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Thread: SD PV Preview, Race and Aftermath

  1. #41
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Invisible Hand Hands It To Peligroso

    It's sailing, and sometime the wind is where you are and sometimes it isn't.

    Frank Slootman sums up Invisible Hands trip down the coast in a precise manner:

    "One word of wisdom we'd have: is don't try to finish at PV in the middle of the night! We had a terrific race, the boat was very well prepared, with all the necessary weapons for this contest and matched with an outstanding group of sailors. We had an excellent start, then separated from the division on the first night by going offshore and made good tactical decisions as the race wore on. On Wednesday we bombed straight down the track all day with the mast head genoa up, building out a significant margin of victory, or so we thought. With a few miles left and in full view of PV, we parked up around midnight and proceeded to take the next 4-5 hours to inch our way to the finish line. Our competition suffered no such indignity 6 hours later, and sneaked in for the win on corrected. In hindsight, there was really nothing we would have done differently such that it would have changed the outcome. Kudos to Peligroso, they avoided many mishaps that affected the other boats, but got out of phase from us, took some serious calculated risks, and put themselves in position to pounce on our finish delay."
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  2. #42
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    Deception's Final Thoughts

    Deception decided last night to withdraw from the PV Race. We had
    experienced large periods of no wind over the last two days, and the gribs
    showed little hope for improvement during the rest of the week. With over
    300 miles to go to PV as the crow flies (and likely many more miles of
    actual sailing), we were concerned about even finishing by the time limit on
    Saturday night. Besides, we have our Mexorc crew arriving in PV for the
    Mexorc racing that starts Sunday. We also considered that if we didn't
    withdraw Wednesday night, we could spend another day or so in wind holes,
    and then not have enough fuel to motor the remaining miles to PV. Topping it
    off, we all felt that we had seen the best part of the race already and
    didn't relish the gamble of sailing in ultralight winds for a few more days.

    So we withdrew at 8pm Wednesday evening and motored the 52 miles to Cabo San
    Lucas, arriving 4 AM. When the fuel dock opened at 6 AM, we topped off our
    tank plus another gerry can, grabbed some more coffee and some cerveza's,
    and were underway for Puerto Vallarta at 6:30 AM. Cabo harbor comes alive at
    6 AM and is a maelstrom of fishing boats milling around, fueling up,
    grabbing lunches, and picking up customers and meeting the fresh bait boats
    at the mouth of the harbor. It was a beautiful sunrise and we were joined
    by a couple of frolicking whales just as the sun emerged from the horizon.

    Ironically of course, once we left the harbor we were met with 20 knot
    winds, gusting as high as 29 knots, coming straight down the Gulf of
    California from the north. We hoisted the jibtop, reefed the main (we
    already had two roundups), put our foulies back on, and enjoyed a rollicking
    30-40 minutes doing 10+ knots down the rhumbline.

    Pulling the latest gribs for where we were at the moment, they were showing
    southerly winds at 5 knots or less. Anyway we patted ourselves on the back
    and concluded that these strong northerlies wouldn't extend to the rest of
    the fleet far to the south where were were last night. And sure enough, the
    northerlies disappeared within the hour as quickly as they had appeared.
    So we're back to motor-sailing with the main up, doing about 7.5 knots.

    So what did we learn from all this? "Don't let your children grow up to be

    We're looking forward to PV and the Mexorc racing. It's nice and hot down
    here. We have plenty of food and water. And I think I'll go have one of
    those cerveza's.




    Well, friends and loved ones, we hope you weren't too disappointed to see us
    disappear from your Yellowbrick tracker on Tuesday night. It was a tough
    decision, but we did the math, and it wasn't looking good for a finish
    within the time limit. So as Bill reported, we fired up the engine, modified
    the watch schedule for the night, and headed to Cabo for fuel.

    We fueled up in Cabo yesterday morning, and after a brisk hour or so of
    sailing, the wind died AGAIN, and on came the diesel spinnaker. The
    Autopilot took the helm, we ate a delicious oatmeal breakfast, slathered on
    the sunscreen, and commenced to rest and gear down from the race. When not
    napping, we watched the plentiful wildlife in these waters: whales, flying
    fish, seals (including a seal raft-up), turtles, and even a sailfish
    entertained us. We scouted the horizon for boats, spotted a couple, but
    nobody close enough to identify.

