Miles439

The adventures of a Jeanneau 439 racing to Hawaii.

MILES439

Port: Vancouver BC
05 August 2016
25 July 2016 | Maui, Hawaii
24 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 200 miles to Maui
23 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 400 miles to Maui
22 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 540 miles to Maui
21 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 715 miles to Maui
20 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 875 miles to Maui
19 July 2016 | Open Pacific
19 July 2016 | Open Pacific
18 July 2016 | Open Pacific
18 July 2016 | Open Pacific
16 July 2016 | Open Pacific
16 July 2016 | Open Pacific
16 July 2016 | Open Pacific
15 July 2016 | Open Pacific
15 July 2016 | Open Pacific
14 July 2016 | Open Pacific
13 July 2016 | Open Pacific
13 July 2016 | Open Pacific

testing from Van

05 August 2016
testing system

Thanks to the racing crew for s/v Miles delivery prep

31 July 2016 | Lahaina Marina
Dave Gallimore / sunny 85 degrees, very humid
Hi all,

Dave Gallimore here. As one of the bloggers on the s/v Miles delivery crew, I will do my best to follow in the blogging footsteps of Mark Johncox...big shoes to fill! We are nearly finished with our provisioning (many thanks to Erik Loptson for his menus, provisioning list and current inventory) and standing rigging and other boat repairs (huge thanks to Gord Wylie, Andrew Buttjes, Carrick Woodfield, and Mark Johncox). Departure planned for Monday!

I dont have words for this

25 July 2016 | Maui, Hawaii
MJ
Sunrise just 5 minutes ago. Welcome to Hawaii Miles.

So close...

24 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 200 miles to Maui
MJ
As the A Team heads off shift and Team "Handsome" (self named) heads out for their 6 hour daytime gruel, there is a minute of respite to jot down a few thoughts. This has been a long trip, a really long trip. Not just the last 15 days but 2 years prior to the start. That's a long time to be focussed on a goal that is now only 200 miles and a day away. A few mixed emotions for sure. There really isn't much left to do here except sail for Pailolo channel and the finish line, although ocean racing never lets up as just this am we discovered the bow sprit had really torn itself apart from the unreasonable loads of the last few weeks. We are now flying the kites from the anchor roller old school style and thanking our lucky stars Erik noticed this before we flew the kite at 5am and that it didn't happen last night when it was dark and we would have had a 15 lb weight flinging around the boat uncontrollably. How was that for a long sentence? Anyways: Fred- Freddy. The man with a million jokes and hilarious stories that can sleep anywhere anytime. Thanks for keeping morale light, thanks for driving at night despite the hilarity of it. You took one for the team and that's what kind of guy you are. Gus- Augustus. The Mayor of Victoria and the man who knows everyone. As the only guy who has done this before, thanks for keeping a reality check on us. "You f'ing want to do what?..." Gus wrote another 500 chapters to the "what do you call a man with no arms and no legs" joke book on this trip. Some great, most awful. Tony. The silent assasin. This dude did not complain one time, not once. Despite going on the bow in fiersome conditions all the time, at night, in a gale, taking up sails and taking them down again, he remained steadfast. Usually first on shift. That kind of guy. Erik- Dude planned, bought, and cooked all the food for the trip. All of it. And he destroyed it, absolutely amazing job. Erik learned to drive boats, under kites and at night and he excelled at that too. ALways learning, and always knocking it out of the park. Cool to see. Thanks. Carrick- The animal. Carrick was always the first to leap into a situation, he always had a solution (some dodgy, some not) and he took over weather duties when his back didn't enable him to do physical stuff. He taught me how to do a maniacal take down of a kite with the clew sheets blown at night in a gale. Thanks for punching me in the face 38 times in the process bud, but s grateful you came. An asset to any team. Gord- Milton. If anyone had challenges this trip it was him, for a variety of reasons. The reaction and dealings with them are a testamount to his integrity and his character as a leader. Get anything done, do it safely, and do it fast. Gord was always the driver for us to go faster and we appreciate how frustrating it must be that we sometimes could not. Tim. That singing, dancing happy lunatic. I could not have done this trip without him. He is always in a good mood, always cheerful and despite never being on the same watch, ever, we managed to have a few laughts along the way. From a neighbour to a friend, its been a good journey bud. Thanks for bearing so much of the load, thanks for making this a reality. Andrew- Clearly none of this was possible without him and Linda signing on. What do you say to a guy that lends 7 strangers his dream family yacht to pound across an open ocean race to Hawaii. The debt can never be repaid and we all thank you. We hope you had a trip of a lifetime. Thanks for the la te night music appreciation classes and the fancy drinks. What you did to prep this boat was amazing. Thank you Lastly, MIles- She has taken us to currently as I write this, 198.96 miles to the finish. You did a great job. You housed 9 guys for 16 days and through some of he gnarliest stuff I have seen. You may have a few more bumps and bruises but we hope you enjoyed all those miles under your keel.

