Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cirrus Overall Winner of TP '07 ?

Well, for a moment I thought I had missed something, but this surely is the impression you get when reading the lastest Transpac press release (decisions, decisions,...). Don't miss it!

Congratulations to all - including Valerie, sorry the many others I don't know - well done and surely exciting! Let's build on this for the next ;-)) time.

This race was the longest ever for Cirrus - 17.51 days -, a full day longer than the slow Pacific Cup 2000 (16.46 days). However, tp also goes over a longer distance (+147 nm), and on average speed the PCup was still slower albeit by as little as 3/100 of a knot (5.27kn vs 5.24kn). Numerology courtesy of Cirrugator...

Aloha, Ulli

Friday, July 27, 2007

Oh Yes......

......did I mention that we caught another Mahi-Mahi off Kalapapa and had it for dinner. Went like a rocket across the channel. ETAs going from 0300 to 2300 to 2221. There was some talk of putting up our last (fourth) spinnaker (the "Wedding Dress") and we gave it a shot but a misplaced halyard got in the way of furling the jib and made a mess. When cleared, time was running out and the hoist abandoned. So I went below to navigate the last couple miles to the finish line. Hardly got into my seat when the Skipper's voice from the helm shook the boat, " #$@%&**&$#@$%^$ I'll be $%^&#$%^%$# if I'm going to cross the line with white sails. Get that sucker up there!!!!!!!!!!"

Did I mention that the skipper is a sailor, not a school teacher?

Well, by now we have a pretty good idea when our services are being requested, and about 3 minutes later, with less than 2 miles to go, there she was in all her glory. The Transpacific Mortgage Group super spinnaker. The wind was about 15-18 and we were reaching with the rail about a foot under. The helm and trimmers were screaming at each other to be heard over the noise and the rest of the crew were screaming just for the pure pleasure of it. I've never seen anything like it. My job was to coach the driver across the line and get the time. The buoy went by in a blur, about 30 feet away and that was it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007



POSITION 21'21N 156'32W


oh boy it was a sad morning here on Cirrus. at around 0130 i was on the helm Nancy was in the cock pit, we were talking story having a good old time, great weather, not a cloud in the sky, all kinds of stars, and a bright moon, i felt a little something different in the wind and asked Nancy to go down and get our jackets, that we might get a little rain. by the time i got my first arm in the jacket the wind had come up about ten knots, we were flying!!! Donna could sense impending doom, she put her PFD on and sat with us on deck. i have to admit i was giving her a hard time, you know calling her a worry wort, and an old lady. while i was heckling my mom the wind came up a little more, i broke Caroline's record, i got a 9.8, then the bow started to dig, i had a minor round up, my mom eased the sheets, i got steering back, i thought i had control, we were flying like a bat out of hell!!!! ol' faithful was in all of her glory!! then we rounded down, that's when the rest of the crew flew out of their bunks and geared up. it almost seemed like we might get it back, the main jibed over hard, the kite was in the water, it felt like our stern was so high out of the water that my rudder was useless. it got to be too much for ol' faithful, she gave way, the boat righted itself, an eerie silence feel over the boat, followed by a wave of mourning. our beloved spinnaker was no longer with us.

once we wiped a tear from our eye it was time to sort out the mess that was going on on deck. Bill was already on deck manning the sock lines, Christin got to use her knife and cut some part of the kite away. i am not to clear on what happened from here on out, i was focusing on not jibing the main, and i was laughing too hard at the show going on on deck. i guess the rest of the kite had got all wrapped up in the fence, i think the fence got cut at some put to get the halyard down. ok after the remainders of the chute were packed away and put down below, it was time to get the fence down. Caroline was standing on the lower bar of the bow pulpit, she had her life line around the roller furling head sail. both of her hands hauling down on the fence. oh have i mentioned all she was wearing was a black bra and black underwear, and her PFD. Christin was on the sock halyard they were yelling at each other UP, DOWN.... NO. UP, UP, UP,....NOW DOWN. and then a whole bunch of grunting. Bill had the million candle light, he was yelling, TO THE LEFT, TO THE RIGHT CAN YOU SEE???. this went on for awhile. it sounded like some deranged work out program. it was really hard for the rest of us to not bust out laughing. it was so funny. but it all worked out in the end Caroline beat the fence. she won!!! we all cheered for her.

