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S/V Passion USA 32111
Transpac 2009
Another 24 hours of Starboard tack
Mark Foster
07/08/2009, 23 48'N:136 41'W,

Welcome to day 7, yea I only knew that because I cheated and looked at yesterday's blog entry. Some time with out a date on your watch things seem to evolve around food and wake up calls to go on deck. We had been listening to I pods but went back to Margaritaville on Sirius radio. Yea we were surprised that it works out in the middle of the Pacific.

Yesterday was Mexican day we had brisket fajitas wrapped in a tortilla. It seems we have tortillas a bunch. Guess they are flat and do not take up much room and can do a bunch of things with them. Our afternoon snack was homemade banana nut bread and a glass of ice cold milk. Dinner was chicken enchiladas with salsa Verde and fresh Pico de gallo, you can not complain about the food on board.

Back to racing, guess what? We are on starboard tack with the ¾ A kite. The most exciting thing last night was the 10 PM to 2 AM watch the wind picked up to 25 knots and with the ¾ A kite up it was exciting, while Jim was driving he managed to send two waves into the cockpit for the first water on board that far back. I asked Steve if our sail maker Terry Flynn had given him limits on what wind speeds we could use the ¾ A sail and he said "no but I guess we will find out" which reminded me of another story about a sail maker and his customer. We will tell that one at the dock.

We had set a theoretical way point some time ago at 24N and 135W and we reached that point at 7:30 this morning. Guess it is good to have goals. Our strategy has changed a bit in the last 24 hours. I kept talking about sagging down to cross in front of the competition. We are now mostly headed straight to Hawaii and will wait for the predicted wind shift to the east to jibe first and use the shift to get to them. We have 100 miles of leverage so it will not take much of a shift. So I predict that I will be writing about our first jibe in the Saturday blog. We are currently sailing a TWA of 150 degrees with an AWA of 110. as the wind shifts to the east we will consider changing chutes to the new secret chute and we need to sail deeper to head for Hawaii.

In the speed department Will is the king of the hill at 15.9 with Steve and Jim are at 15.8. No more staysail it became two pieces during the broach yesterday morning. Decision was made not to repair it due to the limited sticky back we have on board and we may need to patch up a chute later in the trip.

At 1PM Tuesday we have been racing for 120 hours and have sailed 1008 nm. For those who need to know that is 8.3 knot average. At 1 PM we still had 1420 nm to go and we have picked up the pace and we are averaging 10+knots for the last 20 hours. Looks like a Monday finish for us.

We did see another boat at noon and caught them by 2PM and they were out sight by 5PM. Do not get too excited it was Far Niente a Catalina 42. They were in the first start 4 days ahead of us and as of the Tuesday morning role call were in 43rd so no gain in fleet for us.

Received the news from the roll call some good some bad. We are now 3 in class and 30 th in fleet an improvement of one place each. Bad news is that the Horizon gained 6 miles and Allure gained 4 miles on us, they are 83 and 40 miles south respectively. We did put it to the Mighty Tongaroa gaining 17 miles on them, they are 23 miles north of us. Seeing how we owe everyone in our class time we need to speed up a bunch. It is looking like the south is winning.

Sea life has been hard to find we have seen a couple of pods of porpoise feeding and the last couple of days the flying fish have started showing up. That is about all this time.

Life on board is becoming more routine and sleep is becoming easy in the tossing hull with the engine running to charge the batteries, make water and keep the refer cold.

Last night was the full moon and the skies were still overcast so we did not get a look at the moon. It did provide enough light to see the sails. You know it is pretty out here in the wide open Pacific. The other thing that happens as you head west is you change time zones every 15 degrees. This changes when the sun rises and sets. Not bad except you keep your watches on PDT till you get to Hawaii. So the sun rises later each day and sets latter each evening. The 6PM to 10 PM watch now is all during the day.

Later, signing off from the SV Passion located at 23.56N and 136.03W only 1221miles from Hawaii (getting closer every day)

The grass is always greener… which side of the fence am I on again?
Will Liles
07/08/2009, 23 48'N:136 41'W,

Hello to all,

This is the wipeout king mast monkey polar bear keel hauler, William Richard Liles, come to give you a different punta de vista on this crazy ride we all voluntarily signed up for. There will be no weather information, sail changes, or otherwise unintelligible sailing talk for all the non sailors to snooze through here. What you will find instead is pure pacific adventuring synthesized and percolated as strong as the jet fuel that keeps us going in the middle of the night.

The only way to describe what we are doing right now is being a twelve year old riding down the biggest hill in the neighborhood and dropping into it on your speediest bicycle without an breaks. Its really fast and really fun but your knuckles are white and there are more than a few explicative laden moments. On top of that every other kid in the neighborhood is doing the same trying to get to the bottom of the hill where there's a big pot of candy (or in this case hula girls, duh) so instead of any incentive to use brakes (had there been any) you grease up the wheels, put your best cards in the spokes, clip in so you don't go flying into the night, and hold on for one wild ride. As if that wasn't enough your best friend is sitting on the handle bars holding his enormous pet dog on a leash who's pulling you faster but could at any moment send you straight into the pavement. Are you beginning to get what this is like?

