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2018 SSS Single Handed Transpac

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  • Aussie
    Boat tracks:

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  • Photoboy
    7 In, 9 To Go!


    Mike’s Lists
    Last night at sea, knock on wood. Easy to find aboard Jacqueline because every last piece is squeaking.

    Beautiful evening with Dolfin’s lights in sight. Hard to believe we can see each other after 2144 nm at sea.

    Now I have turned my attention to obsessing about finish to do’s. I often wonder if I am some sort of to do list obsessive/compulsive. No to do list? Get that on a to do list pronto. I have little scraps of paper all over the boat with cryptic tasks which i cant even remember what they are. My handwriting doesn’t help. “go get the tractor fabricated” what the hell was that? probably important.

    New to do…Improve handwriting.


    Update from Dark Horse 7.7 9:15 PM PST
    Tonight is my last night at sea. The trades have been very steady, around 20 knots with some squalls up to 30 knots. I have just the mainsail up and trucking along, the boat and autopilot have been dealing with it pretty good. It has given me some time to recover and fix some things. I got my solar charging at a sufficient rate after I lost one panel. I had to rewire a controller back to the battery. I have also had time to read “Not a yacht club”, which is a great book and I am very proud to be part of the SSS. I also found time to read “Experiment in Survival”, an interesting book. Seems like a lot of trouble for a publicity stunt.

    I am really excited to get to Hawaii and see everyone and start eating again! I’m really looking forward to tree time. Looking back at the trip, I was expecting to say the hardest part of it was leaving, but I can’t say that. There have been some very challenging, emotionally and physically, times over the last 2 weeks. Overall I am really happy with the boat and how it performed. The biggest thing I would change is to bring a whisker pole. Not having one really reduced my miles in these conditions leaving me to be under a main more than I would like. With the heavier conditions, it was too risky for my to fly a spinnaker. 20 knots was my limit. I was expecting to do a lot more spinnaker work, but it didn’t allow for it. I also expected it to be a lot warmer. It really didn’t get warm until 4 days ago.

    I am happy with how dry my boat has been, the bilge hasn’t even filled up once! Thanks to the dodger, and new hatches and all the work I put into sealing all the holes. It sure makes a big difference psychologically having a dry place to go to and sleep. I am happy with my autopilots and electrical system. Everything ran perfectly and I had plenty of power.

    Next time I would bring more fleece pants and long underwear. I also would provision a little more differently too. The same meal gets pretty boring and then I don’t want to eat. I spent today cleaning up the boat and packing bags that go ashore so I can just anchor and head to the beach. It will be a dream come true tomorrow, hopefully the squalls won’t be too bad tonight.

    2 days ago I came across a group of dolphins, there must have been hundreds of them. They would swim along the boat and jump right in front of it, kind of playing with it. This went on for about a half hour, sailing along with all these dolphins in the middle of the sea, it was a very unique experience I won’t ever forget. Reminds me of a time I was working on a ranch that borders Yellowstone National Park, and after a long day of fixing fence up in a high mountain pasture, I was riding home across a hay field and came across a herd of 400 elk. Next thing you know I was loping my horse in the middle of this herd of elk across a field. There was nothing like that in the world. Purely living in the moment.
    Well, that’s all for now, gotta get things set up for night squall sailing!


    Mike Reflects…
    one of the great challenges of this race is to understand far you can push your boat without breaking her or you.

    i am finding the experience from my first shtp to be invaluable in this regard. i am much more comfortable with how the boat will perform in various conditions and this gives me a little more mental space to optimize and experiment with various configurations.

    i look back and wonder why i did or did not do certain things and realize i was just set up with a pair of training wheels the last race.


    Mike complains. And complains. And complains
    blowing 22 to 25 kts out here while you guys schmooze and drink mai tais. that's not right. to add insult to injury, i am back to the third reef. come on, i am 200 short miles from the garden isle, give me a break. and no cold beer. and no internet…….the humanity and lots of squalls too, and crappy food


    Day 13 Summary – back to the trades
    Today saw the finishes of Passages and Nightmare, congrats to them! The rest of the fleet saw lighter more manageable conditions and sentiment traded back to how great the sailing is, except for the poor sods who have AP or electric issues. They kinda stayed at the “just get me to Hanalei” mindset. Folks in this category are Crinan II, who hand steers and stops to rest, Riff Rider is doing the same, and Fugu who, with full sun, did manage to get some power and some rest from hand steering to conserve amp hours. The latter two crossed paths with each other today. Crinan II will be the next to finish tonight.

    The comfort clump continued to enjoy great conditions and they are still seeing good wind. Dark Horse continued sprinting ahead and now has fewer miles to go than JouJou – quite a show. Morning Star has less than 550 miles to go and then this race will move into history. Winds are forecast to lighten up over the next few days, lets hope a lot of distance is traveled before then.


    Jacqueline was attacked today by a school of 36 squid who boarded without permission and proceeded to paint my boat brown. i know how many there were because, lucky for them, i threw them all back. one or two flying fish are fine but a school of squid….come on

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  • Single Hander
    Great work Rob!

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  • Photoboy
    Postcards From The Edge

    Hanalei is fun, SHTP racers are arriving
    by rob macfarlane

    Beetle has been happily riding at anchor in Hanalei now for the week, the holding is excellent - thick mud and sand - and there are fewer boats here than I would have thought though there are permanent moorings in place for the commercial boats; those moorings weren't here that I recall from 2006 (last time I was here).

    In Nawiliwili you get to enjoy sunrises; around this side of the island you get to enjoy sunsets, especially as the eastern corner of the bay doesn't poke out too far north.

    Beetle is hanging out relaxing on the lovely blue waters of the bay. I get to walk up and down the beach when going ashore to visit Race Committee or the grocery store in the center-of-town Ching Young Village, which has the Big Save grocery store.

    The anchorage is reasonably rolly, particularly when the trades are up and blowing hard, but everybody is managing to stay stuck to the bottom despite the squalls that roll through and toss the wind around. The reef extending out in front of the resort protects the anchorage and the standup paddle board folks are out riding the small breakers on the inside of the reef. If you're a better standup paddle board person then you're on the bigger waves on the outside of the reef. And all the boaters hide inside behind the reef.

    The flood damage to Hanalei is still very much in evidence, the road to the paved boat launch ramp has not been worked on yet and it's missing in three or four places where the water cut through the area and left ten foot deep trenches. The large houses that were right in the area are still in their fallen-over state, other houses are being worked on or torn down and rebuilt entirely.

    The road to the launch ramp as it is now. The Hanalei river, where the dinghies land, is a short distance behind me as I take the picture. It rained hard in Hanalei in April, the gauge recorded 28" over 24 hours and then the gauge broke - all that water came sweeping down the valley and over-ran the river bank and flooded out the community.

    Many houses were undermined and the pillar foundations (intended to keep the homes above hurricane-driven ocean water) started to collapse. It's going to be a long time before everything is put back together. The launch ramp road is directly behind these homes.

    As a result of the flooding the river mouth is not used by the commercial boats, as they can not load and unload passengers from the old ramp - can't drive there. Instead the boats are using the beach adjacent to the Hanalei Pier and folks wade out to the boats that have backed in to the beach with the motors lifted; when the boats ground out in the sand one of the crew jumps out, extends a ladder, and folks are helped up onto the boat. Good thing the surf is low at 1 foot and it's a steep shelving sand beach so the boats can back in quite close. It's a 10 minute walk down the beach to the Hanalei Pavilion park, which is the beach access route that's gets you between the houses that line the beach. The number of tourists on Kauai is impressive - 100,000 people per month come in through the airport at Lihue, that 1.2 million per year according to the Hawaii tourist bureau. And it's a fair bet that some of those tourist folks make it to Hanalei at the far end of the island (in all fairness, most of them go to the resorts and hotels on the south side of the island - it's not that particularly crowded in Hanalei proper). I hope those 100,000 people are also flying out each month, otherwise it would be standing room only on the island.

    The Big Save is the important store in the town of Hanalei - this is where everyone comes to get their groceries. When the flooding happened it was 18" deep in mud and water, but stayed open so people could get food and water.

