After a great time in Seattle, we had an amazing sendoff. Ruby helped me get all my gear back on the boat, Navy band played us going to boats, and Nancy came down and waved us off.
Then as we began our parade, the Seattle Fireboat got into the action.
Kevin Brubaker got me set up in YouTube so hopefully you will be able to enjoy some videos in the future. Since this is my first try at this, please be patient. The fireboat and all the other boats that came out to send us off was great.
On the way out Renee and Lynna sailed by to provide an on the water sendoff. So good to see AYC friends!
From no wind in the harbor to big wind as we sailed out and finally ended with reef 3, it was an exciting sail/motor to start line. We motored through the night and it was a symphony of lights as we passed buoys and channel markers and I started thinking the timing of the flashes in my head. There was even one buoy that had a syncopated rhythm to it. Pretty amazing the issues that come to mind while on watch on the boat.
1:30am we heard a PING sound and immediately began looking for the source. Soon we discovered that about 8 inches of the main mast track had somehow broken and flown off the mast. We waited til daylight and then on our 6am watch began working on replacing it. Sean spent some time up the mast getting measurements and then our engineer type crew (Justin, Craig and Neil) made a replacement part. With Sean back up the mast numerous times, repairs began only to be hampered with tools and the replacement part flying down and going overboard. Then due to rough seas, Sean gets the green monster. Neil then goes up with a 2nd replacement part and starts working. Race is started without us. As we get close to finishing repair, Clipper calls boats back for a second start so that we stay together. Whoops, 2nd replacement part goes into the water and a third begins to be made. They end up starting without us again! We go to a small harbor and circle slowly while Neil goes up with the 3rd part. Finally at 2am he finishes. YEA Neil!
Now we head out to a specific longitude/latitude position and start on our own (8 hours behind rest of fleet). In many ways we are down about this, but determined to make the most of it so we just “Stay Calm and Sail On” (thanks for the slogan Jackie).
Turns out to be a beautiful day sunny but no wind til noon. We managed to start in the high pressure system.
May 2nd we get our sched report (report on everyone’s position that we receive every 6 hours while you viewers on the website can see the updates every hour!)and we are actually catching up to boats!!! Crew really comes alive and everyone becomes even more focused! Our guess is that they hit the high pressure and stayed in it much longer than we did.
May 3rd we SEE boats!! Wahoo, we are slowly catching the fleet. Positions begin changing quickly throughout the fleet. ICharCoal makes a move further west and goes from last to first. We pass Qingdao and move up to be almost beside UNICEF.
May 6th started with rain and some beautiful double rainbows with the ends appearing about 10 yards from the boat. I love the colors and how they shimmer on the water. Pictures cannot portray what the eye can see.
Then, problems with the spinnaker halyard so we had to switch halyards so Port halyard holding Code 2 comes down and Starboard halyard hoists Code 1. Whoops, wrong choice! Winds fill and Code 1 explodes and comes down in 2 parts!!! The upper part is wrapped around the shroud so up the mast I go to cut the remaining line and unwrap the kite. Now up goes Code 3. Jen, Jane and I quickly wool Code 2 and soon it is back up and Code 3 is down and needing a wooling team. A busy but fun morning!
We were lucky this leg as Jane was onboard and had worked in a sail loft. She pieced together the Code 1 and in a couple of days it was up and flying again. Jen, Jill, Lynn and I were the lucky ones to get to help with the repair and see how it is done.
May 9th, we go through the scoring gate 2nd and receive 2 extra points. This is the first scoring gate that we have gone through and received points. Also Matt’s first and it’s his birthday! Guess this was our birthday present to him.
May 12th worked on the “up in the lulls and down in the puffs” concept with rest of our watch. Used this to work our way past UNICEF.
May 13th spotted a pod of dolphins and enjoyed watching them. They look different than others we have seen as they are smaller, gray speckled and some have short tails.
More to follow later as it was a fun leg. Have a great day and if you get bored, check out how you might be able to donate and make a difference. Just click on the donate link!