

I spent most of today hand-steering to make up the lost ground and get west. Around 12:30 I felt like making myself some lunch and I had two major breakthroughs. The first was that, if I trim out my jib top a ton along with the main, and the autopilot will keep the boat on course with little loss in speed. The second was that the freeze-dried black bean tamale pie by a manufacturer of camping food who shall remain nameless is unspeakably terrible. I only ate half of it, and I’m not the picky type. With these discoveries, I might actually move in the right direction while getting a good night’s sleep and eating the tastier morsels I have on board. In fact, about mid-afternoon I had a nap and there were no round-ups.

I feel kind of stupid for not playing with the trim of the jib top more, but exhaustion, pain and nausea will make you do weird things. I’m also pretty unfamiliar with the sail since Matt and I built it only a week before leaving Seattle.

Conditions seem like they could be slowly changing as I near the ridge. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking, I’m still about 160 miles away. In any case I hope we get some sun soon so I can dry out a bit and charge the batteries. All the hand-steering has made me quite wet.

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July 1,

Conditions were pretty benign most of the morning, but I was feeling queasy and somehow managed to hurt my back, either by curling up in a berth to rest or exerting myself on deck. It hurt bad enough that I didn’t want to move for about half an hour. I got one or two hours of sleep, and I was hoping I might get more tonight, but the wind and waves have picked up. I’ve already been soaked by a couple waves slamming into the boat, and just as I thought I might be able to go down below and have some dinner, a 25kt gust came through and the boat rounded up. The autopilot is getting overwhelmed every 15 minutes or so.

I’m trying to head WSW, but with the big reaching sail I have up, the autopilot just can’t do it. My options are to change sails and lose a fair bit of speed, hand steer until conditions change or I get worn out, or head SW. So far I’ve been doing the latter, and I’ll probably keep doing it as I’m not feeling up for the other two.

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June 30,

Well, we’re finally underway. Thankfully it’s nothing like last time. There was a decent 20 kts and I got a little wet under the Golden Gate, but conditions in the Gulf of the Farallones are much more pleasant, with a 10 kt westerly, no waves, and a 3-foot swell. However, we’re shrouded in a thick fog, which makes it harder to look out for other boats, cargo ships, islands, whales… and with the light air I’ve had to pull out my big genoa, which means my visibility is even more limited. Oh well, at least I’m relatively dry and warm.

It was fun to see the large fleet head out this year. I caught a glimpse of quite a few boats when the fog parted for a bit near Pt. Reyes, then Brian Boschma and I sailed side-by-side for a while in the fog. Looking forward to seeing how everybody does.

Idefix just threaded her way through SE and middle Farallon. I hope the fog lifts before it gets too dark.

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 03:20 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/80704590905008770205.jpg


July 6,

From Robbie: No sleep for 48+ hours. Sun came out for a few minutes yesterday but not enough for auto to do the work. It’s partly sunny today so hopefully that will help.

He is really tired and having a hard time thinking.

Ruben has a history of jury rigging, wish he could create a new paddle for his wind vane to replace the one he dropped the other day so he can sleep.

He is positive (his wife is the one complaining :-) ) and happy to have breeze to carry on.

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July 5,

Ruben did have enough sat phone battery for a quick call. He only has 4% battery power remaining and has hand steered for most of the last 24 hours. Still, no sun, no sleep, wet and cold.

He found his last pair of dry socks this morning. He put them on, then put the plastic bags that the clothes were in over the socks, then put on his boots. Ahhh….dry, for at least a little while.

Breeze was ON last night and he kept saying that Rushmoore was “lit up”! Sounds like he is really enjoying the sailing.

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July 4,

Ruben was at the helm with the kite up most of the day Tuesday. Later in the afternoon while surfing down the swells the clouds parted and the glorious sun began to shine!

The sun was out for only brief amount of time and long enough to provide a little more juice for his batteries. In fact, it was enough juice for him to finally have a good night sleep for the first time since the start of the race.

He is now well-rested and ready to throw up the spinnaker and sail towards Hanalei.

This video contains footage from his qualifier, Transpac Start, and sailing in the last couple months.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GP03Do051_8

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July 3, 2012

Ruben reported that it’s still miserable. He can’t get dry. He’s been very sick for the last couple days. Thank goodness he’s feeling a little better this morning.

Yesterday he hoisted a spinnaker, rounded and bent one of his two spinnaker poles.

Since there hasn’t been sun for the last 4 days, his solar panels haven’t charged his batteries. His batteries are so low that he can hardly use the autopilot and there is a problem with his wind vane. He drove all night with only a couple hours of sleep in the last 24 hours.

Let’s hope that the sun shines long enough to charge today! He plans to set the spinnaker in the next hour and make up some ground.

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July 2,

Last night was one of the worst nights at sea that he has ever had. The seas are really bumpy and everything below is soaked. Battery is low and the sun is not out to charge his solar panels so he is reserving power today.

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July 2,

Ruben arrived at the club around 8:30am and spent a few minutes taping his rigging while I lubed blocks and tracks. Several SSS members and other friends came to wish Ruben well. He enjoyed spending a few minutes chatting and saying good-bye to friends.

It was a quite morning at the Corinthian Yacht Club as the racers wished each other a good race. This was a typical low-key SSS (Singlehanded Sailing Society) sendoff for the racers. One by one they hoisted their sails and as they exited the harbor there were a few cheers and claps as teary-eyed friends and family comforted each other.

Ruben started the race at 12:30, he didn’t have as good of a start as he would of liked but,as he said later in the day, “it’s a marathon”. The fleet sailed close hauled and remained intact as they slowly disappeared into a blanket of thick fog at the Golden Gate Bridge.

Yesterday for dinner he had Indian food and chocolate pudding for desert. He asked me to thank Lucie and Ben Mewes who gave him a “under the bridge” chocolate ginger treat, he said it was delicious.

Last night he saw Bandicoot and another boat (perhaps Open Team Sailing). He had two sail changes during the night and was doing another this morning. He’s pretty wet, but he never complained about being cold. He sounds great and is sailing fast, fast, fast!

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 03:24 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/30569161491635748543.jpg


July 6,

Jerome successfully retrieved the halyard without any problems. He’s now back on track with spinnaker up! He took the video camera up the mast so we should have some exciting footage to share once the race is complete!


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July 6,

From Nik: Jerome had a rough night last night with very little wind. He ended up taking the main down and just sailing with the jib. This morning he realized the mast head spinnaker had gotten lost up the mast. With the boat on autopilot and only the jib up to keep the boat balanced and sailing slowly in 10 knots of breeze Jerome is going to climb the mast to retrieve the halyard… a risky maneuver on any boat at sea but even more dangerous when you’re on your own… stay tuned…


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July 5,


Had a great ride last night until 4am. It was really fun – I just had the medium kite up with one reef in the main and was doing 12-13 knots of boat speed. I was really enjoying it and then the wind just died and I had to change sails and just drift for a while. I’m still have issues downloading weather information but am trying to work south as I feel I am too far north. I’ve had some squalls come through and they are a total blast – as long as I have one reef in the main and code 5! Any more sail area than that and things get interesting! I don’t feel like I’ve even tapped into the potential of the boat as I haven’t seen more than 25 knots of wind and it hasn’t come aft enough yet. Weather is still overcast and I haven’t seen the sun since the start. I’ve been wearing the new Hydrophobe gear from Gill – it really keeps me dry and warm. Plus I can sleep in it and then get up in the night and go on deck without having to change – a real time saver! I did have one close call while using the bathroom, i.e. my bucket, a strong puff knocked the boat down and it took every bit of luck and skill not so lose the contents of the bucket inside the boat!! It took a few days but now I’m eating warm food. All the fresh food and fruit is gone. The light air is more stressful so I didn’t get much sleep this morning. I’m managing the power on the boat without any problems. I’ve been using the fuel cell a lot since it has been overcast so the solar panel isn’t giving me much. The autopilot is more efficient than I thought it would be, balancing the boat as much as possible really makes a difference. I’ve lost count of how many times the boat has rounded up, but other than that the boat is doing fine. There was one leak over my bunk but I took care of it. The new gasket I installed on NKE autopilot arm that comes through the transom directly from the rudder is a huge improvement and the boat is very dry inside. Other than that there is nothing to do, it’s very lonely, and a little boring at times! Looking forward to more breeze and really seeing what the Pogo can do!


