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Thread: Vic-Maui 2018

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    Vic-Maui 2018



    VM2018 Race Report Day 1 - Canada Day

    And they’re off! At 10:00 am Pacific Time, the 2018 Vic-Maui fleet sailed through the start line outside Victoria Harbour, tacking into a stiff, building Westerly breeze.

    In the days leading up to the start, the sun broke out just in time for the fleet Send-off Party which rocked the Wharf Street docks on June 29. Transient Orcas (killer whales) patrolled the entrance to Victoria’s Harbour on a damp June 30.

    Today, July 1st – Canada Day – dawned sunny, breezy, and warm (if not exactly tropical). The Race Committee vessel Adventure-Us hung on a tenuous anchor off Brotchie Ledge, while the spectator boat fleet circled and a drone flew overhead. The VIP spectator boat Midnight Sun elegantly patrolled the spectator boat zone.

    Firefly led the fleet across the start line, while Anjo went walk-about before starting five minutes back and sailing up through most of the fleet. Kraken stayed on the grid and blog-sailed, or is that sail-blogged? Salient and Turnagain exchanged pleasantries from too close range, and the red bunting flew on both boats. Joy Ride pressed hard through Race Passage and on West in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. After a hearty cheer on World Cup breaking news, with Russia beating Spain, Victor Mushkatin’s team on Sérénité sailed with increased enthusiasm. Geminis Dream worked their way up the course, shaking out reefs as they went. Oxomoxo stylishly swanned their way through the waves.

    Eight hours into the race, the fleet is working its way towards the big left turn at Cape Flattery, and the open Pacific Ocean where the adventure truly begins. Weather systems including the North Pacific High, and a developing low pressure trough, lie ahead in wait.

    A big thank you to all the volunteers and supporters who organized the Vic-Maui Pre-Start Venue hospitality and events in Victoria’s Inner harbour.

    Vic-Maui is co-hosted by the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club and the Lahaina Yacht Club. The Royal Victoria Yacht Club provided logistical support and volunteers in Victoria.




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    TRACKER


    After a great run down Strait of Juan de Fuca, most of the fleet rounded Cape Flattery before the sun set and got to see a sight that most people never get to. Cape Flattery is the very northwest corner of the lower 48 states and a major landmark. But it is very remote by land and very few sailors venture out into the open Pacific.

    After rounding Cape Flattery, the fleet has starting the sailing down the rhumb line That means sailing the direct course to Hawaii for all those thinking of Mt. Gay mai-tais. Roll Call happens at 1200 Hawaiian Time or 3:00 pm Pacific Daylight and today the fleet is relatively close together about 160 miles offshore of Ocean Park, Washington on Willapa Bay.

    The weather pattern is setting up for boats to ride a path between the Pacific High hovering to the northwest of its usual location, and a low pressure zone along the Washington Coast that caused the cool weather and rain before the Start. If this weather pattern holds, it may result in a short, sweet ride to Hawaii. But the only thing constant about weather is change and the sailors will need to put the beautiful sight of Cape Flattery behind them and focus on figuring out what their weather crystal ball is telling them.

    The match race between the two performance boats in Racing 1 is a tight one with Firefly and Joy Ride taking turns with the lead. At Roll Call it was Firefly using its water line advantage to eek out a 10 mile lead. But leads are fleeting and it remains to be determined which has the right weather track.

    Racing 2 is also close as the boats are evenly matched, even if there is disparity between their types. Salient is sailing right on the rhumb line and has a course slightly east of the competition with a 5 mile lead on Anjo and Oxomoxo. But Kraken and Turnagain are only another few miles back. Anything can happen with this group.

    A little further back are the Cruising Class boats with Serenite has moved to a significant lead over the all female crew on Geminis Dream.

    The next step for all boats is finding the sweet spot to stay in the wind that exists between the two weather systems – all the while knowing that sailing directly to Hawaii is rarely the path to first place.

    Interpreting the YB Tracker information

    Lesson 1

    Turnagain’s tracker stopped providing position updates early Monday morning. In a modern news cycle that likes to focus on bad things, some people lept to conclusions that something had happened to Travis McGregor and crew. But it was a simple matter of the tracker struggling with fixing upon GPS satellites to get a position. With some simple fixes aboard and by YB Tracking, Turnagain’s position had leap forward on the map by mid-morning. So don't panic if a boat's position does not update for a few cycles, and know that Race Committee is keeping a close eye.

    Lesson 2

    You can look at the Leaderboard positions using VMG from Start or VMG Recent. This number is a calculation of how fast a boat is sailing directly to the finish. If pointed right at Maui, then VMG is the same as boat speed. If not pointing at Maui, you have to use your high school trigonometry. Luckily YB does it for you. VMG Recent is how fast the boat is going to Maui averaged over the last 2 hours.


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    Vic Maui Day 3 Updates


    TRACKER





    Ocean weather, never a dry topic, is getting more interesting - we have a High, we have a Low, which way to go, don’t you know?

    The North Pacific High is established and centered at about 43N 155W. It’s strong – about 1036mb – which is good, and about 600-800nm in diameter. There is a Low developing about 500nm West of Vancouver Island. A squeeze zone should develop between the High and the Low. Interesting!

