Aug 14 Update

Tracker Reports indicate Morning Star has arrived in the San Francisco Bay and Dolfin has arrived at Two Harbors, Catalina Island.  Owl remains at sea with compromised steering, and Iris is at sea with compromised standing rigging.  Updates will be posted as received.

Aug 13 Return Reports

From Morning Star : The wind vane failed last night – the shaft holding the water paddle broke off. (Still no autopilot.) I hand steered for a couple of hours, then hove to for the balance of the night to rest and await daylight to make repairs. I have now replaced broken shaft and re-attached paddle. It all seems in order, so I will be getting underway again. —– At 8/13/2018 14:08 (utc) our position was 37°38.11’N 123°59.81’W ————————————————- Dolfin on 8/13 at 0200 UTC Pos: 33 15’N,  120 20’W Course 054M Speed 4.2kts Wind  NW 6-10kts Seas: 1-2ft Closer (95 Miles) but maybe not quite enough wind or fuel to actually get there by happy hour tomorrow.  Tantalizingly close though.  Almost DDW in light breeze, trying to sail to the polars. That’s not exactly where I want to go but it’s better than nothing.  I can almost taste that cheezeburger in paradise.

Aug 12 return reports

Dolfin on 8/12 at 1700 UTC Pos: 32 44’N,  123 47’W Course 070M Speed 7.0kts Wind  N 14-16kts Seas: 3-4ft Much better conditions.  Beam reaching in nice breeze, moderate seas, sun is out – life is good again.  265 miles left to Catalina and gribs show decent winds the rest of the way.  Looks like Tuesday morning with a little luck. Ate the last of my bread yesterday but plenty of junk food remaining to be savored. As of 1700 UTC Lee reports that Morning Star was at 38 09’N, 125 11’W steering 110T at 6.2 kts.  His wind is N20-25kts and seas 6-9ft.  Lee plans to enter the Gate sometime around noon tomorrow and just like Dolfin, Morning Star is smelling the barn (dock) after a long, challenging passage.  Lee sounds good and is looking forward to being in the Bay Area again before returning home. Dolfin on 8/12 at 0200 UTC Pos: 32 50’N,  122 40’W Course 068M Speed 6.5kts Wind  N 12-15kts Seas: 3-4ft Still comfortable beam reach with a little less wind and a little more sail.  All good on Dolfin. As of 0200 UTC Lee reports that Morning Star was at 38 00’N, 124 14’W steering 115T at 6.0 kts.  His wind is N15-18kts and seas 7-9ft.  Lee still plans to enter the Gate sometime around noon tomorrow and wonders how he will navigate aroung all the stuff in the bay after having so much space around.  I think he’ll adapt.

Aug 10 and 11 e-mails from IRIS

IRIS on August 10: 1445 local time:Wind increased as darkness approached last night and roller furler did not work so we dropped jib and hoisted baby storm staysail for the night.  Today figured out that furler was jamming on spare halyard at top which had been set forward as back up forestay.  So we’re flying 100% jib again with full main set. Also adjusted fore / aft setting of mast by releasing all backstays, preventer on main and vang then pulling in jury rigged amsteel at primary.  Seems good now.Have been under power for 3 hours and will shut down momentarily.  Made 113 miles past 24.  Can now do better once we start to turn right and if grib predictions are accurate that will be tomorrow.Presently:35 01 N164 16 Wsteering 12 T (looks like helmsman has already turned east) at 6.9 knots under economy power of 1900 rpmswind ENE at 8.Cheers to Owl for sorting steering issues. IRIS on August 11: Big news from Iris is that we turned corner and are now headed in somewhat right direction.  Turned at 0900 this Sat morning.  Had nice SSE breeze of 14 but has now died to 1440 we are37 08 N163 44 W trying to steer 34 mag at 5 knots or less.Caught another Mahi Mahi this morning but hung up hook again as we have more than enough fish for time being.Cheers, John

8/11 return email reports

Dolfin on 8/11 at 0200 UTC Pos: 32 40’N,  125 37’W Course 085M Speed 6.0kts Wind  NNE 15-18kts Seas: 4-6ft sloppy No whining.  That explains my lack of a morning report.  Conditions are slightly better now but still close reaching in moderately strong wind and sloppy seas so spent most of today below napping.  The wind should veer to the north over night and we should begin to have a more comfortable point of sail.  360 miles to go to Catalina. As of 0200 UTC Lee reports that Morning Star was at 38 19’N, 126 54’W steering 115T at 6.5 kts.  His wind is 15-18kts and seas 2-4ft.  If his progress holds, Lee hopes to enter the Gate Monday morning and plans to dock in Alameda.  His passage to San Diego will wait a few days or weeks. DolfinBill

