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.


We are approaching Coco head, and around the corner is Diamondhead are finish. We are less than 20 miles away, and our spirits are great.


The tradewinds are accompanied by squalls, which in the Pacific are
relatively localized systems that often double the local wind strength for
15 minutes or more. Well, we got a few of them.

Our lightweight A2 spinnaker survived winds up to 30 knots, well beyond the
design spec. We did, however, have a "round down," which is a fairly serious
oopsie where the spinnaker drags the boat around and the boat gybes and then
heels way over, putting the boom in the water and pinning the boat down till
things are resolved.


Now squarely in the tradewinds, we had some pretty good speed runs. I got 18
knots at one point and other crew had similar numbers to add to our baseline
10 knot run rate.

Night in the tropics brings squalls - a sequence of rain, wind, and light
air. The trick is not to be there when the light air hits, though we surely
got our share of rain. The extra wind brought extra speed, and we widened
the gap over Hula Girl and further shaved time of our forecast arrival,
making pre-noon on the 10th a real possibility.

Dinner last night was penne al fredo with some chicken thrown in. Brett made
another coleslaw piqued up with sriracha POWDER. Yes, it's a thing. Game


Called "the Trades" because you would not trade them for anything, the
Tradewinds sweep the Pacific from West to East and include warm steady winds
that will carry you to Hawai'i and beyond.

Our first hint of the trades was the appearance of flying fish, first in
solo sorties then in entire squadrons. The crew has declined to call them

Next are the graceful, all-white, long-tailed Tropic Birds coasting and
wheeling above us. Finally the winds kick in. We are enjoying (checks
instrument) 18.3 knots of wind, which is a lot, and is finally pushing us to
some respectable double-digit speeds.


We opened our halfway presents to great glee. We'll save the little bottles
of hooch for post-finish festivities. Hawkeye was particularly touched to
get a picture of baby Luna, and that photo is posted on the bulkhead.

Winds are steady but modest, and almost no swells, so we are just rumbling
along at a rate of about 8 knots toward our finish line. Last forecast had
us with a very civilized mid-afternoon finish, though not on the day we had
hoped for.


Well, a little more than halfway with only 1051 miles to go and our speed
somewhat up. We finally got to the larger and faster A2 spinnaker and are
heading roughly toward Oahu. We'll have to gybe several times to get there.

Crew are opening their halfway presents with anticipation and appreciation.
Mostly, it's the heartfelt notes inside that warm us up. Thank you to all.

Truffled risotto tonight.


Fittingly, we are flying our A5 spinnaker, which features 15 stripes (just
like the Star Spangled Banner) and a blue field with white stars.

We finally got some lovely sunshine, some wind, and the ability to use said
spinnaker, giving us a couple more knots of boatspeed.

As of this writing, we are 1256 miles from the finish and about 950 miles
from the start, so we'll be halfway sometime this evening. The
machine-o-matic forecasts six and a half days to arrival for a
just-before-midnight on the tenth. HOWEVER, recall that we have been
outsailing our polars by 10%, so subtract 15 hours for a lovely mid-morning

Well, lovely for everyone but Kelsey, who has to head out on the 11th.


Expedition says we will arrive July 10 at 11:07 am. However, we have
generally been sailing about 10% faster than it thinks we will, so, uh, we
plan to be earlier than that. Either way, it will be lovely to see our
friends and family at the far side.

We'll be docking at Waikiki Yacht Club, which is a pleasant stay. John
takes the boat back on the 15th, so it will be a brief stay at that

Our Iridium has gotten fussy, sometimes refusing to send mail, and sometimes
refusing to download weather. I think it's some dns issue, but where the
issue lies, I cannot say. Perhaps we will figure out where, on a windoze pc
the dns cacheing settings are.


We put the big J1 headsail up, more suitable for these lighter winds. Moving
along at 8-9 knots, and keeping a high course to avoid the even lighter
patch of air to the South.

Winds last night were extremely variable, both in direction and strength.
The crew is somewhat split on whether to sail a consistent course or a
consistent point of sail. Both are challenging and ffrustrating.

Brett's tamales were a big hit for breakfast. Dinner tonight is Mongolian

Lots of Love to our shore supporters. We're making for Honolulu as fast as
we can.


We're firmly ensconced in the fleet, the left one third, which is where I
generally prefer to be. Our boatspeed is very good and we are passing boats
one at a time.

It's 4:30 pm here on Oaxaca. Pretty quiet as the off-watch sleeps and the
on-watch focuses on driving. Steering a close reach (loose beat?) requires
a certain degree of concentration since the boat can easily steer closer to
the wind or off. There's a desire to put up one of the bigger sails, but at
15 knots it's not the right move. The forecast was 10-12, so this is a
bonus. Whoop, now it's 16!


Out northerly strategy appears to have allowed us to converge with the
fleet, pulling ahead of some of our fellow racers and chasing down others.
We wonder why the Hammer Squirrel is showing lower boat speeds, but are
confident they will sort that out.

Meals aboard continue to be simple affairs. Last night was chickpea pasta
with prego sauce and turkey meatballs. Offered fruit and cookies for dessert
were declined. While there has been only one incident of mal de mer aboard,
we still need a few days to get our sea appetites under us. Tonight it is
LASAGNA, except for the gluten intolerant who will dine on her own stores


What a difference two years makes. Last race, we had a spinnaker up by this
point. This year we are beating or close reaching in pretty cold weather.
Largely uneventful other than leading life at a pretty sharp angle.

Dinner was cold chicken and fruits for those who wanted them. Folks are
getting used to the boat and the offshore routines, such as keeping the hot
pot filled.

No animal sightings.

We are rather farther north than the rest of the fleet. We are convinced
that they are heading toward light are and we are not. A couple of very
experienced boats are with us on this, so we are not feeling totally fringe.

Love to our home team!


With less than 24 hours to a start, we now have all our food stowed, and are ready to still crew gear. Bedding is tucked away, and the rigging is ready. Blocks have been lubricated. Deck is clean divers put a final scrub on the bottom of the boat. Feels Feels like a nice day for a race.


Beautiful day on the water


Completed tasks on the left, work to be done on the right. The crew has been working together to get everything done, and we’ve had a lot of fun doing it except for splicing the line which did not go well and we will try again tomorrow.


A full day of boat work earns a beer


Well. The trick of breaking the task list out and putting them on pink
post-its was very successful. Andy, Dave, and I knocked out a bunch of
them, such as:

- Replace compass light
- Sort snack food
- Stow cookware
- Wash the boat
- Remove rust stains from hull
- deploy new quarterberth sleeping pads
- Stow excess sleeping bags
- Reconnect starboard bunk light

On the minus side, I misplaced the iridium antenna adapter. New one to be
ordered Monday.


There's about 25 tasks to go. Some big and some small. All written on pink
post-it notes for folks to grab and execute.


Weather briefing. Slow race