    The High is forecast to drift West while the Low is forecast to move SE and should be affecting the fleet from about Tuesday evening (tonight) through to Thursday morning. Most boats should see sustained wind speeds in the 15-25 knot range, while some may see up to 30 knots, bordering on gale force. Wind angles will change as the Low crosses the track, leading to a flurry of sail changes, and once settled the angles should be behind the beam and very favorable for fast sailing. Fast!

    The fleet is currently sailing very close to the rhumb line, the shortest route to Hawaii. Shortest, but not necessarily the fastest. The High is likely to move farther West than usual, and combined with the Low it will be very attractive for the fleet to sail West of the rhumb line. Risky!





    This is not the textbook route to Hawaii! The risk of being West of the rhumb line is getting swallowed up into the middle of the High if/when it comes back to its usual position. There is little to no wind in the middle of a high. On the other hand, trying to go East of the rhumbline means beating into the Low and possible light and variable winds when it dissipates. So the navigators will be thinking this routing decision out carefully. And there is always the possibility, nay, probability, that the actual weather will be different from the expected weather. A conservative strategy might be to sail on the favorable side of the low, stay as close to the rhumb line as practical, sail less distance, stay in the squeeze breeze, and take less risk of getting becalmed. Sounds easy!

    Beyond the next few days and the passage of the Low, the trade winds ahead are looking good. Off to the Southeast, there is some tropical system activity to keep an eye on, with TS Emilia reportedly dissipated and TS/Hurricane Fabio strengthening and forecast to dissipate before affecting the Vic-Maui fleet’s probable track to Hawaii. One eye to weather!

    Caveat: this article and the images are presented for informational purposes – they are not predictions of or advice to any boat regarding weather or routing!





    Day 1 – July 2nd, 2018
    46 deg 54.4’ N 127 deg 43,8’ W

    Aloha from aboard Salient! Your writer is strapped in the navigation seat which is on the starboard side of the boat. With a strong westerly and us going on the rhumb line towards Maui a solid strap is required to avoid getting catapulted onto the stove top. Not something anybody would enjoy much!

    After an amazing start into the 2018 Vic-Maui race with lots of wind and sun we are now power reaching under a partly sunny sky, with strong winds (20 – 25 kts, gusting 28). Not that much wind really but combined with a light cruiser/racer and the ocean swell and waves this makes for an exciting ride.

    Below deck it feels rougher than on deck. Thanks to webbing straps on the ceiling we manage to move about relatively safely. But most of us have some bruises to sport. Food is delicious but mostly ignored or fed to the fish one way or another. The winner is the box of breakfast cookies prepared by Susan Tresa – the only thing that most seem to enjoy at the moment.

    On deck it is rock and roll. We are having fun playing with the waves as we try to weave our way through the troughs without smacking strait into walls of water. Sometimes we miss: Standing at the helm one minute I see the yellow hoodies of our crew and the next moment there is only a wall of white water crashing into the cockpit. Next thing I am almost a foot deep into water. Everybody laughs and on we sail.
    After a bumpy ride at night and early morning, the winds eased off a bit and we are no longer seeing the high gust. The cockpit crew still gets frequent showers and they told me to mention conditions are moist.
    With crew of eight, four are on watch and four on rest. During the day we stand six hour watches and at night four. We are now already on Honolulu Standard Time and it is 2 pm as I am writing this.

    Until tomorrow! – Salient out.

    Christof Marti
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    They Sailed Straight Into That One





    After a day and half of blast reaching in conditions best described as “not martini weather”, the fleet has hit the wall. A low pressure zone (described in today’s The Weather Eye) has moved over the fleet substantially altering the weather and putting the brakes on the wind and boat speed.

    The relief from turbulent seas and stress on the boat is welcome – one boat reports that everyone is eating again and for a lucky few the daily constitutional has resumed. But having to fight their way through region of relative calm is not.

    At Roll Call, the boats are generally about 270 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon. If the wind stays light maybe they can go in for cheese.

    The leaders in Racing 1 have slowed from 8 kts to 5 and the five boats in Racing 2 who are 40 miles behind have put the brakes on slowing to less than 2 kts. – OUCH.

    In Racing 1 Bob Strong's Firefly still leads John Murkowski's Joy Ride. But while the lead had built overnight, it has now shrunk to 16 miles. The five boats in Racing 2 are essentially in a dead-heat with all within a few miles of each other. In Cruising Class, Geminis Dream plan to hold back is proving to work as they still have the wind and are closing on Serenite.

    The next trick will be who is best positioned to get the wind first as the low pressure system moves toward the east and the prospect of wind filling in behind it. Will that be Firefly and Anjo who are positioned a bit to the east, or will be Joy Ride and the other Division 2 boats positioned well to the west of the rhumb line. And for the arm-chair sailors taking bets, it would be wise to consider that multiple winning navigator Brad Baker is calling the weather shots on Firefly.

    The over-arching concern is what happens next with the experienced veterans knowing that the fastest route to Maui is not usually the straight line.