    Sooner or later it was bound to happen: Mark3 got bored. And then he got
    inspired. It was time to fish.

    Mark started scrounging the boat for pieces and parts to put together a
    trolling line. He found spectra and bungee cord and the nice new lure Mike
    bought in San Diego for our delivery back. But he needed a good long piece
    of line, and that was hard to find in the repair supplies. Then he spotted
    the brand new light air spinnaker sheets that Bill just purchased for the
    races. Aha, said Mark, and he found a pair of scissors and cut himself a
    nice long length of fishing line. All the while, Bill was peacefully napping
    in his bunk, none the wiser. Some of us shook our heads in horror and dread,
    but what could we do against the force of Mark on a mission? Well, Mark's
    McGyvoring intrigued the other would-be fisherpeople lounging in the cockpit
    (who were also somewhat bored), and soon enough pretty much everyone had
    some hand in the project. Charlie's Michigan fishing roots came to the
    surface. The problem of a spinner was attacked and successfully solved. And
    so, the fishing began. If we couldn't get Hamachi on the race course,
    perhaps we could have him for sushi!

    Eventually Bill woke up and wandered into the cockpit to have a look around.
    He spotted the fishing line. Needless to say, he was a bit dismayed, but our
    mild mannered skipper shook his head and took it in stride. After all, the
    cut was made, the deed was done. For the record Mark promised to promptly
    replace the line upon arrival in PV, before the MEXORC, so I guess he will
    be going shopping when we hit the dock.

    So now that we were fishing, someone made the point that an important part
    of the fishing experience is beer drinking. So out came the cervezas that
    Shana had so smartly purchased before our escape from Cabo. Now we had to
    ration these precious provisions, because we only had 16 Mexican beers, plus
    one stale Heineken that was floating around the cooler. We all enjoyed a
    cold beer (except Bill, who opted out), and Shana suggested that the second
    round should wait for dinner. Most, but not all, agreed.

    It was getting pretty hot in the late afternoon sun, so Jasper said it was
    time to go swimming! Marked reeled in the fishing line, we turned off the
    engine, donned our swim wear (or stripped down to underwear in some cases),
    dropped a drag line, and we all had a refreshing swim. Ahhh, did that cool
    water ever feel great! Getting everyone back on the boat was a concern for
    some, but fortunately we Great Lakes sailors on the crew, who are old hands
    at this practice, had a few tricks up our sleeves, and we got everyone back
    aboard with no hernias. Bill headed for the galley to start dinner. My
    suggestion of a sundowner beer was met with enthusiasm, and the remaining
    cervezas were doled out. Bill donated his two Mexican beers to the two
    thirsty boys who had finished their ration, and cracked the lonely Heineken.
    We all toasted what a great time we had on this adventure, and raised a can
    to our beloved skipper Bill, who makes this fun possible for all of us.

    After a good nights sleep, thanks to merciful 1-hour watches, I rolled out
    of bed this morning a little before sunrise. Charlie rolled out moments
    later. Guess what? Breeze on! While our skipper, tactician, and naviguesser
    slumbered, the faithful crew rigged and hoisted the A2, shut off the engine,
    and we enjoyed a fun morning of sailing. Of course the wind shut down again,
    so we doused and cleaned up the boat, fired up the diesel spinnaker, and we
    are motoring away toward PV.

    I'm sure you're wondering how the fishing story ended. Well, Hamachi got
    away this time, it seems, but this morning he took a go at the lure, leaving
    some impressive tooth marks! Unfortunately the evidence was left behind,
    when the lure was inadvertently set free during our speedy spinnaker
    sailing. Another item was added Mark's shopping list, as we expect to have
    another go at the fishing during the long bash back to San Diego after

    Well, this my friends will be our farewell blog for the PV race, as we hit
    the dock later today. Time to take showers, clean up the boat, drink some
    refreshing beverages, and get our land legs back. Some have planes to catch,
    and a few of us lucky ones (Bill, Mike, Jasper, and me) will be meeting up
    with a few more of the usual suspects to see if we can redeem ourselves in
    the MEXORC regatta. I think I speak for everyone when I say we have had a
    fabulous adventure with great friends, and yes, we know how lucky we are.
    Thanks for your support everyone! And congratulations to the Shumars on the
    arrival of the newest Deceptionista!

