Standings report today was a bit confusing, as the finish times of the already finished boats were not published. But not much of relevance for us seems to have changed. If we don't screw up in the last minute, we should be able to keep our position. If!
Last night got wild. We had the spinnaker up, but wind became so strong, Bill wanted it down at about 10 pm. It was dark, the moon was not up yet, and only a few stars were visible in the sky. It was really dark, the best time for a major sail change! Anyway, the whole crew was on deck, it worked well, and we did make decent progress on a poled out jib through the night with the help of some squalls. In the morning the light spinnaker came up, and we kept going.
George was at the helm when a squall hit again. George set a new record of 8.9 kn average over 5 miles, so Larry's record of 8.7 kn lasted only a few days. However, it then happened what I had described a few days earlier: we got stuck in the hole behind the squall. We basically did not move for 2 hours! Larry and Howard proved their skills and brought the boat into an area with wind. Howard took position on the rail as a kind of Spinnaker-Whisperer, and Larry on the helm watched every trajectory of an air molecule towards the sails to squeeze the most out of every puff of wind. It was a bit of a miracle success, but nevertheless it had cost us 2 hours. Now we are moving again, and have prepared for the final run towards the finish line.
It won't be the Hawaiian midnight any more when we cross over, but 2 - 3 hours later (assuming no further surprises). Hopefully the bar of the the Kaneohe Yacht Club will still be open - a cold drink would be so nice! I imagine there will be a few more boats to finish tonight; in a few moments we will be overtaken by Rage, one of the fast boats.
It was asked and suggested that we catch some fish, have an "Ocean Sushi Diner" eating place, and publish pictures of big fish that we have caught. As we did in all other races. Unfortunately, not this time. Nobody felt inclined to do it, and we also really had no spare time. The fish may have liked it. Therefore, I am attaching a picture in lieu of a that of a big Mahi-mahi or Tuna; it is surprising for what purposes red tape can be used :-)
Position: July 27, 2008, 2106 PDT, lat 21n54, lon 156w47, cog 260m, sog 8 kn