    Oh and did we mention Hurricane Fabio? Fabio (who makes up these names) is churning away well south of Cabo San Lucas and is forecast to dissipate well before the fleet arrives. But big low pressure systems coming from the south usually disrupt the trade winds.

    Whatever happens, the navigators and weather dudes aboard the boats are going to earn their keep this year
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    https://www.vicmaui.org/tracker


    The low that boats ran into around Roll Call yesterday has mostly moved to the east and strong northerly winds have filled in its wake. What better way to celebrate the 4th of July than to see all boats moving quickly again. But the sustained winds of 20 kts or better is starting to take its toll on gear - Kraken reported an accidental gybe that blew their traveller apart. And taking its toll on people as even the seasoned veterans were calling last night “challenging”. At Roll Call today, the fleet was generally about 400 miles west of Florence, on the Oregon coast still more or less pointing straight towards Maui. And going fast.

    The light airs and challenges after the low passed last night compressed the fleet together. In Racing 1, Firefly and Joy Ride split apart last night but are now approaching each other; both sailing over 9 kts. While 45 miles apart on the race course, Firefly’s lead (measured in distance to finish) has shrunk to less than 10 miles – pretty much a dead heat.

    Racing 2 has also compressed with Salient, Turnagain and Kraken all more of less the same distance to Hawaii. Oxomoxo is about 35 miles back, but because of their time allowance, they are still very much in the mix. Anjo got caught being a little too far to the east, but have now moved back to the west where better winds are and making up ground quickly.

    In Cruising Class, Serenite used the rules on running their engine in gear to good use during the lighter winds and are now only 25 miles behind Anjo as both move into stronger winds. The girls on Gemini’s Dream are now in the lighter winds that the others have moved out of. They report the easing came as a relief – but it looks like the relief will be short.

    And the first fish was reported today on Oxomoxo with a tuna going straight from the line to the fry pan leaving a bloody mess on the deck. Kraken had company with a couple of Humpbacks for a while – that must be good luck after several gear failures. But Joy Ride had company with a Minke, a Humpback, and porpoises - perhaps even better luck.

    Now the fleet is onto the next challenge – better described in today’s Weather Eye. How are the boats all going to manage crossing the “plateau” and be first into the trade winds. At least it looks like Hurricane Fabio will not be an issue as the National Hurricane Centre is reporting it is already weakening and will be a remnant low by Sunday, well ahead of the fleet

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

    Day 4 – July 4th
    44 deg 06.1 ’N 135 deg 19.9 ’W

    The last couple days have been challenging.
    After light winds for a few hours yesterday, the wind steadily picked up. We went through half our sail inventory starting out with the wind seeker mid day, then an asymmetrical spinnaker, and then to our symmetrical light wind spinnaker only to have to gear down again a few hours later. With winds around 30 kts and gusts to 36 kts we had our hands full through the night. It was raining non-stop and everything was soaked. Nothing like getting up at 2 am, to get into soggy pants to stand a four-hour watch in near gale winds with pouring rain. On a brighter note the bioluminescence was amazing. For a moment on the fore deck (working on yet another reef) I watched the water flying over the bow. As it ran aft, it turned the deck into a sparkling firmament making it look like a star lite sky. The night was black and the only other thing we could see was the white caps illuminated by our navigation lights. The white caps performed a wild dance as the waves caught up with Salient, lifting her stern up and let her surf down the back side into the trough. Mesmerizing. Today the winds eased a bit and we flew Black Magic, our heavy weather spinnaker. The wind blew around 25- 30 kts and the Salient was a handful to keep under control. Driving was hard and required 100% focus. We were doing 10 kts and more most of the time with the top speed at 18.9 kts surfing down a particularly large wave. We thought about gearing down but it was not until we had a complete wipe out followed by a full 360 pirouette including an accidental gybe that we got off our adrenaline high and reduced sail.
    Today's dinner were Chilean Empanadas with Chipotle hot sauce – fantastic!
    Until tomorrow – Salient out.



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




    July 4, 2018 - Happy Independence Day

    The Weather Eye, July 4 – One, Two, Three Big Things to Think About
    by David Sutcliffe, July 4th, 2018

    This is not a textbook year! The weather situation for this Vic-Maui is developing into a true ocean racer’s challenge, where seemingly small decisions and a few miles one way or the other early in the race could make for big gains and losses. That doesn’t mean it’s all on the navigators, who do have their work seriously cut out for them, as it’s also on the whole team who will have to sail the boat very well and work hard with sail changes, trim and transitions to get ahead or stay ahead.

    One)
    Wednesday & Thursday, the near term weather is all about getting past the Low which is currently (0900 PDT) centered about 42N 133W.

    All of the boats appear to be going over the Low, varying distances West of the rhumb line.
    There is a squeeze zone with strong winds, possibly to gale force, predicted. Careful!