    Fair winds,

    Well, I couldn't have said it better. As much as we are all anticipating
    showers, clean clothes, a bed that doesn't have pipes or a chainplate in it,
    and some cold drinks, it will be hard for me to leave Deception Island and
    admit that our torches have been extinguished. Here's to many more
    adventures - we need to come back to find that elusive "best wind of the
    race" and to finally catch Mark3's big lunker (hint, hint, Bill!). Much
    love to my Deceptionistas!

    Peace out, Bags
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  3. #43

  4. #44
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Some nice aerial video taken via one of them there electric mini helo-thingy-ma-bobs...
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  5. #45
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    Deception Heads Home

    Haven't had much time to sit at the computer since we arrived in PV, so I
    thought I would send an update out to our friends, now that we are on the
    dreaded Baja Bash portion of the adventure.

    MEXORC on Banderas Bay
    The MEXORC regatta was a very different experience from the PV offshore
    race. Some of the differences:
    1. Race venue Banderas Bay was much more scenic than the Pacific Ocean. We
    were always well within sight of land! We saw lots of wildlife: whales,
    dolphins, lots of birds, turtles. We had to overstand a mark in one race to
    avoid a whale on our leg of the course. Wind conditions were calm in the
    morning, but built during the day, providing very good race conditions. In
    some ways it was like racing on SF Bay, but of course it was WARM!!! Yay!!!
    We even stopped for a swim one day on the way in from racing. That only
    happens by accident on SF Bay.
    2. Our crew changed from the 8 we sailed with offshore to 10 or more. Bill,
    Jasper, Mike and I stayed on, and the rest had to go home. We were joined by
    Jaqui, MVS, Randall, Peter, and Coleman, with cameo appearances from Barry
    and Rick from J World, Robin, Stephanie, Cindy, and Ross.
    3. We raced only during daylight hours. No watches. So everyone had a job,
    instead of rotating between jobs. I trimmed main. This started out pretty
    rough, since I had a lot to learn, but thanks to a couple of days of great
    coaching from Rick, I think I am getting the hang of it. As the days went
    by, I think we figured some things out, and we sailed the boat well. Even
    so, the competition was very high level, so we were not in the hunt. But we
    sure had a lot of fun!
    4. Instead of one big long offshore race, MEXORC was 6 days of racing, with
    one day off in the middle. 4 days were buoy races, which are really action
    packed, with lots of sail changes, tacks and gybes to keep everyone working
    hard. The other 2 days were distance races, which gave some of the crew a
    chance to sit on the rail and watch whales frolick and enjoy the beautiful
    scenery. I am still trying to decide if it's a blessing or a curse that the
    main trimmer is "on" 100% of the time; normally I don't relish sitting on
    the rail, but I sure did get a workout last week, and my old elbows and
    hands have yet to recover! And I missed some great whale watching.
    5. Beds and showers were a wonderful thing. Many of the crew stayed in a
    fantastic condo overlooking the marina. We had a beautiful patio with a cool
    mission bell, outdoor sitting/dining area, and a grill. One evening we had a
    fun dinner party. Robin did the shopping and prep, I made the guacamole and
    salad, and MVS manned the grill, cooking up shrimp, steak, and snapper. It
    was pretty amazing.
    6. PV was party central. Each day of racing was followed by a party, with
    tequila, beer, appetizers, tequila, rum, stories, and more tequila. We had a
    few fun dinners out afterward at local restaurants, culminating with the
    race banquet on Saturday night on the beach at a beautiful resort. I
    personally enjoyed the mariachi bands and dancers, but some of the crew said
    "not so much." Some of the crew were joined by wives or significant others,
    we hung out with our J World friends a lot, and we met sailors from other
    boats, locals, and even the media. Still I enjoyed getting to know my crew
    family better, and we had a great time together in a warm, beautiful place.

