This is going back to July 11. I set the chute at 0700 that day. It was windy high 10s to low 20s, and some very confused seas. They seemed to be going about 3-4 different directions at once. Making it difficult to steer the boat. Then the squalls started coming in about 0900. By noon I lost track of the squalls. The at 1230, a trifecta hit me hard. Rounded up, boom tip in the water, rounded down, spinnaker tip in the water, then WHAM, accidental jibe. That was it for me, game over, no more spinnaker. So I clear the deck and find nothing broken, except my pride. I am sailing under main only back on course, right for the palm trees, going 7 knots (it was windy). Then the bow pitches down, REALLY down, felt like I was headed for the center of the earth. I grabbed a handhold and looked at the GPS. The high 8s, the high 9s then high 10s, the 12.4 flashed for just a brief nano second. Came to the bottom of the wave with a nice soft landing and kept going:) Vance Seazed Asset
From July 14th 0800 hours to today 0800, I covered 173 miles. Not record setting by any standards, but a great 24 hour run. I even had about 3 hours in the middle of yesterday going DDW in 9-10 knots of wind, at a boat speed of 5-5.5 knots. That was frustrating slow, and noisy. Then last night was a bad one for squalls, coming every 30-45 minutes apart. I had the .75 chute up and would bear of 20-30 degrees and go like a freight train, most of the time. Came close to rounding up several times but held it. The about 1130 a big on got me, ran off 30 degrees could not get the boat on its feet. Then rounded up, boom tip in the water and the spinnaker was shaking the rig so much, I thought I was going to lose it. That did, down came the chute. Up went a white sails for the rest of the night. The winds had shifted a bit and even with white sails and on my course, I was on a beam reach at 6-7 knots, all night long. Only 210 miles to go as I write this. Could be HI about dusk tomorrow:)
Vance Seazed Asset
Only 400 more miles. My best finish time guess is late Saturday night to early Sunday morning. In the dark:( Hey, that ok, its time to get the trip over with. Set the 1.5 chute yesterday at 0900, carried it all night. Winds kept shifting after sunset, so I was up most the night trimming sails. Switched to the .75 chute at 1100 today. Need the bigger sail and its only blowing 14 knots. I figure is good for .25 knots and that is 5 hours at this distance. Last night was the FIRST night without fleece! Hot and humid today, I am hiding in the shade. What I want when I finish, in no particular order. A bed that is not constantly in motion, cold drink, my girlfriend, and of course a shower:) Right now its pretty darn calm, no surfing at all. I had a bit yesterday, today no big swells. Good boat speed, 7-7.5 steady. Good for the longer waterline boats like me. The anorexia (ULDB) boats cannot surf in these conditions. Need to get a GRIB, tried this am was unsuccessful. Bad conditions for the SSB. Lasts nights GRIB has me on port pole to the finish, yea! Here to aiming at the Palm Trees!!:) Vance Seazed Asset ————————————————- Do not push the “reply” button to respond to this message if that includes the text of this original message in your response. Messages are sent over a very low-speed radio link. The most concise way to reply is to send a NEW message to: email@example.com If you DO use your reply button, be sure to delete the original message text and these instructions from your reply. Replies should not contain attachments and should be less than 5 kBytes (2 text pages) in length. This email was delivered by an HF private coast station in the Maritime Mobile Radio Service, operated by the SailMail Association, a non-profit association of yacht owners. For more information on this service or on the SailMail Association, please see the web site at: www.sailmail.com
After the Night Squall episode I have a few more trails and tribulations. Set the chute a couple mornings ago. Had it up about 9 am, and by noon, I had stopped counting the squalls after 7. Then about 1230, with the chute up, had a round up and put the boom tip in the water, then a round down and the spinnaker pole tip in the water. Thought I had escaped that squall, when WHAM, accidental jibe. That was all for me and the chute, got it down and put away. No damage except my pride, and I felt extremely lucky. Went the rest of the day with white sails. Yesterday went to set the chute and had a bad wrap. It had two complete twists inside the spinnaker sock. They must have been left they from the day before:( A real mess took me an hour to get it down. I had to stand to the top of the bow pulpit, in the middle of the Pacific, winds blowing 20 knots and big waves. I had my harness on, one clipped to the jack line the other around the furled Genoa. I was exhausted and went with white sails again. The sun arrived yesterday:) It was a pleasant day after the bad spinnaker set. I lost a bit of time, but not a lot, at least I think. I was sailing DDW at or close to hull speed, on the great circle route. Had my fishing lines out and hooked two Mahi Mahi, lost both right at the boat:( Set the chute today and its going well. According the my weather GRIBs I can stay on this tack all the way to HI. Right now I am pointed right at the Palm Trees. Vance Seazed Asset
Ok, tonight at Midnight Pacific Daylight time is the cut off. Get you entries in now and win Arrow one of the worlds ugliest ties. All you have to do is guess my arrival time in Hanalei Bay. The person who gets the closest wins Arrow! Send you entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vance Seazed Asset
Last night was a first for me, sailing with a chute up AND doing it solo. During the SHTP seminars they talk about “night Squalls”, I have heard stories about them and now have one to share. Its was a dark and story night, well sort of. It was dark the moon is barely a sliver the few times I saw it. Winds were blowing 11-13, pretty nice way to start my first night spinnaker run. About 0100 the winds were picking up, now peaking at 15. Time for the chicken chute. Hmm, its dark and kinda windy, lets wait 15 minutes, it might get better. No, it gets worse. 16-17, the 18-20, the boat is screaming downwind, huge bow waves, full of bioluminsce, white wake astern. Too late for the chicken chute, better just hang on and hope. Holding a solid 20, boat speed 8.5-9.5 solid, autopilot doing a fantastic job. Boat charging down the waves pushing upper 9 now, winds over 20, how long is this going to last? The wind peaks at just or 22, boat speed still upper 8s to high 9s. Then 10.0 flashes on the speedo for a fleeting half second. We still keep going and going, I am hoping it will stop soon. Finally wind starts dropping, 18, 16 the settles in at 15. I looked at the clock, 30 minutes! That was too much adrenalin for me, definitely an E Ticket ride on Seazed Asset.
