2012 Pac Cup - E.T.

01 August 2012 | Lani Kai (Kaneohe, HI)
01 August 2012 | ~3days back up the Race-Track
31 July 2012 | Kaneohe Yacht Club
30 July 2012 | Koneohe Yacht Club
30 July 2012 | Kaneohe Yacht Club
26 July 2012 | Pacific Ocean
23 July 2012 | Pacific Ocean
22 July 2012 | Pacific Ocean
22 July 2012 | Pacific Ocean
22 July 2012
21 July 2012
20 July 2012 | GC-Route...
19 July 2012 | GC-Route...
19 July 2012 | GC-Route
18 July 2012 | Golden Gate Bridge
18 July 2012 | RYC
18 July 2012 | SF-Bay
17 July 2012 | RYC
16 July 2012 | RYC

Post Race

01 August 2012 | Lani Kai (Kaneohe, HI)
So, now that the race is over, and E.T. is on the trailer and headed to Matson for her ride home, it’s time for a little reflection. Are you going to write a book so we can understand why you do this? What’s it like to be in the middle of the ocean on such a small boat? How do four coexist in such a small space?
Not sure I can answer all of those questions, even for myself, but I’m not writing a book, so that question is answered. I think I would just like to talk about the experience and the feelings it can leave you with.
E.T. is such a small boat, but spacious compared to other boats of her length, with the interior configuration to do just this type of sailing. Sailing with four people who have not practiced much together presents its own set of challenges as people will inevitably become sleep deprived and get a bit testy. It forces more people and equipment management for the skipper than a smaller crew does. But, we worked out everything that came up, although not always to everyone’s satisfaction.
The experience:
In the middle of the night, with no stars or moon, and no horizon, you wonder why you are here. Cold, wet, and generally uncomfortable for the first few nights. Then, a patch of cloud clears and the stars and the Milky Way provide a wonderful show. But, it doesn’t last long as the clouds fill back in and the night squalls start as you enter the trade winds. High winds and big seas often mean some uncomfortable but fast sailing, which is why we’re here. Below deck it sounds like the world is coming to an end. Above deck, things look perfectly manageable.
E.T. is a special boat, with a following. She has a fan club that follows her exploits from afar. I’ve had people come up to me at dock side and introduce themselves, wanting to see E.T. and just touch her, and look her over. Today, it was a sailor from Michigan, here in Kaneohe, of all places. They seem truly impressed with what she has done in her short life (born in 2000). When we learned on day three, that we had inherited the lead in our division, there was a warm feeling in my heart, realizing that E.T. was taking care of us, and that we needed to return the favor. I swear, she can talk to you if you are just willing to listen. She tells you when she is happy, and she is happiest going fast.
As mentioned above, E.T. took care of us. As we prepared her for travel, she showed the pain she had been hiding. Things we knew about: broken mast vang tang (resulting in a replacement vang being rigged), a shredded shy kite (small, heavy air spinnaker), the need to stop mid-race for some mainsail maintenance. Then, what she hid; a sheared spreader bolt (which, if it had come out would have resulted in a broken mast), a dropped rudder/gudgeon bushing, which could have resulted in a broken rudder. Through all of this, E.T. held in for the final push to the finish.
Being on such a small boat brings you closer to nature, literally. Jelly-fish on the keel, squid in the cockpit, flying fish on deck, and in your lap. Dolphins get so close that you can reach out and touch them as they race each other to the pressure of the bow wave to play. This is all just part of the attraction. It also helps put life and the universe in perspective. Our planet is getting smaller as we crowd more people onto it, and places like the middle of an ocean may be the only place to find peace from societal pressures. I know we can’t run from those things, but it sure is nice to have a place to escape for a few days, and E.T. is the perfect escape pod.
Will you do the race next time? Don’t really know at this point, but if I were forced to provide an answer right now…probably not. A lot of planning, preparation, and expense go into an adventure like this. I need to figure out the expense/experience ratio before making that decision.

