Probably the funniest things I've heard from Such Fast, while on their race to Puerto Vallarta, is that they've experienced the joys of flying squid. Tara Lee, crewmember/spin trimmer and boat master chef extraordinaire, said that the squid count this morning was 11, not counting the two that hit Skipper Dave in the head last night! Haha.
In the ocean, I'm used to flying fish falling into our boat or smacking us in the head but Squid?! Cool.
Well maybe not for Dave. Not cool.
Such Fast started at noon on Thursday and crushed the start (though the yellow brick tracker doesn't show that for some reason). It was beautiful watching the conditions and the boat start out on this race as they headed for the open ocean. Currently Such Fast is almost half way to PV - about 556 miles to go (but this is reported on a 4 hour delay).
According to Dave, top speed for the boat has been 15.75 knots. The boat in general has been averaging between 7-11 knots all day and night.
Just to re-cap, I'll post some images from the things going on prior to race start.
Wednesday night, San Diego Yacht Club hosted a nice reception for the three boats starting Thursday. Unfortunately we missed the big reception and send off party Thursday night with all the other boats competing. I suppose it would be hard to move the party earlier, as crew (especially because the professional/paid crew on various boats just arrive Thursday like rock stars) finishes getting in on Thursday to prepare for the race.
Ross P, Tara Lee C, Nathan d, Ros d, Kristen S, David G, Stuart B, Mark B & Adam C at SDYC
Bilge working happiness Adding a mast ring Getting the rigging ready
Mark B & Adam C
Getting off the dock is always difficult before a race...
Tara Lee's fiancé Ross P and family showing send-off support!
The Race start...
Friday, March 11th 7:49am
From David (Skipper)
All good with boat and sails.
Crew had a long night of sailing but morning has come. Skipper has been seasick - thankfully he has scopolamine patches to help!
Friday, March 11th 1:16pm
Winds lighter, crew good, David better.
Uffff...still taking on water, pumps working to get about half of water out. 1 gallon an hour.
From Tara Lee
Was a moon halo tonight. It shown on the water like puddles of mercury. Its light gave good
sight flying the A2 and surfing the boat off waves up to 13 knots.
Saturday, March 12th 9:28am
We are all healthy and happy and moving well.
We are taking on about 30 gallons (of water) a day from someplace, not at all sure where.
Top speed winner, David at 15.75 knots
All boat systems are working except bilge pump.
It is really pretty out here, sunny and not too hot yet.
Estimated arrival, March 16th late.
Saturday, March 12th 11:37am
We are having some issues. We have a large kelp blob on the keel, a spinnaker stuck up the halyard and it won't come down. Will have Mark B go up and spike the Spinn and then we will have to figure out the kelp. Maybe a swim for me?
The new spin pole is fantastic sailing.
We will lose at least an hour of racing, but it needs to be done.
Can't find the water ingress, pretty stead 1 gallon/hour.
Food is good and sleeping is good.
All other systems good.
Sunday, March 13th 2:28pm
Life onboard is 4 hour shifts. 4 hours on deck and 4 hours not.
We have one solar panel running and the water maker is filling tanks.
Charging with all new lithium ion battery system is working well.
Stuart, Adam, and Bunker have the 12 midnight shift and Tara Lee, Nathan and Dave have the 12 noon shift.
We went to change the spinnaker and discovered that the spinnaker would not come down. We will need to send someone aloft to figure out the problem before something happens. The sea state is not conducive to sending someone up there.
This forced the navigator hand to take a sailable route to the outside. We shall see if we can get the spinnaker down in tact.
The dewatering system is not getting rid of water, so bailing is needed in between shifts. The source of water has not been discovered.
All in all, spirits rise when the sailing is good or around meal time with pretty tasty meals.
From Tara Lee 6:32pm
It was blowing 20 knots but then went down to 12 knots.
We opted to not send anyone up until a few hours ago. We did not cut the halyard but
freed the sail. We have one other spinnaker halyard and one jib halyard. Spinnaker is now up on jib halyard.
The weather models predict that further down the course, the winds will be lighter. One of the bigger challenges of this ocean race is the passage off the southern tip of Baja California. Two years ago, Such Fast got stuck for a day off the tip and didn't pick the right lane toward PV. At the tip of Baja, the line to Puerto Vallarta makes a shallow 15 degree turn at the point. Flukey winds can extend pretty far out so tactics and navigation are important in picking the right "lane" to PV.
Sounds like the high pressure has provided beautiful skies for this race. I'm sure the crew is looking forward to ditching their fowlies and getting into warmer conditions.