Friday, July 18, 2008

Cirrus on Day 3

Standings didn't change a lot. Still 5th in division, and overall moved to 19 out of 54 (a slight improvement). Of course, the night without spinnaker made us fall back. But distance to the first boat is only 20 miles; some catch-up is still possible. As we are rated the slowest boat, all other boats of the division owe us time of up to 8h at the finish line.

This morning 8am we set the spinnaker again, and had a fantastic day at 8+ kn speeds in mounting waves. It has become something like a roller coaster ride, when big and heavy Cirrus rides up a wave and then slides down the hill - coming even a bit into surf mode - then dives into the next wave, scooping up a load of water. Or she comes to a sudden stop when falling into the valley behind a wave, shaking all her rigging and sails. It feels a bit like driving a school bus down a ski slope. Today Howard set an all time record on Cirrus with an average 8.7 kn over a >1 mile distance. That is more than Cirrus supposedly can do. Also, Chris got his Spinnaker-Diploma today, with his first helm time with a spinnaker up. And under those conditions it was not easy; he mastered it well. Adrenalin was flowing freely.

And guess what - the spinnaker stays up during the night! Mutiny canceled.

Today we decided to head over to Mom's Dinner place for a homemade, delicious lasagne. But it turned out that the thing was so thoroughly frozen that we wouldn't be able to thaw it in time for dinner without carbonizing the outside. Fortunately the Can-tina was still open, and so we had noodle soup with chicken. How can it possibly be frozen that much? Well, we have a cooler/freezer installed in the galley, which runs on battery power. And it needs a lot of it, so that we, if we were using it, needed to do the unpleasant thing of running the engine often to recharge the batteries (during that period the propeller must be disengaged to avoid taking illegal advantage of motor power). What we do instead is to stack the freezer with the frozen meals, and put a lot of dry ice around and between those food packets, and then even seal the freezer with tape to eliminate any air circulation. This freezes the food to the temperature of dry ice, which is -76(?, where is Google when you need it) deg Celsius. Then we take out one dinner package at a time and put in a camping-cooler, to cool other stuff while it thaws. You simply need to plan ahead and take into account that solid blocks like lasagne take a bit longer to thaw. This dry ice lasts for about 10 days in our setting; after that we run on battery power.
No sun, moon, or ... oh, I believe I said this before. We still have full cloud cover. How could the old folks navigate using celestial bodies when there weren't any to see? Well, I guess they didn't ;->, and had to rely on dead-reckoning using compass and measured boat speed.

Aloha, Ulli

P.S. I'm sorry that I may have created some confusion about commenting of a kind, which could be construed as illegal outside help. Clearly, none of the comments were anywhere near this border, so please, keep going! But it is a racing rule, and interestingly one that matters only since few years, as those modern abilities of communication simply weren't there before. Has any reader ever heard of "outside help" in a racing context due to information given via a blog?

position: 18 July 2008 2024PDT, lat 32n27, lon 132w09, cog 230, sog 8.3


Anonymous said...

109.3°F or -78.5°C. Courtesy of
Also, congratulations to Chris on getting his diploma. He's always been our "downwind guy" on Pacific Spirit. Can't wait to see how he does with higher education.
Fair winds.

Anonymous said...

Make that -109.F or -78.5 C. Cut and paste mistake...

Anonymous said...

Hallo Ulli,
Ich habe schon öfter versucht, Verbindung zu bekommen. Hoffentlich kommt dieser Post richtig zustande. :)
Wir denken oft an Dich!
Bodo weiß auch Bescheid. Auch er hat Schwierigkeiten mit der Verbindung, weil blogging für ihn ebenso neu ist wie für mich.

Mast und Schotbruch,
Silvia und Horst

Anonymous said...

Way to go Dad making 8.7 kn! You never were very good at following the rules, sailing faster than the boat's max speed. Hope all is going well. It is great to be able to keep up with your progress online!
Love and Speed, Maile

goodwinbikes said...

Geo. N
I say again:

Don't fall off the boat.

signed tom