Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cirrus on Day 1

Our position of today was 5th in division, which was a bit disappointing. To top it off, a sailboat came up behind us, spinnaker set. It later turned out to be Tiki Blue, from the C division, who had started an hour later. These are boats faster than Cirrus by design, but still, it is not pleasing that someone comes up from behind. Then they seemed to have difficulties keeping the course, fell off quite a bit south, then changed to white sails and sailed north, then to a different spinnaker, then we saw them dressed again fully in white. Behind us! Ah, that did well!
How did we recover? Seeing them with spinnaker made us rethink our options, and we decided to set our big 1.5oz spinnaker, although we had to go more south than we wished for. Driving became a bit more interesting, but performance was awesome. The wind angle at 95-100 deg apparent was not well suited for spinnaker, but we managed well over 8 kn average SOG throughout the afternoon, which is kind of the limit for Cirrus. Bill decided to take the spinnaker down for the night, among (mild) protest from our side. But it turned out to be a good decision. Shortly after the wind did the long expected hike up to 20 kn, but the wind angle remained unfavorable for spinnaker. Now under white sails we are making close to 8 kn; looks good so far.
The weather this year is really sailor friendly. Although from the start we had a full cloud cover - no sun, no moon, no stars so far - but due to the full moon the night was surprisingly bright. And not quite as cold as expected; double long underwear under your pants and foul weather gear will do it for the night. I am using snow board gloves, but my hands were cold at the end of my night shift. We are so bundled up, I am always reminded of big yellow teddy bears! We had some rain drizzling down throughout the night. Nevertheless, we are all doing well. None whatsoever of this first-days-sqeeziness. We had a few cans of noodle soup enriched with some cans of chicken meat for the first dinner - which is usually the most you can take, and often you like to go without any meal - but I guess we could just as well have had steak cooked rare with fried onions! And a beer (but this is not served on this boat). For dinner today we had a few cans of clam chowder, which was also very nice. I guess this year we will have less of "Chef Mom's Dinner" but more of "Can-tina food"!
The small waves have changed to bigger waves, overlaid with some swells, but still easy to manage. However, we all got our workout at the helm when sailing under spinnaker. Cirrus, dressed in full spinnaker, liked to scoop up water with the bow and have the foredeck washed thoroughly, while spraying some to the cockpit. Many, many, many, many thanks to whoever convinced Bill of 1st) putting up a dodger, and 2nd) one with a window, and 3rd) with such a huge window! It is wonderful and helpful, and so far we stay dry behind it.
Aloha, Ulli

Position: July 16, 2008, 2132PDT, lat 35N28.7, Lon 125W58.2, cog225M, sog 7.9kn


Anonymous said...

Hi scout Ulli,
Dein Bericht war sehr informativ und
umfassend. Wir haben nun einen guten Eindruck wie es bei Euch an Bord zugeht. Wieviel Boote sind in Eurer
Division? Vielleicht ist Euch "Rasmus" hold und Ihr rückt noch etwas nach vorne, ist ja erst der
Beginn. Bedenklich ist, kein Bier an Bord, und auch nicht auf Hawaii.Du
kennst den Song "Es gibt kein Bier auf Hawaii ...

Grendel said...

Hello Ulli,
Are you following Cirrugator's orders?

Eva said...

What nice chuckles you elude from us, your readers! I don't know if you could hear us as we joint the rest of the chorus: "es giebt kein Bier ..." perhaps though, by the time you reach Hawaii all of you can dance the hula.
The pleasant addition of the dodger may not only keep you dry(er) but may serve a little like a spinnaker too!
I'm sure Bill is pleased to have a happy crew!
Eva a. Milton

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess you now know that tiki blue blew 2 spinnakers in that move. Just goes to show the race is long and rarely decided in the 1st dfays. Keep plugging! Trivia question - what happenened when Tiki Blue flew the kite? A: Tiki blew.


Valerie said...

The charts would suggest that Cirrugator will get bored. Can't say the same for radio gang. As of this morning looks like 18 boats will finish on the 27th/28th.
Love your boat speed --- tweak away, be safe but have fun.