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July 4,

Jerome’s tracker went down this morning at 9am which is the check in time. This triggered the race committee to contact Nik & Alisha and the coast guard were also on standby…

However, it was just an unexplainable hiccup and everything is back to normal and Jerome is doing fine. The wind is finally moving aft and he’s sailing at about 10-12 knots of boat speed at a true wind angle of about 130 degrees. According the leader board he’s 1st in “Fast & Fun” class and 11th overall.

1,529 miles to go!

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July 3,

My position as of 10:30am today N 34 00 085, W 130 26 165 COG 250 SOG 9. Wind variable 12-19 knots, one reef in main, small jib up, code 5 up.

I was doing some great speed earlier in 20+ knots puffs – saw 12-13 SOG steady. The weather is still overcast and it’s very cold out here. I’ve spent the last 3 days under autopilot and have been getting some rest. Now it’s time to sail the boat a little more so I plan to spend more time at the helm. This afternoon I’m going to put the big spinnaker up, shake the reef off the main, and see how it goes.

I haven’t been eating very well (no warm food) because it has been so cold and nasty here.

I finally received the email with positions of other racers and it looks like I am too far north. crap. beginner’s mistake I guess. we’ll have to wait and see. As long as I have pressure I am ok here but if the wind gets too light and veers too much, I might be screwed.

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July 2,

Hey nik, Jerome, 8am on Monday. Really rough out here 20-25 knots for the past 24 hours. Not exactly sure if I’m headed the right way. Can’t download the position report, and can’t download the weather either so I’m a little blind out here. I’ve been on a close reach since we’ve started. Was a slow night the first night. I’ve been sleeping a lot, I’ve been inside mostly for the past 24 hours now and the autopilot is doing most of the work. I’ve got two reefs in the main and a reefed genoa and it’s still blowing 20+ right now. I’m close the rhumb line doing about 7 knots SOG.

Photoboy
07-07-2012, 03:29 PM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/43064600225285025674.jpg


July 6,

Sometimes the Truth hurts!! It had happened four times before yesterday. First Jesse mangled his hand on a furler during the 2010 Double Handed Farallones. Then there was the time my Dad got a concussion on the Potato Patch Shoal (which was my fault..). Our epic wipeout passing the channel islands over canvassed in 30 knots with the A6 and finally shrimping the same sail a week before the start of this race. Last night was numero cinco and an unpleasant interruption to my lifestyle here on board.

After a nice day of A4 running on port the wind backed to 35 degrees and it was time to gybe back for the night. I thought I would drop the A4, gybe and hoist the fractional A6 for the night on starboard. I needed to slow the boat down out of the high teens for the night. With the A4 on deck in what I thought was a safe spot, the bow dipped through a wave and caught the spinnaker tack dragging it into the sea. Having experienced this just prior to the race with the A6 on a hoist, I pulled out the Leatherman and cut the tack off the sail before the rest could be pulled in. I am sure the loft guys will be happy with this nice new project! Admittedly, cutting it free was a bit of a preemptive strike, but once any of the sail gets in the water it pulls like mad and I feel pretty confident that it was the right move as any more would have resulted in wrapping on the keel, etc.. and a multi hour cleanup effort probably with more damage. I had to climb out on the 10 foot bowsprit to recover the tack and tackline, which was really not so nice but got done.

With that episode over, I went to gybe the boat and when loading the new runner I noticed the winch was backspinning, which was also great. Zan taught me to overhand knot the runners and other lines in case this happens and now I know why. In this case I loaded it on the primary that was working, gybed and took the thing apart. I think the 4 days on starboard with no movement and lots of water just washed most of the oil out and hopefully the issue is isolated to that winch. There were two sets of four pawls that needed cleaning and lubricant.

With that buttoned up I set the A6 with some serious butterflies, but it went off fine. Only issue was the waves were big and as I tried to get some rest after dark the boat kept hitting 22 knots. Got back up and put in a double reef which I thought would be a 1-2 punch, but she kept hitting high teens and twenties and I was gassed so I went into sleep mode checking on things every 30 minutes or so.

Everything held up fine for the night and now I am on port heading 215 and going about 12-14 knots. I should have masthead gear up, but I really think that at this point the frac may be my 24/7 kite to the finish. I am counting my blessings having had five trouble free days before yesterday.

607 miles to Hanalei – not even a whole Bermuda Race!! Looking forward to seeing my wife and son hopefully on Sunday.

************************************************** **************

July 5,

Days are turning into nights out here on Truth. With 1,300 miles of racecourse behind me and trade winds sailing at its best, life has become pretty routine.

Last night at dusk I had a repeat of the scary cloud formation and given my position I decided to take the kite down and run low in the 155-160 twa range with main only. It felt a little wimpy, but with 1025.5mb on the barometer I was dangerously close to the center of the high, I had not gotten any westerly shift and the wind was stuck in the 30s and honestly I was nervous and wiped. I just couldn’t fathom taking my medicine gybing onto a due south heading or blasting along at 18 knots for another black night.

Hitting the half way mark yesterday was a cool moment, but the overwhelming emotion was one of isolation. I had been running with a full main and masthead kite for 48 hours and that is a lot of canvas on this boat. There is so much load and so many bits that when broken cause disaster. The thought of fishing a kite out of the water, dealing with a downed rig or worse filled my mind. The fact that it made sense strategically made going low profile for a bit a no brainer.

I managed to hold onto the isobar I was on through the night and in the pre-dawn hours I gybed and re-ballasted the boat, banded up the tack of the A4 and around 6:30 pst put the kite back up. It seems like karma plays a big role out here as off I went with a 65-70 wind direction and on the making gybe! It has been an awesome day and I feel rejuvenated. Best of all I am now only 830 miles from Hanelei.

One Montego Bay race to go!

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July 4,

It has been an interesting twelve hours on Truth. Yesterday we ran under the masthead A2 (big kite) in 8-10 knots of wind for what seemed like an eternity, but around 8pm a band of serious looking clouds lead me to taking that down and running bare headed for an hour or so. It is funny in the Pacific – you get these clouds in the late afternoon hours and with the sun setting in front of you they often look very scary. Having had a day of sailing that was a bad reminder of the light wind Transpac last year, I hesitated to drop the kite thinking it was just a light rain shower with no wind in it. I was wrong and it was a good thing that big boy was safe down below!!

Crossing the cloud line we got some serious breeze, but then it settled down to 15-20 for the night. I put the 280 sq. meter A4 up as a night kite and it was a real winner. The extra 20 sq. meters on the A2 are all in the shoulder of the sail which makes it much less stable. This A4 is the rig we went down the Molokai Channel with last year, so I know it can handle 25 no problem. The biggest thing was trying to sleep going 15-18 knots and trusting the pilot. I haven’t sailed solo too much and have never had to sleep going those speeds. Bottom line is you don’t get much!

First I woke up thinking about getting more stability and added some ballast. Then it was the thought of a collision with something in the water and I went around and closed up all the watertight bulkheads (5 hatches). Then around 2am I started thinking about a flying gybe and stowed all my gear and tied down the laptop. Then I passed out from exhaustion and luckily none of those things happened!