    Leaders Firefly and Joy Ride appear to be splitting this morning, with Firefly making a move further West and Joy Ride staying the course. With over twenty miles of lateral separation, and the passage of the Low to be threaded, the risk/reward is likely to be significant for both boats. If one does a better job of passing the Low, they could stretch that into a very significant lead for the next stage of the race.
    Turnagain has made big gains overnight and is closing in on Joy Ride, while Salient and Kraken (chasing Firefly) have opened up a lead on Anjo who has sailed more miles. OxoMoxo is angling out towards the others.
    The Low may drift North, back across the fleet’s track, potentially catching the tail-runners Serenite and Geminis Dream in lighter, variable winds. Sailing fast, now, is especially important for these boats.

    Two)
    Thursday & Friday, after navigating the Low, the teams will move on to sailing around the High and setting up for crossing the ridge which typically extends to the SE from the center of the High. The models show a significant “plateau” developing on that ridge, and winds would typically be much lighter in such a feature. Once again, teams will have to evaluate the risk/return on miles sailed vs. wind speed/angle, and decide where to go to avoid the plateau and to stay in good breeze. Having parked on a similar plateau (making just 65 miles in 24 hours) in 2006, and had boats pass us on both sides (ouch!), I am going to watch this potential trap with great interest.

    Three)
    By Saturday, the fleet should still be sailing around the High which should be centered about 40N 165W. It is predicted to continue to be strong at about 1036mb. One strategy could be to sail an isobar contour line around the high, say at about 1026-1028mb, to stay away from the center, sail in good pressure, and be closer to the rhumb line. All the while not getting stuck on any “flat” spots. Lead boats should be looking ahead to curve around the bottom right hand shoulder of the high and set up for calling the port gybe lay line to Maui. Calling a layline from 800-1000nm out!

    Beyond the above One-Two-Three, the trade winds ahead are looking good. Champagne sailing ahead! Off to the Southeast, there is some tropical system activity to keep an eye on, with TS Emilia reportedly dissipated and TS/Hurricane Fabio forecast to peak and then dissipate without significantly affecting the Vic-Maui fleet’s probable track to Hawaii. One eye to weather!

    Going out on the proverbial limb, I’d say the first finishers could arrive in Maui on July 12 or 13. Or not. Time will tell.

    Caveat: this article and images are presented for informational purposes – they are not predictions of or advice to any boat regarding weather or routing!
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    Day 5 Roll Call finds the boats generally about 550 miles west of the Oregon/California border and the leaders are now about 1500 miles from Hawaii. But the winds are easing. This is definitely the Middle Sea and the most difficult part of the race to figure out. The fleet continues to chase the sweet spot between the Pacific High and Low Pressure trough well west of the Rhumb Line; with most boats 75 miles west of the direct route and Anjo and Serenite another 75 miles west of that.

    The wind was generally strong overnight after the trough passed and most boats were beam reaching speeds of 8 kts or more. But the wind has now abated with most boats seeing wind from the NW about 15 kts, and speeds have slowed accordingly.

    In Racing 1, the duel between Bob Strong’s Firefly and John Murkowski’s Joy Ride continues without a break. While Firefly currently has a lead of about 20 miles, at this point that is insufficient to make up the handicap difference. Both boats have top navigators aboard and Brad Baker and Bron Miller are focused on the best path to the next wind pattern – and keeping a close eye on each other through the YB tracker.

    In Racing 2, the first 3 boats have spread apart a bit with Travis McGregor’s Turnagain eeking out a slim 7 mile lead, Mark Malacek’s Kraken, and Christof Marti’s Salient are very much capable of catching as the separation can produce rewards for those who get the line right and risks for those who do not. Doug Frazer on Oxomoxo is in the middle of the lines of the 3 leaders and now 50 miles behind as the lead three boats got the stronger winds sooner, but is still capable of closing the gap and using his handicap to correct ahead. That leaves Clayton Craigie’s Anjo a bit behind and way to the west hoping that is the line that will propel him closer.

    In Cruising Class, Victor Mushkatin and his Russian crew on Serenite is way out to the west keeping company with Anjo and staying in contact with the Racing boats,; having used their engine (as allowed by the rules) to pass quickly through the lighter winds yesterday. Shannon Rae and her all female crew on Gemini’s Dream are the only boat on the rhumb line and might already be captured by the weak winds associated with the low pressure “plateau”.

    The Roll Call notes indicate that the flurry of activity overnight in the higher winds took its toll on gear. Oxomoxo and Joy Ride are both having communication issues, Kraken sailed over a blown spinnaker, and Turnagain has noticed cracks on their steering quadrant in same place as a failure in 2016 (good thing they brought a spare this time).

    The forecast shows more weakening and backing (that means moving counter-clockwise for the land-lubbers), causing lots of angst on all boats. They want to get to the next stage - the downwind sleigh ride on the warm trade winds to Hawaii. But that is still a few days away with a middle zone of “scooge” (a sailing slang term related to food debris falling out of the taco) to pass through. Who will get through the Middle Sea the quickest?

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    JUly 6th Update


    TRACKER

    Day 6 Roll Call finds the fleet well offshore and now about 750 miles off Cape Mendocino and still sailing west of the direct route to Maui. As the photo shows, there is a window of opportunity to get the course to Maui right. But this morning’s Weather Eye lays out the myriad of issues facing the fleet as all boats look to pick the right weather route, with choosing the wrong window likely to be costly.

