07/21/2007, 22 14.916n; 146 44.227w
So last night we got after it. We gybed into every squall we could find and then looked for the next one. The squalls last anywhere from a few minutes to 15. The winds can pick-up dramatically and so can the rain. But we are on a mission to catch Tower and add to our lead on a few boats chasing us. Sleep was not possible for the crew as we ferociously drove the boat into the black hole.
This morning we find ourselves 2nd to Tower. They are a much better suited boat to the current conditions; high winds and big waves for surfing. Their boat likely surfs up to 20 mph or more while we hit a more stately 15. We are both headed for Diamond Head, they from the North, us from the South. Both of our tactical options are running out as we approach the finish. I's going to come down to; 1. Can we plot a smarter course through the channel to Diamond Head and 2. our boat handling will need to be better. It's going to get interesting the next few days, will brains and skill beat boat speed?
Last night our man Ty was drilled right in the ear by a flying fish. I'm not sure who was more surprised, Ty having been smacked hard or the fish for landing on the only thing that smelled worse than him.
Red Bull: Gone
No stimulants is a bad thing for this crew.
Beer: yeah right
Sleep situation: 1 hour last night (maybe) Accelerator pedal: fire walled
Arrival: Monday late
Post arrival: Kiss wife and kids, mai tai, mai tai, mai tai, kiss wife and put kids to bed, shower, brush teeth, kiss wife?
07/20/2007, 22 08.267n; 142 49.184w
All right let's get this out of the way first. We sailed extra distance yesterday and last night in an attempt to find more wind and better wind direction...bad idea, we are now in second as our nemesis "Tower" slipped by us last night. Dang it.
We are 825 miles from Hawaii and this thing is far from over. We are pushing ourselves and the boat as hard as possible and hope springs eternal.
Last night somebody found a bag of candy that Ty had squirreled away. Think 8 10-year old boys and a freshly burst pinata, I think you get the idea of how long that bag lasted.
As the sugar high faded, the Big Dipper rose in all of it's splendor suspended above us. I dreamed it was full of something...anything, other than Tang, the current drink of choice on Rancho Deluxe. We had a gorgeous weather night complete with stars, and moon but including a serious case of the wousdi's. Yes, that would be the newly invented word of the day. We were blasting along with the kite and spinnaker staysail and every 2 - 4 minutes a wave of unusual size and direction (wousdi) would clobber the boat sending us sideways to the right and rolling the boat just enough to roll me out of my 1 hour slumber and paste me to the wall.
We have just gybed and the wousdi's are now with us instead of against us! Ya just gotta love getting a little friendly wousdi.
As I now type this (I was called away for a pesky sail change oh by the way those things are a nuisance, somebody give me a pair of throttles), we are 800 miles from the barn & Mai Tai Madness, thinking/dreaming of a noon Monday arrival?
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.