Had a nice chat with Merf this morning which is always nice – just wanted to let him know his baby is safe! All good out here. 1150 miles to go.

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July 3,

Good morning from the Solo Transpac racecourse!! It is a beautiful day in the eastern Pacific reaching along in fourteen knots at 115 true wind angle under code 3 and full main. We (meaning me, as my dad pointed out so astutely yesterday morning) have ticked off around 700 miles over the ground since the start and stand 1447 miles from the finish in Hanelei presently.

The weather has set up a very enjoyable race so far. There was 20 knots leaving the bay giving those watching a good show only to die a couple of miles out. That was followed by seven hours with six knots in pea soup fog which required sitting on the bean bag getting misted while dodging small fishing boats, crab pots, whales and other floating bits…. After, there was a solid clearing breeze that had me and the rest of the fleet tight reaching. Truth had one reef swapping between genoa and solent until yesterday morning when I set the masthead code sail in a moderating breeze. Ever since it has been perfect conditions for the 50 requiring only modest attention to George the autopilot and tending to the systems on board which have been working great apart from the laptop which had some momentary glitches yesterday. Oh yes, and the Evergreen ship that was nice enough to let me pass ahead of him yesterday morning after we had a close encounter.. very close for the middle of the ocean!

If it was the 1-2 I’d be having about a dark and stormy (in a can) right now, but it seems there is a ways to go for this run. Looking forward to getting a big kite up later today and getting cranking!

************************************************** **************************
June 30,

Foggy but good.

solosailor
07-07-2012, 07:03 PM
It hasn't all been smooth sailing. On the 4th day Jerome's tracker missed an upload right before the mandatory check in. The race committee and the coast guard are both monitoring the racers closely and this hiccup resulted in frantic phone calls and emails and put everybody on standby. Fortunately a few hours later the tracker was back online and everyone was able to breathe a sigh of relief. What a joke. Missed a single sched. and now everyone goes into rescue mode for no reason.

Single Hander
07-07-2012, 10:01 PM
Sounds like Ronnie is having a hell of a time, but then again, he does break stuff. Great race for Alex, both Brians, Adrian, Whitall, Jim and John.

familysailor
07-07-2012, 10:59 PM
What a joke. Missed a single sched. and now everyone goes into rescue mode for no reason.

Lighten up Francis.

BobJ
07-08-2012, 12:00 AM
It wasn't even "a few hours." Team Open Sailing's tracker sent the 0700 ping that morning but missed the 0900 ping. The 1100 was fine. From her reaction (I'm told), it's the local Captain of the Port who needs to lighten up. Among other things the boats were in international waters by that point = no longer in her jurisdiction?

If at least a couple of trackers don't completely crap out during the race it will be a first. What will they do then - send out a posse? The rules only require the racers to check in once every 24 hours and remember, if anything is actually wrong they have EPIRB's.

No, I think this is a genuine problem for future races because of the expectations that have been created.

DeathSpear
07-08-2012, 09:09 PM
Ok, I'm asking.

Me in 2014 ? Probably not. Quite happy watching from here and have other interests now. But you (read I) never know.

C'mon Phil, we need a ten year reunion. Crazy that 2004 was ten years ago already....

IOR Geezer
07-08-2012, 09:33 PM
It wasn't even "a few hours." Team Open Sailing's tracker sent the 0700 ping that morning but missed the 0900 ping. The 1100 was fine. From her reaction (I'm told), it's the local Captain of the Port who needs to lighten up. Among other things the boats were in international waters by that point = no longer in her jurisdiction?

If at least a couple of trackers don't completely crap out during the race it will be a first. What will they do then - send out a posse? The rules only require the racers to check in once every 24 hours and remember, if anything is actually wrong they have EPIRB's.

No, I think this is a genuine problem for future races because of the expectations that have been created.

There are certainly benefits to some of the modern technology, and some disadvantages.

The worry-wort factor if someone does not check in for a few hours is one of them.

Photoboy
07-08-2012, 10:41 PM
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Brian VanderZanden leads the pack of non-open 50s and just has but 767 nm between himself and an ice cold mai tai on the shore of the Garden Isle. Brian reports:


"As I write, I’m being powered by some nice soothing dubstep and warm ocean breezes. Things have definitely warmed up over the last few days. The water is now at 75.5F and the air has been up into the upper 80s during the intense times of day. Luckily, I can put Ray, the tiller pilot on watch and take up station down below decks.

The race dodger on the boat is awesome. I can leave the hatch open but still not have direct sun beaming down into the interior of the boat. This allows for great airflow, and milder tempuratures below decks.

My other awesome improvement is to spray myself with a mister full of rubbing alcohol, all while lying out in front of the portable fan… It’s sweet, and disinfects! It’s not quite warm enough to enjoy the ever more frequent squall showers au natural. This morning there was a significant amount of rain right at dawn, but I would have been pretty chilly without the drysuit on. Yesterday I spent significant amounts of time planning out bathing options. As it turned out, I smell really good… I cleared out the cockpit and gathered up buckets of sea water for the primary dousing. After that, I had another 3 gallons of hot fresh water from the solar shower to rinse off with. It was pretty swell.

The animal life has left a little bit to be desired. So far I’ve only seen one dolphin. There haven’t been any whales or other sea mammals. The flying fish are in full force though. There was one that hit the sail about 6 feet out of the water yesterday. In the mornings the deck is littered with both flying fish and squid. I broke out the provider II a couple of days ago and lo-and-behold it brought me bounty from the sea… It caught about a 10lb mahi mahi. Once I got the thing killed and on board then, and only then, the autopilot decided to make things more interesting. It rounded the boat up in the decent breeze… The spinnaker didn’t like that too much so started flogging around a bunch. Additionally, it’s machinations, popped open the snap shackle holding the sail aloft. That meant that the sail was free to make a break for shore, well, at least from the top of the mast. I managed to not tear anything, nor loose it completely overboard. However, the halyard is still at the top of the mast… Luckily, shortly before I took off, I had a second one installed. So, have switched to that one.

The fish was good. However, I didn’t cook it properly and burned something that shouldn’t have been burned. The result was that the interior of the boat STANK, like really really bad, for about 8 hours. The stink just laughed at the disinfectant I sprayed. Needless to say that my fishing adventures are now over…

Bird-life spotted:
Yellow-footed boobie
Tropic Bird, tried to land at the top of the mast for about 10 minutes but kept getting hit by the VHF antenna.
Albatross, yes with pictures.
A couple others that I couldn’t identify. I’m hoping to see a couple more albatross and frigate birds.

So I’m finally starting to get down into real tropical squall land. Last night I was able to start seeing convective cells forming, but collapsing. Today I’m seeing many more widespread convective cells all around me. I’m really looking forward to try to intercept them and gybe my way through them as they truck down the course. The boat has been itching to break free over the last few days as the breeze has moderated. I think my top speed for the whole day has been only 12 knots.

As far as the competitors, well, things are starting to firm up as far as placings I suspect. The number of tactical options available to me, or anyone else, is rapidly closing down. From the weather I’m seeing, it looks like all plausible course spreads North to South are all going to be within 2-3 knots of having the same wind. To me that means that the rest of the race is going to be incremental gains based upon how much speed is able to be eaked out of the same conditions. Luckily for me, I’m in exactly the boat that I’d like to be in for these types of conditions. I’ve got a huge mental advantage over the others in the fleet as I know exactly how many hundreds of hours I’ve spent fairing the bottom of the boat. It’s also doubtful that anyone else has come even close to the bottom prep that I have. So, I’m slippery…

That said, it looks like the best possible finish I could have now would be a 1st in class and 3rd overall. The boat Truth ran away with the thing… He should be finishing right about now. For me to correct out in front of him, I’d have to finish within the next 96 hours. However, it’s looking like my probable finish is around 120 hours from now… The other “problem” is Green Buffalo. Apparently, Jim’s about 30 miles to my Northeast nearly matching my speed. This is bad because I need to finish around 17 hours in front of him. I’ll be working the boat hard, but suspect that gaining back a 17 hour buffer on him may be out of reach…

Well, that’s it for now. I’m off to sail a boat."

