Tag Archives: Sailing

We Are Cooking!

Yesterday was leisurely with a little wind, that is… UNTIL we found ourselves in the middle of “squall central.”  Unpredicted high winds and seas continuously occurring from about ten pm last night.  We are cooking, cooking, cooking!

Since seven thirty this morning, I have been driving for an hour then off for an hour.  I am a salt stick.  Hahahaha!  It is three pm and I’m going to take a break.

Last night we had a spinnaker issue.  All the guys got on deck and made it good.

We are very optimistic.

[Transpac tracking is live (no longer 6 hours delayed), so you can watch them as they race to the finish at: http://live.adventuretracking.com/transpac2011]

The Wind’s Finally Blowing

Well, yesterday may not have afforded us much wind BUT the scenery, the beauty, the calm was…unbelievable.

Unfortunately, at least once an hour we go by trash from some boat.  Sad.

We had our “halfway party” last night.  It was hilarious.  The crew came up with rum for them and some pinot grigio for me.  We toasted each other, our team, and this amazing experience together.  We are really well bonded.  They gifted me with “Day-Glo” bracelets because they know I love jewelry.  Very sweet.

Today we’re rockin’ it — trying to make up for almost two days of little wind.

The guys who have done this race previously described what it’s like to come through the Molokai Channel (also known as Kaiwi Channel).  It is considered one of the roughest ocean channels in the world.  It seems no matter where you place in the race, the Molokai Channel is a mind blowing experience.  The newbies among us (me included) are looking forward to it.

It is 1:12 pacific time.
You can follow Katana’s progress at: http://live.adventuretracking.com/transpac2011

No Land in Sight – UPDATED

We have been dodging squalls and light wind areas for two days now.  We have not seen an airplane or any other boat of any kind.  A couple of flying fish have said hello.  Evidently we are the farthest from land one can be residing on this earth…Strange thought.

Hope everyone is enjoying the videos and still photos. (View them in the Transpac 2011 area on DrLaura.com)

Transpac Photo Montage

We are fighting hard to regain our earlier lead!   However, “at the end of the day,” it is all about the privilege of being out here doing this in the first place.

Right now the wind speed is about 10 knots and we are doing between 9 and 10 knots.

Last night all I wanted was an orange soda… Funny, I never got cravings when I was pregnant, but in the middle of the Pacific ocean…! Ha-ha!

We are all is still having a good time.  Our spirits are up and we’ve got a “Never give up, never surrender” attitude!

UPDATED:

We are about 20 miles from the half way point. 

We just saw a pod of pilot whales — up close and personal.  The sea is an amazing blue color.  It feels as though we are in a fish bowl because we are completely surrounded and contained by cloud effects.  It’s very interesting.

The crew just had their chili mac freeze dried food and it appears this is the favorite meal so far.

We are in about 10 knots of wind and Katana maintains doing equal or more.  It is a fun boat to drive.

We’re telling jokes (mostly bad ones) and are having trivia challenges to old movie plots, etc.

As we get closer to Hawaii, it gets hotter and hotter.  I am covered in clothing from head to toe to avoid sunburn.

For the last two days, we had a bad time with cloud conditions that stole
our wind, but we’re doing our best to get goin’ again.

Already we know we’ll do this again next Transpac (2013) as we will know the boat’s capabilities better.  It is all a learning curve.

Sometimes I just cannot believe we are out here with no land or boats or planes to be seen.  It is a lovely ride. 

Follow Katana’s progress at: http://live.adventuretracking.com/transpac2011

Nine People on a Forty-Seven Foot Boat

One of us saw a huge sea turtle; another crew member saw a flying fish. And as I mentioned yesterday, we had a squid fly onto the deck.  It’s curious we are not seeing much in the way of sea life.

Right now, we are in a light air zone….working our way out of it so we can get  surfing the waves again.  Yesterday, I had a ball driving Katana faster and faster down the waves.  It’s a bit difficult to do on a cloudy night with no moonlight or stars shining.  Without being able to see the spinnaker and the angle of boat to horizon, it can get a bit disorienting.

With each day, we are all getting sillier and sillier and having huge laughs.  It is interesting watching and participating in a group survival situation… REAL reality – not the stupid set up nasty stuff on tv.  We are all pulling together.  It is very touching and enjoyable.

Yesterday most of the crew did some laundry and hung it out to dry on the stern lines.  Katana looked like a tenement. (see photo below)

We’ve dropped out of first place, but we’re not the slightest bit concerned about it.  It ain’t over ’til everyone crosses the finish line.  We are all optimistic the final run to Molokai channel will be where and when we take off fast.

Winning would be great…obviously.  It is a race.  But this is an unbelievable experience.  Nine people on a forty seven foot boat getting along, pulling together, and supporting each other.  Not one moment of anyone having a hissy fit about anything.  I am truly fortunate to know and sail with these guys. And I am learning a lot.