Maui, here we come.

Miles' quirky noises

23 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 400 miles to Maui
MJ
Aloha, We decided a day or so ago to take a defensive position on Darby. This is the safe route, but did end up delaying our expected arrival. We now have our old friend Turnagain on our hip as well. Late last night we received a request from Race Committe to possibly extend assistance to a Pac Cup boat in distress that had been dismasted near us (50 NM). They wanted diesel, we couldn't help with that. Much discussion ensued about what to do but I believe Ion was in a better position to assist and I believe did so. Good on them, we congratulate them on their effort if that is indeed what happened and we hope all is well onboard the dismasted yacht.

So Miles has a bunch of odd noises that we cannot solve. Sometime the wheels when turned quicky make a whistling sound. We have all accused the other guy of whistling. Then there is the dolphin squeaks, also courtesy of the steering system. These can really only he heard on deck, below it is a different story. In the two rear quarterberths there exists a ghostly whisper of a female voice, which we swear sounds like she is looking for a price check on a crappy supermarket PA system. Everyone has heard it. Perhaps not Tony, he sleeps on the settee a lot. Then we have Andrew's favourite- what he refers to as the "damn Chinese fireworks". We have spend over a week searching this one out to no avail but are now convinced it is deck or frame movement from the torque of these big seas. It is quite loud and the name is accurate, poor guy has been driven nuts with this one. The worst, by far, is the sound of the kite sheet being eased under load. When the kite flies it is very hard to sleep. The sound is unbearably loud belowdecks- to the point where we strategically try to pick a winch above (port or starboard cabin top) to put it over the other guy's cabin. The sheet ease is usually predicated by the driver yelling "ease" as the boat starts to round up. Then grinding as the correction happens. Oh the good times...Finally the worst one, the sound of stuff crashing all over the place when the boat does indeed round up. From below what you hear is water rushing, then the boat heeling, then "ohhhhhhhh sh*****t" from above. From above you hear stuff crashing and "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING!" ring out in unison from all below.

See ya'll soon.

Many Unanswered Questions

22 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 540 miles to Maui
EL
Most of our questions have to do with sea life since that is about all we are seeing out here.

The one we most keenly wanted answered ("Where are all of the Mahi Mahi and Tuna?) was answered this morning...twice! We finally caught more fish after having been skunked in the week-plus since the Tuna Mark caught early in our trip. So now the question is; "How are we going to cook the fish?". Survey here says the first batch will be fish tacos.

Another question ("Where are all of the dolphins?) got answered last night as a pod of four or five played in the waves around the boat for about five minutes in the middle of the night under a beautiful moon and stars (thus also answering the question; "Where is the gorgeous night sailing that we had heard so much about?).

We still have the question; "When are we going to see some whales, or sharks?"

We have also had lots of time to contemplate the flying fish (of which there are many!!). Questions include; Why do they keep landing on our boat? Was that one that landed on the fordeck between Mark and Erik trying to hit either of them, or was that just a coincidence? When flying fish are in groups, are they considered a 'school', a 'flock', a 'gaggle', or something else? Do they hold their breath when they jump out of the water (or, perhaps when they are in the water?)?