************************************************** **********

Just aft an north of Brian, the well ridden Cal 40, "Green Buffalo" marches on! Jim Quanci leads the big and comfy divison as well as overall mono hull, with a slight edge of Brian's Hobie 33, " Turbo Camper"

Jim reports:



"It's Sunday.

In the name of the father, the son and the holy spirit, Amen. Our father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name…
Enough of that… Father Ken, our local parish priest, is going to have to let me off the hook attending church today (Fr. Ken is a graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and was a third mate on a freighter doing the Circle Pacific route for a few years… he has some sea stories to tell).

Lots of squalls last night…though only a few “went over the top” – and winds were a mild 22k-24k – which Otto took in good stead. I had decided I needed to start getting a bit more tactical about the race -= and cover some of the competitors who had snuck as far south as me – so had jibed at sunset and was on a port pole going south all night. The angle was real ugly the first half of the night – 25 degrees left of Hanalei – but then a squadron of squalls came through and threw me the classic 15 degree shift that allowed me to spend the second half of the night just a few degrees off the palm trees in Hanalei Bay.

Just after sunrise, two last squalls ran us down and dumped quite a bit of water on the Buffalo – and I don’t mean just sprinkles – a real dump – twice – a good thing as she really needed a rinse. Cockpit is now sparkly clean – except for the two large bird turds in the middle of the cockpit sole. A bird was flying back and forth much of last night – getting within 5 yards of the boat at times. I saw a few squid on deck in the morning – so I wonder if the bird snuck aboard while I was asleep, grabbed a squid, and left his calling card?

Jibed onto starboard pole in the morning as I was now plenty south and wanted to spend the day on favored jibe making maximum miles to the finish. At about 10 am the wind came up, came up some more and just kept coming. 20k-23k of wind most of the day. This is a good thing getting me to Hanalei. This is a bad thing if the lightweight competition has the same wind and is surfing away. This is a bad thing when boiling water to have Tortellini (Spinach and Cheese) for lunch. And this is a bad thing when one is trying to get an afternoon knap – so one can be awake/aware enough for the coming night. After 6 hour of this delightful breeze, it was time to jibe back south. As part of the jibe do I change from the 3/4 chute I have been running the last 3 days to the 1.5 full or 1.5 shy kites? Frankly its slow dousing, jibing and resetting. And its a bit too early in the race to go conservative with a shy kite in this much wind. Procrastinated. Wind dropped to 18k. Did a double pole jibe. Wind continued to drop more – now down to 16k. All questions answered – and wishes given. Side note – jibing is so much more fun when you are alone. You can jibe whenever you want – without having to consider if the off watch has had enough sleep, is it really time to jibe – should I wait a bit longer, oops I didn’t real mean that folks, we need to jibe back, and so on. By yourself, you think “lets jibe” and you jibe. No debates. No personal crew considerations. Easy. At this point I have probably done a dozen or so jibes – running at a bit faster pace then for a typical fully crewed passage. Though you won’t find me jibing alone in 25k+ wind in the middle of the night… something a crewed boat would do when squalls roll through.

8 days down. 5 or 6 to go?
Time to get some gribs to see if the trades are expected to have a northerly or southerly twist to them near the end of the week. Which will drive whether I exit this race stage right or stage left.

Oh! My kitchen timer just went off. I have an “Extra Big and Loud” digital kitchen timer I can set for ant time – 25 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 70 minutes (the longest sleep I have had so far), etc. Squall nearby, I can sneak in a 20 minute snooze. Slow going and little happening, set the timer for 60 or 70 minutes. Around the clock. I will say I am starting to dislike the sound of the kitchen timer alarm. The worst thing, happened twice so far, is finding myself on the helm dealing with a squall, and the alarm goes off – and I’ll tell you this alarm does not shut off till you shut it off. Having to stand their driving for 20-30 minutes listening to the kitchen timer alarm bell – till things quiet down enough one can make a dash down below (or hand the helm to Otto). Ugh. I am learning… getting better at making sure the alarm is off just as I am about to take the helm.

Are my daily diatribes getting longer? Maybe a sign I have been alone a bit too long? :-)"


On the Moore 24, "Hope For Warriors". Ronnie Simpson has finally gotten to use at least some of his technical apparatus's to help guide the boat towards the finish, yet despite the issues' he has encountered, is still very much in the race:

"Hoping this works and I can send my first blog of the race. Had no sun and therefore no electricity for days, so i’m just getting recharged and going. My ssb worked last night very well for the check in and I could hear well this morning, so my comm situation is on the up and up.

Very rough race for first 5 days. Primary autopilot’s rudder reference sensor stopped working after 2 days and that left me using my back up tiller pilot. With no solar power and fully depleting my batteries in the first two days (primary autopilot is hydraulic and very power hungry…) I was left to hand steer with no other real alternative if i wanted to keep racing. I hand steered 60 out of 72 hours for a 20 hour/ day average over 3 days. I hit my mental and physical breaking point a few times, dropping both sails and collapsing in the cockpit. Very very difficult psychological and physical struggle.

I did manage to wire my b&g autopilot brain to my raymarine tiller pilot brain and am sharing wind data. So at least the tiller pilot steers to apparent wind now. Happy about that.

Doing much better now. Morale is up. Sun is out. Blowing pretty light in trades, about 12 knots. Some squall action now. 17 knots. Gotta go handsteer and maybe gybe.

Didn’t gybe. Rode 15-18 knots of pressure for a few miles, with a favorable wind shift headed straight to Hanalei. Squall rained itself out and now breeze is going lighter."


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Photoboy
07-09-2012, 03:55 PM
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We're just learning that Alex Mehran's Open 50' "Truth" has obliterated the previous record for the Single Handed Transpac previously held by the Open 60 "Wild Thing" by 2 days 10 Hours and 32 minutes!!! The Open 50, was previously
owned by Philippe Kahn went a pretty expensive metamorphosis. The original class mast and articulating bowsprit were
replaced by a fixed and longer sprit, and taller mast. Additionally the ballast system was modified into 4 separate sections
to allow better trim. A new keel and bulb along with future fiber shrouds and complete change out of the electronics and auto pilot, and the addition of coffee grinder and pedestal with Harken winch packages.

Philippe and Richard Clarke race the boat doublehanded in the 2008 and 2010, and had the fastest crossing in 2008, completing the course in 7 Days, 15h, 17m & 50s, boat for boat beating afully crewed, TP 52 Flash, Santa Cruz 70 Holua, and the Wylie designed 70' Rage in the process.

2008 Pac Cup Results (http://www.pacificcup.org/2008-race-results)

Zan Dredges, who has worked with and crewed with Alex for some time "Truth" as Alex prepared for the trip was dutifully impressed. " It's a monster to handle shorthanded" says Zan "Taking the boat out by yourself is no small task" He also adds
that Alex has been doing most of the work on the boat himself of late, even pulling apart the hydraulic winches, which later required some assistance getting back together. "The boat reaches beautifully and when locked in, is super stable, but she has to go through 110 degrees during gybes, which can be troublesome solo." Alex managed to minimize the gybes, keeping them to 5 and rode the south side of the rhumbline all the way into the record books!


