Giant Slayer smells the barn

My preparations for finishing and navigating towards the finish line are done. The finish is very near shore, as might be expected, but I have had a lot of room to play out here and now real navigation and routing is needed. I have both the nav computer and the ship gps programmed, and I have a plan in case one or the other sail will not come down. I have had the same spinnaker up now for 4 days, so 1 day out, it will come down, and then right back up, or depending on actual wind, I may switch to the Little Man spinnaker just for the last 12 miles. I plan on jibing for the finish to port tack at 12 miles from the finish. This puts me close to Maui for many hours of sailing. Remarkably no wild life this trip, just a few birds. None came buy to visit. Today I dumped more water, had a bath, and cleaned up the boat and crew. Everyone is happy about that. Winds have moderated, and I’m contemplating the bigger spinnaker, but I will observe the conditions, as swapping up and then back in the night could be trouble. With under 500 miles to go, which is still a very very long way to go mind you, mistakes and risk must be weighed. I am getting a very nice sunset tonight, the first nice one of the trip. Tomorrow being Thursday, a new adventure may be reveled in the fortune cookie. I sense that the fortune cookies fortunes on board have been sifted to make sure they are all happy, good for someone at sea, and may not be as guiding as the normal cookie. My 27 feet of world is doing fine, and all the technology is working which is fantastic. I have had just one shackle fail, and that was in my hand as I was attaching it to a sail, which i think i mentioned already. Somehow, i managed to not have any candy, chocolate, or any sweets at all. How is that possible? No ding-dongs, cupcakes, nothing. 🙁 So, we on the boat have been telling stories, and keeping ourselves entertained, and thinking up new fun adventures, and new shirts, you know t-shirts like “Every Dave is a new opportunity”, and “Don’t let one Dave go by that you don’t try something new”. I think I have about 200 more Dave Shirts. As the weather is changing, and not matching the forecast, I will down load a fresh one, and I can always just look outside too, check the barometer, it is raising when the forecast has it falling, usually, that means that Marry Poppins will be coming to dinner, or that the forecasted low is stalling. The GRIBS tell all. OK, planning on hand driving and I may switch up the XL spinnaker, or I may just keep reading all the books i brought. haha.

Giant Slayer having fun 07/05/2016

giant slayer head160

*July 5th* Hi race fans.. I got up this morning and put up the code0. Basically a big big jib spinnaker thing. Kinda like thin formica like in a counter top made into a sail. It’s a beast. Anyway after it falling over the side, I hoisted it up and have been hand flying it all day. surfing and having a ball. I’m in the blue ocean water now, water is warming up. I had a very very close call with a 600 foot container ship. I had to back down to take his stern, I steered down 30 degrees for about 5 minutes to get behind it. Last night the same, at night very hard to see red and green lights. Anyway, my spirits are great. I’m down in the cabin typing with no seasickness, I am eating day 1 food. Yum. I’ll hold off on the rum for a few days. Steph (anie Schwenk) “the princess” gave me an ipod with about 1000 songs, so that has my spirits way up. That is the best part of the trip so far. Boat is good, weather is good, systems all working. I got wind on line and mast head lights. That’s nice. Tonight I will work on speed gauge. (he’s referring to the fact that his instruments were not working and now he has wind speed. He’s hoping to get the water speed later tonight) So Ben Garman what was the answer to the big question from Saturday? This is a shout out to Chris Young, How’s it going Chris? Is Ben keeping up his job? OK. That’s all I’ve got for you today. Tomorrow some explanations of the mysteries of the this trip. The sea is not greedy this time, it does not want my stuff. 🙂 (this is a reference to earlier trips across the Pacific where the sea does seem to come alive and take things off the boat. DaveG did this trip with his brother Dan for instance and they lost nearly all of their buckets because the sea kept taking them.) David

From the Grand Salon of Giant Slayer

hey rae fans, so i made it through the “just kill me now” phase of seasickness, and i can see, move around and type. first night was rough, a few jib changes, going forward, throwing up, then coming back, setting sheets, leads, drop jib, reconnect new jib, question life, wave goes over head, getting up new sail, back in cockpit, throwing up, basically repeat. it was windy, in 25’s, big big seas and some waves coming from somewhere else, the sea took my drivers back rest. now its july 4 sunny, windy, 17’s i would guess, wind instruments not working, but not sure i want to try that repair today. reaching at 90 degrees, with jib top and 1 reef, Battle Star auto broke off the tip, that was some fun getting the boat back, but hooked up Dave Autopilot, and back in control. On went Death Star, and DS has been driving for 2 days. Good to have Dave on board, I have a very expensive and complicated autopolot with 6 axes sensor, and lots of gain and damping control. looking like tomorrow, the monster code0 spinnaker will go up. last night i has to divert course a bit to keep the jib top up, and avoid a sail change and getting out of bed was able to eat 1/2 a meal, seems to be staying down. ok spirits are good, very rested. and about 5/10 with seasickness. boat is solid, leaky, and noisy. lots of waves coming over the boat. charging at 6 amps in haze and 8 amps in sun. batteries working great. I will attempt a GRIB file download, (dave can explain) and update my route. so far i have been running rum line, seems like the easy thing to do when you cant open your eyes and cause heeving. until next report. Dave. Editors note: Giant Slayer was also visited by USCG due to an apparent EPIRB signal emitted from the vessel. That has led to an interesting morning for Government and Race assets.

Pre-Race update

Hello Slayer Fans. Here is the latest from Dave’s big adventure: Dave completed his 600 mile open ocean test drive where he left under cover of darkness through the Golden Gate Bridge and sailed out a few hundred miles testing his gear. It was very windy at times and Dave estimated the winds over 35 knots and maybe even 40 which is what his wind instruments read but the boat’s speedometer is off on it’s calibration. Note to self: Add that to the to-do list. During his adventure he reported that he was letting the autopilot drive for 30 minutes, he would sleep during this time, then he’d do ships maintenance and navigation for 30 minutes, then he would drive for 30 minutes. He did this for 80 hours straight and reported that he felt rested and it was something he felt he could do for the long haul. Sounds absolutely horrible to me but what do I know! Well, I guess I do know because I’ve done this crazy race with him before! We tested the sat phone and his ability to integrate the software with the downloadable weather files and all of that was successful. The only thing that wasn’t working 100% was the integration of GPS to the navigation software called Expedition that he uses but today he reports that all of that is working reliably. Great news. So far, all is well on Dave’s road to Hawaii. — Thanks, Dave M