Category Archives: technical

Thirsty Loses Saint, Adjusts for it with Complex Algebra

Good Morning from 32.52N by 130.36W!

What’s going on this day of the Lord(s)?

Let’s recap the good times:

Absolutely breathtaking sunset last night, one for the record books…one that Captain Gilles loved and yearned for. To top that off, we had a beautiful sunrise this morning. We’ve really started moving along now.  We started the race with little to no wind, then we had wind in the evenings and at some sporadic moments through the nights with dead zones during the day…

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But yesterday was the first full day where the wind, albeit not strong enough for Thirsty’s thirst, was constant throughout the day. Let’s put it this way: yesterday was the first day Thirsty averaged a speed high enough for Fred and I to stop considering swimming as a faster way to get to Hawaii.

Through the night, Thirsty was running as fast as it could given the moderate wind conditions, playing Dire Straits in its skipper’s ears at full blast.  We were hunting the “big one”.  The “big one” is what we call a boat we’ve been repetitively crossing paths with, a 40ft J120 named “Shearwater”. Last night we were side-by-side within 2nm of each other. The Big One had better pick up his pace: with those extra 10ft he has on us, considering his PHRF handicap (, he should finish the race almost a day ahead of us.

And now the recap of the not-so-good times (might we even say “catastrophic”?):

We broke a bottle of St. Julien, a Gruaud Larose 2005 to be exact. After 34 straight minutes of crying, 9 minutes of praying to our most revered God (Dionysus, or Bacchus if you’re into the whole Roman thing), and 4 hours on Microsoft Project sliding our Pacific Cup wine-milestones around (yes we had planned this all out)…we drank water.  It felt weird…and it hurt. You see, we had calculated a certain amount of glasses of wine per person per day for TWELVE days.  Now that the wind God (Aeolus, that probably hungover late-to-the-wind-party idiot) put us off our pace and late on our arrival to Hawaii, we really have to ration the wine reserves.

The equation has been modified to something like this:

W_tpp = 0.726 x GPD  + 0.561 x (ACS – HWW/24) + 0.174 x MAF

Where W_tpp is “Wine Total Per Person”, GPD is “Glasses Per Day”, D is “Day”, ACS is “Awesome Captain’s Sunsets”, HWW is “Hours Without Wind”, MAF is “Morale Adjustment Factor” which ranges from 0.0 to 1.0 in increments of 0.1.*

Back to the business on board. One of our first technical problems has surfaced but fortunately is not a big one. Or at least, it’s not as much of a deal-breaker as the broken Gruaud Larose 2005. We are having issues with the IPv4 connection between the PC and the Nav Computer: we are unable to force manual properties in the LAN manual properties.  Anyway, if someone reading this is an I.T. guru, send us a post card.

As previously mentioned, yesterday was rather calm, with thankfully (not you, lazy drunk bum) constant wind.  Calm seas reaching under Code 0 spinnaker, stay sail, and main sail at full.  Toto (yes, we are naming things on Thirsty…it’s part of the delirium setting in at sea…Toto is no God though; he’s our autopilot) was set for a direct course and we had nearly nothing to do but were blessed with our first full day of sunshine!  Conclusion being that we think we’re finally on a good route with constant winds and sunshine. So with the mostly uneventful day, we cleaned and organized the boat and made two scrumptious meals WITHOUT wine: filet mignon and mashed potatoes for lunch, and gizzards with pasta for dinner.  Ok fine, Fred put some red liquid from a bottle that said something like “Saint Emilion” in our glasses.

Anyway, we won’t be able to watch the World Cup Finals today (edit from ground-based translator: go Argentina!), and we won’t party at our buddy Marc’s house for Bastille Day. However, our Tarot card buddies should be prepared: with Aeolus sleeping like he is, I’ve been on fire with the Tarot card game on my iPad the past few days!

That’s it for Day 5 morning news.  We’ve just passed the 1,600nm to go mark, but the road is still really loooooong! Our forecasting is telling us we should be at the Kaneohe Mai-tai Bar at the very earliest next Sunday late evening or night. Maybe even Monday morning.  Right on time for the ALS Association Golden West Chapter’s reception for us!

Much love from the Pacific,

– Charly and Fred

* Naturally, we ask that you not share the above equation with our competitors, as it will provide them with a strategic advantage. If you must, provide them with this equation with a 6-hour delay, much like the Yellowbrick GPS tracking does.  Thanks. 


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Last night, after the sunset, we decided to retire from the race Long Beach – Around Catalina – Dana Point.

Wind completely dropped to 2 knots. With 65 miles to go, that was making a short week end at home. At Noon on Sunday, even the fastest long racing boat hadn’t crossed the finish line.

But we were happy as we tested all the systems and our ”live aboard”. We need to improve some little items that will make our life easier (in the galley when we are cooking).

All works well on board and we validated the important point we had on the check list.

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New spinnakers on board

Last Friday, on our way to the start in Long Beach, we tested our new spinnakers from our partner BENETEAU AMERICA.

We have one symmetrical S2 for downwind from 10 to 16 knots wind (the yellow one). And the pink one is an asymmetrical spinnaker A4 for wind above 18 knots.

Each Spinnaker has a nickname… The White ALS A2 is the ”Captain”, The Pink is already called ”BENE” and we are still searching for the yellow one. Any suggestion ?


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