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above and below, " Truth" blasting her way home from the 2012 DH Farallones with Alex and Zan

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Photoboy
07-10-2012, 04:48 PM
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Turbo Camper has broken the 500 nm barrier, with just 485 nm between him and Hanalei.
Charging from behind, Jim Quanci and the stampeding Green Buffalo has ssumed the top of the overall leader board as well as the Big and Comfy divsion. Slacker is not living up to his namesake and is now the top dog in the 30 somethings and 2nd overall!

Whitall Stokes says:

Squall backwash? Check.
Zero wind? Check.
Wind from West? Check.
Overslept for 4 hours? Check.

I don’t think things could have gone worse. The damage will show up in the position reports this morning. I’ll be happy if I never see another squall. Unfortunately they are around this morning. Nothing to learn from here except to try harder to keep the boat moving.

Other than my mental state, all good aboard Slacker.


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Adrian Johnson on Idefix:

Do you ever get those moments where you’re deep in sleep, and you wake up expecting to be in your own bed, but when you open your eyes, you’re in an unfamiliar place, like a hotel room or a friend’s house, and it takes you a split second to remember that you’re on a trip, or on vacation? Well, when you wake up on a little ULDB surfing like a bat out of hell in the pitch black night with no one at the helm, that split second is pretty terrifying.

I thought I saw Slacker again last night around 23:00. I wanted to go over and say hello, but as we were about to get run over by a squall, I headed up and we quickly diverged. This morning I realized it couldn’t have been Whithall since he’s far to the north now. Must’ve been a tourist sailboat. It’s infuriating to not be able to make up any ground on Whithall or Jim. They definitely each have their ride dialed in. I’m still trying to get south a bit for more wind.

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Overall Leader Jim Quanci:

Monday Monday (Mommas and the Poppas)

Its a slow Monday starting with steady 14k-16k breezes all night – with no squalls nearby. Got a lot of sleep in.

From my experiences doing two PacCup’s double handed, I have three top level strategies – “Sleep is a Weapon” (obvious), “No Bozos” (no flyers, no crazy ideas, no silver bullets) and “Prevent Sxxx from Happening” (preparation and not taking inordinate risks). So in any case, this last day has been putting some money in the Sleep bank – that I hope not to need to use – but I know its there if I need it. Most of my Hawaii crew think I am a bit crazy when a take a 2-3 hour knap just a few hours before the finish line – but if there is one time you need clear thinking, its near land and near the finish line (I’ll never forget the Transpac where Medicine Man ran into the reef just a mile before the finish line – lack of sleep and unclear thinking).

Hitchhiker

Woke up to find a medium sized brown bird in the cockpit. Some sort of kestrel maybe? Smaller then your standard seagull – but not a small bird. I have photo and will find a birder when I get to Hanalei. The bird had set up house hanging out forward by the binnacle – and defecating at the aft end of the cockpit – kind of like a paper trained puppy. His/her “nest” was right next to the engine ignition switch – which initially made me nervous I might get nipped when I went to turn on the engine for morning charging. He/she faked a few nips but never really tagged me. He/she let me stroke his/her feathers a few times – but wasn’t enjoying it. After about 6 hours, several bird droppings, and my cleaning the cockpit sole a few times, I had enough of birdie – it was time to go. How best to get her to go? I picked her up by the body and threw her into the wind – watching as he/she flew away.

Called Mary on the SatPhone to see how she and the kids were doing. This is a busy time of year with friends and family visiting. Living in San Francisco and having an empty mother in law apartment makes us popular in the summer! Mostly all good at home… though a neighborhood friends mom (pushing 80 years old) is struggling a bit with her health.

Thinking of starting to do a bit of race entrant analysis this afternoon. I have been eyeballing the numbers every day so know I have been doing pretty good – but its almost time to do some real “what if” analysis, potential finish times, what boats are the likely to be in the hunt and so on. On a crewed boat I would have been doing this analysis every day – and reporting out to the crew every day how we were doing. I decided some time ago this was going to be a “Zen and the Art of Sailboat Maintenance” type of race. I was going to avoid daily competitive analysis and let things shape up a bit more organically. So far so good.



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Buzz Light Beer
07-11-2012, 10:09 AM
Hobie 33, an offshore slayer.

Who knew? Nice work Brian!

Photoboy
07-11-2012, 10:57 PM
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http://singlehandedtranspac.com/race-viewer/

The 2nd wave is about to be unleashed upon Kuai as Brian VanderZanden's Hobie 33'
Turbo Camper is now humming along at 6.9 knots with 385 nm to go! On his heels, " Green Buffalo, is 337 nm out and cruising at 6.6 knots and is currently 1st overal and 1st in Big and Comfy. "Slacker," Whitall Stokes Tarten 10 remains 2nd overall and 1st in 30 somethings, but close behind, Brian Boschma now reside in 3rd overall and 2nd in class.

8 boats are now less than 500 nm to the finish and all but one have less than 800 nm to sail.


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"OK, I admit it. I’m exhausted. This get up every hour stuff is brutal, day after day. On top of that, I had to gybe 4 times yesterday. That’s 2 over my limit. It takes me 20 minutes or so each time. Twice yesterday I somehow got the lazy sheet wrapped under the boat. Huh? How did that happen?

Getting hotter & more humid. Hat soaked in seawater has kept me cool so far.

Still 500 miles to go with Red Sky right next to me. This is a long race…"

Whithall Stokes
Slacker

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"The lesson I am finding a hard time learning is not flying a spinny in he AM. In the 2010 Transpac I encountered only one squall. This year I can’t avoid them. When the sun came up this AM TAZ!! was still screaming along. It was cold, misty and heavily overcast. It didn’t dawn on me that these are the trade winds and it shouldn’t be that way. I was actually directly under a squall and when I sailed out of it, the sh** hit the fan. TAZ!! was hit with 25 knot wind forward of the beam and She rounded up. I tried to correct the situation by falling off but ended up rounding up! As now I was holding on to a stanchion so as not to slide off he boat as She layed down. The squall god took another spinny, chewed it up, spit it out and took the spinny pole with it. This last part is bad. Without a pole, I can’t fly my last spinny and I have about 5 days to go…all down wind. I was dazed all day by this game changer. I do have an adjustable whisker pole on-board so I spent some time pinning it to the right length and rigging a bridle for it. What I going to do with it as not been determined. It is now a light weight spinny pole. I could use it to fly the spinny in light air but if it breaks, I’m really screwed. I can pole out the Twins but the spinny is much faster. I could also stop racing to Kaui and just sail there. I’m still working on that, I have decided that I need more air (wind) so I am heading south to get some. By tomorrow, I’ll have plan.

I project my ETA in Hanalei Bay will be Sunday. That could change.

I was going to try and send a picture of the squall line that ate my spinny and pole. But the file is too large. If I can figure it out later, I will."

George Lythcott
TAZ

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A lot has been written on the typical weather pattern for a California-Hawaii race, but I’ve now done it twice, and each time the weather has departed pretty significantly from “typical”, and each one has been radically different. I now understand the General’s reaction to the weather seminar: “They don’t know what the weather’s going to be! I’m going to go have a beer!”

Unfortunately, this race has been marked by pretty light trades, which is a big disadvantage to ultralight displacement boats (ULDBs) like Idefix. In a nutshell, the ULDBs are handicapped to take into account the fact they will surf and plane in heavier winds. When the winds are light, we can’t surf, and the boat can’t sail to her handicap.
In addition, this year the squalls are just… weird. They started showing up very early in the race, on the 3rd or 4th day. Usually they don’t show up until the second week of the race. Normally, they are isolated, or in loose rows, but this year they are always banded together in dense lines oriented NW-SE, which makes avoiding them almost impossible. Finally, they should typically start showing up in the afternoon, building in strength through the night, and dissipating in the morning. Two years ago, the sky would be completely clear shortly after the last squall dissipated at sunrise, until early afternoon. This year, it seems the only time I don’t get hit by squalls is at night! They start showing up after sunrise, are massive by mid-afternoon, and dissipate in the middle of the night. And they’re accompanied by huge bands of overcast. So it seems like the answer is to once again throw out the rulebook, let out an exasperated “WTF”, and deal with it.