    The Singlehanded Transpacific race finishes here, and so far three boats have arrived. Race Committee got in earlier in the week and located their rental house that happens to be directly behind the Pavilion - most convenient for getting down to the chase boat that is sent out to greet each arriving yacht as they cross the finish line located outside the reef. The chase boat's job is to take out one or two people that will climb onboard the incoming boat and help the skipper take down the sails and get the anchor ready. The chase boat is also used as a follow-me boat, especially at night when the skipper is entering an unknown bay and needs to avoid the reefs located on each side. General cruising approach is to never enter an unknown, unlit, reef-containing bay at night; the chase boat makes it safer for the racer to get in as all they have to do is follow the chase boat around to the anchorage.

    First order of business for Race Committee is to get the chase boat setup; turns out that Larry's Sea Swirl (affectionately referred to as the Sea Squirrel) was all set, launched, and then the somewhat elderly Evinrude 88 HP outboard motor wouldn't start. The first finisher was that night, so I was able to help out with Beetle's dinghy and take Synthia out to greet Philippe as he finished the race on his Olson 30 Double Espresso - first boat in! I greeted Synthia at 4AM just outside the small surf line at the Pavilion, she waded out to the dinghy and we went out and Philippe as he crossed the line in the pre-dawn glow. Synthia went on board to help Philippe and I zipped along in front so he could just follow the dinghy rather than worry about avoiding the reefs.

    The funny part was inside at the anchorage, Synthia inspected his bow and noticed there weren't any cleats up there, so asked, "How do you normally anchor?" and he responded, "I don't know, I've never anchored the boat before." That was novel. We eventually decided to tie the anchor line to the mast with a big bowline, and then used the jib tack hooks as the cleat. Hopefully that doesn't pull the stem fitting out of the bow.

    Philippe on his Olson 30 Double Espresso in the bright morning light. That's the Pavilion directly beyond and to the right of his mast - the Tree is now huge and filled with branches, it is occupying the right side of the frame. Too bad the picnic table was removed from beneath the tree - we're not sure where to have sunset Tree Time now.

    Last night two more boats came in, fortunately the Sea Squirrel's outboard was professionally serviced and we aren't depending on Beetle's little dinghy to charge around in the dark out in the ocean. Tonight we're expecting the fourth boat, maybe around midnight or so. Don on board Crinan II is having complete autopilot meltdown and has been hand-steering his Wylie 30 for several hundred miles, working on 3-4 hours in the cockpit then taking down the sail and drifting for 3-4 hours while he sleeps. This is not the fast way to get here but both his electric pilots have failed and Crinan II doesn't have a mechanical windvane backup system. So he's slow but will arrive. I know Don from many years of racing OYRA and SSS in San Francisco, it will be fun to meet up with him again here in Hanalei!

    This is the Olson 30 Passages shortly after finishing the race, following the follow-me Sea Squirrel in to drop the anchor. It's dark out here, this shot was taken with the Nikon set at a silly ASA 10000 to capture anything in the dark. The boats are being anchored right around Beetle, which is beginning to make Beetle feel like the Mama Goose for the fleet.

    The Race Committee's house is the social gathering point for the fleet, I've been going over there around 5pm for pre-Tree time to observe Synthia and Dave work on preparing the approved SSS mai-tai drinks, apparently that involves a fair bit of experimentation and testing.

    Mai Tai's apparently require lots of attention to prepare properly. Here at Race Central Dave and Jackie look up recipes while Synthia works with the ingredients at hand to see what they can concoct.

    So all is going well here, we're having intermittent sun and squalls with rain, the Kauai Napali coast mountains are right in of the anchorage, I've been working on giving Beetle a good bottom scrub and enjoying seeing friends from the racing community again.

    Sunset over the Pacific, a great way to an end a day in a beautiful place.

    - rob

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  • Photoboy
    3 Boats Now In HanaLei

    Gregory Ashby's Wilderness 30' Nightmare and David Clark's Olson 30' have joined
    Phillipe Jamotte's Olson 30' Double Espresso at anchor in Hanalei Bay as the 1st 3 boats
    to complete the 2018 Single Handed Transpac. As of this writing, Double Espresso maintains
    the lead on corrected time. Unclear if any of the higher raters can knock him off his perch at this point.

    Crinan II is next boat expected in, followed by Rainbow


    News From The Fleet:

    The parties in Mike’s head
    another morning of sailing dead down wind. its a little challenging because my boat begins to dislike the full main at about 21 kts tws depending a bit on sea state. last night i was humming along with full main 20 kts reasonable sea state good boat speed so decided to get some sack time. rude awakening sometime later with my tws alarm going off, the boat jumping and complaining and me sitting there in the bunk thinking “remind me where i am again” answer, you are in a sailboat about to do another reef Mr. Cunningham…NOW WOULD BE GOOD! You untangled those reefing lines earlier right? Sir, yes Sir. by now you may be wondering how many actual people are on the boat. well there’s Mr. Yellowcoat protecting the forward cabin, a Marine Drill Instructor kicking my ass, and a bunch of talking chipmunks who get pretty chatty when i get short on sleep. i also continue to be on board and am, in fact, doing all the work. rcvs 9:38am PDT 7/6

    Mike Chamberlain
    Freedom 30


    Fugu still has power!

    Saw Riff Rider today he had AP broken the last two days! I’d been feeling sorry one of my solar panels failed and i had been hand steering to nurse amp hours

    Sun today! First in a week so battery are full this evening happy times! Also first warm day thought warm would not wait till 400 miles off the islands to be

    Chris Case
    Wilderness 30


    “It’s pretty nice out here” says Dolfin Bill
    I can’t tell you how wonderful it is out here today because that might jinx us. So I won’t mention the warm, steady trades blowing 15-20, the seas smoothing as the cross swell diminishes, the beginning of puffy tradewind clouds, the vast expanse of the sea all around with no hint of the distant civilization over the horizon, just the soft moan of the wind, the sound of breaking waves and of clear blue seas rushing past Dolfin”s hull. I can’t tell you any of this because then Mother Nature might take it away.

    But I can tell you is it’s pretty nice out here.



    Mike and his AP

    i have had an interesting voyage of discovery with my ray ev1 AP. the pilot has three settings: performance, cruising and leisure. i have found them more like Chihuahua on drugs, Chihuahua on less drugs and “the dude”. the Chihuahuas consume power like crazy and steer downwind as their name implies, whacky and somewhat demented. they do stuff, you just go….what??? “the dude” however is perfect downwind. just like you would expect after a few White Russians. i wish i had discovered “the dude”three days ago.


    Sir! Yes Sir!
    another morning of sailing dead down wind. its a little challenging because my boat begins to dislike the full main at about 21 kts tws depending a bit on sea state. last night i was humming along with full main 20 kts reasonable sea state good boat speed so decided to get some sack time. rude awakening sometime later with my tws alarm going off, the boat jumping and complaining and me sitting there in the bunk thinking “remind me where i am again” answer, you are in a sailboat about to do another reef Mr. Cunningham…NOW WOULD BE GOOD!
    You untangled those reefing lines earlier right? Sir, yes Sir.

    by now you may be wondering how many actual people are on the boat. well there’s Mr. Yellowcoat protecting the forward cabin, a Marine Drill Instructor kicking my ass, and a bunch of talking chipmunks who get pretty chatty when i get short on sleep. i also continue to be on board and am, in fact, doing all the work.

    Mike Chamberlain
    Freedom 30

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  • Built to List
    Pretty impressive for 1st SHTP!

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  • Carl Spackler
    Congrats Philippe!

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  • Photoboy
    The Belgian Has Landed!

    Finish Time: first over the line in the 2018 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race: Philippe Jamotte on Double Espresso, Olson 30 = with a finish time of 8:38:11 PDT, Elapsed time: 11 days, 21 hours, 13 minutes, 15 seconds!

    images © SHTP shore crew

    As we crossed the road to the little yellow house, stepping through the mud puddles, Philippe’s comment was: “This is a much different welcome than a single hander would have in France. Not that I’m complaining. That would be so overwhelming.” ;-/


    “i feel like i’m in boot camp”: Mike C
    another day of sunshine and 25 to 20 kt trades. i have lost count of the number of reefs i have done and undone. my boat likes a full main to about 20 kts so not so bad but yesterday it was up and down and up and down. OK Mr. Cunningham gimme a reef…NOW! now take it out, now put it back in. i feel like i’m in boot camp. man i wish i had that spinnaker!!!
    i keep a couple of ratchet straps on board. got a bad foul in a reefing line and was able to use the ratchet strap as a temporary reef while i got the tangle sorted out. i would think ratchets would corrode like crazy but they hold up surprisingly well and give you some otions when something awkward needs pulling or squeezing or tying down. they are cheap too.
    apparently the RC is serving MaiTais in Hanalei. there better be some left when we arrive.
    later the same day:
    its getting hot out here. time for some nude sailing. i don't suppose Rimpac has any drones or spy satellites overhead. wouldn't want to frighten anyone.


