SHTP return fleet 0200 UTC July 18 recap

Had decent reception on 6B SSB USB, still could not make out Kynntana.  We moved to 4.021 MHz partway thru the net to see if that worked better.  I could hear Kynntana barely (so an improvement of sorts).  Cliff/Rainbow is relaying Kynntana‘s information.
Kynntana 24 40’N x 158 07’W 003M @ 5.2k
Rainbow  24 55’N x 158 08’W 010M @ 6.5k
Kynntana reports their boatspeed issue is due to sail trim, plus the headstay broke again (or perhaps separated?).  Apparently the headstay broke during the race over, and it has broken again now that they are sailing home.  This slows the boat and otherwise is not a problem.
Rainbow reports good sailing, winds 14-15 knots, seas are down, still making northing and not much easting.
Greg/Nightmare departed Hanalei Bay at roughly 2:20pm local time today (Tuesday).  He is an email-only boat, therefore no check-in on the net from Greg.
Tiger Beetle (non-racer/net control) intends to depart Hanalei tomorrow (Wednesday).
Elsewise all is good with the fleet.

Mike Preps for Arrival

OK, the SSS transpac keeps on giving. Was squirming around on the bow getting the anchor rode sorted. Squirmed right through a 5 day old squid (guess i didn’t save em all) so now, after taking a shower with great difficulty earlier, i now smell like 5 day old squid. I don’t want to hear any snarky comments about any odors you may encounter.

And with that, I intend to finish this race and see if boschma bought more beer. cold beer.

Mike’s Lists

Last night at sea, knock on wood. Easy to find aboard Jacqueline because every last piece is squeaking.

Beautiful evening with Dolfin’s lights in sight. Hard to believe we can see each other after 2144 nm at sea.

Now I have turned my attention to obsessing about finish to do’s. I often wonder if I am some sort of to do list obsessive/compulsive. No to do list? Get that on a to do list pronto. I have little scraps of paper all over the boat with cryptic tasks which i cant even remember what they are. My handwriting doesn’t help. “go get the tractor fabricated” what the hell was that?  probably important.

New to do…Improve handwriting.

Update from Dark Horse 7.7 9:15 PM PST

Tonight is my last night at sea. The trades have been very steady, around 20 knots with some squalls up to 30 knots. I have just the mainsail up and trucking along, the boat and autopilot have been dealing with it pretty good. It has given me some time to recover and fix some things. I got my solar charging at a sufficient rate after I lost one panel. I had to rewire a controller back to the battery. I have also had time to read “Not a yacht club”, which is a great book and I am very proud to be part of the SSS.  I also found time to read “Experiment in Survival”, an interesting book. Seems like a lot of trouble for a publicity stunt.

I am really excited to get to Hawaii and see everyone and start eating again!  I’m really looking forward to tree time. Looking back at the trip, I was expecting to say the hardest part of it was leaving, but I can’t say that. There have been some very challenging, emotionally and physically, times over the last 2 weeks. Overall I am really happy with the boat and how it performed. The biggest thing I would change is to bring a whisker pole. Not having one really reduced my miles in these conditions leaving me to be under a main more than I would like. With the heavier conditions, it was too risky for my to fly a spinnaker.  20 knots was my limit. I was expecting to do a lot more spinnaker work, but it didn’t allow for it. I also expected it to be a lot warmer. It really didn’t get warm until 4 days ago.
I am happy with how dry my boat has been, the bilge hasn’t even filled up once!  Thanks to the dodger, and new hatches and all the work I put into sealing all the holes.  It sure makes a big difference psychologically having a dry place to go to and sleep. I am happy with my autopilots and electrical system. Everything ran perfectly and I had plenty of power.
Next time I would bring more fleece pants and long underwear. I also would provision a little more differently too. The same meal gets pretty boring and then I don’t want to eat.  I spent today cleaning up the boat and packing bags that go ashore so I can just anchor and head to the beach. It will be a dream come true tomorrow, hopefully the squalls won’t be too bad tonight.
2 days ago I came across a group of dolphins, there must have been hundreds of them. They would swim along the boat and jump right in front of it, kind of playing with it. This went on for about a half hour, sailing along with all these dolphins in the middle of the sea, it was a very unique experience I won’t ever forget. Reminds me of a time I was working on a ranch that borders Yellowstone National Park, and after a long day of fixing fence up in a high mountain pasture, I was riding home across a hay field and came across a herd of 400 elk. Next thing you know I was loping my horse in the middle of this herd of elk across a field. There was nothing like that in the world. Purely living in the moment.
Well, that’s all for now, gotta get things set up for night squall sailing!

Mike Reflects…

one of the great challenges of this race is to understand far you can push your boat without breaking her or you.

i am finding the experience from my first shtp to be invaluable in this regard. i am much more comfortable with how the boat will perform in various conditions and this gives me a little more mental space to optimize and experiment with various configurations.

i look back and wonder why i did or did not do certain things and realize i was just set up with a pair of training wheels the last race.

Crinan II’s updates

The RC received the following reports from Don on CRINAN II – to be clear, Don and the boat are fine. Progress will likely be diminished by the latest challenges – DH

15:54 PST 7/4
More fun. The second tiller pilot died. Spend afternoon field stripping both.
15:55 PST 7/4
I’m now testing it to see how long it lasts. If it’s also place it will be a slow trip home.
22:43 PST 7/4
The tiller pilot lasted until 12:30. Try driving for a while but with no lights I couldn’t concentrate on the compass for over an hour.