Transpac Update – A Sweet Day #6

So, it’s late night Wednesday, as we are still on California time, but we’ve obviously traversed far enough west now that we should be in another time zone … as it’s clear the ritual panoramas of sunrise and sunset have changed during our fixed four hour on and off watches. A few hours ago, we crossed the 1000 miles left to Hawaii threshold. Now you might not have seen that on the Race Tracker at the same time as we did, because they installed a 6-hour delay on the tracker to keep competitors from knowing too much too soon about each other’s strategies. Of course, if any of them are near enough for you to see, who needs the tracker, right? This kind of delay is fairly typical of many longer racing events.

Jim McLaren changing the blocks ...Jim McLaren, changing the blocks for the staysail trim … w/ HAEA on the boom …

Last night, in the Transpac’s Daily Newsletter, they “leaked” a story about what we’re up to out here strategy-wise in our Division …

“Division 6 is going to be a high-stakes gamble: Jeff Urbina’s Santa Cruz 52 Bodacious IV seems to want to avoid his competitors, steadfastly staying to the south of everyone, perhaps in search of more wind in the dying breeze starting to creep across the course. In contrast, the current corrected time leader and past class winner, Jack Taylor’s Santa Cruz 50 Horizon, is content to work the shifts near the rhumb line and keep covering the rest of the class. We’ll see in the next day or two whether the Bodacious gamble will pay off as they all head more deeply into the Hawaiian trade winds ahead, with the finish being about 900 miles away.”

Ah, what fun! Who knows if our strategy will work or not. After all … we ARE partnering here with the sea and the winds and the weather … so it’s still anybody’s game!

Bodacious Strategy Time
Jeff Urbina, John Hoskins and Christer Still review strategies …

I hesitate to use the word “routine” to describe today … because nothing about standing “out here”, sailing “on this” and sharing this experience with “who’s here” suits that word … but nevertheless, today was not all that different from yesterday. The big difference today involved changes in both mileage and the weather. The winds have steadied some and the skies have cleared, so we are at the moment sailing under perfectly clear skies with a beautiful moon and sparkling cover of stars overhead. This is what we came for … amazing trade wind sailing … a most beautiful experience. And, along with this … is the glowing magic of phosphorescent plankton, which looks like streams of fireflies trailing out from alongside the boat in the wake of our path. I wish there was some way for me to show you this, to capture in a photo what I’m seeing right now … as I’m sure you’d fall under the spell of the magical sea much as all of us here have.

Time off ... Chris Pike .. Seahorse Magazine
Time off … Chris Pike reading Seahorse Magazine

As far as the trash report goes, while on the one hand, we’ve seen fewer logs and big debris floating by in the last few days, sadly on the other hand; we’ve seen more small plastic articles, styrofoam and floats. While we sail out here far from land in the middle of the vastness, there is still no escape from these reminders of man’s influence on even the world’s wildest environments.

So, to sum ‘er up … today we had a special sail and enjoyed taking part in the interesting and exciting strategies playing out on the race course. We’re excited to be moving along quickly towards the amazing islands of Hawaii and though we’ll sail fast towards them, I am sure as we get closer, we’ll be wanting to drag our feet just a little to slow life down so that we can stay just a little bit longer in this magical bubble.

- The Starstruck Crew of Bodacious IV
Skipper Jeff Urbina, Capt. Tim Eades, John Hoskins, Matt Scharl, Jim McLaren, Chris Pike, Christer Still, John Ayres and Dave Rearick.

Coordinates: +23.20997, -140.45404
SOG: 12.4
COG: 223
Wind Speed: 19 knots

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