07/19/2007, 23 12.051n; 139 30.923w
We just had morning role call and yesterday's strategy and tactical call paid huge dividends. We went to being 6 miles behind the first place boat to 30 miles ahead! Let's just say that the next time Matt Davis say's, "hey guys I think we should turn left here," I seriously doubt anybody will argue with him.
Our strategy now is to gybe as often as needed to make the best velocity made good to Honolulu. Translated to English; we will stay between out man (other boats) and the basket (Waikiki Yacht Club Bar), cover any moves the other boats make and keep pushing as hard as we possibly can to make the boat go fast. The biggest issue here is that we are dangerously low on Red Bull, the rocket fuel of Team Rancho Deluxe.
On another front, our man Seadon lost the first title fight with a flying fish. He was driving last night into the black hole (can a guy get a freaking moon and less cloud cover?). Anyway, Seadon was just driving along when he was slapped upside the chest by a flying fish who then landed on the deck looking up at the crew as if to say "WHAT, I'm not dead yet, throw me back in the water so I can take another shot at you sissies." Andrew Lewis commented "I knew there was a fight going on when I heard a woman scream and discovered Seadon was the source."
Profession Sailing Slang of the day; Swag. Short wide angry guy. Think of any number of Greek commercial real estate brokers.
So we are off in search of surfing waves and trade winds, both of which are developing, once there we will hitch our wagon onto the Mai Tai Express, fasten our seat belts, put the tray table into the upright and locked position and ride it into Honolulu.
07/18/2007, 22 42.833n; 137 09.242w
So we've had a great day of sailing and have covered the most miles toward Hawaii yet. We are currently 1,100 miles from mai tai madness...and the natives are restless!
Today, we were introduced to the tradition of a half way beer. Now I have always been a fan of the cleansing beer, but I've never met a half way beer. As we are on a dry boat, I was quite pleased to be handed an ice cold Heineken with my sandwich this afternoon to celebrate us hitting the half way mark.
On board we have Andrew Lewis (Junior), Matt Gravis, and Ty Pryne three professional sailors, Ty and Junior are from Waikiki and we are delivering them to their families. Junior and Matt are full time professional sailors and travel the globe racing boats. Junior recently completed the Volvo Round the World race and they both he and Matt were involved in the Americas Cup.
The three of them speak a different language and we thought we would introduce you to a new dictionary, the professional sailors dictionary. Here are some examples:
Piss Fit; ability to consume massive amounts of alcohol and still function. As example, Joe is incredibly piss fit, I hate going drinking with that guy. Translation, it's gonna get ugly tonight.
Mushi Mushi; all purpose phrase, it's a noun, a verb, an adverb and adjective. Hey Johnny mushi mushi it's your watch...in other words get the freak out of bed. Or hey baby do you wanna mushi mushi? Guessing this does not need translation.
Sh*t Fight; technical term used when things don't go right. This morning we wrapped the spinnaker in a gybe, it was a real sh*t fight. Translation we spent a good deal of time yelling and screaming at ropes and sails this morning.
Looking like yet another dark night with cloud cover and no moon - driving into the black hole yet again.
07/18/2007, 22 36.210n 136 00.012w
So last night our Navigator said we needed to gybe (turn) away from Hawaii and head South, not West. This was met with a chorus of "what have you been smoking?" The issue was that we were running into a re-forming high pressure zone which has less wind. So we turned, knowing that we would be losing ground to the fleet but hoping to find more wind and gain on the fleet in the long-run. This morning's position report confirmed that we had in fact, "taken one for the team" as we are now second in class.
Last night we were in the convergence of a high pressure and low pressure zone which has the effect of making the water go vertical as two opposing currents meet each other. It was an uncomfortable night as we sailed in an ocean that resembled a washing machine on the rinse cycle. Not great for sleeping.
My morning watch starts at 5:00 and this morning this happy time was greeted by a thunderstorm courtesy of Cosme. Later on as I was driving we were met by a school of flying fish who were presumably fleeing some other fish with bigger teeth. Most of the fish went in front or behind us but a few went ping, ping, ping into the side of the boat. You can't help but wonder if flying fish Fred said to flying fish Phil "whoooaa dude, who put up the freaking wall?"
Currently we are moving VERY nicely in fresh breeze, crossing our fingers that we are in more wind than our fleet and that our strategy will work. In the meantime, the monster boats are chasing us as we flee like flying fish, hoping that as they pass they throw us some chocolate bars.