From the comm stations of s/v Owl and s/v Mouton Noir

The 14 mHz amateur band was propagating this evening to these two well equipped boats. John and Michael reported “grim” conditions with no wind. John reports a 30 mile day today. Michael is working on a treatise, “2016 SSS Transpac, What was I Thinking”. He promises to release the Cliff notes version in a few days. Both sounded in good spirits and hoping to get a bit more wind. Owl / John DSC_3178 Mouton Noir in Windier Times DSC_3368

hi ho, hi hee, the sailors life for me..Mouton Noir

mouton Michael Jefferson 160

In my note at the bottom of this mornings checkin, I observed that the conditions were ideal for a romantic sailor, smooth, blue water, nice breeze, a cherry sunrise. Hah!!! Now I know why I abandoned the romantic philosophy of life many years ago!! No sooner had I sent the report, than dark, wet clouds covered the sky. The beautiful blue sea turned to a sullen, ominous gray. The previously smooth water became lumpy and chaotic, and worst of all, the pleasant breeze, about 12 knots or so, dropped to less than 2 knots. To make the day complete, the wind direction migrated from a lovely beam reach to a deep run, although thankfully still on starboard tack. So now we sit, broken hearted. Tried to sail fast, but can’t get started. THe boat is rocking , the sails are slatting, gear is banging and the quality of life generally has declined a lot. Too dark to get much charging from the solar panel, too cold to run around naked, offending the neighbors, no wind to run the wind generator, and thousands of dollars of very nice sails being rapidly degraded by the relentless snapping and slatting. Putting up lighter sails would only result in their destruction. According to the GRIB files supplied by the Lying Dog GRIB computer, we should be seeing 6 to 10 knots from forward of the beam. Pggst! I spit on the GRIB files!!!! But all is not lost!! I have a Kindle (and, not being romantic anymore, 2 spares) and lots of books. So Pttthh ocean!!!!! stick it where the sun don’t shine. Which seems to be all around us, come to think of it.
Waiting for better things, or Godot, whichever comes first.


Conversation at 7225 kHz with Three Race Boats

Mouton Noir, Elizabeth Ann, and Owl checked in with N6IZ via SSB at 7225 kHz this evening at 830 pm PDT. The conversation was centered around the weather, there was peaked interest in the low pressure systems lurking to the south of the race course. Other discussions included the outcome of Jacquilene’s rudder situation, Mounton Noir’s apparent SSB issue, of course he came up on frequency with his backup radio and antenna, and batteries that are low on electrons. All seemed to be having low energy in the battery set. A sure sign of overcast conditions. The group indicated conditions were very enjoyable presently. John, “I am having the time of my life out here”. DSC_3311 DSC_3143 BUK_5470

From Mouton Noir – Comm Vessel

mouton Michael Jefferson 160

TransPac 2016 Checkin Date: 7/4/2016 Time: 2000pdt Format: Name, Latitude , Longitude, Course(T), Speed(Kn), DTF(nm), Comments if any Althea [ Dolfin [35d51m,129d11m,230m,6.7 Domino [ Elizabeth Ann [36d51m,125d33m,249t,6 Fast Lane [ Giant Slayer [36d40m,129d19m,252t,7.4 SSB relay fromNereida Haunani [ Jacqueline [36d40m,126d19m,252t,7.4 Kato [ Libra [ Minibar [ Mouton Noir [36d43m,126d21m,237,8.9 Nina [ Owl [36d56m,125d51m,270,6.5 Pakala [ Patience [37d08m,125d54m,250t,6.5 Saraband [36d56m,125d41m,235,6.5 Seazed Asset [34d55m,129d26m,244m,8.0 Shaman [35d51m,129d28m,241,7.0 Taz!! [ Temerity [ Tortuga [36d48m,125d53m,224,6.2 Ventus [ Watermark [ Nereida 35d52m,128d53m headed tp pac nw Gribs LIE!!! we are supposed to be seeing beam winds of 17 to 20 knots. Most of us are 2 reefs and small jib or staysail and 30 knots or more. Pretty good swells and rough water. Be glad when this is behind us. I am doing better. 2 reefs and about 70% jib. Centerboard mostly up, daggerboard down about a foot. Boat ahndling ok. Ran the genset this morning. It did ok, but was hard to start. Probably found why- throttle was not open all the way. We will see tomorrow. Wind generator putting out lots of power. nice, since with the boat motion I do not want to run any engines. Still not eating or drinking much, but getting better. All the best, Michael

Conditions near the Comm boat

mouton Michael Jefferson 160

From Mouton Noir at 0830: All checkins on VHF. No one else heard on SSB. Conditions overnight were very unpleasant. The wind rarely exceeded 3 knots, was very shifty in both strength and direction, and stubornly insists on coming from the South or SE. There is a vile swell from the NW which is slamming all the sails around and making life (especially of the sails) very bad. It is also pea soup fog with water streaming from every surface. Not at all what was predicted by the weather briefings. David King on Saraband barely squeaked by Middle Farallon rock last night. It was hair raising to watch on AIS. I spent most of the night hand steering to avoid as similsr ptredicament. I finally got a tiny breeze and made it past Middle with about 1/2 mile or so margin. Gary on Elizabeth Ann passed almost directly over Noonday Rock, while drifting, but did not have to start his engine. All in all, this is not much fun for man nor boat. THe swell has the boat thrashing about like it is in a paint shaker, and the rig and sails are getting pounded. I am still pretty queezy, but perhaps today will bring relief. Regards from the “race”. Michael Note: Boats that got out past the Farallon’s are experience winds in the mid 20’s.