07/10/2009, 23 57'N:14145 36'W, Looking for a place to jibe
Preparing to Jibe
Ha ha maybe in 24 to 36 hours, currently doing the same thing headed to Hawaii. Off wind sailing what a concept. A couple of squalls where the wind picks up then dies. Every now and then we get some good news. On one of the position reports we gained on the boats in our class. That was until the morning roll call.
The morning roll call had us 4th in class and 32 in fleet with 754 miles to go. We thought we had a good run of 246 miles. It turns out that Horizon who is leading the class went 241 and Allure went 252 and the Mighty T went 246.
We have our work cut out for us with a third of the race left we need to put the hammer down and gain some miles. So out comes the hammer, actually it is our new spinnaker. We affectionately refer to her as Marilyn. She gets to show her stuff as we hoisted her at 9:45 with19 knots of wind from 060 degrees. Now we can make a course 20-30 degrees deeper than we could carry with the A-Kite.
Some other trivia about the race yesterday. We changed out the port spinnaker sheet after 4 days with brand new sheet for the race. We thought we should give the other side some work. We still have another day or so on Starboard before we jibe.
How about sails, the main has been up approaching 200 hours and the ¾ A kite was up for114 hours and looks like it will get another chance later down the track.
The hours on the blue ¾ oz A-Kite are about like 2 years of Wednesday night racing. Probably not quite as tough on the sails as Wednesday sailing as we are not flogging them too much. We have decided she needs a name too. She was our primary offwind sail in Transpac 2007 and has already been up for over twelve hundred miles this time. Name that chute is the contest of the day. Candidates so far are: Dolly, Penelope Cruz, Cindy, Jane Mansfield, Pamela, Tootsie, Raquel, Farrah, and Ann Margaret. Is there a trend here? Your suggestions are invited as are your votes.
Now to the good stuff
From the galley Suzie reports
For lunch we had a flour or whole wheat tortilla wrap stuffed with migas and topped with refried beans and fresh cilantro. This was a special request from Young Will
For dinner I prepared angle hair pasta spaghetti in a spicy marina sauce with venison sausage and sage sausage and a light sprinkling of parmigiano regiano cheese which was imported from Italy especially for the trip.
Ok so we are not losing weight we have our whole life to get fit.
Yesterday was shower day for most of the crew. They were refreshing themselves on the aft deck with the hot water shower. We are now all a good smelling bunch. That was until night time when Jim was the target of the flying fish. His time smelling good was over. Those fish really do stink. I mean stink.
The sun set yesterday was just ok and last night and this morning were once again cloudy so no view of the moon.
Yesterday was one of the first sunny days we have had during the trip. Good news about sun it brings out the bikini. Yep Suzie got out the bikini to do a little sunning and reading on deck.
We spent some time getting ready for the upcoming jibe, you know the one in a day or so. We moved some of the heavier jibs off the rail to down below. This will make the boat more stable as they are now on top of the keel.
The spouses are on their way to Hawaii to sort out the hotels. We found out from the forward team of Tammy, Holly and Cody that the Ili Kai hotel we had booked, right by the boat, is closing today. Cynthia went to work to find new accommodations for us. I am sure by the time we get there in 3 days all will be ok.
Later, signing off from the SV Passion located at 23.57 N and 145 36W only 696 nautical miles from Hawaii (getting closer every day at 10.2 knots)
07/09/2009, 23 48'N:14141 19'W, At the winch again
As in most team sports there is usually a position player that gets little notice unless he screws up. In football it is the down linemen, in NASCAR, it is the tire changer and in sailing it is the Grinder. For all you non sailors, a grinder is a person whose sole job is to provide the horsepower to turn a winch, usually on command of a trimmer or other person higher up the pecking order of the boat. In other words anybody other than said grinder. Just about every line (rope to the uneducated) on a racing yacht at some point is pulled in by a winch, and there are lots of them on Passion, therefore there is always someone in need of a little verbal encouragement. As you would expect they never start fast enough, turn the winch quick enough or stop soon enough, but they do usually work very cheap. Most common form of payment is beer, so there is usually never a shortage of conscriptees. This being a long distance downwind race with a spinnaker flying in constant need of adjustment, there is always a lowly grinder at work around the clock. Anyone heard of a grinders union? Maybe someone ought to look into that.