    In the Line Honours race (first boat to get to Maui) Firefly leads the fleet with about 1450 miles to go, Joy Ride is 28 miles behind, followed by Turnagain (+75), Sailent (+82), Kraken (+90), Oxomoxo (+154) and Anjo (+189).

    Boats are reporting sailing in lighter conditions that yesterday. That is a good thing on Firefly who reported that yesterday they went from a missing gooseneck pin to a broken carbon fibre spin pole to a blown out jib top in quick succession. But the Tuna Challenge issued yesterday by Oxomoxo was answered on Joy Ride within minutes of putting out the lure – no word on how bloody the decks got. Also reporting tuna on board are Turnagain and Kraken again. And to show they are not left out of the damage from pushing too hard, Serenite reports a crack on their oven door from overuse delivering good food.

    In terms of corrected time, the 28-mile lead held by Firefly is not that much when potential boat speeds and handicaps are considered and the most recent ETA puts Joy Ride only 30 minutes behind. With more than half the race left, it is still a dead heat.

    Look Out, Kraken is Coming Through





    In Racing 2, the conditions allowed Kraken to launch their drone again with spectacular footage. Too bad none of their competitors are nearby to share in the media spotlight. While Turnagain is slightly closer to Maui, Turnagain, Salient and Kraken are all very close. And Oxomoxo is still hanging in based on time corrections. It all depends on who gets the wind at what time.

    In Cruising Class Serenite is now in full race mode and trying to catch Anjo who is only 18 miles ahead, while Gemini’s Dream is still in the heavier winds playing a bit of catch-up.


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    Race Committee advises that Geminis Dream has experienced mainsail furling equipment damage, has retired from the race, and has altered course. All onboard are reported safe and well. Race Committee will stay in close communications with Geminis Dream until they reach their next port.
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    Day 7 Updates From Vic-Maui




    Day 7 - Kraken Log

    Today we are somewhere about 800 NM off the coast of California.

    Sailing over the past 24 hrs has been really pleasant. Winds have been in the 8 to 16 range, close and beam reach, and friendly seas. We've had the occasional sprinkle but for the most part the weather has been mild. The foul whether is gone and the layers are starting to come off. The sunscreen has made its entry into the shift routine.

    We are presently skirting the edge of the ridge, (or slight trough ?) which brings us lighter conditions. Our model shows us right on the line between ok wind and none. For the next 2 days we will negotiate this barrier but at this point we have committed to our lane and it is somewhat up to Neptune to decide if we will continue to propel towards Hawaii or if he will give us a time out.

    The amazing thing about ocean sailing is how easy it is to cover vast distances at the relatively low speed of a sail boat. While the crew go about their business, Kraken just keeps going and going hour after hour, day after day, and the miles just pass.

    Kraken seems to love doing this and you can almost feel her excitement when the wind freshens and she begins to accelerate and buck up and down like a play-full horse. It's like we are just the guests and Kraken is allowing to ride her.

    When the wind get's Strong she puts the bow down and takes off like a bat out of hell and all we can do is grab something and hang on!

    We have reached that point in the trip where we are completely detached from terrestrial life. No one really knows what day it is, what's going on in the world (other than the few updates we get from shore) and it's hard to even care about what's happening in the World Cup.

    Our day consists of our shifts, the ocean, and the wind. There is no set time for breakfast lunch or dinner, cocktail hour, or any other regular schedules that normally control us. Burrito's are eaten at will; be it 2am, or 6pm. Everyone just eats when they are hungry.

    Tomorrow mid day, we should be at the half way point. As tradition has it we will be celebrating the event with a "half way party". Everyone is welcome to attend. The party will be held aboard the boat and there will be food and snacks and dancing. Lucas will DJ. Sorry, we don't have any liquor on board but at least no one will have to take a cab home.

    The crew is in great spirits and yesterdays Tuna catch was a real bonus. We had a lunch of fresh seared tuna in a soy-sesame and wasabi reduction.

    All of the Crew are finding their groove in their own way:

    Jamie is falling for the ocean cruising lifestyle. He is now barefoot with his Tilly like hat on, gazing at the ocean and the sky; and looks way too comfortable.

    Karl has the need for speed and loves the race. This won't be his last.

    Alex has become one with the drone and the boat. He is developing some sort of other world connection with these objects and understands what they are thinking.

    Lucas has the "sense" and is communicating with the sea. This morning when we were becalmed he brought back the wind by carving to tiki totem into a chocolate almond.

    Annette has actually relaxed. Her hair has gone ocean wild and even if she doesn't know it yet, she is becoming comfortable out here.

    Colin is now "feelin'good" and is determined to keep all systems and the ship together. His name should have been Scotty.

    BJ misses his girl. Cleaning the head is only a temporary distraction. Jen needs to learn how to sail.

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


    TRACKER



    Day 7 Roll Call shows the fleet still fairly tightly clustered, with one notable exception.

    Geminis Dream has experienced mainsail furling equipment damage, has retired from the race, and has altered course. All onboard are reported safe and well. Race Committee will stay in close communications with Geminis Dream until they reach their next port.