    With racing finished everyone pitched in to prepare the boat for the voyage
    home, and the first return crew left PV on Sunday morning. This gang of
    coastal cruisers included Jasper, Robin, Jaqui, Mike, Sean, and me. Sean is
    a 15 year old friend of Robin and Jasper, and he is a great guy. We sailed
    up the coast that day to Chacala, where we dropped anchor in a lovely little
    bay. The beach was lined with restaurants, and a roving band provided
    musical entertainment. We set the anchor, dropped the new dinghy in the
    water, and rowed to shore, where we enjoyed drinks and dinner. We had to
    make two trips each way because the dinghy is small, and it was a bit of an
    adventure negotiating the breaking waves at shore. Poor Robin was mugged by
    a wave on her return trip, and I am not sure if she has all the sand out of
    her hair to this day. The anchorage, while truly beautiful, had a lot of
    surge, and we didn't get a very good rest that night. At dawn we pulled up
    the anchor and headed for Cabo. We spent one night on the water on the way
    over, the first experience with standing watch for Jaqui and Sean. Jaqui and
    I had a wonderful time on our watch from about 4am through dawn. Although we
    had no moon, the stars were stunning, and the bioluminescence was stars on
    the water. After the sun came up we passed through an area with lots of
    whales. At one point, Jaqui was watching a pair on the port side, I was
    watching a pair on the starboard side, and we were both watching ahead in
    our path. It was truly amazing. The guys rigged up the fishing line with the
    new lures Bill gave us in PV, but as of yet we have not caught anything.

    Unfortunately the head failed on this voyage. Mike and Jasper and I moved it
    to the back of the boat and proceeded to take the entire thing apart. We
    discovered the problem, but we could not repair it, and I'm not sure it can
    be repaired. So we piled up the parts, cleaned up and sanitized as best we
    could, and set up a bucket system. This was not a highlight of the journey,
    so enough said.

    After a rather rough evening of unpredicted wind and waves Tuesday night, we
    arrived in Cabo after midnight. We were all happy to go to sleep without the
    motor running. Even the sound of the late night Cabo night life couldn't
    keep us awake. Wednesday Jasper made a list, and we all went to work on it,
    while he took off to spend several hours checking us out through customs.
    With lots of hugs, we sent Jaqui off to the airport for her flight home.
    After the clean up, the primary missions were reprovisioning, fueling, and
    of course a new head. Robin and I visited the closest marine store, which
    didn't have one in stock, but the guy called a nearby store and tracked one
    down. After lunch at a tiki bar, which served an odd but tasty combination
    of Mexican food and sushi, Mike and I trekked off to Mario's Marine. We
    hailed a bicycle taxi, because it was really hot, and we old folks were
    tired and sore. (We gave the poor guy a good tip.) We purchased the new
    potty and necessary parts, and our taxi man pedaled us back to the marina.
    Mike and I installed the new head, not because we enjoy plumbing, but
    because we had both done a lot of this type of fun activity on our own
    boats. With no hoses leaking, we had a beer to celebrate, and headed off to
    a very nice dinner, compliments of Bill. We sat outside at a lovely little
    restaurant with great food, enjoyed the music and wine, and talked about
    safety at sea. Then we went back to the boat and had a good rest to prepare
    to hit our "weather window" early this morning.

    Now it's late afternoon and we are truly bashing our way up the coast. Waves
    are right on the nose for our desired course, and wind is about 5 degrees
    off it. So it's a roller coaster ride. We are taking turns driving, because
    it is very physical trying to steer the boat to avoid slamming when you
    crest a wave. In fact, our superior driver Jasper is at the wheel right now,
    and he just submarined us, sending a sheet of water over the deck! We put
    the mainsail up around lunch time, and it's giving us a little extra push,
    although we can not drive our desired course and sail, but the math works
    out, so we are motor-sailing. Up on deck it's bumpy and a little wet at
    times, but not bad. Down below it is very loud, and the boat is pitching all
    over the place, so you have to hang on at all times if you are on your feet.
    But the head is working fine, we have enjoyed a nice breakfast and lunch,
    nobody has thrown up yet, and we are making headway. So far so good!

