07/23/2007, 22 40.726n; 154 45.696w
We had a great night with the moon and stars providing stadium lights to see the waves. We had a flawless gybe about 2:00 am Hawaii time and are now pointed at the Molokai Channel with 160 miles to go.
John has been re-named "Big Ease." One of the maneuvers we do is completed with a big ease of the spinnaker sheet. When John is not trimming the spinnaker sheet he has taken to telling the more seasoned crew members when to go for the "big ease." Last night he told Volvo Round-the-World Race veteran Andrew when to go for the big ease...we all stood back in amazement as the final straw broke the camel's back and witnessed the re-branding of Johnnie to "Big Ease."
So now we race to and through the Molokai channel, famous for big winds and high seas...oh yeah and we get to race through it at night. Then round the corner to Diamond Head and finish. We estimate between midnight Monday and 4 am Tuesday. This is going to be a very long day/night.
We are excited to once again have the lead in our class, but this thing is a sh*t fight and not yet over. The next 20 hours will be the race. So now off to the races!
07/22/2007, 22 27.991n; 148 26.979w
Easily the best day sailing this trip. We have entered the trade winds and are blasting to Honolulu. We are currently 480 miles from Honolulu and expect to get there late night on Monday...please oh please before last call!
On friends on Tower still lead, but they have a lot of sailing to do on the less favorable gybe. We are on a perfect reach into Honolulu and they have to gybe and sail low to come down from the North. This is our biggest advantage over them. We definitely will gain ground on them but I don't know if it will be enough. They should have had a great day today as the conditions would be perfect for their boat; big waves and following winds of 20 - 25 knots.
The sun is getting ready to set, so the winds and waves are of course, picking up. I'm glad I got a nap, could be another sh*t fight tonight.
Everybody, myself included, is excited to get to Honolulu. JJ and the kids are waiting there and I am excited to once again change diapers instead of spinnakers.
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?