Well. 63-time crosser John Jourdane, our navigator, declared this the weirdest weather he had encountered on a Transpac crossing. For my money, this rivalled the miserable 2000 Pac Cup. Five days of upwind slogging under gloomy skies, followed by a close reach of several more days made for difficult and challenging sailing.
Crew stepped up nicely, demonstrating and building skills both at the wheel and with patience for adverse conditions. Congratulations to our competitors, most of whom beat us handily.. Our expensive "northern strategy" cost us miles and time that we were not ultimately able to recapture.
The boat performed well, with no gear failures underway, other than minor sail tears ably repaired by Kelsey.
Several gybes, a couple of intensely rainy squalls, and a round-down (no damage, but not fun) punctuated our approach to the Molokai channel. Given our position and angle, we went straight in, rather than scoot along the face of Molokai.
As we approached Koko Head, Kelsey and Hawkeye wanted to try to avoid gybing and sailed real deep to skirt the land. Thanks to good driving and good trimming, this worked out despite my internal pa system blaring "GYBE GYBE GYBE!" Clearing Koko, we had a pretty slim window to clear the finish line, but Hawkeye left me in pretty good shape and we crossed the line at about 11 days. Cheers by all.
Brett on the bow spiked the spinnaker for the takedown.
We made our way to the slip Michael Roth had procured for us Waikiki Yacht Club to be greeted by our friends and family and a wonderful party spearheaded by Margo and Walt and Kim. Not really sure what happened after that....