Winds continue to head us, and just as Expedition predicts our route, it also predicts our course based on the Grip files. This is terrific, and cause to not worry that we cannot make 30 degrees magnetic, we are currently tracking 15 degrees, as predicted. We continue to have good daytime winds of 17-20 knots apparent, which keeps us flying to weather. We also continue to have squalls, which seems a bit weird given that we are now at 31n 146w. So far tonight, our first squall was at 10 pm and we a have 5 in two hours. The squalls have sustained winds of 23-24 knots, with gusts to 30.
We just reported in for the end of day 4, it seems most of the return boats are headed in the similar direction. We have continued to fall off a bit, 30 degrees (M) is our course, if we can make it, else the best we can do at times is due north. We have remained on the same longitude as Green Buffalo, who has made this crossing 15 times now, and Expedition our routing software is also choosing this same course, so we feel we are on the right course for now.
We continue to fetch SF, winds continue to be in the low 20’s, so today we changed down to our #3 jib„,should have done this a few days ago. Everyone, even those off watch jumped in, and we had the 135% folded and the #3 up and running is short order. Expedition, our software which uses Grib files to do routing for us, continues to calculate a different course than we are on. It wants us to fall off 25 degrees off our present course to SF. This is a bit confusing. We have 3 software packages, and they all give slightly different info.
Day 3 is going well, well„„crystals of salt on my face„ my watch ended an hour ago, but the wind has been building, so we just reefed the jib again…. Daily reporting from the other return boats is very interesting.
10am tomorrow will be the end of day 2 for our return trip, and it feels like we are sprinting along, in smooth seas, 16 knots apparent wind (13 true) - on a very favorable slant, heading directly at San Francisco. Winds are soft and very warm, shorts and short sleeve shirts are the dress of the day and nights. We are taking an unusual course, under the high, back to SF but that is what the weather is dishing out. Looks like a starboard tack for 6 days, then a port tack to finish up the trip. Everyone now has their sea legs, and gobbled up the salad and lasagna this evening.
It shouldn't be much of a surprise we dropped back in standings.
Yesterday was aweful. When squalls come in with energy, they take more
than what they brought when they leave. We could not get away from
them. Do 15 knots for 15 minutes with tons of fun and then 3-4 hours of
wallowing in confused seas, no wind and massive frustration after they
Kind of like a divorce from what I hear.
Anyways, there is still over 200 miles of racing left and lots can
happen. Maybe we had our worst game of the year yesterday and they
As I learn bits more about life, I keep coming back to two things that are becoming truths for me:
1. Things aren't always as they seem.
With 565nm left we are truly in gring mode as in grinding people down. We jumped from 7th to 3rd place over night with only Tachyon and Bad Pack in front of us. Many things can go right or wrong, wind speed, wind direction, sea state, asset preservation and so on.
It really is getting pretty exciting.
We are sailing along nicely back with full main, big running spinnaker and staysail - Givin' her all she's got captain. Not as windy as yesterday so we don't know if we gain on people in these conditions. Four more knots of wind please.
The water is amazingly blue.
That was some really fun sailing. 20-23 knots of wind with 2A spinnaker, full main and staysail (bad idea) but we were flying. I think we maxed out at 18 knots coming down a wave, it is a strange sensation. It is close to weightlessness, but even the slightest turn of the helm and the boat immediately responds - on rails. As you come down the wave you could so easily (or accidently) turn either way. The correct turn allows you to sail on, the incorrect turn is a catastrophic crash. UGLY!