    Pop quiz question:
    What’s the difference between True Wind Angle and (TWA) and True Wind Direction (TWD)?

    Firefly continues to lead the fleet South, with Joy Ride hot on her heels. The next wave of boats includes three Vic-Maui veterans, Turnagain, Salient, and Kraken, followed by OxoMoxo. A relatively short distance back, Anjo and Serenite are soaking down onto Salient’s line, and these three boats are farthest West. The leaderboard is in a state of flux.

    This afternoon, the fleet looks to be sailing on starboard tack with W-NW winds in the 7-13 knot range. Barometric pressures reportedly range from 1022 – 1025, with some dubious outlier readings from boats whose barometer calibrations may have fallen off the pre-start job list. All the boats appear to be navigating a fine line to avoid light air on their left (to the East) and to stay in pressure either ahead or to their right, on the slope of the High (to the West).

    Conditions onboard the boats are reported as warmer and drier, with a more-than-faint whiff of tuna on some boats and gray whales near other boats. It looks like tomorrow will be the half way mark for a number of boats; traditionally there are some wild and wacky celebrations which are sometimes akin to a sailor’s traditional equatorial crossing. With the magic of modern wireless communications, photographs, including drone images, and stories have been coming ashore from the boats and appearing on blogs and social media including the Vic-Maui Facebook group at www.facebook.com/vmiyr/

    Pop quiz answer:
    True Wind Angle (TWA) is the angle the true wind is coming from, relative to the heading or bow of the boat; it can be any number between 0 and 180 degrees. True Wind Direction (TWD) is the compass direction that the wind is coming from, regardless of which way the boat happens to be pointing; it can be any number between 0 and 359 degrees. You’re welcome to quiz the Vic-Maui crews on this at their arrival parties on Maui, preferably after their first refreshment!


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


    Day 7 – July 7th
    39 deg 47.1’ N 143 deg 41.7’ W

    We have now sailed 1,000 NM since the race Start in Victoria almost a week ago. As we are crossing the 40th Parallel, approximately the same latitude as Carson City, Nevada we are now 900 NM from the closest land. Despite the lighter winds, around 10 – 15 kts, even lighter at times sailing is still tough as we mostly beat into the wind. That means the boat is constantly healed over, tossed around by the waves smashing into the bow.

    Life aboard Salient is very simple though: We sail, eat & sleep. Every crew member has a mug, a water bottle and a bowl. Yesterdays delicious Chicken Souvlaki and Greek Salad all ended up in a big bowl and crew ate it wedged between door frames, strapped into the nav station or sitting on the cabin floor. Sitting on the cabin floor is like being in a car wash: The foul weather gear from the off watch is hanging on the starboard side and swinging across the cabin make for the gentle wash cycle on our faces!

    http://www.salientracingteam.com

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


    JOY RIDE Racing
    19 hrs ·
    July 7th Joy Ride Team Update: 15:15 Hrs.

    We’ve been underway for 6 days now and are on day 7! Somehow it doesn’t feel that long and at the same time it feels like forever. Does that make any sense? Between the watch system that doesn’t follow “normal” daily scheduling and the 24hr activities you loose all sense of time. No worries, several clocks showing different time zones keep us in check.

    The crew is doing well; we’re eating like kings (and queen) and all getting the chance to rest and sleep. We all put in our 100% sailing the boat, fixing what breaks and cleaning what gets dirty. Most of all we’ re making this a good time. Of course, we have our eyes on Firefly; chasing them to Hawaii, they’re not done with us yet.

    We don’t dare count down the days but have our prognosis for our arrival We’d like more boat speed and spinnaker flying but alas the weather is what it is. We’ve been flying the code zero for a while now, almost feels like the champagne sailing the brochure speaks off. The temp is slowly going up - foulies are offfffffffff!!!!!!!! We’re airing out our layers and body parts :-) Some of the guys took a “shower” and feel like new. The rest of us will follow, I hope :-.

    We seem to have fixed our hydraulic back stay adjustment and the Iridium puck that wasn’t charging. Fixed a batten pocket on one of the jibs and are doing general preventative maintenance.

    We love the occasional messages coming through from our “fans”; thank you Michelle Neville for being our communications hub and thanks to chef Jami Bennett for all the delicious dinners and Debi Sjogren for the delicious cookies and muffins!!

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

    Day 5 - July 6th
    41 deg 52,2’ N 140 deg 09,6’ W

    Christof here! Strapped in at the nav station again, and the boat is heeling far over to port. Keep in mind that in less wind and rough seas it feels much less like a roller coaster!

    Yesterday was shower day! After five days at sea and in finally calmer conditions it was time for a hot shower. Everybody was excited, and the boat smelled somewhat normal again, at least to us.

    A couple pairs of socks were protested by one of the two crew in the port aft cabin and made their way to the main cabin where the captain protested ‘no smelly socks in the main cabin’ until they finally were quarantined.
    On that note: Our Navigator suggested that wearing close toed Keens without socks worked well during the Oregon Offshore. I gave it a go, and bought a pair of Keens. I used them with no socks and never looked back: comfortable, good grip and warm enough during all the nasty weather we had. I offered my socks to the crew who had to quarantine their socks....but enough sock talk!

