Tag Archives: Hawaii

Shaking Down My Boat

It’s Wednesday, two days before the start of Transpac 2011 for my boat Katana.  I got up at 5AM to get ready to leave with my crew to go to Long Beach, California to board the boat.  My doggies seemed to know “something was up,” and they were all exhibiting a “hangdog” demeanor as I readied to leave.

We arrived at the boat at Noon and I was way too hungry to do any work.  All 9 of us went to lunch at Gladstone’s, a local restaurant.  I had an ahi tuna sandwich on honey bread – fabulous (and you know how I love to eat).

We discussed basic concepts of neatness, orderliness, and hygiene.  Nine people on rotating schedules on a 47 foot boat over more than seven days requires all of us to take care of our things for safety, for the comfort of others, structure, and overall atmosphere. Kevin Miller, our tactician, remarked anything left about “below” deck might end up in the ocean – depending on his mood – so we all know neatness really will count!

We’re getting the boat ready for a two hour sail in order to check out all the remedies to small problems that always seem to pop up on a boat, as well as to make sure a repaired sail is perfect.  Tomorrow, we’ll spend half the day on the boat continuing to check all systems and get the food and gear organized.

We’ll have our “last supper” on land for quite a while tomorrow evening, then hope we can all get some good sleep in spite of our anticipation and excitement.

I go back and forth between nervousness and calm.  I’m more than confident because of my crew and all the time and extreme effort we put into practice overnight runs, we’ll be just fine out there on the open seas.

If you told me 5 years ago I would be doing this, I would have said you were crazy.  I’m 64 years old and am thrilled not only to be able to be so active, but to be able to take on such a challenge to mind, body, and spirit.

If there is anything you can take from my adventure, it is you should never let fear stand in the way of squeezing the most out of life.  For a life to feel “good,” it has to be filled with purpose, friendships, and adventures.

Getting Ready for Transpac – A Sailboat Race to Hawaii

This is my last day of preparation before TRANSPAC – the sailboat race from California to Hawaii in which I’m participating.  I have to organize all my gear (which is easier for guys who seem able to live in the same clothes for days and days).  Since we start out with cold weather and end up with very warm I have to bring a range of layers.  I don’t have much subcutaneous fat so I am cold when the guys are in t-shirts, shorts, and flaps!

Today I shop for my last piece of gear: a hat which keeps the sun off my face and neck – a necessity the closer we get to Hawaii.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) morning we all meet in Long Beach early to take KATANA (my boat) out for a shake down; we will do the same thing Thursday.  Thursday night we will have our “last supper” on land for a week or more.

Friday morning early we will get on Katana and get ready for the start.  It seems funny in a way that we will be revving up for a great start when the race is a week or so in duration and over 2200 miles.  But, as it turns out, every second of every day counts.  People have won by minutes or seconds!

We will all be on deck for the 1 pm start until 6 pm.  Then our “watches” begin with teams having different schedules.  I will be the 6 pm to 10 pm watch.  At 10 pm I go to sleep for 4 hours.  At 2 am ’til 6 am I am on watch again.  On watch means you are on deck sailing the boat and responsible for everything.  Two of us have the same watch and two others overlap by 2 hours. 

If there is an emergency or a major sail change…everyone may be called on deck.  It takes a few days for all of us to acclimate to the schedule without feeling “weirded out”. 

I love the 2 am to 6 am watch….well….I don’t like the 2 am part….but I like being up for the sunrise….it is beautiful out on the ocean at sunrise.

In the midst of all of this we have to take time to eat and clean ourselves up. 

Just in case you wondered….we are all a little wound up; even the folks with experience.  Butterflies are normal – it is a major undertaking and huge responsibility.  None of us take it lightly.

That’s all for now…I will write more tomorrow after we get to Long Beach and go aboard KATANA.