07/08/2009, 23 39'N:138 21'W, Half Way To Honolulu
Will - My costume was the best. Period. End of story. Well the end of my story at least.
Carter -Will's costume was the best as anyone could tell. It was a fun halfway party although this year we did not have a Fred the bird to celebrate with.
Steve - My thoughts on the halfway party go more to the people I am doing the race with. For example, Billy and I have been sailing together for over twenty years. His son Will was two years old then. Will is on board with us. My son Carter wasn't even born then. He is on board too. Suzie has been sailing with me for twenty years too. Gary over ten years. This is my second Transpac with Mark. Jim is new but has fit in perfectly. Sailing is a great part of life and these people are a great part of my life. Wouldn't be here without them.
Suzie - Once again I find myself on another adventure, this time with the Aloha Eight., How fortunate I am to be part or such a wonderful crew life doesn't get any better.
Jim - Half way to Hawaii. Suzy's great food is keeping us in the mood. Have no fear, have broken no gear. Surf some more and we just might score. Not much sun, but still having fun. Just five more days, we'll be ready for leis.
Admiral Mark - the half way party was perfect timing. Too much fun with a great group. We had following seas beam winds sailing at 12 knots headed to Hawaii. The S/V Passion is taking good care of her crew and the crew is treating her well in return. A great crew having a great time supported by the best spouses and shore team in Texas. Not sure how to have more fun. Aloha
Gary - My second Transpac hard to believe. The first one was a once in a lifetime deal and here I am again having another adventure of a lifetime. Being part of this crew for the last 11 years has been one of the great treasures of my life. Here we go on the downhill run to Honolulu and more adventure to come I have no doubt. "Sharing Times are Happy Times" is a quote you hear a lot from this crew, never a more fitting statement. Aloha
Captain Billy - Another Great Adventure with great friends. This trip is a lot of fun and an adventure of a lifetime. I am very glad to be able to have such an opportunity with such good friends. Will has fun as he displays his sense of humor; I am glad to have him back to play with after his South American Adventure.. Thanks so much to Steve, Mark, and Jim for having us aboard, and thanks to all of our spouses for letting us go play. Life Is Good!
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)
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