    Crinan II’s updates
    The RC received the following reports from Don on CRINAN II – to be clear, Don and the boat are fine. Progress will likely be diminished by the latest challenges – DH
    15:54 PST 7/4
    More fun. The second tiller pilot died. Spend afternoon field stripping both.
    15:55 PST 7/4
    I’m now testing it to see how long it lasts. If it’s also place it will be a slow trip home.
    22:43 PST 7/4
    The tiller pilot lasted until 12:30. Try driving for a while but with no lights I couldn’t concentrate on the compass for over an hour.


    Day 11 Summary – Remember that carnage?
    Well, there has been more carnage reported, but so far everyone is doing fine and hanging in there, from a lost solar panel to a ripped main sail on a boat that only has one sail, to AP issues, to various lines breaking free, the increased winds have dealt their blow (ha, pun) – the back half of the fleet has gotten the strongest, reporting sometimes 33 kts. The sentiment is starting to switch from let’s enjoy this great blue yonder to: yeah, I’m kinda over this and can’t wait to hit Hanalei. Well, for our fastest boat the wait is almost over as he is expected to arrive sometime Thursday morning. RC is gearing up to be ready to greet Double Espresso as he makes landfall.
    We’ve seen our clump stay dispersed somewhat today and Dark Horse, despite suffering some of the aforementioned carnage, has continued to surge and is almost overtaking JouJou. Riff Rider has hung back a little, likely due to AP issues, as well Fugu, suffering some charging issues, may rest. Until he jibed back, it almost looked as though he decided to go see the erupting volcano on the Big Island and give Kauai a miss. He’ll jibe back again.
    Dolfin, and his AIS alarm, have kept their distance from Jacqueline, and Crazy Rhythm has volunteered to keep Jacqueline company instead.
    Winds should lighten up slightly so the fleet won’t be quite as on edge. Looking forward to the first finisher tomorrow.


    Jacqueline – Yellowcoat
    i call him yellowcoat. as mentioned many posts ago, i have a bad mast creak. i have wrapped the mast in towels and stuffed some cushions around it to quiet it down. one of those cushions is a homemade quarterberth cushion covered in yellow sunbrella i have had forever. the yellow cushion is standing on end to block the doorway. so the quarterberth cushion is narrow on one end and wide on the other, you guessed it, just like a human being. well, close enough. so anyway, three or four times a day i look forward and oh shit!! theres another person on board… and he looks a lot like my quarterberth too. ha ha, maybe i should paint a face on him and call him…what did tom hanks name the ball??


    Philippe’s Last Post?
    Pfew, after that intense emotional moment I got back into sailing. These past days have had a similar pattern: we do good in the morning, poorly in the afternoon and things improve during the night. Same goes for today. We’re doing 6-7 kts pointing more or less straight at the finish line. I’ll be happy when I get there. Hopefully it’s not going to take too long, what with squalls and a light night breeze to beat into Hanalei Bay. About 100 miles left … I’ve let the racing get the better part of me since Monday or so, being obsessed about doing better. I saw the possibility and wanted to believe but since my strategy remained the same, there truly was only one thing to do, hope for more winds. I’m glad to have given it the best I thought reasonable, coming back from behind. I hope these racer reports kept you entertained; I apologize if they were a little too much about what’s in my head vs what’s going on. Out. PJ


    “you have to make it happen” says Mike C
    now this is more like it, sunny day wind blowing 20 -25 kts on lower side. sweet sailing. i tell you though, i am looking forward to the finish. folks dont know how grueling this is. day after day of 3 axis movement, tough getting adequate sleep, continuous motivation needed to get things done and keep racing. its a hard thing to sustain.

    no choice though, which is one of the attractions. you have to make it happen. its often too easy to quit stuff, not this game.


    More pink bucket inspired writing from PJ
    7.4.18 in the a.m.
    I’m about 150 miles from the finish line. I was feeling so nervous, uneasy, apprehensive about all the stuff that can still go wrong that I decided to put some music on to unwind my unruly mind. In many ways I feel like I could carry on, being the vessel’s caretaker, coming out of my burrows to tend to her needs.
    I was told that tears would be shed. It did happen once for me. I was continuously beating myself, pointing at all the flaws, and this one voice finally came out and said: you’re doing something truly exceptional and you’re doing it well, you are NOT a piece of shit. If only I could stop feeling like one. Writing this the tears are coming back. It’s the music, I swear.
    So then, it happened twice …


    Philippe: “let the boat do its thing”
    I knew I didn’t have a great day yesterday, although at 182 miles it’s still pretty good; the other guys had a swell day! 198 miles for Passages and Nightmare, 188 for Crinan II. Cool, well, no …
    I had my sunrise surprise again this morning. Exact same scenario it’s mind blowing. In the companionway, looking at the East hoping for a sunrise, the AP goes out. I now know what to: release the jibe preventer, let the boat do its thing, turn off for a bit and back on. Try again as necessary. Batteries are good …
    On to breakfast then.

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  • Photoboy

    Double Espresso finished the 2018 SHTP with line honors in the early morning of July 5th!

    Details forthcoming!

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  • Photoboy
    Independence Day SHTP UPDATE


    The latest from the race course.

    There really is nothing much more independent than a single handed sailor!

    Day 10 Summary – Wind all around
    Well, today saw the end of the fleet reach halfway, and it appears they are getting blasted, with reports of winds at 20 kts and building to 27 kts. Just the kind of conditions the back of the fleet thrives in. The weather is warming up and some boats are having fun with squalls.

    The comfort clump has expanded into more of expanded mesh as boats take off and sail to their ratings. One of these is Dark Horse who has surged ahead of the slower boats and has closed the gap on some of his ultra light competitors, sneaking up behind JouJou. Nightmare continues to bullet along, giving Passages a tease as he creeps nearer. Crinan II, in contention to win after time correction, has jibed south and continues to hold his stead. Double Espresso is maintaining first to finish position and is looking at landfall likely sometime on Thursday, July 5th, if all continues to go well.

    Dolfin has broken away from his nemesis Jacqueline and it appears Iris and Owl may dance together next. Our eastern protector Morning Star has now under 1000 miles left to go. The wind should hold for most of the fleet, but we are hoping the tail end doesn’t get waylaid by the coming tropical disturbance upsetting the tradewind flow. Let’s all blow in the direction of Kauai, perhaps our collective hot air can help to keep the wind speed up enough. Well, no, but it would be pretty cool to watch if the whole Bay Area stood along the coastline blowing in the direction of the fleet. Digression, but it is exciting to begin preparing for finishes as the first of RC has arrived in Hanalei and is prepping everything to be ready to greet the first finisher. Mai Tais are pending!

    Jacqueline contemplates the science of sleep
    managed to get some good sleep last night. rolled up the two flannel blankets i have and made a cocoon inside my lee cloths. this kept from rolling around on the berth but felt a bit like i was inside a coffin. visions of Moby Dick. i don't know what i dreamt about but they probably centered around NOISE. brian boschma turned me on to a book called “why we sleep”. very interesting read. the author talks a lot about the importance of and differences between rem and nrem sleep. i ponder the things we do and wonder what a single handers sleeping cat scan would look like. probably lots of bangs, pops, squeaks and pings on that thing is my guess.

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

    Dark Horse bucked…
    Dark Horse Update 7.3.18, 10 PM PST This is a report from Shad’s shoreside contacts following a SatPhone conversation. On Tuesday evening, Dark Horse experienced a knockdown that took out one of his 120W solar panels. He still has one 120W panel left as well as a 48W panel left (70% of original charging capacity). Everything else on the boat, including Shad, is fully operational. He slept 6-8 hours last night, is eating and drinking and plans to stay up all night driving to conserve power. He has been in contact with these boats around him on SSB: Dolfin, Morning Star, Iris, Rainbow, and Owl. [RC was able to listen in and Shad’s nearby fellow competitors are monitoring his situation and are ready to divert and assist; so far no need.]

