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June 28th Update


  • June 28th Update

    Day 8, June 26, "Happy Anniversary”
    I would like to dedicate today to my wife, Chloe, the real life “Sea Wisdom”. For those you who don’t know, Sea Wisdom is the literal meaning of Chloe’s Chinese name, 海慧. I want to thank her for all the love and support throughout the years. Imagine what I have to put her through when I embarked on this solo journey across the ocean.

    Another day to celebrate, so I started the day with one of our favorite ramens, the Demae Ramen, “出前一丁”. I had the original soy sauce flavor, that’s supposed to be the #1 ramen noodle soup in Hong Kong.

    Chloe and I love eating that, also it reminds us our youth growing up in Hong Kong. I added some dried seaweed to it, which gives it extra flavor. We love ramen. One winter, Chloe and I went to a ramen building in Sapporo, Japan, where it is known to have delicious ramen. I’ve never eaten so much ramen in one seating.

    What to do with another light wind day during a race across the ocean? I flew my drone from the boat to capture what a beautiful world we live in. Because the boat was moving, I had to catch the drone by one hand while flying the drone with the other hand, and while the boat is moving under full sail however slowly. I have a special pair of “lobster” gloves to protect my fingers to do this stunt. I don’t want to lose a finger. I have Chloe to thank for introducing me to flying drones. My first drone was a gift from her many years ago. She went all out and got me the best of the best, a model that is used professionally by Hollywood filmmakers. It’s a big drone spans across 3 feet. I saw the professional filmmakers wearing ice hockey helmets and armors while filming with that drone because you don’t want lose your head or limb. The photo here is one of the shots I got this morning.

    The rest of the day was a spa and self-care day (that’s probably why I’m in the last position in the monohull fleet). I did 100 push-ups between the starboard and port cockpit seats. Then 30 pull-ups underneath the companionway hatch. The unstable pull-up bar was difficult for me, so I had to break it down into sets of 5. I got to take another hot shower thinking it would be another calm night. For an early dinner, I had Indian Madras Lentils.

    Then out of nowhere, the wind came. Within an hour, we got 10-15 knots of wind on the beam. The sea was still flat from days of calm and didn’t have the time to build. It was like sailing on ice, so smooth, quiet and fast. And the sun set around the same time. In no time, I started to sail at hull speed of 7-8 knots under a clear sky. The stars finally came out the first time since the race. I lay down on the cockpit and stared at the stars. A shooting star came out early to give me an idea what this experience is all about. All this while Sea Wisdom and I were all alone in the ocean. It was one of the most beautiful sailing experience I had.

    To Chloe (aka real life Sea Wisdom), thank you for the love. I’m forever grateful to be on this life journey with you. I love you!
    1) You can follow along via the satellite trackers for each boat. I’m Sail #42, SEA WISDOM.
    2) Live tracking with weather information:
    Signing off


    Day 9 Aloha Report
    Kyle Vanderspek

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    Singlehanded Sailing Society’s 2021 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race update from Mountain:
    “Hello from nearly half way!
    In honor of National Dave Letterman day I made a top ten list to share.
    Here in no particular order are my top ten unique sailing terms and deep cut gems from the Mountain ipod:
    10. Revenge of scorpio - Ted hawkins
    9. fraculator
    8. the seed - The Roots
    7. scantlings
    6. bad luck city - R.L. Burnside
    5. monkey butt
    4. stranger in a strange land - Leon Russell
    3. baggywrinkle
    2. for my next trick - Warren Zevon
    1. Soak it!


    Singlehanded Sailing Society’s 2021 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race update from Green Buffalo:
    “Now this is what they call sailing to Hawaii!
    10k-12k wind from astern. Sun, blue skies and white clouds.
    The smoothest carper ride ever!
    With last week's Low off the coast, a tropical earlier in the week off Mexico disrupting the trade winds, and the receding High, I have never seen such a flat ocean. A few foot swell you can barely tell is there, wind waves under two feet... smooth sailing... easy on the chute, good napping/sleeping, and easy on the autopilot (which means low power use with the single 140W solar power keeping the batteries topped and no need to run the engine).
    Sardine sandwich for breakfast (one can do that when alone 🙂 ).
    Mac and Cheese for dinner? Or back to tortellini?
    Maybe time for some afternoon music...”


    Singlehanded Sailing Society’s 2021 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race update from Hula:
    “I wish glass balls were still made of glass...
    No spinnaker, no 7 knots, and alas, no more bird companion. For two days we shared music, stories, and hemp seeds..
    For those of you flying to Hawaii today, Hula is no longer bright pink, but neon yellow!
    Dr. Frankenstein has successfully re-attached the head of the half ounce spinnaker. It's ALIVE!!!!!”

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