    Sailing has been pleasant. With winds around 15 kts we are close reaching most of the time making for easy driving. We take turns at the helm and each crew drives for an hour. At night most of us loose focus after an hour and happily hand over the wheel. Especially in a dark, overcast night with no visual references and waves that push the boat around, can make driving challenging.

    Salient out!
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  10. #10
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Half Way Home: Vic-Maui Fleet Looking For Trades





    Kraken Log - Day 9

    0405 HST; the sun is just coming up on the Eastern horizon and the darkness is slowly being taken over by the light. At first it's black, then dark gray, then lighter gray then lighter gray again, until it's finally light.

    One of the things that is interesting about off-shore sailing is that you are out all night every night. In our terrestrial lives most of us normally sleep through the night. We only see the start and the finish. Ask yourselves; how many entire nights have you actually seen in your entire lifetime? How many sun rises? How many times have you seen the moon rise AND set?

    Sailing into the night always brings on a certain feeling of anxiety while sailing out of it brings relief. I guess it has to do with the fact that we can't see in the dark. At night our lack of vision makes us helpless; what if there is something out there, say some of that floating fish netting that you see out here a lot, or a container, or a whale, or a North Korean fishing boat that is fishing illegally so has their lights turned off, and you hit it?

    In the light you can swerve to avoid, at night it's just the luck of the draw. What you have to ask yourself at night is "are ya feelin lucky punk ... well are ya ... are ya?"

    The half way party went great yesterday. All the preparations and planning paid off. Annette made us a fantastic meal of garlic fried prawns & scallops, with pasta in sun-dried tomato sauce and crispy green salad in a lemon dressing. We did not get as many guests as we had planned, I guess everyone was busy with other engagements.

    We are still on starboard tack! Other than some sail-changes, we have been on Starboard since we arrived on the open ocean last Sunday - 8 straight days now and into our 9th.

    We are also still going up wind - day 7 up wind (or close reach).

    The last 24 hrs has seen steady-ish winds at 8 to 12 kts so we have made decent progress of about 160Mi. Hour by hour the latitude keeps ticking down, and the longitude keeps ticking up. For reference Victoria is at Lat/Lon 48/123 and Maui is 21/157.

    The forecast says that in a few hours we will run into very light wind which will last about 24 hrs. This is the worst thing for us, becalmed in the middle of the ocean with nothing other than the sun searing down on us. I hope the crew does not go crazy and begin eating each other.

    We are still having electrical trouble. We believe we have a faulty alternator which is not providing adequate charge to the batteries. It does seem to charge a bit but the charge voltage may to be dropping and the thing may be dying. We have been deploying our solar panels which help (if there is sun during the day) and are on a program of reduced consumption.

    We have turned off all un-necessary devices, instruments, and are managing refrigeration at a minimum mode. If we loose the ability to charge completely we will need to bring out the sextant - wait - we don't have a sextant - mo matter, we don't know how to use one anyways.

    We we do have a hand-held GPS, as well as 3 cell phones and 1 IPad with Navionics (GPS navigation software), and of course, a paper chart. If it comes to it we may be finishing this old school - with solar panels and GPS, and I-Phones alone.

    Life Aboard - personal safety

    All crew have inflatable life jackets (PFD's) equipped with a harness.

    Inside the boat the PFD's come off, but crew must remember where theirs is in case they need to put it on quickly On deck PFD's are always required.

    On deck crew are ALWAYS tethered to the boat.

    The boat has a number of fixed D-rings for crew to clip into at different locations in the cock-pit and at the mast.

    Along each side of the boat there a 2 jacklines (a strip of webbing for clipping into while moving along the length of the boat) one jackline is low along the deck, and the other is higher on the cabin top.

    Moving around on the tether takes some getting used to. You need to do things methodically and always be aware of where you are clipped in and what potential things are around you that could foul you or your tether.

    There are so many ropes on a sail-boat that this is often a challenge. If a slack line suddenly comes under load and is wrapped around, or just under your tether, you could find yourself in a compromised situation.

    Each PFD also has a Man Over Board device. This is a thing about the size of a fat cigar. If the PFD is inflated the device triggers and automatically sends an emergency distress call to the boat.

    The devices are all programmed to call our specific VHF radio.

    They will also send a signal to anyone else in the vicinity. The device will also pick up a GPS location and relay it's position back to the boat's systems. If someone goes over-board, our plotter screens will show where they are.

    Each crew also carries an emergency knife in case they need to cut themselves free.

    Kraken out

    ************************
    Salient has answered some of your questions! Keep 'em coming!

    Roger: We posted the new moto on the companion way!!

    Evan: It is way more fun to punch into the wind for 1,300 NM west of the rhumbline than going the 'old fashioned route'. And yes, we work hard to be faster than the other guys and having fun doing it.

    Marie: Ede's Beef Stroganoff was a hit. Thank you very much.

    Jane: Stby will get Suze to answer that one

    Penny: Glad you enjoy following us and the fleet. Yes, our shore crew does fantastic work!