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

    Double Espresso says “Start all over again …”
    Not your typical day Today was different. The morning wind thought it was afternoon and we made better progress than usual, or so it seemed to me. I was quite excited about the afternoon ride but it was not to be, quite the contrary. We’re now doing less than 5 kts. What looked like a squall but apparently wasn’t showed its head from behind. It didn’t cross my path, instead it veered the wind 50 degrees and left a patch of light air behind. Then a small rainy squall followed and it did its thing. It took probably another hour before the wind came back to the original direction, but much lighter. I’m looking astern and see no white caps … Oh, I don’t like this. Back after a couple hours we’re on a light air beam reach … It’s the start all over again. I sure hope all the other guys are/will get their fair share of this. 5 kts of wind … PJ One more thing… After we got started again an ominous cloud formation appeared on my starboard bow (probably was there for a while) and the wind started to veer. I decided to go South of it and the wind is coming down a bit. I went back to some of the SSS and PacCup handouts and this fits the description of what I would experience if that thing is a tropical depression. I hope it’s moving a little North … Didn’t see that on the weather charts. PJ

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

    back on the night train run to Hanalei for PJ
    We’re back on the night train run to Hanalei. I took the opportunity of light air to apply Dacron sticky back on a previous repair patch on the #2’s tack. I hope this helps hold it together until the finish. I also tightened up the foot line to stop the fluttering. And last I reset the pole ring as somehow the pin had come loose.
    Pfew I don’t know what that was but no more please! Insert pretty pleading eyes here
    PJ on DE

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

    Mike is miserable
    this has gotten a bit miserable. been blowing 25 kts plus all day. the boat is rolling through the resulting sea state most disagreeably. still making decent speed but its going to be a pretty uncomfortable night.

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

    Crinan 2 Update
    sent to RC @ 00:16 UTC

    500 miles: Accidental jibe, broke endless mainsheet. Lost control of sail and wishbone. Recaptured. Jibing back , sail tore. Choker broken. Continuing

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

    3rd reefs are a comin’
    From Jacqueline: finished clean up on sail plan about an hour ago. got the third reef properly set and rigged the gun mount to pole out the jib on either tack. had to do this stuff on the low side and got a nice wave waist deep. this concentrated my mind wonderfully on competing the task at hand and getting the hell back in the cockpit. water is nice and warm tho. currently bowing 25 kts gusting as high as 33. fun. boat is pretty well balanced and handling well. rcvd 7/3 13:00 PDT

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

    Phillippe is a little sleepy
    We’re still making our way to Hanalei Bay, under poled out jib and full main. For the past 4-5 days the mornings started slow with this sail plan and then picked up a little afternoon. At night things picked up a little more and we made good progress. I didn’t see squalls this past night. My activities on the boat are fairly minimal. I take care of myself, do daily deck checks, check keel and rudder twice a day, monitor heading and adjust the AP regularly to keep us on track or off sailing by the lee, get Grib files and weather charts now and then, and communicate a little with the “world”. We’re doing 7+ kts on a COG of about 240T. I wonder what it’s like to watch the race. I also wonder how the other skippers are sailing their boat. It looks like Nightmare is going hard! I mostly sleep on the cabin floor now. It’s still noisy and my mattress is about 1 foot wide but I find it easier to relax there. Fatigue from sleep deprivation has settled in and I’m being cautious with everything I do. It’s time I start to think about the finish line. It looks like I’m due for a night arrival, which may mean beating to shore. I’m not writing much about my surroundings as much as been said before. It is blue, beautiful and breathing! Everything, movements, sounds, seem to join forces to make me feel sleepy … I’m going for my morning nap. Philippe

    ************************************************** ****
    Last edited by Photoboy; 07-04-2018, 12:02 PM.

    Leave a comment:

  • Photoboy
    Julky 3 UPDATE: Breeze On And Carnage


    Day 9 Summary – Nearly all are halfway and puff on!
    Day 9 finds all but two racers ticking off the halfway point and everyone is reporting the wind building.
    Double Espresso is maintaining his lead in distance to finish, if he hangs on and doesn’t break anything major,
    we can expect that he’ll be the first to say Aloha. As the wind fills in on the whole course, there is not likely to
    be a whole lot of change in position among the first few boats, though those in the clump could see some movement
    as conditions better for heavier boats. The racers will move from “doing everything to keep the boat moving” mode,
    to “doing everything to keep the boat from breaking” mode. Always a fun transition.

    We saw Kyntanna stabilize her track a bit with the stronger winds, and Owl became our new northwest flyer, heading off even
    further relative to the past northerners. Nightmare also tracked more northerly today, as did Fugu.
    Dark Horse advanced a little further away from the comfort clump. We heard Dolfin and Jacqueline are in active
    avoidance mode of each other. Morning Star is still holding off to the east and Riff Rider is our southern most track.
    Wind should hold for most for the remainder of the race, and least for the front half of racers.
    Tropical weather may disrupt the tradewind flow for the slowest boats, it all depends how well they advance in the
    current wind. It is amazing how northerly overall this fleet has been able to sail, almost straight rhumb-lining it.
    And though slow, they really did not have to experience days of jelly fish passing them by. I wonder if they know how lucky they are!

    boats are reporting 20 knots and rising through to 27 knots sustained,
    speeds in the high 6’s. They are moving right along. Sounds like folks are reefing down.
    They were told RC is beginning to arrive in
    Hanalei. The response was we want to get there, too.


    wind picking up and halfway for Jacqueline
    winds picking up on the course today with about 17 kts tws right now. above the 10 to 12 we had last night. kind of a dreary day tho. had a few squalls this morn and nice sun for about an hour rest of the day has been overcast.
    big news for jacqueline is she crossed halfway about 5nm ago. only 1065nm to go. hoping to knock that out in 7 and 1/2 days. going to be quite a challenge.
    thank you to my lovely wife, the real Jacqueline for the halfway goodies and especially the card. i love you too.
    also many thanks to Margie for the halfway box. perfect. the drink mix, sweet, all i bought was water and i am getting mighty tired of straight water.
    finally, thanks greg ashby for the red vines although they didn’t make it even halfway to the halfway.
    just saw Matsonia about 8nm to starboard headed to honolulu. shes doing 20 knots so good bet shell be to hawaii before we will.
    BB didn’t realize you did a lot of my halfway box and just saw your card, thank you, thank you and love you too.
    rcvd 17:06 PDT 7/1

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

    And the carnage reports begin…
    Dolfin’s whisker pole is now 12ft rather than the 20ft it was before the line just parted. Not good for downwind wing on wing sailing.
    I could drop the pole and try to fix it but that would take time (and a little luck) so I furled up the genoa to where it matched
    the new shorter pole and now it’s more like a storm jib. The reduced sail area was painful on speed so there was nothing for it
    but to shake out the reef in the main. Of course we then went from just wild rolling to truly bizarre rolling which the autopilot
    doesn’t seem to like much. Tonight the wind should pick up above 20kts and the reef will go back in.
    Guess it’s my turn for some bad luck too.

    Halfway and Trades for Dolfin (no mention of the micro-tactics- a tactic?)
    Yesterday was half way day and Dolfin had some presents waiting. Thank you Margie for your support of the fleet
    and the goodies you gave us. Probably won’t touch the champagne though until Hanalei.
    There was also a package from my wife, Patty. It is full of daily surprises as I learned so there were seven to open right away.
    She is so thoughtful and creative – day eight is a small baggie filled with “dirt from home”.
    You start dreaming of dirt after seeing nothing but water for days and weeks. We’re in the trades now, DDW with 18-22 kts and moving right along. So far no squalls


    Micro-tactics with Dolfin and Jacqueline and mid ocean collision avoidance
    beautiful morning! dolphin bill and i continue dueling with him taking the prize last night…drat.
    i could not carry my full main, neither could he. turns out we reefed about the same time, expecting to get higher
    winds thru the night and not wanting our beauty sleep interrupted. bills resulting sail plan gave him 1/4 to 1/2 knot advantage.
    so during the night he pulled several miles ahead as i sat here gnashing my teeth. my boat wasn’t going to take more sail.
    bill calls me on VHF as this is playing out. asks how either of us is going to get any sleep being so close. so we coordinated sleep times.
    not sure either of us stuck to the plan. i think bill snuck up there and added more sail is what i think.
    i thought it would be pretty funny if two [SHTP] boats collided 1000 miles off shore. bill was not amused.


    Jacqueline sizzles…
    just had a small electrical fire in cockpit. fire is too extreme a word. a raymarine stng network connector started
    smoking and sizzling at the interface to the distribution strip. fortunately i got a no gps fix alarm and looked up
    into the cockpit from the cabin and saw the smoke. quickly jumped out there and disconnected the plotter interface
    which was the culprit. fortunately no impact on AP head which uses the same strip. worst case i could relocate the
    AP head inside the boat to a spare stng plug i have available. minor impact but exciting event. 884 more miles.