we put out the jib, still doing about 7 knots i went to bed. i woke up at about 0600, we could see Haleakala and another boat. as it became brighter out we realized it was The Minnow. they blew past us. we went through another squall, Caroline was on the wheel, i'm not shitting you she tied my new speed record with just the jib poled out and the main up. she is unstoppable. after the squall passed the crew pressured me in to putting up the wedding dress, so reluctantly we did. once set we sailed with it for about ten minutes, till Bill and i decided the wind and swell was to much for a 3/4 kite, we took it down. put the jib back up. now we are about to sail along side Molokai for the next few hours. i will blog more latter.

Keeps Us on Our Toes

Just in case you had any doubts about the "Two o'clock rule." POW!!!!!!! In the middle of last night,somewhere north of The Big Island, we got spun around a couple times and "Old Faithful" bit the dust. Caroline ,in her underwear, got to put in another heroic foredeck performance. I know that "bigger and better" stories will produce a skeptical audience, but ask the crew. This one was up there. Sock and tattered bits of sail were wrapped into the spinnaker fence, etc.

The dream we were starting to entertain of finishing around sunset has been dashed. It's white sails for the moment and take another look when it gets light, and maybe quiets down a little. Current ETA is looking like midnight.

Our Thursday, 26 July 2007, 0600 PDT position was 21N25,155W45. Course 250M, speed 5.7 knots. We went 148 miles yesterday and have about 120 more to go.


Watch Captain's blog

Donna Austin
sea date 25 July 2007

Back in December 2006 when this whole venture started, July seemed so far away, and getting everything pulled together for a June 2 delivery was going to be a piece of cake. But as the months passed time started to fly and with each passing month it came faster and faster. Even though it was Bill and I always working on the boat, I did call on others for their help and support. Family and friends were called upon for all sorts of help and strange requests, and sometimes families were asked to do more than usual. Even though there are only six of us on board all of the following had something to do with CIRRUS doing Transpac 2007 this year, and I would like to THANK them and acknowledge.
Bill and Valerie
Agnes and Chris Doutre, Chris made it possible to do the delivery
Dana Fujikake our press person,and someone with so much Aloha!
Tom Richie outfitted us with a new spinnaker
Rick at Makani Kai for casting off our lines... a few times.
Debbie Deshais, Ann Ford, Danielle Larrew and all the women of HWYRA and the members of Pearl Harbor Yacht Club.
Ala Wai Marine
Gary Domasin(my brother) and Jim Hormel for letting us crash at their house and use their washer and dryer non stop
G.B. Domasin (my mom) for the use of her car
Al and Peggy Domasin (my brother) for hosting a party for the crew of CIRRUS
MP thanks for following us
Treasure T's Good job on the silk screening
KYC thank you for putting us on your homepage, as well as a link to our blog
WYC thanks for the coverage in the monthly mail out
Rich Roberts thanks for giving us such nice coverage
NORTH SAILS and Fuzz Foster for the awesome spinnaker and hand delivery
Joel Gober for helping us with the dry ice, and navigating advice off of the point
Paul and Robbin Imire (our hosts in Long Beach) I dont know were to start; organizing a tow for us to get to the dock in the first place, making us feel welcome, and answering all of our stupid questions. Can't wait for you to come to Hawaii and do some diving
Warren Wolf for putting together the welcome book, we wore the pages out.
Linda West for supporting our crew and always supporting womens sailing
SLYC (shoreline yacht club), Debbie and all the members, you really made us feel like family!
English Johnny and Kathrine for keeping a watchful eye on the boat and introducing us to all the cool people.
Ullman Sails and Bryan Dair for repairing our main so quickly
Lou and Kim Ickler for the really tasty muffins, and the radio check-ins
Maya Fujikake for helping to run errands and making the Lei for the boat
Star Bulletin reporter Katherine Nichols for really capturing the crew of Cirrus and putting out an unreal story
Ullie Steiner were do I start? the Cirrugator for one. all of the tech support with the blog. taking the blog international. i know i am forgetting a million things
Crew of Siesta for being really jazzed for us
Think Tech Hawaii, Jay and Sharon Fidel for inviting us to do a radio spot from out in the middle of the ocean
West Marine Hawaii for answering all of our questions and letting us return just a few things
TPYC and volunteers (transpac yacht club ) for hosting this race
Latitude 38' for having Cirrus pride
Hilo Hattie's (Sharon)
NOAA weather staff at U of H
The crew of Cirrus,Bill, Nancy, Caroline, and Christine
Most of all I need to thank my family Lindsey and Phillip Austin for believing in me and Richard Blackburn for loving me and for supporting my sailing.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007