Of course the big unanswered question is; "When will we get to Maui?". It is still too early to say with much accuracy, but if all goes according to plan (which it rarely does), our planned route and projections get us to Maui later Monday -- that's what we are working towards (or sooner, of course) anyway. We are now on day three of sailing under spinakker in the trade winds under beautiful sunny (and HOT!!!) skies and loving every minute of of it. However, we are all missing our families too and can't wait to see them waiting at the finish line or back at home, so we have all kinds of motivation to get there as fast as possible. I'm off to keep searching for answers...

Trade wind sailing and Neufies

21 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 715 miles to Maui
MJ
Congrats to Valykrie on an epic run. Well done. MIles found some legs yesterday and pulled off an Epic afternoon run. For the first time it was 'like the brochure' as we have been saying. Trade wind cloud streets of fluffy bits of cumulus and ripping 20 knots winds. MIles flew her kite and ate up some great distance direct to Hawaii. Special thanks to Gus' wife for her pirate set up- we had a blast as we sat in the cockpit together for the first time in days and enjoyed becoming official newfoundlanders. This was our view as the sun fell last night- the only down part is that then comes the onslaught of squalls. Squalls make an already scary event of driving at night a bit more terrifying, but we have all learned a huge amount in how to manage it. These days, Miles reefs or double reefs its main, douses the kite and rolls a bit of headsail out, we are slower, but we are safer. It really is beautiful out here now. Today's task- planning a path around Darby. We might be out longer, but we all know you'll understand. See you soon!

Let's Hoist Him Up The Flag Pole And See Who Salutes

20 July 2016 | Open Pacific; About 875 miles to Maui
EL
Team Miles is saluting Mark Johncox today for going up the mast for the fourth time this trip (and hopefully the last). A shackle failure on the furler head two days ago, then combined yesterday with a loose screw on the foil that jammed the furler head half way up the forestay, has been impeeding our progress for those last two days because of the limited headsail options it left us with. After multiple attempts the team devised a plan, with critical execution performed by Mark, that has freed the head and screw so we are now back underway with our full set of options to get us to Maui sooner. So here we are on day 11 under full sail and with a full set of overnight options to handle the squalls safely, the sun is shining, the trade winds are coming on, the fishing lines are out and the tunes are pumping. The Vic-Maui motto is "Challenge, Adventure, Teamwork". We are finding that in spades...and we're sailing to Maui!

Laundry Day

19 July 2016 | Open Pacific
EL
When you are on a boat that is sailing constantly (in our case now for 10 days) working in shifts covering all hours of the day the days get very blurry. Thinking about our trip so far, some days are pretty distinctive and we have tried to write about many of the distinctions in our posts.

Something we haven't written about but the crew came to realization yesterday is that we all had gained a similar impression of different 'climates' resembling what we have experienced on land as we have transited down the levels of latitude. For example, driving through the rainforests of the BC coast, through the rolling hills and forests of Washington and Oregon, then more of the dryness of California. It doesn't quite feel like we are quite in the tropics yet, but the warmth and trade winds are making it clear that we are certainly getting there.

One of today's distinguishing features is that, for several of the crew, it was laundry day. So, partially masking the odorous evidence that the crew all need to bathe, is the fresh scent of clean clothes hung to dry throughout the inside and outside of the boat. I suppose the citrus-scented laundry soap is contributing to the 'tropical' impression!

Teamwork

19 July 2016 | Open Pacific
MJ
Has been a trying time in the last few days for the fleet as another one of our friends and competitors, Turnagain has been forced to abandon due to steering issues. We ourselves have had gear failure the last few days that has forced some 'interesting' kite takedowns and watery sail retrievals. We can't complain given that others have had to retire and we know the fleet west of us are also having their own issues, that's offshore racing. But what has happened here on Miles is a sense of teamwork to levels we have not seen before. Guys jumping out of bed to assist, guys running to the foredeck to help a buddy despite pounding seas and high winds. All this calamity has brought a tight group tighter. Vic Maui is al about this really, not just the Lahaina trophy but the forging of lifelong bounds from solving problems together and listening to new ideas. Miles storms on.

Today is sunny and the cloud streets are here. We are in the trade winds and have just passed the 'less than 1,000 kms to go' mark. Stoke is high. Maui we are coming for ya.
Vessel Name: Miles
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 439
Hailing Port: Vancouver BC
Extra: Vic Maui 2016
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MILES439

Port: Vancouver BC