Episode 6: Sailing into the Garbage Patch

Back-to-back posts! Yeah buddy! Charlie wrote us two emails early this morning: more good news pouring in. The first one is to let us know that they are projecting an evening to early morning arrival between Thursday July 21st and Friday July 22nd, which would effectively be their fastest Pacific Cup time, so fingers crossed that the weather persists this way. Also to note, as of 5:00AM PDT, our boys are not only still in the lead in their division, but they’re also in THIRD place in the overall race standings! Which is a HUGE feat!

Dum dee dum dee doo...we're creeping up in the leaderboard!

Dum dee dum dee doo…we’re creeping up in the leaderboard! 1,300NM to go!

Here is Charly’s second email below:

Hi friends !
The Alps… straight down… full speed ahead in full-tuck position. We average “only” 214 NM every 24 hours, 231 on the direct route. A few mishaps. First we got into the ” garbage patch”, the giant plastic-filled dumpster. We’re not happy to report it’s still there! We hit the rudder with some random piece of something: that’ll always keep your nice and alert and high-strung! We saw buoys of all kinds and even a construction helmet: didn’t get a chance to check if it had a Fukushima sticker on it or not. The biggest shit happened on my watch: wild jibe at 2 am, main sail stuck in the mainstay, spinnaker loose. Well… as Fred said “big fucking mess!”. At least 30 minutes to fix it! And then, we got some huge bag stuck onto the engine’s propeller.

Two ways of getting it off:

  1. Glénans School – lower the sheets and back up.
  2. Thirsty “School” proven in 2014 – full speed ahead any which way, sails tight. With current winds at 20 knots and dips of roughly 10 ft, it’s not easy but effective and quick.
  3. The Max Power way: it’s the wrong way, but faster!

Life on board. Yesterday we had salmon and rice for lunch and “blanquette” veal stew/rice for dinner. As an appetizer: paté on toast from Pitchoun bakery. Thank you Pitchoun! And treats from my nephew . We’re HAPPY! We still have a couple of oranges and a grapefruit (scurvy could settle-in by next Thursday…right on time for our Mai-Tai’s). Still not drinking wine: facing 11-12 knots of wind on average, drinking is not appealing (I think it even says on the bottles “Surgeon General’s Warning: do not consume alcohol while racing the Pac Cup if you are in the lead”). We are opening a bottle tomorrow at half-way point for the Captain’s dinner, because that’s a tradition. Other bottles to be opened in and around Hawaii.
This has become a wild boar race… aroma-wise. We hope we can shower today because even our shadows can’t take the smell anymore. We change our clothes, seal them in plastic pouches and hope they won’t pollute the boat. It’s that bad…
About the race: we are still 1st in our Division and now 3rd overall. We will jibe around noon and get on the freeway towards the sun and Hawaii. Wolfpack (our enemy) jibed this morning and the jackass called another boat on the VHF to advertise the fact: heard the whole conversation. We are expecting strong winds and better temperatures as we go..

Don’t worry Wolfpack, Charlie and Fred are nice guys…except when they’re in race mode and suffering from severe wine withdrawals.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday friends!


One thought on “Episode 6: Sailing into the Garbage Patch

  1. Pascal Quily

    Adonf les mecs,

    Très sympa de pouvoir suivre votre course et surtout de vous voire avec le malliot jaune.
    Bon vent et continuez pied au plancher vous avez le pack de loups aux fesses!



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