In other news, my autopilot has been slowly going completely nuts. I calibrated the compass in Alameda, and was dismayed to see it was completely off at the start of the race, and the backup autopilot wouldn’t even turn on. Later I realized it was very inconsistent in how far off it was from the steering compass; sometimes as far off as 30 degrees, sometimes only 10 or 15. Then it stopped listening to half my inputs. When I engage it, it’ll hold course for 4 or 5 minutes, then drift by 20 or 30 degrees. Needless to say this has been driving me completely crazy and resulted in quite a few entertaining shouting matches between me and the damned piece of plastic and wires. Today I finally had the last straw and fixed the wiring for the backup autopilot, and that one seems to be working OK.

Adrian Johnson
Idefix



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"A Slow Start

Last night included several hours of 7k-10k of shifting breezes. Which means banging boom, slapping halyards, and in and out of my bunk numerous times. I also spent the whole night on the unfavored port jibe – wanting to make sure I covered the bit breezier southern side of the (now pretty small) course. I knew I would pay a penalty for a night on the unfavored jibe – and a slow night on top of that – and yup, I lost near 15 miles to a competitor. That said, I have enough lead to “spend a little” to cover all bases. At least I think I do – and don’t later regret this long slow port jibe south.

A Re-Start

A squall line came through first thing in the morning (really more like a heavy cloud line) with wind speeds of 20k-24k. I was debating dropping the 3/4 chute (a chute that has now been up non-stop for 6 days and numerous double pole jibes) and hoisting the fill size 1.5 spinnaker. As things have it, after an hour the wind backed off to 19k – and has slowly moderated to 14k-17k (making for a very pleasant day). There are no squalls anywhere in sight. No significant large dark cloud formations of any sort. This could mean its going to be a calm steady breeze good sleeping night (one of only three full nights left before the finish). At least I can hope.

Took a hot shower (that Prell smell is wonderful… both on me and in the cockpit).

Checked engine fluids – oil level good, adding a bit of cooling water, re-tightened the diesel line bleed screw (it had loosened AGAIN).

Opening up the “Day 10″ letter from my wife at the moment (recall I had a Day 5 letter too). “You can smell the island now.” Ain’t that the truth!
Reminds me we have a night together on East Brothers Light House in mid August – which should make for a smooth re-entry back into the real world after the delivery home (between the race and the delivery, I’ll have been away from land 31 out of 39 days.

Nibbling on some cherry licorice my wife handed me just before the start (yes just opening now after 10 days) – and browsing a book on nautical terminology Lucie Mewes handed me on the dock that morning too.

Thinking about the coming end… and the welcome…. they ask you to tell them what one drink they should bring you to hand you right after the finish. I think I said a cold beer. But at the moment, and if my finish should happen to be sunrise Saturday, what I could really use is a large latte. Most mornings I start my day with a latte at the local coffee shop up the street. Its 15 minutes to clear my head each morning before the work day rush gets started. That said… giving someone a cold drink at sea is a whole lot easier then a hot latte…

512 nautical miles to go… over 75% behind and less then 25% in front… and not much more then a LongPac…

ETA 2:00AM Hawaiian time early Saturday morning. Why are 2 out 3 Hawaii race finishes at night (at least it feels that way)?"

Jim Quanci
Green Buffalo


************************************************** *




From Nik: "It’s starting to get fast… Jerome’s current record for distance covered in 24 hours stands at 186 miles, and his highest average speed for any 2 hour period (how often the tracker updates) is 12.84 knots!!

Here’s the latest from Jerome – “It’s been a hell of a day today. Last night I had the medium spinnaker up and everything was fine. I woke up in light air so I changed to the big spinnaker. Then I could see something coming from behind me. It got to me before I could take the sail down and I ate sh*t for 20 minutes, it was blowing about 35 knots. It was a pretty bad roundup. Since then I’ve spent the whole day changing sails… I used them all! I was able to download some grib files so I’m able to use Adrena again. Right now I’, sailing on port but I’m thinking about gybing. The waves are starting to get big but really long wavelength so too big to surf. I catch one once in a while and hit 15 knots of boat speed which is fun. The code 5 is awesome – I’ve been using it in 20+ with a reef in the main and it’s fast and easy to sail. At night I also using the small jib with a reef to stop the spinnaker wrapping around the head stay. Had some squid land on the deck and the boat got covered in ink which took forever to clean up!! I’m tired but the end is in sight! “

Jerome Sammarcelli
Team Open Sailing

Photoboy
07-12-2012, 10:35 AM
http://vimeo.com/45618432

Alex's recap of his ride across the Pacific

Photoboy
07-12-2012, 10:55 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8Q8SE6P8ko

Jerome Sammarcelli takes the start on the Pogo 2 #806 "Team Open Sailing"
in the 2012 Single Handed Transpac race 2,120 nautical miles from San Francisco to Hawaii.

(Jerome is now 380 nm from finish! Turbo Camper has just broken the 200 nm barrier)

http://singlehandedtranspac.com/race-viewer/

Single Hander
07-13-2012, 11:03 AM
B.V.'s less than a mile to finish!

familysailor
07-13-2012, 11:13 AM
Turbo Camper should have finished by now-----

Buzz Light Beer
07-13-2012, 11:47 AM
It appears he has. In daylight even! Jim Quanci looks like he should be in about 3:00 PM HST

Trades in the 20's now!

familysailor
07-13-2012, 11:51 AM
It appears Buffaloes can swim.
Quickly too.

Photoboy
07-13-2012, 06:28 PM
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With Brian VanderZanden's 7:00 AM HST arrive this morning on his Hobie 33' Turbo Camper , and Jim Quanci's Cal 40 " Green Bufallo knocking at the door, the sleepy anchor out harbor of Hanalei Bay is about to get real busy. With steady tradewinds at the back and all but 3 of the 20 remaining boats under 500 nm to go and 5 with less than 154 nm to go this weekend should witness the arrival of the majority of the fleet.

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Day 14
Pressing on as hard as I can. Ronnie is averaging 7.5knots and eroding my lead steadily. I have to maintain 5.75 knots until the end of the race if he keeps up that pace. Its not impossible, but the pace is taking a toll on me and the boat. I spent last night with little Red on deck. I blew the sheet to let it run free as a squall unleashed on us and somehow, the sheet ended up under the boat and wedged between the rudder and the hull. I had to cut it free to douse the kite.

Am not towing a spinnaker sheet underwater to Hanalei….

Oh, yeah, the birth of Frakenkite. I have been sewing up the destroyed kite. I have used an entire roll of duct tape taping the edges of the torn panels and sewing them back together by hand. IF i get this thing done, I will finish the race flying it and yelling, “IT FLIES, IT FLIES”… stay tuned.

500 miles to go! Time for that ice cold dark and stormy. Thanks again Peter and Allie!

Still plagued with power issues.

-Darwind
25 17n
150 59w
500 miles to go!

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July 13

Wind! Finally it decided to show up! 18-22 knots. Boatspeed averaging in mid to upper 8′s all nigh, recklessly over-canvassed. Autopilot could not keep up and would begin oscillating the boat horribly. Would be amazing to be on an Olson 30 or Pogo 2 in these conditions. Jerome will have some stories for sure.