Of course we each would love to materialize at a spa for one hour…hahahahaha

Have a great day.  Track us at: http://live.adventuretracking.com/transpac2011

Close Calls and Strange Occurrences

Finally, Monday has brought a bit of peace for us.  Here’s a recap:

For the start on Friday, we wanted to be windward of the committee boat for clean air for our sail.  We accomplished that in spite of big boat trying to barge between us and the committee boat.  There was no room but he kept a comin.’ He had about 3 more seconds to bail or we would have collided and all I could think of at that point was about the insurance. Hahaha.  But it all came out good.

Saturday was really, really unpleasant with relentless bumps and winds.  I was very concerned it “would never stop.”  Two of our crew got seasick.  Thankfully, they are okay now.  And we were all very wet, tired, hungry, and stressed.  Nonetheless…we continued to do what we had to do: go fast!

Sunday was such a relief.  The night crew saw an “extra terrestrial event”…. The whole sky got bright and then dark again in a blink.  We wonder if other boats saw that too.

A non-fried calamari flew onto our deck and left some ink.  As usual, I’m thinking about food.

We’re doing well today.  You can follow our progress at:  http://live.adventuretracking.com/transpac2011

Right Now… Rough Seas

It was very, very crazy here yesterday with high winds and rough seas.  On top of that, we were going upwind which was difficult and exhausting, so I wasn’t able to write a blog.  However, at this moment, I am told we are number one…having come up from fifth place.  But it is won’t be over until we get Honolulu.

We are all ok, although wet and tired.  It is difficult to eat and sleep in an intensely bouncing boat.  But the ocean should be calmer by tomorrow.  We were and are in a “get the job done” mode… Everyone is working hard.  Kevin and Eric are doing a great job directing our route and how to do it right.  They are very impressive guys.

We had a number of issues which cost us a bit of time, but we clearly have made it up.  One thing that happened was the inverter blew which means no microwave….Sheesh.  So, we’re boiling everything.

More later.

No More Land, Only 2000 Miles of Ocean

As we went to the start line, we sent off our first video.  (Watch: Heading to the Start).

 

We’re now about 3 hours into the race.  We had a great start…right at the committee boat – exactly where we wanted to be.  It has been mostly warm but then the ocean picked up as well as the wind.  For quite a while we were bouncing hard upwind.  We ate our chicken wrap sandwiches from the local restaurant, Gladstone‘s. They were great!  Tonight, we dive into the freeze-dried food.  It is important to eat and drink water constantly as this experience is quite taxing.

 

We just took Catalina Island to port (to the left side of boat) and are now on route to what we think our next “waypoint” ought to be.  Catalina is the last bit ‘o dirt we’re going to see for over 2000 miles!  That is weird thought, believe me.

 

Currently, we are all on deck, but at 6 pm this evening the “watches” start.  I am on then until ten pm, then it’s four hours of sleep; four hours on deck, etc.  It will take a while to get used to that schedule.

Be well.

No Screw Left Unturned

It’s the day before the race and all of us worked from 8am to 1pm doing the final “dialing in” of the boat.  Every nut, bolt, screw, line, etc. had to be examined.  If not given a thumbs-up, they were repaired or replaced.  All the freeze-dried food and snacks was divided into what we (9 of us) will need for a day, then bagged and lashed into place. (see photo below).  I was in charge of organizing and labeling everything in storage.  I am the queen of Velcro and labels!

The crew dispersed for the afternoon for each member to have their own private time before tomorrow’s start.  We will meet for dinner tonight for some enjoyable crew bonding.

My navigator (Eric Bohman), tactician (Kevin Miller) and I just spent about half an hour this afternoon going through all the weather reports and possible routes.  Reports and computer models give only a background to our joint sense of what is the best thing to do: direction, speed, sail choice.  No matter how high tech a boat can get…nothing replaces experience and “gut”.

I am going to walk back to the hotel now and take a very, very hot shower and relax before dinner.  Hopefully, getting to sleep tonight won’t be too much of a problem with all the excitement of anticipating the start.

We convene back at the boat at 8am tomorrow (Friday) and leave the dock at 10am to go to the start line area.  We will all be dressed alike in our red KATANA polo tops and Transpac hats.   About an hour from the start, we’ll have chicken subs for lunch (real food!) and by evening we will be into the freeze-dried.

You’ll be able to keep up with our progress here: http://live.adventuretracking.com/transpac2011

By the way: any time spent at sea DOES NOT come off your lifespan!

Prepping Katana
Preparing Katana the day before starting Transpac

Daily ration of food
Each bag is a day’s worth of freeze-dried food and snacks for 9 people.