Far and away the best part of the whole gig though is the people doing it with you, your best friend on the handlebars. You're with these people all day every day and know more about their daily habits than you would ever want to and have heard all their best jokes seven times. Everybody is sleep deprived, last night I looked at my watch and it said three thirty and I got confused and thought what on earth would I be doing up at three thirty my watch must be wrong. and then I remembered that it definitely is three thirty and there's still two and a half hours before I can crawl back to bed. At four in the morning when your all hopped up on coffee everything seems hilarious. Some of it is, some isn't, some is quickly forgotten and the very best gets repeated so often that everybody's laughing before half of the joke is said. The boat stinks, everybody stinks, you can take three showers and you'll still stink, you'll just smell like flowery soapy stink. Every now and then you g et a whiff of something rank and you smell yourself and you don't know if its you or the person next to you but it doesn't matter til you get to Hawaii anyway because it will take several showers to feel human again. To still function with all the sleep deprivation and hard work we need fuel and we are no where near starving.seriously who eats enormous ribeyes in the middle of the pacific while racing besides those crazy boys (and girl) from tejas?

But who am I kidding? This thing is a cakewalk. we're being escorted by humpback whales all the way to Hawaii, sailing under picture perfect rainbows and pulling into floating motels every evening to watch the sunset from the comfort of a hammock on the balcony and the only complaint is when the continental breakfast runs out of your favorite type of bagel before you can get there. We are doing this for fun right?

Have to go now, time for the unofficial mast monkey to make sure all is well at the top of the treehouse. Ooh ooh Ahh Ahh

Will

Boring, Fast, and Furious: Day 6 of the Transpac Race aboard Passion
Mark Foster
07/07/2009, 24 41'N:132 25'W, A Day from Half Way

Welcome to day 6 of the Transpac race sailing onboard Passion.

We left off before lunch yesterday and it was a wonderful lunch with fresh fruit and whole wheat with ham with either Swiss or cheddar cheese cooked in a hot pan with a little butter on it to brown the bread a very delicious meal. Dinner was a fresh spinach salad with sliced red peppers and onions the main course included stuffed pasta shells filled with alfredo crab meat sauce and a slice of soda bread

Suzie is also performing magic by making ice when we charge the batteries and make water. I think we might be in for another surprise.

The weather is starting to warm up last night most of the crew lost the fleece and just donned their foul weather gear. We are still in 62 degree water. With the wind aft we have lost some of the chill due to apparent wind. It will be a couple of more days before we are losing the foul weather tops then two more before we get down to shorts and t-shirts. The overcast weather has limited the view of the moon at night and kept the sun off of us during the day. We did see more of the moon last night and it was nice to sail with some light at night. We still wear sunscreen and are drinking lots of water.

We have the � A kite up and at 7 AM on Monday we added the staysail to the mix. The first one over 12 knots was Jim he hit 12.4. Second on the 12 knot board was Bill also at 12.4. We have 12 to 17 Knots of WS from 0 to 40 degrees. We are able to maintain a heading of between 215 to 240 depending on the wind speed and direction. We are in our fast forward mode. Sail the boat wherever you can go 10 knots. We have set a waypoint we would like to get to of 24N and 135W while we have the current wind angle. Our thought behind this is the grib files are always 20 to 50 degrees to the right of what we experience and a couple of knots low. It will also allow us to close with the boats to our south. With the tracking devices we are able to see our strategy is the same as our competition. It appears that the boats farther south are in a couple of knots more wind and are able to maintain a � knot more speed . We are still trying to soak down in front of them.

That was till 4AM when we thought we caught something on the keel. We dropped the chute and turned head to wind to back down and lose whatever it was. Did not completely lose it and were a little sluggish the rest of the watch . The next watch felt like they got rid of it and we are now blasting along with the � A kite up and 18 to 22 knots of wind bouncing around 11 to 14 knots, Passions does enjoy the downwind ride and the long Pacific swell.

Well after I woke up and wrote most of today's news I went on deck in shorts and a t-shirt and realized that I will still need the follies, it is still cool on deck. Before I could get back down below Will jumped the record speed for the race up to 15.4 at 9:45 AM 7/7/9. Wait there is more news, at 9:59 AM will recorded the first broach of the race, it was a doozie. Blew out the staysail and move some of the can good from the open cupboard where yours truly was standing preparing my breakfast. I was fast enough to catch the can goods and save my toes. All is back to normal on board. Now Mark has raised the daily record bar to 15.8 kt boat speed and with 24kt TWS we are considering changing to the 1.5 oz kite.

Got some bad news on the 6AM roll call we are down to 4th in class and 31st in fleet. We are the second most west boat and still need to soak down to the boats to the south. According to the routing software we still have 5 days to make that happen,

Down below is still in good shape, with all the sails stacked on the weather rail we have room to move around. The boat is very dry now and we have not had to bail in over 24 hours and looking down at my feet we will not have to any time soon.

Personal and boat hygiene is being taken care of. A couple of the guys took advantage of the hot water heater and took a deck shower yesterday. The beards are showing some nice growth with more grey than I remember from the last race. Guess that is what happens as you get older.

Carter's I pod has replaced the radio margaritaville. The young man has a very nice selection of tunes. Some of I have even heard. So the tunes are going 24/7 we sometimes turn them down when we are trying to perform a sail change.

We still have 1450 miles to go this morning and the routing software says it will take 5+ days so we are looking for a late Sunday or early Monday finish. Wow only 5 days away.

Later, and still waiting to see the full moon over the Pacific, signing off from the SV Passion located at 24.5. N and 131.5W only 1450 miles from Hawaii (getting closer every day)

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