    Better go give Jasper a break at the wheel now.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  6. #46
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Getting Home Is Sometimes Hard

    As the delivery crew of the Santa Cruz 50 Deception work their way up the coast,
    communication continues and the progress is slow:

    seven thirty am April 5th. Captains log of the good ship Deception. Lat 26
    16 Lon 113 29 Day three of the Bash and both the crew and the boat are
    taking a beating. We had up to 28 knots on the nose last night with steep
    seas. Enough to cause some tumbles and bruises down below and some deck
    flushers up above. You don't need to imagine the wetness. You know.
    Ockam mast backlight went out with the moisture. Otto has been acting up all
    night and can't be left alone. We've done hand steering whenever necessary.
    Sleeping in the upper births is impossible. You get slammed into the ceiling
    too often. Two up watches overnight. And when the wind is up two during the
    day too. Sean was up for some of the worst of the weather. No complaints
    from him, but he was curious if it was going to be like this the whole way.
    We had made such good progress the first two days that even though the
    forecast didn't look too good we decide to press on after Mag Bay to Turle
    Bay. We have not been able to keep to rhumb line. Even when the wind is
    favorable the waves aren't. So we still have 120 miles to go. I'll download
    some more weather forecasts after this email. Not that there is much we can
    do about things at this moment.
    Spirits still good. Bruises will heal. We may decide to stay in Turtle Bay.
    Start a family. Plant some seeds. Grow old and die.
    Standing By

    Subject: trying to find an anchorage

    Hi - Robin here. Wish we had heard about Peter's weather warning email a
    bit earlier!. I was happily cooking up tuna for lunch and enjoying a
    pleasant 15 kts taking us practically rhumbline. As soon as we washed up -
    BOOM - 30 kts. We had planning to make Turtle Bay around 1am, but quickly
    decided to try for a small bay only 90 minutes away. But it was howling 30
    kts in there too, so we are heading out again and plan on tacking back in a
    bit to reach Ascuncion Bay. Sadly, all the guides say this is the worst time
    of day to try to get into any of these bays, but the option of sailing in
    these seas all night seems rather insane.

    It's rather moist inside the boat and a white water rafting trip outside.
    It'll surely suck if we don't get an anchor spot for the night, because we
    want to take Peter's advice and sit this out. Crap, now it's my turn to go
    up top - 1 hour rotating shifts with 3 up, 1 down.
    No Bill, we're not fishing today! We'll update you tomorrow but I wanted
    you to know the rodeo we were in right now.

    26*54 by 114*09, COG 336 at 17:21pm

    Subject: safe

    We made it to Bahia Asuncion by 8pm today. The morning was just fine, but
    after noon it picked up quickly to the upper twenties. So Robin had the idea
    of looking for a closer anchorage. Brilliant. Peter's email confirmed the
    idea. So we bore away to a comfy close reach into Hipolito Bay. We knew it
    would be a windy spot but at least it would be protected from waves. Once
    there we hated the spot. It was now close to 4 pm and another 18 miles dead
    upwind to the next spot. We decided to try it. Fateful decision. It was
    blowing in the low thrirties and by now the waves had grown to short and
    steep growlers. So we battled those all the way to sunset. We couldn't crack
    off for comfort. So we took it on the nose. Good practice for driving
    manually. Lord knows Otto can't be trusted to dodge these growlers. To top
    it off Sean got knocked over on a lurch right into the door of the head
    which had Robin relaxing. Hilarity was much needed.
    So here we are drinking our alcoholic beverages and discussing our next
    steps. We need a vacation even though there is a nice weather window cover
    coming. Crew Kicks Butt.
    Bill, you asked. Yes we did manage to catch one fish. A smallish Tuna. Still
    the biggest thing Sean ever caught. He was stoked.
    The black sledge hammer earned its keep and we all had a wonderful lunch.
    I will let you know what our plans are and what you can expect regarding ETA
    Thanks for all the good wishes.
    JV Standing By.
    PS from them
    Sue. I want a raise
    Mike. Your boat leaks
    Sean. We're sailing in a colander
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  7. #47
    Sounds like the delivery crew are really earning their pay this year!

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