Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hula Girl Update 2008 Pacific Cup

Paul Cayard - 28° 16'N 150° 26'W

It is going fast. The boat, the race, the dream. We are half way to Hawaii. The first two nights were cold, wet and high speed. Everyone was wet to the bone. Everything on the boat got soaked. We had a few minor fire drills. Mainsail down and Robbie up the mast to lead a new spinnaker halyard.

We went South, then we converted it to West. It has been foggy, then more overcast. Today, for the first time we had some glimpses of trade wind sailing. A bit of sun, deep blue water, flying fish and squid jumping out of the water. The breeze was up, the breeze was down. Now it is up again. We have had 30 knots and we have had 6 knots and all the sails to go with those conditions. No slating or drifting.

The Pacific Cup is a well thought out race; you have the worst conditions first and then it just gets better from there.

I have had my hands full standing a watch and trying to pay attention to the weather. Hopefully, we have played most of the important cards now and it is more about sailing the boat down the track we have chosen. With the luck of some 060 wind, I made a bit of a step to the South today from our position at roll call as I was a bit concerned about getting into the right corner (too close to the high pressure center), too hard and the wind getting to light. We are back on starboard in 050 wind direction and 5 knots. More winds and cruising into the night.

We have missed the full moon each night so far due to the overcast out here. Hopefully, tonight with the breaks in the clouds, the "stadium lights" will shine through and light up the field. That is one of the cool experiences about ocean racing and sailing at night in general.

We can't help but to start to think about Hawaii and how exciting it will be to arrive there and what a feeling of accomplishment it will be..more so for the less experienced.

Time for a little chicken with rice and then on deck with my watch partner, Allie. We are swapping with Mark and Ralfie. - PC