    Mike C “don’t need no stinking wheel”.

    well, i knew it wouldn't last. dolfin bill left me in the dust. i was sailing too conservatively with a sail plan for weather
    that was forecast, not the weather we had. not to mention, bill knows how to sail the heck out of his boat.
    maybe i can find a way to catch up.

    did a rather interesting repair on the boat today. my backup raymarine wheel pilot started binding probably because
    of the salt storm during the windy reach. anyway, it was causing my below decks linear drive to work OT to overcome
    the resistance. i decided to pull the wheel pilot off. which means the wheel has to come off. no drama, i don't need no stinking wheel.

    the linear is connected to a tiller arm on the rudder stock. so off the wheel came,drove the boat about 10 miles with
    no steering wheel thinking all the time “please linear drive do not decide to fail right now”

    wow, dramatically lower power consumption on the linear. i should have removed that wheel pilot long ago.


    And more carnage…
    From Double Espresso:
    What a night! It all started with late afternoon squalls then the night squalls. They were rapidly following each
    other and were preceded by a bit of rain. We were running under full main and poled out #2. It was exhilarating.
    After driving through a bunch of them to get a sense of how they work I set the autopilot on and moved in my
    downstairs apartments. Then laid in the pipe berth. At some point we got rocked 90 degrees to port and the
    autopilot slowly got us back on track. I didn’t make much of it. I went on deck later during the night and discovered
    that the jibe preventer wasn’t on the boom anymore, not only that the whole line was gone. It was made fast to the
    boom with a snap shackle to a fuse line and then routed back to the cabin through a cam cleat. I rigged a new one.

    The morning came and as I was watching astern hoping for our first sunrise, the auto pilot stopped working.
    It was still on but wouldn’t go in auto mode. I wasn’t sure what to do next. First I had to recover the boat,
    which was now going backwards with the wind in the jib and main aback, poled out and preventer on.
    I eased out the preventer and was able to regain control. From then on I tried different things with the goal to
    continue moving forward ASAP. I managed to get the spare autopilot and it worked, then no more.
    I thought it was the batteries again (I had been monitoring them though). I got the generator and chargers out
    and started that out. At that point I was still sailing to Hanalei with main only as I managed to drop the 2.
    In the end a restart of the autopilot seemed to fix this.

    I wanted to be a little faster without encumbering the deck so I poled out the #3.
    And finally, a couple hours later, the batteries were at 75%, I stowed the generator down and poled out the 2 again.
    Then I brought back the generator to finish the charging.
    It looks like another slow start to the day. The position report said I was 555 miles away from the finish …
    I like that 555. SailGrib says I may arrive Thursday 5am pdt. No fireworks then …
    The cabin has remained somewhat organized. There’s just too much stuff aboard.
    I do feel tired having helmed through the squalls and dealt with the fallout of this morning incident.
    A quiet room with soft music please …
    I’m left with a few bruises and scratches, pain in the right hip and tip of the right index.
    Few things could have been worse. Imagine this happening during a squall …
    rcvd 7/1 16:16 PDT


    This is what it’s about – reflections from Dark Horse
    Dark Horse Update 6.29.18, 10 PM PST

    The past couple days have brought a lot of self-reflection. I can be pretty competitive because I like to excel at whatever I am doing, I thrive off of it. So when I found myself at the back of the fleet after the Southerly Surge on the first night, I was pretty discouraged, and still am a bit. There were boats almost 200 miles ahead of me before I got wind to move again. So for the past couple days I have been trying to reconcile my competitive nature with this trip which is more than a race. It is said to change people and to be an adventure of a lifetime. I was talking with someone before the race and told them I was pretty nervous. Their reply was “Just remember why you wanted to do the race”. That comment set me back. I couldn’t remember. I have been so busy trying to make it to the start line, running a business, and being a good dad and boyfriend that I lost sight of why I am doing the 2018 SHTP. What people see when they see my boat is a lot of time and money put into it. I have worked hard over the last 5 years to put together the boat that I want to do the trip in and that will give me the best experience. But why do I want to do the 2018 SHTP?

    I did not grow up sailing. I did not grow up by the ocean. What attracted me to sailing was a couple of things. I started sailing on an 18’ Buccaneer. Even though that was not the best sailboat, I found myself living in the moment while I was out sailing. I just loved the experience of the wind and sails and water. I am a thinker, so for me just to go do something and not ponder it gave me a sense enjoyment. Each time I came back from sailing, I felt refreshed, calmed, and with a positive outlook. Those days on the Buccaneer 18 on Canyon Ferry in Montana developed that passion for the experience. When I lived in San Francisco, I got on a crewed boat and loved it even more. Racing teaches a lot and I have the desire to perfect whatever it is that I’m doing. Racing with that boat is when I first heard about the SHTP. My response was “WAIT!,….So there a race to Hawaii alone??!!, that’s pretty badass!” So I was hooked when I first heard about it. I think it was mostly the experience of crossing an ocean, the freedom, seeing things relatively few people see, experiencing things relatively few people experience, the challenge, figuring out how and why, all of it was why I wanted to do it. I started figuring out which boat to get, and how I’m going to do it and so on, but the drive to do it wasn’t there until September 2014.

    September 2014 started the most difficult thing I have ever had to face. After being the primary caregiver for our daughter, a judge decided to let my ex take our daughter over 600 miles away from me. It wasn’t a decision based on who would be in the best position to take care of my daughter. I remember sitting in court trying to defend why the court should let me be a part of my daughter’s life. No one should have to justify that. The only justification is that you are a parent, it’s a right. Within days I literally had my daughter ripped from my arms, both of us crying and a smile on her mom’s face. It was the most painful experience of my life.

    After that moment I could no longer sleep, no longer eat. I lost my daughter. She was and still is my life. My only goal in life to be there for her and to support her. I felt like that was also taken away from me. I was barely functional and basically mourning. Nights were the worst, I would toss and turn and never could settle. That’s when I decided to do the SHTP. From that moment on I would get home from work and work on the boat in my shop until 3 or 4 in the morning until I just couldn’t stay awake anymore, then get up at 6 am and go to work. I used the SHTP as a means to cope. Not alcohol or drugs, or any other bad habit, I decided to start this journey and use it as a means to help me cope. Instead of turning to anger and frustration, which would have consumed me, I turned to this project to focus my energy on. Over the last 4 years, I have focused on my relationship with my daughter, my work and the SHTP, keeping my nose to the grindstone.

    Joseph Campbell describes a Hero’s Journey as something everyone needs to be taking, and not one journey but it’s a revolving journey. In basic terms he describes the parts of the journey as 1) separation- the life you once knew no longer exists; 2) leaving- the hero leaves on a quest to find what is missing; 3) journey- the journey along the way with people and experiences that help and fighting battles; and 4) return- not returning to the way things were but rather finding new meanings and returning as the hero with purpose.

    After sailing along today looking at the ocean, seeing how many different colors of blue the sky and waters are, having the spinnaker flying to the perfect rhythm of the quartering waves, I realized I am living in the moment. A perfect moment. A moment very few people experience. My reason for the SHTP is my hero’s journey. The actual race is but one small part of the trip. I will return to Hawaii in a week, where my exceptional daughter, my beautiful girlfriend and her wonderful boys will be waiting to welcome me. I won’t measure my journey and this experience by PHRF ratings. Sure winning would have been incredible, but I now realize that I won my race, my journey, before the start gun last Saturday, the moment I talked with my daughter before the race. I told her I was nervous and her reply was and has always been supportive. That’s when I realized she was being supportive because she has always felt supported in her life. That is what my hero’s journey, the 2018 SHTP, is about.

    Dark Horse Update 6.30.18, 8 PM PST

    More of the same conditions today, light sailing but really pleasant. I flew the spinnaker till 4 am then I got some rest. Last night was very enjoyable. Some stars and some bioluminescence. The lines that were on the cockpit floor would sparkle as I coiled them. I’m headed straight down the great circle route today and tonight. Looks like winds will be building over the next 3 days. I think I should be halfway tomorrow in the afternoon! Looking forward to a fast run to Hanalei. I saw Dolfin and Jacklin yesterday and talked to them on vhf. I’m flying the A5 right now and moving along pretty nicely. I saw another albatross today and another smaller bird. The smaller bird was like the size of a Blue Jay, wondering what it is doing way out here.