Vance Seazed Asset
Ok, this is supposed to be a SOLO race to Hawaii. Its time to confess that I have a passenger. In Castaway Tom Hanks and Wilson the soccer ball. Well, I have Arrow one of the worlds ugliest ties. He is tied to my SSB back stay antenna, just watching the waves go by, making sure I don’t screw up. Never complaining about being cold, no showers, no sun, too much sun, crappy food ( no complaints there thanks to Amazing Amy Meals) being stuck on a boat with me. All in all a great passenger. Arrow in it for the long haul to Hawaii and back, said he wants to see some of the world and do some sailing. Hey, that’s fine by me, so why not. I’ll post a photos of Arrow when I get to Hawaii.
Vance Seazed Asset
Want to win Arrow???? Well, you can and hear are the details. I will send Arrow (or you can pick up in person) to the person who is closet to the arrive time of Seazed Asset in Hanalei Bay. I’ll even include photos of his crossing both ways and his tour of the island. Now only one entry per person, but tell your friends and family. I only have 1003 miles to go, so don’t delay. All guesses must be receive by midnight Wednesday July 13th. Send you guess to email@example.com, do NOT send to sailmail. You will get an auto reply form the bike shop, I will look at them estimates when I get to Hawaii. Vance Seazed Asset –
Photos by NorCal Sailing
Life in the Slow Lane tuned into The Parking Lot yesterday. I thought the conditions had changed, was flying the .75 Asym going about 4 knots. Was writing emails, and could hear the boat speeding up. Popped on deck and were going 6-7 knot in the wrong direction (pilot was steering apparent wind). Looked about and the wind looked solid. Had to drop the chute and put up a white sail. Did that and about 15 minutes later the wind faded. Looked around more and noticed a squall to weather a couple of miles away:( After that it was light all day. Saw 0 on the speedo a couple of times, never saw that on the GPS. Must be a current pushing us to HI. Worked like a dog to keep the boat moving the rest of the and all night. Need to get south to some wind. Looks like today will be better Vance Seazed Asset
Yesterday the winds went light for me and a lot of other boats. Seems like the furthest west are still doing well. I spent most of then day changing spinnakers, .75, .50 and .75 asymmetrical. Must have done about five or six changes trying to get a working set up. On one set, I had an “hour glass” wrap. Had to drop and repack and set again:( After much trial and error, seem to have found the right gear for the Life in the Slow Lane. I run the .5 symmetrical spinnaker from late yesterday and all night (today too). When the winds are under 10 knots, I steer to apparent wind, about 92 degrees. That is not “pointed right at the palm trees” (stolen for Jim Quanci), however pretty close this far out, only 10-15 degrees off course. It keeps the boat moving rather than sitting still. When wind is over 10 knots then I steer “pointed right at the palm trees”. Its a lot more work to be on the palm tree course, as the wind does shift a lot. So I am constantly trimming the spinnaker. Pole back, sheet in, sheet out, pole forward, reaching strut, fore guy tension on, reaching strut, fore guy tension off. You get the picture. That went on last night too, till about midnight. Then the wind was more steady, and lighter. I had several hours of under 10 knots going 92 degrees to the wind. Did not matter if it shifted, it was mostly in the right direction. Light again this am, and am 92 off the wind. Trying to go southwest to some wind. I should be there in 24-36 hours. Then straight to the palm trees ASAP, as I need to try and get in front of what was Hurricane Blas. If I do get in front, it will be Life in the Fast Lane:)
Vance Seazed Asset