Now I must say this is an equal opportunity boat, everybody gets to be a grinder every watch, everyday. It is the chance of a lifetime for someone like me to yell at the skipper or the esteemed Admiral Foster, GRIND!!!
07/09/2009, 23 48'N:14141 19'W, Getting closer
Lets get this part out of the way sailing is the same as it has been for the last how ever many days. Same sail same direction same same. Although we have begun to encounter some rain showers and the additional wind that comes with the rain. We're going to need some extra push to catch and pass the boats that went further south.
Roll call has us 4 in class and 33 in fleet with 1000 miles to go. The computer says we will be there in a couple of more days. Time will tell.
- In the speed department Jim hit 16.5 last night and Will topped him at 17.2 this morning then Captain Bill schooled the boy and pushed it up to 17.9. As of 10 AM Thursday we have traveled 1478 miles at an average speed of 8.8 knots
Now for the other stuff
Some may wonder why I am doing all the blogging. Well here is the answer, up to now I am the only one crazy enough to give up sleep and sit wedged in the nav station to write all of this on the computer. Plus with the little book I have notes from the last 24 hours to refer to. Others will read the blog for approval. So there you have it.
So today we are bring you two guest bloggers, Steve to tell you his story on the tradition of the half way party and , Suzie to give you complete gourmet food report.. See their stories below.
Around 1PM on Wednesday Steve Hastings will be as close to his wife, daughter and youngest son as he has been for 25 days. She is flying to Hawaii today and around this time they are about 35000 feet above us.
Now the Gourmet food report from yesterday provided by Suzie
Breakfast I let the boys fend for themselves. I have two cereal choices, Raisin Brand and Honey nut clusters with ice cold milk in the reefer. I usually have to ban one or two a day for the condition they leave the galley.
Lunch was fresh crisp Canadian bacon, sweet Fuji apple slices and pan fried French toast made with sweet Hawaiian bread covered in maple cream syrup.
Dinner was a Savory cassoulet full of juicy shrimp, venison sausage, sautéed butter nut squash, with roasted red bell peepers, cannellini beans and hominy Served with a side of Irish soda bread dripping with butter and pesto sauce all the better to soak up the deciduous juices
The local scenery has not changed much we see a lot of ocean and then more ocean. We did finally get a break in the weather yesterday afternoon and the sun came out around 6PM just after the first squall passed it allowed us to have a wonderful evening for the halfway party which you will read our thought in another article on the web page, well you read our comments. Then we had the most amazing sky to the east there was a line of clouds with a sliver of white across the top very spectacular. The sunset which happened at 9:03 PM PDT was one the first of the trip with a few clouds to break things up. Then around 10:30 the moon snuck it head up ands we were treaded to a quick glimpse before the clouds came back. The overcast skies have kept the trip cool but limited our view of the moon and stars. Last night was the first where we were warm enough just in shorts and foul weather jacket. At about 4 a.m. Carter was grinding the winch for the spinnaker sheet on the low side when a flying fish landed in his lap. This is a better place than when in the 2007 Transpac his sister Holly got hit in the head by a fish. The puzzlement to the crew is why is it only the Hastings kids that get hit by the fish?
The Halfway Party we enjoyed is a long standing tradition of Transpac. We learned about it while watching the History of the Transpac DVD. Crews have been known to bring a wide variety of attire and beverage for the occasion. Pictures of the parties are turned in to the race committee so that everyone can enjoy the best ones at the awards banquet.
Later, signing off from the SV Passion located at 23.49N and 139.58W only 1000 miles from Hawaii (getting closer every day)