    Leave a comment:

  • Photoboy
    July 1st SHTP Update


    Philippe: “Where is the sun? “
    Sunday 7.1.18 Noon …Where is the sun? I’m afraid I may have to put the generator back to work.

    I saw those pop corn clouds yesterday. They’re cute and shy, hiding behind the cloud cover.
    We saw squalls and rain during the night, some stars too. I mostly staid inside back in the pipe berth. I dropped the 3 before closing shop and put it back up this morning.

    You know … I wouldn’t mind arriving in Hanalei Bay when they start up the fireworks. But that’s my grandiose thinking at work again and a safe landfall is cool too.
    For those in the know I’ve got three heads! A pink one, just for me. A small white one for the kiddos and a green one I keep in the stern lazarette for the guests.
    I noticed pictures don’t look great so sorry about that.

    It’s another slow start for the day. With twin jibs the boat lights up right about 15 kts of wind, when everything works together. Below that it’s not pretty and a spinnaker would help. I considered that for a moment this morning and then declined.
    I have rigged an afterguy on the whisker pole and hopefully that’ll help prevent the crazy wrap I got when I jibed this sail plan for the first time. I’ve rehearsed the steps and thought about ways to depower or drop the rig. Wind is supposed to go up so … Better be ready …
    Out …


    Jacqueline and Dolphin play cat and mouse
    jacqueline and dolphin continue to play cat and mouse. dolphin is the mouse though because i am the one who always seems to be chasing. we are in sight of each other much of the time which is really cool if you are me. if you are dolfin bill you would probably like to have me fall in a hole. anyway it is fun. we talk on the vhf once or twice a day to compare tactics and strategy. obviously these discussions have not yet yielded concrete results for either party.

    this brings to mind a wonderful scene in patrick o'brian Desolation Island where a French (i think it was French) warship was chasing Suprise into the southern ocean for days and slowly closing. Aubury had his top gunner set up the long gun in the captains cabin and started taking shots at the oncoming ships rigging. they got luck eventually and knocked down the foremast which the French ship ran over and basically pitch poled. that took care of the cat.


    Passages sends a novel
    Hello All, Here are some highlights from PASSAGES.
    Arrived at the “windy reach” portion of the course on Sunday. The day started with sunny skies and light air, but by noon an overcast sky had filled in and the wind began to build into the evening. In the late afternoon I was reaching with the No. 3 and double reefed main, and decided to go down to the No. 4 before dark. This was a good call as I used this configuration for the next 36 hours through winds up to 30-33 kts with boat speed up to 15 kts.

    Here are some things that worked out well in this portion of the race. Meclizine, I took one dose (25mg) on Friday morning and another on Friday evening, and had no symptoms of seasickness at all. Normally, I would have symptoms for the first 18 hours of a trip. Food, Ruben Gabriel suggested at a SSS seminar to take cold leftover pizza and Mountain House freeze-dried granola and blue berries. Both were easy to prep and perfect for the early part of the race. because I was not seasick, I was actually hungry and eating. Hat tip to Ruben on those suggestions. Giant zip ties, on Monday morning, midway through windy reach, I noticed one of my solar panels was coming loose in the mount to the pulpit. I had brought along some of the Anchor 24″ heavy duty cable ties in my kit, even though I was not sure what I might use them for. These provided a quick fix for the solar panel mount problem as they are quite strong and provided additional attachment between the panel frame and the pulp

    Things that did not work. Forward deck hatch, the forward deck hatch leaked badly in breaking seas over the fordeck. Each wave would deposit about 1 cup of water into the forward part of the boat. The companionway sliding hatch was also leaking badly, but at a slower rate. EVERYTHING inside the boat was getting wet, and items not placed into ziplock bags or stored in dry bags were soaked, especially if stored along the hull on the port side (which practically speaking becomes part of the bilge on a starboard tack Olson 30). I should have spent more effort on this issue pre-race. The companionway hard cover and other solid hatches on DARKHORSE are looking pretty good. I also should have brought more socks and sailing gloves individually packaged to stay dry until use. Knee pads too.

    Day 4 and 5 were improving but still cold, and, at least on PASSAGES, wet. By Wednesday evening the wind was out of the NE and I was able to set the twins for the night and run to the SW.

    Day 6 I was able to set the kite in the morning and had a nice day of spinnaker sailing.

    Day 7 was the best day of sailing so far. Great sailing, sunny, clear skies and warm. foulies are gone and things are starting to dry out. Opened the halfway box from Margie and enjoyed the treats for the two days. Thanks, Margie!

    Day 8 was somewhat light air sailing with cloudy skies and frequent light rain showers. I took a shower and cleaned up. Things are drying out inside the boat. Except for one ship on day two, have not seen a yacht, ship, or aircraft. Nor any sea life. Just miles and miles of empty ocean.
    800 miles to go!
    Regards, David
    rcvd 22:55 6/30


    Riff Rider checks in
    Charlie doesn’t have email on the boat boat but dictated this over his sat phone to Laurie:
    “Greetings from Riff Rider,

    If my calculations are accurate I passed the halfway point this morning. In the first half of the trip I lost my radar rig, I shredded my #3 jib, my auto pilot popped a fuse, the jib sheet stripped off a top side housing vent, my mainsheet swivel got bent and the boom vang is trying to peel its face plate off the mast. (I secured it with banding, several wraps of duct tape and several loops of well cinched spectra). Other than that, things have been rather uneventful. �� I have seen a couple of albatross, a small fishing rig came alongside for a picture, saying he had never seen a sail boat so far out. An oil tanker radioed in that he was altering his course to pass me on my stern, so I guess the AIS transponder is working and apparently very much worth it. Last night I passed within 300 yards of a standing object with a red light and a white strobe. Probably a weather buoy I’m guessing.

    I don’t have a SSB or email set up so I’m not in contact with other sailors but I do hope they are having the experience they were hoping they would and I wish them smooth and safe sailing. Riff Rider out.”


    Cheese please – says Jacqueline
    the end of another beautiful albeit slower day. wind at about 10kts most of the day. i am wing on wing so nothing has or will change for the next 7 days with regard to sailplan. looking hard at the halfway point. looks like maybe later tomorrow.

    getting pretty tired of the chow. i provisioned this time because the real Jacqueline was prepping for our trip oseas. big mistake on my part. reminds me of an off color saying during my Navy days. you’d ask the cook what was for dinner and he’d say “horsecock and cheese and we’re all out of cheese”. that about sums it up.

    rcvd 6/30 19:51 PDT


    No More Slatting for Dolfin

    Finally getting a little wind after two slow days. 10-12kts now with assymetrical up on a beautiful, clear day. Starting to remember why I’m doing this again. Jacqueline has been near me almost from the start and I’ve had to disable the AIS alarm several times as a result. Sure miss Mouton Noir as Comm Boat; we did it by committee trying to fill Mike’s shoes but now Morning Star has taken up the challenge and is doing great. Hoping this wind will hold all the way to Hanalei – no more slatting.



    Top 5 boats

    Distance to go chart above

    Corrected placement


    Oh dear – Excrement Weather for JouJou
    Half-way day is total shit storm. SS#1: Primary AP died with spin up = carnage. Secondary AP cannot handle spin.


    Ouch that hurts – Double Espresso
    I knew I had a slow day but … I’m setting more achievable goals, like skipper with most racer updates, or fastest Belgian skipper in the SHTP ever …
    I know I have friends and family’s eyes on me and all I can say is I hope the wind picks up. When it’s too light for what I carry it sets up a bunch of negative feedback loops that keep the boat slow. There’s this threshold where everything lights up and we didn’t see it for the most part yesterday. A dollup of 20+ kts wind with your morning race report? Yes please!

    rcvd 6/30 11:00 am PDT


    Swells are not so swell for spinnies – so just breathe
    Good afternoon from Double Espresso,

    The temperature is rising and the sky is still overcast. Yesterday came with winds too light for my sailplan and I got crushed 40 miles by almost everyone. I knew it had been a poor day; when the official position report came in … it was a wake up call. This is all because I don’t have experience with spinnakers in a sea state. Sailing in flat seas is one thing but here the boat changes course 30 degrees in a split second. During my preparation this never came up. In fact I only realized this shortcoming during the race to the Farallon Islands. Most everybody spoke of keeping the spinnaker up in strong breeze but that’s only secondary to putting it up in light breeze in the first place, in a rolling sea, to keep speed up. Maybe it was obvious and I just missed it. Oh well …

    I’ll go do some breathing to flush the disappointment out and look forward. We probably have another 4-5 days to Hanalei. The wind is supposed to pick up so I need to focus on not breaking anything if that materializes.



