Thursday, June 21, 2007

Pacific Spirit

As most of you know, I left Santa Cruz rather suddenly ten days ago, so I didn't have a chance to say goodbye to a bunch of my sailing buddies. So here's a shout-out to the crews of Pacific Spirit and True North. Diana, Valerie, Jo, Kathy, Fred, Karen, Shelley, Kris, DJ, Bi-Bi, and Mike. And of course, my honorary first mate aboard True North, Agnes. Oh, and the crew of Reachable Star Too, Steve, Edd and Deb. Fair winds to you all. And to Diana: I sure missed sailing with you guys in the last two Tuesday night Catalina fleet races. I hope you kicked butt.

Now that we, Cirrus, are more-or-less on a straight path to Long beach, with fairly strong winds forecast for the foreseeable future, it might be reasonable to start discussing our estimated time of arrival. Here are three likely scenarios based on projected average speed over the remaining 1,175 miles to go:

Spd Day Time
7.5 Thu 0800
6.5 Fri 0800 (*)
5.5 Sat 1700

Spd is average speed in knots; Thu is Thursday, June 28th, and Time is Pacific Daylight Time. (*) indicates the most likely ETA. I can revise and republish this as we get closer.

I spent most of my watch this morning working in the rain, continuously adjusting the sails for the light variable winds. Some times we were blasting along smoothly at 7+ knots, occasionally starting to round up, other times we could barely make 5 knots. However, during my last hour, the winds built steadily until I took in half the jib. Then, when Bill came on watch, we assembled the entire crew and put the reef back in the main. It all went very smoothly and we even took a minute to videotape some of the action.

The worst part of all this action was the incredible roasting effect on my body. Before each watch, the person going on watch suits up with all the thermal and foulie gear required to withstand three hours sitting still in the cold wind. And even then, you're just barely warm enough to be comfortable. But 30 seconds of winch-grinding in this get-up and you suddenly feel like you're in a sauna. Whew, get me outta these clothes.

Anyway, that's enough for now. Current position at 1430 HST: 34N48 142W03, course 100 true at 6.7 knots. We are sailing a little below our desired track to fill the sails and maintain our speed. We are expecting a huge lift later in the week when the 25-knot northerlies kick in. Stay tuned.

Chris

1 comment:

Diana said...

Hi Chris (and everyone on Cirrus),

Thanks for thinking of and mentioning us on your blog.

We missed you too, Chris.

Pacific Spirit has been doing well against Pair a' Dice recently (Barry had to switch to a non-folding prop temporarily, which helped us quite a bit), and we'll be out there again tonight.

Take Care, Diana