Spent last 2 hours unraveling a MAJOR spinnaker wrap.” But Whitall, I thought you had a spinnaker net.” you ask. I do. The spinnkar wrapped itself inside the nett & grabbed any spare lines & halyards it could find while I tried to get some rest. Got it down by cutting the spinnaker net. Anyway, it’s down, we’ve gybed over and heading straight to Hanalei Bay! GPS says we will arrive between 3 and67am PDT tomorrow.

We ripped by some fishing boats in the wee hours last night. Disturbing as they did not have AIS transponders active, and did not respond to VHF Ch. 16.

Culinary conditions have deteriorated considerably aboard Chez Slacker. We’re down to munching bars and water for breakfast, and dehydrated beef stroganoff for dinner.

Whitall Stokes

Slacker

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July 12

Latest update… Communications have been difficult because of the conditions, reception is not great and Jerome has his hands full managing the boat…

“It’s been blowing more than 20 knots for the last 48 hours and I’m exhausted. I’m sailing with two reefs in the main and the small spinnaker. I often see 15 knots of boat speed and have spent a lot of time at the helm. The highest recorded boat speed so far is 22 knots which was probably on a wave – which have gotten really big now and honestly it’s quite scary out here at times. Because of the conditions I haven’t got much sleep. I’ve been pushing pretty hard trying to catch the other boats. If the wind doesn’t calm down I’m going to have to slow the boat down so I can sleep. It’s going to pretty intense as I get closer to the finish and I’ll need to be on the ball. I’m looking forward to this being over. I’m hoping to make it some time late on Saturday.”

Nik for Jerome Sammarcelli

Team Open Sailing


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July 12


Last night was clear and beautiful. I think this is the first night of the trip that I could really do any stargazing. The milky way is as bright as ever, and after the sun goes down you can see a bit of light from the primordial dust left in the solar system. We’re now south enough that the scorpion is high in the sky, and I spotted Alpha Centauri low on the horizon. The southern cross is too close to the sun to see for now, and the horizon is pretty cloudy.

Today started with a beautiful sunrise, then got pretty hot, again. For most of the day it looked like typical tradewind weather, with puffy little clouds and deep blue water. Flying fish are everywhere (but I’m managing to keep them out of the berths today), and tropic birds keep showing up to check on my progress. I stripped off too many clothes and got a sunburn. Then a massive wall of squalls came and I took down the chute for a while, and clouds and rain have taken over the landscape.

Up until I took down the chute, I had been making very good speed, and I’m now less than 250 miles out. Probably completely jinxing myself, but I expect to come in sometime on Saturday morning, around 8am PDT (5am local). If the wind picks up as expected, it may be earlier than that. I’m torn as to whether I should consider slowing down a bit to ensure I come in with a bit of daylight.

I managed to reconfigure the solar charge controller and got a halfway decent charge, so I have enough power to send a couple emails for the rest of the trip, unless tomorrow is completely cloudy. I also managed to throw out a fork and spoon with my dishwater. I’d sworn that wouldn’t happen again…

Adrian Johnson

Idefix

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July 12

One Roll Will Get You There

Its hard at times to judge how much provisions one needs on a race to Hawaii. My wife and I have had numerous debates on how much toilet paper, paper towels, wetwipes, and more to bring per person and for the boat. Well now being single-handed I know. A few usage stats -

One roll of toilet paper. I have a bit left on the first roll. It’ll make it to tomorrow. I suspect my low intake had resulted in low outflows – so low toilet paper usage.
One roll of paper towels. I have been real careful preventing it from falling on the floor and becoming a soggy lump.
60 pints of water. All used for drinking. So of the 20 gallons the race requires you bring, I’ll have used less then 8 (of course if I dropped my mast and took 3 weeks, I would need every drop of the 20 gallons).

Had another “good miles” day this last 24 hours – the Buff tied for the most miles made good to the finish with the Hobie 33.

Pulled out the Hawaii paper charts to start getting familiar with the approach to Kuaui. I can see I want to be set up on a heading between 230 degrees and 250 degrees (more then 250 degrees means the island is between me and the finish!; less then 230 degrees risks overstaying the jibe layline to the finish line and risking having to come in hot on white sails – not the way you want to finish an Hawaii race).

Birds are around now. A good sign land is near. In the deep ocean one see’s a bird rarely – maybe one very day or two – albatross, brown footed booby, and maybe a tropic bird. Not much else. When you get within 200-300 miles of land, you start seeing land based birds – birds with nests they go back to very day or two or three. This morning I found myself surrounded by four birds whooping and cackling at each other and me.

Had another close encounter with a sizable squall in the afternoon – with winds of 24k-27k for about 45 minutes. I was fortunately – once again – on port pole when I saw we were on a collision course – where heating it up a bit positioned the Buff on the left forward quarter of the squall – avoiding the strongest wind in the core of the squall – and insuring a quick re-entry into the trades after the squall passed.

Well…
That didn’t exactly work as planned. I just got back from jibing onto starboard pole – after it became clear the overall wind direction has shifted from 50 degrees before the squall to 25 degrees after the squall passed (we’ll see how long this lasts… but any chance to point the boat straight at the palm trees at good speed is not to be wasted. Its really a good time doing these quick and easy jibes – in 18k of wind – in the middle of the day. Sneakers, bathing suit and harness. That’s it. Feels great! Its going to make re-entry into land based living a bit hard – where everything you do has layered considerations – where as on the boat its all so easy, especially this late in the race where its almost all about staying on the favored jibe – and avoiding getting whacked by a squall.

Lets see… what for my possibly my last dinner of the race? That can of Dinty Moore and Del Monte Cut Green Beans are looking good (not).

Pulled out two navigation apps on my iPad (one by a long time PacCup competitor Philippe Kahn) and played around with them a bit. Fun and cool – but the on deck Garmin GPS Chartplotter has more then enough. I need to remember to get one of the star identification iPad apps before heading home… one of those apps you place the iPad over your head up against the sky – and it uses both the iPad GPS and Gyro to show you the names of all the stars and constellations you are looking at. Its too cool.

190 miles to go.
Covered 165 miles both the last two days.
So that means ETA is one day and 4 hours… from this moment 530pm Pacific Time. So that’s finishing at 930pm Pacific Time – 630PM Hawaii time.
Do I really believe I am going to be so lucky as to have a sunset finish? Not a chance.

So my best guess in finishing about 9pm tomorrow Friday (Hawaii time) – right after sunset. Though I may get lucky and get that sunset finish…

I hope this doesn’t mess up Rob and LaDonna’s Friday night dinner plans…

Jim Quanci

Green Buffalo


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150 miles to go

The miles and time are really counting down in earnest. Around 10pm last night the first of the real squall action started. Yeah! Anyway, it was a long fast night, but in the end, I only ended up going 10 miles further than the previous day… I suspect that the previous part of
yesterday was on average slower than normal, so there was really more than 10 miles added to the day’s run due to the increase in wind during the night.

As this is most likely going to be my last night at sea, I’m working hard on resting now while there’s the opportunity. It’s pretty difficult actually, as the anticipation of land is so great. I’m hearing the NOAA weather radio as well as the Coast Guard occasionally.

Still no dolphin or whale sightings…

Last night the weather activity was so prominent that there was hardly a star to be seen due to all the cloud cover. It was sure dark! The cloud cover was almost so thick as to erase the horizon. That’s a really interesting experience as you not only loose a reference on left/right from the stars, but up/down with no horizon. Seen from afar it’s probably pretty comical to watch me try to figure out which way is up while sitting down. And all the rum is gone too!

There’s still sparse information on the state of my competitors. It sounds like Truth absolutely wrapped up everything by finishing several days ago… As for me, it looks like my main competitor is still Green Buffalo. The bad news is that I don’t think I’m continuing to extend my lead on him. Boo. He must be sailing he boat pretty hard. I thought I’d be quick enough to continue to pull ahead of him. I guess there are going to be some good stories to be swapped once we’re both in.