    Day 7 Summary – “Someone” said rest on the 7th day and some are halfway

    On the seventh day it has been said that one must rest. Hmmm, maybe not so much for these racers. The slower one goes in lighter winds, the more one actually must work to make the boat move. These folks are still lucky though, despite slow speeds, they appear to still have some speed. If the high had sunk further south, like in some prior years, 4 kts would be celebrated with much glee. We have reports that the front five maybe did rest briefly upon their visit to the halfway barge and my understanding is that they were well rewarded with Starbucks and ice cream…er, at least maybe jerky and something to read, perhaps a picture of a coffee, wink, wink? Halfway boxes are all the way fun.

    Well, only 1000 miles and change to go…. �� Now well in the lead to finish first, Double Espresso has maybe had some triple espresso. He complains of being slow, but if the tracking is correct, he’s a fair bit ahead. Speaking of going, things may be going a lot more quickly in the coming days if the winds strengthen as forecast. Our leaders will likely reap the benefits. The comfort clump may even get the advantage first and catch up. Let’s hope our northwest flyer, Kyntanna, sees it too.


    Jacqueline tutors on to dos
    what many people may not realize is how much work goes on aboard the boat during the race. in addition to managing sailplan, course, weather and actually sailing, there is a lot of stuff that comes up. i have a daily to do list. i am sure other racers do too.


    tape bucket handle (yea, THAT bucket)
    jury rig vang strap
    rig gun mount pole as whisker and main preventer
    sort third reef line, remove fairlead, untwist
    sew loose end flap on jackline
    clean up oil in shaft well
    move main and jib halyard shackle to reduce chafe from vang
    inspect AP drive
    reseal emergency tiller access plate
    and on and on

    you have to schedule all this stuff to accommodate conditions and some things get done forward on a tether so you have to be careful you dont get so engrossed in the task that you forget there’s not much between you and the deep blue sea.

    this does not include the “shit happens” stuff which happens more than you might think.

    rcvd 6/30 3:58 am


    Day 6 Summary – Fast Boats in the slow lane, slow boats in the slower lane
    So Day 6 saw a relaxing of wind and relative slowing of the fleet. Folks are still moving though, just not as fast as before. Racers are reporting a welcomed poking out of the sun and lightening of the wind. Happier solar panels. Power is a very good thing. The suicidal squid and flying fish are beginning to make their appearances. The tropics are nearing…

    Some are contemplating their proximity to that Pacific high. Kyntanna continues her northward surge, reporting that one of her considerations is staying high to keep the windvane from accidentally jibing the boat. Her boat sails without a spinnaker. Others are getting some use of their spinnies. Riff Rider continues to stay south and stay moving, as does Double Espresso, who though slowed, is still moving respectably in the 6 kt range and has moved into the lead for arriving first. Nightmare and Passages are also moving well in the lighter air and have overtaken a few positions on elapsed time. The comfort clump continues to comfort each other, each not straying too far. Morning Star continues to protect the eastern front. The beginning of the fleet will soon reach half way. Smooth sailing from there on out? Well, the weather could get interesting following this lull. We’ll check in on that soon.

    Leave a comment:

  • Photoboy
    Overcoming Spinny Fear


    Kynntana talks Strategy
    In case it’s not obvious (and you wondered about my strategy or if I had one) Kynntana is not rated for a spinnaker. I don’t fly one solo yet.

    The crazy turns have to do with keeping the sails trimmed to my polars. I can’t sail DDW and today especially in light air, that kills my boat speed, but it is what I’m comfortable with right now.

    Still learning the ropes & this ocean gives a student much to learn.


    FUGU Back on track – with an update
    After a brief pause in tracker data, Chris is back on the board and sends the following update:

    Thursday 5 days. Dawn and ap still has power, time to face my spinifear! I hoist and it goes well. The mind made it bigger than it needed to be.

    FUGU Giving the AP a rest
    6.28.18 2334 PST

    So i worried about having enough battery to run the ap while i slept. So i drove till midnight took the main down so the wimpy but frugal ap could manage


    Kynntana musings
    6.29.18 11:51 PST

    Curious how others have been dealing with power consumption. It has been so overcast for several days now. Sun is finally out now.

    Though I fear I have sailed right into the high & am struggling to keep boat moving, it was nice & calm enough to have spent the morning inside the bilge and cockpit locker, engine and stern of my boat. Finally solved an issue that had vexed me for the past 5 years so I’d have to say the day has turned out nicely. Wind might be picking up too. Ugh, I hope so!

    jacqueline is hopeful while watching the sunset
    skip Allen’s weather write up was pretty accurate with respect to sun. hit 135 west and out came the sun. beautiful day and sunset. wind blowing around 10 to 15 kts tws. warming up. pressure where i am is 1025 hpa which i think is on the high side but it is what it is. gribs say a little tendril of the high moving down over next day or two. hope to move through before that happens.
    rcvd 6/28 9:45 PDT


    “I’m a little tired,” says our friend PJ
    6.28.18 3:57 pm

    I’ll be short and to the point today.
    My plan was to wait for the wind to veer to jibe but realized the barometric pressure kept rising and was just 1-2 mbar to the center. I decided to jibe early, around midnight. Everything went South and for about 2 hours I worked to fix the mess,

    a lot of bow work primarily but constantly running aft and forward, port to starboard, all the while clipped on. I’m a little tired. We’re moving slowly; it looks like everyone is. I’m eating, drinking, working the boat, communicating and not finding much sleep, not for lack of trying.

    One little squid landed on the stern and sprayed ink all over. I saw a flying fish and checked the keel and rudder again. All clear and I wouldn’t mind a bath. It’s good I’m alone here! And that’s it for now. Let’s check the forecast.


    “How To Tame Your Monitor” by Carliane Johnson
    6.28.18 11:37 am

    Half of last night was spent on lessons for How To Tame Your Monitor. I’ve been told it takes “some” miles to get it figured out.

    I think it has been at least 600 for me and my two jibes to port, the Monitor kept wanting to go to LA. It is a beast. I haven’t figured a name for it (if I ever do) and like any stubborn beast, it doesn’t really do what you are coaxing it to do until you pull the right lines, tighten its reins right, and set it’s course correctly.

    I still don’t ….fully trust it right out of the gate because it does have a tendency to wander off course. In big sea state, this is a big issue because Kynntana is also veering off course rather wildly. It has been good for me. Cruising/racing in the bay rarely involves a self steering contraption hanging off your stern, but like many others have said, I’ll never go to sea without one!


    Chaos on JouJou
    6.28.18 11:30 am

    Jibed S too close to high. Spinnaker + AP + swells = Chaos, so in cruze mode.


    Day 5 Summary – Slower Pinwheel under the Pacific High
    Today saw the windy reach transitioning into “crossing the ridge” for the bulk of the fleet – this means winds much further aft, and lightening up as they move out of the wide California Coastal flow, aka Gale Alley, into the edge of the Eastern Pacific High pressure zone and their “slot car” paths.

    Our intrepid are reporting relaxing, eating full meals, and likely beginning to enjoy the sailing. That is, as long as they are not fretting too much about what may lie ahead. Remember that heretofore behaving Pacific High? Well, even the good kids act out occasionally and the forecast is showing this High maybe just can’t resist messing with our guys and gal.

    The current long, not well formed, High is forecast to tighten up a bit in the next couple of days, and as it does this, it will extend a ridge from north to south down into the path of the fleet. We’ve seen some of the fleet likely reacting to this projection, including Riff Rider who has dipped more south, as well, Double Espresso. Others in the fleet, however, seem to have veered north, or west, Crinan II, JouJou, Passages, Nightmare. Overall, this year’s fleet is tracking a more northerly route than past races, flirting with the edge of that ridge, including the boats in the “clump of comfort”: Fugu, Iris, Jacqueline, Owl, Dolphin, Crazy Rythym, and Dark Horse. Kyntanna has sailed over west to join that party, leaving Morning Star still as the easternmost boat.

    We’ll see in about 36-48 hours what effect the lighter winds have. Some may be able to get in front of the ridge, some may end up in it. Distance traveled is always a trade off with the speed traveled over that distance.