8/10 reports return group

Dolfin on 8/10 at 1700 UTC Pos: 33 06’N,  129 06’W Course 087M Speed 6.5kts Wind  NNE 14-18kts Seas: 3-4ft Good wind now but probably got a little rusty on the sailing part after the last five days, Reefed down and moving well with wind just forward of the beam.  I have 11 AIS targets at the moment.  Just 530 miles left to Catalina.  Dolfin is happy. No contact with Morning Star on 6B this morning so nothing to report from Lee. Dolfin on 8/10 at 0200 UTC Pos: 33 01’N,  128 08’W Course 085M Speed 5.0kts Wind  NNE 15-20kts Seas: 4-6ft sloppy More than enough wind now. Running with dbl reefed main and staysail only, no jib.  Close reaching in really sloppy seas to keep from going further south where wind isn’t so good and TS John is hanging  out.  Lot of pounding and water over the dodger. As of 0200 UTC Lee reports that he motored 10 hrs today in light conditions but is now sailing on very pleasant seas.  Morning Star’s position is 38 22’N, 129 25’W steering 095T at 4.5 kts.  from OWL: Hi All,1929 hours Hawaii (utc – 10)37°00′ N/145°18′ WSOG 5.2 KT @42° M (MOTORING)WIND 6 KT @032° MSEAS CALM WITH 2-3 FT SWELLBP 1019.3 MBThe breeze fell off early this morning so we have been motoring since shortly before 5am.We have been using the hydraulic ram on the funky rudder and it is working fine despite minor creaks and groans.We are heading NE to catch a predicted northish wind which will allow us to sail towards the coast. It looks like we are still about 10 days out. Seems like it’s been 10 days for several days now. We have about 1000 nm remaining to the GGB.All well aboard. Email From IRIS: We thought we had problems then we read about John and Rusty aboard Owl.  All the best to them steering home.It wasn’t until late afternoon today when we got the nerve to lift the 100% jib on the roller furling held by amsteel on an untested pin that just happened to be there.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed as we picked up nearly 2 knots.If the grib files prediction hold true we should hang a right on Saturday and have the wind on our quarter but will have light wind Friday–tomorrow.Stay tuned.  And thanks for being tuned and passing this info on.1800 Thurs local time33 26 N163 40 W333 T @ 6.4 knotsWind E @ 13

8/9 reports

Dolfin on 8/9 at 1700 UTC Pos: 33 28’N,  131 01’W Course 195M Speed 0.7kts drifting Wind ? 1-3kts Seas: glassy Nothing interesting to report.  Drifting all night waiting for NE wind which should arrive this evening.  No contact with Morning Star on 6B this morning so nothing to report from Lee. Dolfin on 8/9 at 0200 UTC Pos: 33 18’N,  130 40’W Course 080M Speed 4.6kts Wind NNE 5-8kts Seas: 1-2ft Dolfin may have found the wind she’s been waiting for.  We went from glassy calm lost night and most of the day to a light northerly breeze three hours ago.  Hopefully the high is now west of us and moving away.  Gribs show at least three days of northerly wind which should get us close to home.  Still have 15 gal of fuel. As of 0200 UTC Lee reports wonderful sailing all day in 10-12kts our of the south and 3-5ft seas.  Morning Star’s position is 38 36’N, 131 55’W steering 095T at 5.3 kts.  Lee is looking to catch up on sleep tonight after busy last night. I did awaken to the email from John describing Owl’s encounter with the whales though.  My best wishes go out to him and am glad he has Rusty along as crew.  Fortunately Owl is a sound vessel and John a capable skipper so I’m confident they will prevail and arrive home with some good stories to tell. FROM IRIS: I was awakened from my 1000 nap this morning by a loud BANG!  The mast wasn’t coming down but the 2″ by 5/8th” forestay stem fitting had parted leaving the jib and roller furling off to leeward.  Thank goodness I had carried the staysail stay with me and that I had installed it the morning of our departure. After setting wire halyards as forestays crew and I had discussions on whether to turn back to Honolulu or continue on at a much reduced speed until winds are aft the beam.  We decided to continue. Presently have the main reefed and a very small storm staysail set and we celebrate when we brake 5 knots.  So you will understand our tracker speeds.Congratulations to those who have arrived home.  Our homecoming will be somewhat delayed.I should add that this afternoon Mike and I secured the roller furling and stay by taking some old amsteel line and with four to one purchase lead it back to a primary and tightened.  We have hope to use it off the wind.31 46 N163 02 W presently steering 4 at 4.6 knots. JACQUELINE AND RIFF RIDER ARE SAFE IN PORT S/V MADRONE is safe in Sausalito.

