Archive for the 'PacCup2010' Category

The Lost Blog Posts of PacCup 2010

I made 9 blog posts from sea aboard S/V VALIS during the Pacific Cup Race of 2010. And none of them showed up. Prior to the race I had tested the email blog submission process ashore, but for some unknown reason, emails sent from VALIS went into a ‘pending’ limbo, and I only just today discovered and published them.

So, only 6 months out of date, here they are: David’s PacCup 2010 Blog

Friction Loss in PacCup 2010

A nice vid from J/30 Friction Loss with Anarchist crew, from this year’s Pac Cup.   They came in 2nd in Div A, beating us handily.

PacCup2010 photo gallery

This post has been back dated to fit in with the rest of the PacCup 2010 story.
Gallery of pics from aboard VALIS is here.


Mt. Gaytorade

For all VALIS’s many virtues, she lack the amenty of an ice-maker. Damn. So cocktail time can be a bit challenging. Today was a perfect, at-sea, going-to-Hawai’i day, and I had about 6 hours in between watches in the afternoon. I had done my laundry, and was really thirsty. I peaked into the excellent, large capacity fridge of VALIS, saw some Gatorade, and got inspired. I drank off some of the top of a 20 oz bottle of Gatorade (standard green flavor), and back-filled with about 3 oz of Mt. Gay Sugar Cane rum. Fantasitic! And so a new cocktail cooler was born, the Mt. Gaytorade.

Mt. Gay Rum. Proud sponsor of the 2010 Pacific Cup, the Fun Race to Hawaii.

75 degrees Farenheit

75 F. That is the temperature of the water now running under VALIS’s keel as we surge through the swell 380nm from Kaneohe. Today was celebrated as the much-delayed Laundry Day. I washed my clothes in a bucket of sea water with some all purpose REI camp soap, and then rinsed by dragging the clothes in the sea by a line. And I only lost one Smartwool t-shirt!

It’s great to sit on the leeward rail and have your feet and legs go inand out of the azure water as the boat rolls in the swell.

ETA at Kaneohe is early Tuesday morning.

Fish on!

Big day here on VALIS, 14 July 2010. We awoke to the smell of baking cinnamon rolls in the oven, to be enjoyed with a hearty cup of Starbucks VIA coffee. Then, after the engine had been run and the water warmed, in-cockpit fresh-water baths were taken by a few of the crew, Your Correspondent included, and this also afforded the chance for the first time in eight days to change my undershirt. And other things.

Under cloudy skies but warm breezes, we were averaging about 7 kts under main and poled out wing-on-wing genoa, and the fishing gear was again deployed off the stern. Two sets of tackle had already been lost yesterday and the day before, but today was to be different. As the clouds broke up and the sun began to shine, we hooked up a fine MahiMahi, measured out at 39 inches. She was filleted and is now being converted into Rich Jone’s legendary fish tacos, with Mae Plog sauce. I can’t wait.

There are anvil clouds building on the horizon in the direction of sunset, and Hawai’i, so tonight is likely to be wet and squally. But for now, life aboard VALIS is about as good as it gets.

July 11 — 1469 nm out

It’s Sunday July 11, and as of 0800 PDT we were 1469 nm from Kaneohe. In order to make the Luau Wednesday evening, we will have to sail these miles in 274 hours, at an average VMG of 5.361 kts (129 nm/day) or better. Plus I have my secret project in town Thursday afternoon, and hopefully meeting Bonnie on Friday.

As long as we don’t hit the dreaded dead air from the low pressure allegedly forming S of Hawai’i next week, we should be OK. But that is a big ‘if’.

9.24 kts

10 July 2010 1730 PDT

Well, gray skys big wind and building seas have returned. We’re reaching @ 235 degM with all plain sail, wind 25kts. I scored a personal best of 9.24 kts earlier this afternoon sliding down a wave (surfing would be too good a term for it) in about 22 kts of wind.

Mmmmm, chili and rice tonight!

VMG > 6.2 kts for 12 days

S/V VALIS is moving well now, close reaching in 15 kts of wind at over 7 kts average boatspeed, We’re over 300 nm out of San Francisco, but with still 1770 nm to go to the Finish we will need to average greater than 6.2 kts, 24 hours a day for 12 days to not be late for the PacCup Luau Wednesday night. Can we do it?

Close Encounters of a Tiki Kind

195 nm out of San Francisco, 3 full days into the Pacific Cup Race, we passed within 50 yards of Tiki J, a racer in Division B. Or rather, she passed us, making about 1 kt to our 0 kt. Nozomi, a DH1 boat is in sight a few miles ahead. Small ocean!

We’ve been plauged again by light air, bobbing and drifting for the last 9 or 10 hours. We are all ready for the North wind to arrive.

Day 2

The wind has kicked in and we are moving well now, though it is a Southerly which pressages another slow patch before we achive the Nirvana of the EPAC High that will sweep us South to the Sandwich Islands.

All aboard are well now, the first few days of sea-sickness passed.

Wildlife tally

Whales 1

Dolphin 6

Sea lion (70 nm offshore) 1

Mermaids 0

We’re Off!

Pac Cup 2010 started yesterday for Divisions DH1 and A with a bang, but one which tapered off to a whimper as winds died and the swell built. The whole fleet is headed north of the rhumb line in search of wind, and fleeing the dreaded thermal low pressure to the South, which is a wind killer.

Most of the crew is living off Cliff bars and similar snack food as we aclimate to life at sea. There is a certain amount of Mal-de-Mer on board, your correspondant so far luckily not included.

Morale is high though speed is low, with the fluky light southerlys allowing only 75 nm or so from the start 24 hours ago. We are all looking forward to the wind filling from the North, and coming under the more benign influency of the EPAC High.


Most of the Pac Cup 2010 updates from VALIS will be on VALIS’s own blog,

I’ll be posting only my own notes here, probably text-only until we get
to within WiFi range of Kaneohe.

Pac Cup 2010 Race Tracker and BV Party

The race tracker is on-line and showing the Pac Cup boats, which today
(Sunday) are still in their slips at various marinas around the Bay.
The trackers are separate devices installed on each boat, with their own
GPS and some sort of robo-satphone that reports on the boat’s
coordinates several times per day. The tracker website will be updated
several times per day, but with a 4+ hour delay, this delay due to some
technical limitations and also to a concern about improper outside
assistance. There are limits on what information is allowed on board;
basically only the 0900 positions from each day, GRIB data, weatherfax
data and similar public weather data are legal.

I had a good time at yesterday’s Bon Voyage Party — Paul, Rich, John,
and Sarah were in attendance. The pupus were fine, including a Hawaiian
desert I had not had the chance to sample before, the “mini cannoli”.
We also had some productive pre-race planning discussion about just how
sucky the wind was expected to be, and who should bring the soy sauce.
I got a chance to see the new Classe 40 “California Condor” she is
stunning. And I saw the Limit guys — the pro team sailing the scratch
boat, they definitely stood out.

Less than a week to go

There is less than a week remaining until our departure on the Pac Cup, and I’m still sorting through my high tech underwear, counting out cliff bars, making masses of food, and trying to find dry ice locally, since PW Market got rid of theirs.
That, and working on a special on-shore project  I just had a brain-wave about this afternoon.
I’m afraid celestial nav and the ukulele practice have fallen by the wayside!