    Jacqueline forgoes the spinny for the moment
    so i am back to wing on wing. prety frustrating because i know its perfect weather for the spinnaker, even for a relative novice like myself.
    i guess i will just relax and try to kick this damn cold.
    the good news is the gunmount pole make for a superb whisker pole. i can rig both tacks and jibe the jib from the cockpit. i haden’t thought of this before the race but when i deployed the pole i realized it would work great in this application.


    On Double Espresso: “Even sleeping is work here!”
    6.27.18 7 pm

    In no particular order here are a few of the things that happened today.
    I discovered that one of the solar panels’ fuse had tripped. I may not have to use the generator again if only the sun could peak through. I am managing energy as frugally as reasonable.
    The radar reflector cut through one of his lanyard and is hanging lose. I don’t know that I will be able to fix that; it’s too risky. I thought I had done a good job of protecting them against chafe.
    Speaking of chafe I’ve put the millionaire’s tape to good use today to protect some of the lines pushing on the lifelines.
    I saw a few birds, one flying fish and plastic debris. I used the GoPro on a stick to check the keel and rudder and they were clear. I know I had pickup stuff because the first night I saw seaweed dragging from the stern. But nothing now. I’ll check again tomorrow.
    Here’s a picture. Think of a caption or don’t, whatever, just know I’m having my first true meal: mushroom risotto. Good stuff!

    Now that you thought of a caption … And at the request of you don’t know who … Know that my royal derrière was aired today for a fresh delivery, nothing like sitting in the cockpit of a small boat that’s rolling under a cruising rig to work your core. I know TMI again ….
    It was light wind today, “petite vitesse” after a fast night. Maybe we’re in for one more. I still don’t know what I’m going to do about that wind hole. For now I’m sticking to a heading somewhere between rhumb line and great circle (yeah I know making choices is hard!). I am almost DDW but that seems the best course for me. Since I’m “slotcar’ing” now I’m not supposed to jibe. Thank you to Skip and Stan for their advice on the SSS web site.
    Sometimes we’re sailing by the Lee so I’m on my tippy toes as we’ve had swell come from the South with gusts. I’m sure the jibe “preventer” protected this head at least a couple of times!
    Thanks for reading my prose at sea. No room for philosophy yet, just work work work … Even sleeping is work here!

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  • Photoboy
    Wednesday June 27 Report


    Day 4 Summary –Surf’s Up
    As our sailors are easing into the windy reach, the windy is easing in to boat parts and doing away with the weakest of links. Boom Vangs, autopilots, wayward halyards, traveler cars, mainsail tears have all been reported. If your parts make it through this phase, well, hopefully, that means they’ll last you the whole trip. We can think that way, anyhow.

    Most racers are reporting warmer weather and water now, and the wind starting to clock a little aft. We have seen a juxtaposition of leader boats with the sport boats doing their stuff in the conditions they were made for: Double Espresso and Passages, two Olson 30s, the boat of choice for this race, surfed up from behind to overtake the Capo 30 JouJou and join in the lead with Riff Rider and Crinan II, in elapsed time. Standings with corrected time are much different, and with so much runway left, it is still anyone’s race, well, almost anyone.

    Wind is still projected to hold and a southerly surge reprise forecasted for this weekend should land far enough east of the fleet not to be a factor in slowing anyone down. Several days out, tropical low pressure systems off Mexico might disrupt some of the usual tradewind flow, so we’ll be keeping an eye on those weather systems. The dreaded Pacific High has so far been behaving itself, and staying well to the North. Great luck for these 2018 racers.


    Crinan’s Broken AP
    as reported to RC tracking –
    Primary tiller pilot packed up. The secondary is making weird noises. Hope it makes it. Still moving.


    Jou Jou checks in: “First 3 days rough but better now.”
    JouJou approaching 1/3 mark. First 3 days rough but better now. Two spinnaker wipeouts so under plain sail. Weather grey.but warming.


    Well, we're Wednesday, right? So that would be D+4 and I feel like queasiness has left me. I never threw up or fell incapacitated but it wasn't comfortable and I couldn't eat or drink much. Today I may get the stove ready for I am craving a miso soup!
    The wind is astern and the sea has flatten. I think my current sailplan is giving me enough speed to start surfing. We're not getting drenched, which is good; although I certainly didn't mind pumping out the water that came over the rail when we were surfing at 10-15 kts a couple days ago.
    There are still plenty of miles to cover and the GRIB file this morning showed a large patch of light wind developing ahead. It looks like the EPAC High will be sending one of his boat speed killer tentacle in front of us (a ridge to cross!). Well, that's my interpretation of what I saw.
    I ran a few routings and there are two options. If I'm slow go North of what appears to be a calm area straight ahead on my
    current course; if I'm fast go South. Oh man, just the king of decision I don't like!
    I'll have to monitor through the day. For now it looks like I have until tomorrow afternoon to decide.
    On a personal level I did a bit of personal hygiene jobs (brush my teeth, wiped my face, put a bit of deodorant and something else, important stuff but best not put in writing). No dancing moves on the pink throne.
    I do feel that my brain is trying to make sense from all the noise and it sometimes think it's a voice saying stuff. I know better 😉
    It is still very overcast and I can't even figure out where the sun is at so I can point the solar panel to it! I'll have to run the generator again.
    That'll be my update for today. I think we've had a good night; I need to get true sleep; I'm lying down a lot and my best guess of true sleep is probably something like 4-6 hours.
    Out with cute drawings from my daughter Luna ...
    Double Espresso


    Jacqueline: “Randy isnt out here to save my ass.”
    6.27.18 7:30 am
    537nm offshore. past the point where i had my rudder panic last race. good thing too cause Randy isnt out here to save my ass. i miss him. dolfin bill is still pretty close though and i know he wants to see that beer get to hawaii.
    winds are down as forecast, blowing about 15kts tws. the reach is getting broader and its starting to warm up a bit. chores for the morning include tweaking my vang fix, checkking weather forecast, completing engine charging and setting up the gunmount for the chute. i hope to give that sail a shot today…gulp.
    got a ton of sleep last night. good thing because i have a cold and sore throat…aargh!
    heard some guy on the radio last night. fisherman i guess, coordinating with someone i couldnt receive, i did hear all about his radar being out. humm, wonder if he has AIS?? probably not. hopefully he has lights.

    according to Mike: “#5 whipping twine makes excellent dental floss”
    i realize i am oversharing but there is not much else to do at the moment. so… for those of you sailors who a. brush your teeth while at sea, b. use dental floss after each brushing and c. run out of floss, i just found that #5 whipping twine makes excellent dental floss. hows that for macguivering.

    Jacqueline contemplating Spinny
    got the gunmount rigged up but held off on spinny. pole works a treat with the camberspar jib. beautiful wing on wing set up. tws at around 18. given my lack of experience with the spinnaker i will hold off until tws gets below 15 if it ever does.
    rcvd 9/27 9:25 PDT

    mike cunningham
    Freedom 30


    Dark Horse: “…an accidental jibe … and my traveler car exploded”
    Dark Horse Update 6.27 (9 AM PST)
    Shook the reefs out yesterday morning, wind clocked aft a little. Did a headsail change, had an accidental jibe in the process and my traveler car exploded. I rigged up a clevis around the traveler track with some soft shackles I made and it should work for the remainder. Starting to eat a little more but still not much. Yesterday afternoon I was surfing down waves at 10-13 knots. Autopilot is handling these seas at night pretty easy so I got some sleep. Cloudy and 60 degrees this morning. I made the turn to Hanalei yesterday right after the evening roll call on SSB. If I talk in the mic too long the autopilot quits, so my transmissions are short, but I do enjoy hearing Dolfin, Iris, Rainbow and Morning Star.

    shad lemke


    sautéed fresh baby carrots, herb grilled chicken breast aboard MS
    6.27.18 7:30 am
    Had some tough going yesterday, but got through just fine. Cooked a nice dinner of sautéed fresh baby carrots with an herb grilled chicken breast, got a good night’s sleep, and all is right with the little ship and its present course and speed. I have been remarkably busy so far. No time for reading or anything but sailing, making sail changes, navigating, resting, boat keeping, and eating. They say the first 4, 5, or 6 days are the hardest, and then when we settle into the trades and the temps start to rise it gets to be a lot of fun. That’s good, but I have no complaints about how this has been. It has not been easy, but I did not think it would be. We are sailing a serious ocean. And I like it.

    lee johnson
    Valiant 32
    Morning Star

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  • Single Hander
    3 drop outs in 1st 3 days?

    Lack of prep or lack of sleep?

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