8/8 Evening Report

Dolfin on 8/8 at 0200 UTC Pos: 33 36’N,  131 04’W Course 085M Speed 4.8kts Wind SE 2-4kts Seas: flat Managed to sail most of the day until 1-1/2 hours ago.  Motoring now because it feels good to keep moving (plus the batteries like it) but will probably stop in another hour and begin drifting again to conserve fuel.  Should get noreasterlies in about 24 hours and I can hardly wait.  It looks like about 625 miles to Catalina from here. Congratulations on Jacqueline and Nightmare for making landfall – it has to feel great after all the challenges of such a long passage.  And I echo what Mike says about the importance of being in touch with each other thru radio or email.  It makes such a difference knowing you’re not as alone as it seems sometimes.  And to David and the entire race committee – you guys are great and put on an amazing event (both coming and going).  Thank you so much for making this life changing adventure available to us all. As of 0200 UTC Lee gave Morning Star’s position as 38 40’N, 134 19’W steering 090T at 5.2 kts. He has 10-15 kts from the south with 4-6ft less choppy seas.  All good on Morning Star. FROM OWL: 1916 hours 36°14′ N/147°25′ W SOG 5 KT @45° M WIND 16 KT @328° M SEAS SUBSUDING BP 1014.6 mb At dawn this morning Owl impacted with one of a pair of sperm whales. I was on watch and, as the impact was on the stern, turned to see two whales a few feet behind the boat and blood in the water. Owl was knocked off course and her steering damaged. My interpretation at the time was we were being attacked. Not sure this is correct, though. As one of the whales came around up on our stern I grabbed the wheel and managed to take off down wind. The whale followed for a short distance and then turned and the two went off in the opposite direction. Owl is still able to motor but her steering is too stiff for the autopilot or windvane. We had big seas and winds today and so we hand steered with the damaged steering. Other than the stiffness, her rudder is still neutral (0° is straight ahead) and stable. It is a skeg-hung rudder. Late this evening the winds subsided, as predicted, so we installled the emergency rudder and have set it up to steer to wind or compass. While hove-to, we also inspected more thoroughly the rudder stock and interior of the stern. Other than a broken hose clamp, no internal breech to the hull was detected. It is too early to know how this will effect our passage. Early tests are that the propeller is uneffected. We know we will need to baby the emergency rudder as now it is the One. Winds are predicted lighter for the remainder of the trip which is good from this standpoint. Tomorrow we will send a GoPro down to inspect for external damage.

8/8 email amalgamation

Dolfin on 8/8 at 1700 UTC Pos: 33 33’N,  131 47’W Course 065M Speed 4.6kts Wind S 5-7kts Seas: flat Sat in the cockpit with my morning cereal, felt a breeze, gulped breakfast, raised sails and moving nicely now east.  But these southerlies are the west side of the little low siting on me and will only lead me to the easterlies on the bottom, too light to really do anything with.  Whatever, we’re sailing now and in the right direction.  Still looking for the high to move out tomorrow night and give back the northerlies that will carry us to the coast (or at least near it- that’s what I’m saving fuel for). As of 1700 UTC Lee gave Morning Star’s position as 38 40’N, 134 59’W steering 080T at 4.0 kts. He has 15-25 kts from the SSE with 4-6ft choppy seas.  Expecting strong W-NW winds when the trof goes past. NIGHTMARE 1:53pm PST Pos. 37 52.680n. 122 55.300w Cse 084t Spd 7.2 Wind 18 Seas 4-6 Finally getting a moment to put together a report Win increased yesterday to 20-25 by 0000 hst. Beam reaching with 10 ft seas, confused no less with a swell pattern and wind wave chop. Ugh!! Throw in a half dozen ais targets heading into and out of the north traffic zone and you have your self one heck of a good time. Did I mention the a/p quit again. Yep, drove for a while before I could get the drive swapped out. Sleep? Well I’ve had some naps. See you soon ! Nightmare 9:53:pm I’m back, we did it (boat and myself), it’s done, finito. 2768.44 nm. From Hanalei Bay to our slip in Richmond, SanFrancisco Bay. It only took 509 hours and 29 minutes . Three weeks. What did I have for dinner? Vegetable spring rolls and garlic noodles with veggies! Highlights, beautiful blue ocean, fast close reaching for days, albatross, dolphin, rainbows, star filled nights, being ok with being alone, being ok with me, finding the limits of my abilities., I know there is more but I am ready to sleep for a while Nightmare

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Evening Report from Dolfin

Dolfin at 0200 UTC: Pos: 33 21’N,  131 43’W Course 290M Speed 1.2kts drifting Wind 0-4kts Seas: flat with 2ft swell The Singlehanded Transpac Return Fleet Net has seemed to run it’s course and only Morning Star and Dolfin come up on the radio.  We plan to keep the same sked on 6B but without a net control or scribe (we miss you Beetle). Dolfin is still basically becalmed and drifting rather rapidly back to Hawaii.  I tried sailing twice today for a total of 7.3 miles, not necessarily in the right direction.  There just is a wind hole maybe 140 miles wide between Dolfin and the NE winds on the other side and not enough fuel (or wind) to cross it for the next several days although we will keep trying.  Provisions are fine and so is the scenery so there is a silver lining. As of 0200 UTC Lee gave Morning Star’s position as 38 20’N, 138 56’W steering 090T at 5-6kts. His wind has been all over the map but now more southerly, helping him sail east. We will talk again in the morning. DolfinBill