Sea-Stories...Dropping LSD with the Skipper

01 August 2012 | ~3days back up the Race-Track
E.T. - Navigator
No Shit...there we were...On Watch with Tony at 3am
Only an hour to go before we are relieved and we are tired.
No - not just tired - more than that!
We are Jib-Reaching and I am having trouble staying on Course...
I keep thinking "a flappy jib is an unhappy jib" and the damn thing
keeps flapping! Seems that the Compass is Overdamped or something
because every time I look at it the course has changed?
Tony says "Watch the Jib" & I say "Heading Up"...
And then things start getting really wierd!
I can see a Castle with people on the Battlements right infront on the Boat!
I finally decide to broach the subject with Tony...
"Do you see a Castle infront of the Boat?"
Tony says "Nop - It's OK because I see Pine Trees to Starboard & I know they are not there."
I check to Starboard and confirm "Nop - no Pine Trees to Starboard"
BUT "I see a bunch of Yachts in thier Berths - are we near any Harbors?"
Tony says "Nop - we are in the middle of the Pacific"
Oops...a flappy Jib is a unhappy Jib - "Heading UP"
But Tony is sensing we are sailing down a Channel with a Weather&Lee shore
So I ask "Should we check the Chart anyway?"
Tony says "Nop - we are in the middle of the Pacific"
Hallucinations are part of Sleep Deprevation and we had them both!
Not sure whether we had a good Trip together but it sure helped to
be able to compare notes - the Jib&Compass were the only things
we could rely on that night.
Simon :)

Arrival Photos after the Finish

31 July 2012 | Kaneohe Yacht Club
E.T. - Navigator

Making a List & Checking it Twice...

30 July 2012 | Koneohe Yacht Club
E.T. - Navigator
Don't remember much about last night after Buzz bought 2 more Mai-Tai Pitchers. Linda&LeeAnn were there of course and we had a very nice picnic setup. Thanks Linda&LeeAnn and Buzz & everyone who came to greet the Boats coming in :) Dragged my sore butt down to the Kaneohe Yacht Club to check the scores. Just 46mins 23secs out of 1st place after 11days at sea - Wow!!! Then I started thinking...where could we have saved 46mins 23secs? My goodness - the list is HUGE (I'm gonna have to think about this more!) But we have a 2nd in Division with a 9th Overall -> Go Tony & E.T. Trying to get off the 4hr Watch-System and back to normal now. Uhmmm...Normal? What is that? Simon :)

E.T. Phone Home...

30 July 2012 | Kaneohe Yacht Club
ET - Navigator
Apologies for lack of updates since last week.
We have been pushing the boat and ourselves
Finished 29-Jul-2012 16:37:24 HST & we were pooped
We will share more shortly...once I can get to
the nav-station on E.T.
Simon :)

Light 'er Up & Launch???

26 July 2012 | Pacific Ocean
E.T. - Navigator
E.T. has surfaced to charge her Batteries. E.T. has been under water most of today while we try to make up for lost time. Our MitiMite is sick and our Captain needs Fully-Charged Batteries before we submerge again - which is how the boat runs with the Shy-Kite up in 25kts.

Lost time...well we have been plagued with issues last 2days... Lost 2hrs to a Fishing Net & Lost 1hr to Sail-Repairs after we were caught in the Blast-Zone of a Squall with our Kite up. Then lost 5miles to Squall Routing to avoid the same happening again. As a result we lost 1st place to Sapphire - that's Ocean Racing. Working hard on catching up after cutting the corner to improve our reaching angle. But it's tough to call a 700nm Layline!!! There will be many versions of events when we were caught in the Blast-Zone! Imagine the Navigator is wearing Undies&Boat-Sandals after making a trip to the Commode. I ended up laying down on the afterdeck clipped-on twice and holding on for all I was worth. 35kts with our Kite up and the ride seemed to last FOR EVER. So long I got sunburnt.

Now I am all out of dry Undies...Simon :)
Vessel Name: E.T.
Vessel Make/Model: Antrim 27
Hailing Port: Richmond Yacht Club
Crew: Tony English
E.T.'s Photos - Main
1 battery's worth, 2071 miles of Pacific Ocean -- 2012 PacCup Photos (not yet sorted)
55 Photos
Created 31 July 2012
48 Photos
Created 31 July 2012
6 Photos
Created 25 July 2012
Great shots of E.T. going under the Golden Gate Bridge
3 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
E.T. leaving RYC for the start
28 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
28 Photos
Created 10 July 2012

Antrim27 E.T.

Who: Tony English
Port: Richmond Yacht Club