    John: Wise words indeed. Wish you were here too! We had a trying night with light winds, but see some breeze again now. PS" Great spi run yesterday with the yellow sail Thank you again for this!

    Leor: Happy to hear you enjoy following the race. We look forward to seeing you in Maui and doing it all again in a couple weeks this time from Maui to Vancouver!

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

    Day 10 finds the boats doing everything to eek out a mile and get closer to the promised trade winds. At one time this morning, the three leading boats were all pointed to Baja, doing 1 kt with an ETA sometime this fall. This is giving time for boats like Turnagain to get lots of practice on their big-boat "coffee grinders". As the Weather Eye said this morning "the cookie will crumble based on hard work, skill, and luck". The only boat making good progress is Serenite - Cruising Class is allowed to use their engine to move along.

    Still leading the way in Firefly, now with 804 miles to go and a slightly bigger lead over Joy Ride 27 miles behind. Following behind (Distance to Leader) are Salient +73, Kraken +144, Turnagain +145, Anjo +205, Serenite +226 (believed to be motoring some), and Oxomoxo +253.

    After a night of going no-where, it finally looks like the lead boats in Racing 1 have finally found a bit of wind and are starting to move.

    In Racing 2, Kraken has found the same breeze and has moved in front of Turnagain. Salient is still ahead by a bit, but they are holding their breath waiting for the breeze to catch up with them. But every hour, Kraken closes a bit more. Oxomoxo and Anjo are waiting out the calms, with Oxomoxo having time for a turtle rescue (pictures to follow).








    https://www.vicmaui.org/tracker


    The trade wind run under spinnaker to Hawaii beckons, but more changeable winds are still in the way of the Vic-Maui fleet. The boats are stuck in a form of purgatory close reaching in wind speeds are fluctuating from non-existent to 12 kts – not exactly prime conditions for an ocean race. And the boats are soooo tired of seeing the white sails hoisted on a perpetual starboard tack and are getting frustrated by the time it is taking to make southing to the trade wind latitudes. And they are getting nervous as everyone has now figured out that the boat that finds the right path to the trades will likely win the race.

    And they are now clearly in the North Pacific Gyre (aka the Garbage Patch) with Joy Ride quite surprised by the amount of plastic garbage floating by. With Salient also report seeing lots of whales, you have to wonder how our leviathan friends are faring in a sea of fish nets, plastic cups and other urban detritus.

    At Roll Call Firefly is 901 miles to the finish. Joy Ride +22, Salient +84, Turnagain +115, Kraken +137, Anjo +190, Oxomoxo + 224, Serenite +278

    n Racing 1 Firefly has increased its lead over Joy Ride by 5 miles over yesterday’s report. But the last 24 hours has been a game of snakes and ladders as one boat, then the other, loses wind pressure and finds it again. This will likely be a dog-fight right to the finish.



    In Racing 2, Breaking News ..... at 1515 HST Salient just raised their reaching kite - a change is as good as a rest. But at Roll Call Salient had also increased its lead by over Turnagain by 18 miles and by 14 miles over Kraken since yesterday. But all boats have lost distance over Anjo who is coming up from behind. But this has also been a game of snakes and ladders and as the first 4 boats have very similar time allowances, the battle for first to Hawaii is also a battle for first place, corrected time. And don’t forget Oxomoxo who the other boats owe roughly 17 hours on corrections. Serenite, in a battle to keep up with the Racing 2 boats, lost a little distance overnight and has dived east to try something different.

    The crew on Gemini's Dream, still disappointed that boat issues have stopped their adventure to Hawaii are making good progress and now about 350 miles from home motor-sailing under jib and trysail.



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


    The last 24 hours have been rough, or should I say incredibly calm. We have been working our way east in search of some additional wind, but haven't been very lucky on that front. We have been discussing the definition of becalmed and have formed a consensus that we are not, but there have been periods over the last day where the question has been posed. The monotony was broken this morning when some of the crew rinsed off in the ocean. It felt amazing! After 10 days of stink there's nothing like tying a rope around yourself, jumping off the stern and letting the ocean wash you from head to toe. The water is crystal clear blue and there's about 10,000 feet of it between you and the bottom. But enough of that, this is a race we are in some seriously light conditions. Until now! Finally, as I sit here writing, the wind has begun to build and we are sailing along at 6kts in 7kts of breeze. It feels like we're on a rocket ship compared to the last day. Is this the freshening breeze we've been waiting for or just a tease? Time will tell, but Brad's antennae are up and it looks like our swimming days are over. Maui lies just over 800 miles in front of us and we are now beginning to discuss the first round of cocktails in Lahaina. But before that we have some sailing to do!

    A note from one of the less experienced sailors on the boat: There are many parts about this trip which were more or less expected, but many more which were not. While I expected some of the mental challenges such as the requirement of patience, importance of crew morale, and dealing with some of the monotony, I was unprepared for the physicality of the endeavor. The lack of sleep, recurring sail changes, and grinding out of tough late night watches has given me even more respect for the crew onboard who does this stuff on the regular. It's hard, but satisfying and I wouldn't trade this experience, the good and the bad, for anything.

    Will

    Firefly
    July 10
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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