We heard from our boys twice today and both emails were much more uplifting than the previous. They’ve received your well-wishes and thank you all. We’ll start with an email from Charles this morning:
Good news for the morning…we are less than 500NM away from Kaneohe Bay. Now, we just need to inject a little NOS to get to Kaneohe for lunch on Friday.
Fairly calm night last night. Not too many gusts. We setup a non-conventional sail configuration: we mounted our larger staysail on the bowsprit to help battle the yaw which allowed us to get some rest through the night so that we can go back into attack mode once it gets to be light out. We hoisted our big orange spinnaker up this morning and we’re moving right along.
Yesterday evening was probably the first real blissful moment of the race. Freddy was sleeping and I was at the helm of Thirsty, which despite it’s injuries and MacGyver’ed repairs was stably blasting down waves between 13 and 18kts right ahead of our first real sunset of the race (it’s been gray and San-Francisco-y the entire time) which happened to generate a superb display of colors. I am happy to report that when the Pacific chooses to be less brutal, it’s just as beautiful as I remember it. Had Moby playing in my earphones (“Everything That Rises” is still my favorite tune for these moments). At this point I am telling myself that at least I came all the way out here for these 30 minutes of serenity and beauty. And then, sunset. And then, a “home-cooked” meal of macaroni and prosciutto.
Stamina-wise, we’ve regained some energy from our 3-day insomnia marathon. We are thinking we’ll inject that “NOS” when we pass the 200NM to go mark in the last 24 hours. After days of running lines, steering, adjusting various trims and re-rigging, I can report that I no longer have finger prints…our hands are wiped out. Oh and I think we’ll probably need to wear long sleeve lycra tops on the beaches of Hawaii otherwise I fear locals will call Adult Protection Services (does that exist?) if they were to see the bruising and cuts we have all over our arms, backs, torsos, and legs. On future crossings, we’ll leave the forward deck work to the young whipper-snappers to get the crap beat out of them on. Yes, you read that correctly: I think this’ll be our last double-handed crossing. Maybe. Not sure. Ask us again next year. But yeah…
Hope today we make good mileage gains because Fred and I are tired of being on this boat. Hawaii can’t arrive soon enough. But hey, we broke a Thirsty/SailingForALS speed record: 18.7kts boat speed. And it didn’t feel like we were flirting with the Grim Reaper of the Pacific or anything like that, so that was fun.
Later this afternoon, the GBC received another message from Charly. Sounds like the Poseidon and Aoelus had a beer together and said “A’ight, that’s enough crap for now. Let’s let ’em finish.” So here goes for the 5pm update:
First nice day of the ENTIRE race. The boat’s temporary mends seem to be holding and the sea isn’t as violent so the boat is just gliding over the tamed waves under a beautiful sun. We did some more permanent organizing and cleaning of the boat.
[GBC note: One of the things you guys probably didn’t realize through all of this is that without an autopilot, Fred and Charly would barely see or talk to each other except for when sh!t was hitting the proverbial fan. And none of that chat was really enjoyable.] Today, Fred and I were able to catch up like long lost buddies from our 2012 and 2014 Pacific Cup.
We are moving at 11kts on the direct route to Kaneohe Bay. We’ve decided we’re not gonna take down the spinnaker until we cross that finish line. We just can’t wait to get there anymore. Still, when things are going better for us, this boat is still fairly injured and doing any adjustments with out current state of rigging is headache. We had another broach this morning with our spinnaker up in sprightly gust which sent the boom straight into the shrouds (probably gonna have to re-rig this boat with completely new hardware once it’s back in LA). Anyway, minor mechanical damage, no harm to us (lucky considering a swinging boom like that could really knock you out cold), a slight delay to our course time (take the spinnaker down, re-rig, and re-hoist), but mostly another annoyance we have no tolerance for at this point.
We are telling ourselves that luck has turned and that maybe the last 50 hours of this race will actually be somewhat pleasant (today was, so why not?).
Much love from 400NM west-northwest of Kaneohe.
Oh and we wanted to show you what the offshore offices of SailingForALS look like:
Thank you all for following so closely and for sharing your thoughts. We and the guys really appreciate it. Until the next update, take it easy gang.