Well, I’m off to sleep.

Brian VanderZanden

Turbo Camper


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July 12


[I]Well, it must be some karma payback cause I got slapped again really hard at 2:15 AM. I was dealing with this little squall. No problem. The twins were up on the wisker pole. All of a sudden TAZ!! was knocked down – hard. Up to that point it was pleasant with 6′seas and 16 knot winds. I was running off the wind at 150 degrees. Then, Bam! I suited up. Needless to say the pole broke so I cleared it below. The twins were flogging badly and the main was back-winded. TAZ!! was in irons. I eased the preventer and jibed the main. Now I was going to weather in 25 knots of wind and I still had to go forward and lower and secure the twins. The bow was under water 30% of the time and I got drenched. Water poured down my sleeves and collar. Man, I had just desalinated myself. Back in the cockpit, I pointed the TAZ!! toward Hanalei Bay again and rested. No pole! TAZ!! was now doing 8 knots under only Her main. I cleaned up the cockpit and went below. When I woke up this morning at 8:20 AM the waves had built to 10′ to 15”and were coming from two directions. It was still blowing over 20. BTW, other racers/boats are being beaten up too but it’s their stories and I’ll let them tell them.

For me, this race has been a disaster. As an adventure, it can’t be beat. I have been push and tested in so many ways. Crawling to a half submerged foredeck in high winds and at night is a good example. I’m probably DFL. I’ve been DFL before, it’s been while, but it’s not new to me nor will it be my last. If you seize the opportunity, it’s a great vantage point to go to school. I’m in great health. I’m a little tired and uncomfortable but not hurt in any way.pretty good for an old man. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me that all the racers my age are in big comfortable boats. One boat has a freezer and another an extensive sailing library. Hey, I’m peeing in a funnel!

Well, time for breakfast and some thought on how I can turn these pieces of aluminum tubing into a functioning spinnaker pole.

George Lythcott

TAZ!!

Photoboy
07-14-2012, 11:29 AM
http://pressure-drop.us/imagehost/images/58260442530295982663.jpg

With 5 boats now across the line, Truth, Turbo Camper, Green Buffalo, Idefix and Slacker, we have an amazing duel between Brian Boschma on his Olson 34' Redsky to the north screaming in at 7.80 knots with 8.6 knots to go and to the south, Jerome Sammarcelli on the Open 650 jammin at 9.00 knots, also with 8.6 nm to go,but will need to throw in a pair of gybes to cross the line...after 2,120 nm at sea...WOW!!



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IOR Geezer
07-15-2012, 10:56 AM
Ronnie pulled into second gear and is now 1st in Fast & Fun and 4th overall.

Great come from behind effort!

BobJ
07-15-2012, 12:25 PM
Same for Adrian (Olson 30 IDEFIX) to nip Jerome (Mini Pogo TEAM OPEN SAILING) by four minutes corrected! In his blog Adrian wrote that he decided to kick it up a notch at the end - it paid off.

I've been watching the two Moores for several days. After a rough time early in the race, Ruben sailed really hard and gained on Ronnie at every update. With a little more runway it could have easily gone the other way. Tremendous effort!

This has been one heck of a race, especially in the Fast & Fun division.

Phil MacFarlane
07-15-2012, 08:03 PM
Bela Bartok Rescue
Posted on July 15, 2012 by ladonna
Early this morning, Derk Wolmuth on the Vindo 40*Bela Bartok*activated his EPIRB about 450 miles off the finish line at Hanalei Bay on Kauai, and broadcast on the SSB that he was requesting a medical evacuation. The Coast Guard enlisted the help of a ro-ro cargo ship that was about 80 miles away to effect the rescue. Around dawn, Wolmuth was safely taken aboard the ship and is scheduled to arrive in Oakland on Wednesday. The Coast Guard reports that Wolmuth had been ill for three days with what he suspects is a staph infection.*Bela Bartok*is currently adrift, or possibly sailing slowly toward Kauai thanks to her windvane, but the race tracker on the boat will continue to send position reports, which will be helpful in salvaging the boat as well as keeping mariners* —*including the 46 entries in the Pacific Cup — updated on her position.

BobJ
07-15-2012, 08:23 PM
BB has only slowed by a knot or two since Derk was taken off and her heading is about right. Knowing these guys they'll probably go out and snag her on the way by. I think Derk lived aboard before the race and planned to continue on - maybe this will still work out for him. I hope so.

IOR Geezer
07-15-2012, 10:59 PM
Sad that Derk will miss the Islands after traveling so far. Better safe than sorry, assuming they have penicillin aboard the ro-ro.

Phil MacFarlane
07-15-2012, 11:00 PM
If there was ever a good chance to recover a boat, this is it.
I hope it works out for Derk also.
This could make those dang tracker things worth it, eh Bob?

BobJ
07-16-2012, 12:03 AM
Righto - I think they're great for tracking abandoned boats.

fouly
07-16-2012, 12:54 AM
Bob,

We've got a couple guys under a tree here hatching plans to go pick up that boat.

Adrian/Idefix

BobJ
07-16-2012, 01:05 AM
Looks like she's headed for the Molokai Channel based on the last couple updates - making about four knots.

El Capitan
07-16-2012, 08:21 AM
What's the record for the un-handed division?

Buzz Light Beer
07-16-2012, 09:44 AM
Bob,

We've got a couple guys under a tree here hatching plans to go pick up that boat.

Adrian/Idefix

Are you planning on sailing out to it or borrow a power boat?

IOR Geezer
07-16-2012, 09:50 AM
The Vic-Maui leaders are headed right for her!

BobJ
07-16-2012, 09:59 AM
Are you planning on sailing out to it or borrow a power boat?

It's straight upwind - I'll bet they charter a fishing boat. Chances are we'll see the tracker go stealth before long - I don't underestimate these guys.

The biggest challenge will be getting back in time for the party.

Photoboy
07-16-2012, 06:42 PM
Just off the phone with Brian B.
The fleet is still mostly hanging out and making return plans, some will head over to Kanehoe to
greet the Pac Cup folks.

Plans are being made to charter a fishing boat and intercept Bela Bartok when she gets closer.
No one there knows Derks current condition, no which ro-ro he's aboard.

Full report to follow..

Hanno
07-17-2012, 10:45 AM
LaDonna says that Derk is on the Matson ship Mokihana, due into Oakland tomorrow. He has a cousin in the area who will be meeting him, and he's doing well.

Photoboy
07-17-2012, 05:04 PM
LaDonna says that Derk is on the Matson ship Mokihana, due into Oakland tomorrow. He has a cousin in the area who will be meeting him, and he's doing well.

Great to hear!Hope they can retrieve the runaway Bela...

Final results..



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aloha

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Photoboy
07-18-2012, 07:41 PM
the SSS Singlehanded Transpac fleet has gotten together to rescue Bela Bartok. Owing to the generosity of several fleet members, two of us are flying to Maui to hop on a chartered power boat and intercept Bela Bartok before she hits the island or before she gets picked up by a salvage company. The plan is to sail her to the Ala Wai Harbor on Oahu.

Ronnie Simpson

war dog
07-19-2012, 12:00 PM
This just in from Ronnie... They got Bela and are heading to port in Oahu.....Great job guys!!!!

familysailor
07-19-2012, 12:26 PM
Great news!

Photoboy
07-19-2012, 01:38 PM
Very good news indeed!!!

Buzz Light Beer
07-19-2012, 09:08 PM
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Tonapah Low
07-19-2012, 10:12 PM
Well done lads, well done!