POSITION 21'22N, 154'34

DTW: 172NM


what's going on in the world of cirrus?? well the crew is getting very excited for our arrival, about a whole hour will go by till some one will pipe up about a new time equation or theory predicting our arrival to be a little sooner then the GPS, Caroline is getting pumped to eat all the things she has missed so much while she has been at sea, and i know Christin cant wait to see Joseph. its been about 3 months since bill and Valerie have seen each other, he has been talking alot about taking his lady out to dinner. Mom has only seen Richard in her dreams for the past 2 months. Derrick and i have only seen each other for a little less then a month in the past 4 months. Nancy has been thinking about her son Ben, she is looking forward to hopefully seeing him at the dock party.

once we get in that will be the end of transpac for us. Mom, Bill, and I, as well as Valerie, Nancy and our families, not to mention the Hawaii sailing community at large have been working on this for the whole year. it is going to be very odd to not be constantly working toward transpac. what will we talk about with each other? what will i make lists of? what will i do whit all the extra money that will be in my bank account?? i was discussing this with my friend Mark Towill he was telling me about how his crew was so focused on the start of the race, that they didn't see that it brought them that much closer to the end of their adventure.

this is not the last transpac i will do, but it sure has been the best first one i could have asked for, for myself and my crew.

so we have been getting ready to finish, Bill and i have been reading up on the rules for the finish, Bill, Donna, and Christin got the wedding dress all ready for her debut. i have been filling out some of the minor paper work and have been slowly assigning tasks for the crew to accomplish before arrival. tomorrow will be a busy day, lots of cleaning, lots of phone calls to our shore crew. and probably lots of jumping up and down with excitement.

as for the sailing aspect on board, nothing has broken in the last 24 hours, we jibed twice, the wind has picked up just a little, and hopefully, according to our weather charts will continue to build as we approach the finish. oh we saw a PCC, you know a car ship, it didn't try to run us down or anything, that was a big relief. i think that is all i have for now.

CAPT. LG out


DAD: hi dad, i think you arrived back in Honolulu today. welcome home. i have put your name on a list of people that will be alerted to our arrival. Derrick will call you. You also have a date with the crew of Cirrus this Friday night around 1700, you're coming to the awards banquet with us. i'll tell you more about that later. if you have questions call Richard. if Katie is still in town make sure she comes to the dock party too. see you soon.

Aunty Dana and Uncle Tom: it was nice talking to you this morning aunty Dana, you and Tom also have a date with the crew of Cirrus Friday night. don't worry about being kept in the loop about our arrival, your phone will most likely ring so much you'll want to throw it in the water. see you soon.

Derrick: hi babe, im almost home!!! i am going to send you an e mail to your account outlining some instructions for the phone calls you will be making tomorrow. thank you for all of your help sweetie, the whole crew is really jazzed on it. i cant wait to see you, olives lg

The Elephant in the Room

Well, it is almost over. This time tomorrow I might be too busy to write. It is certainly not a sad event, but for me it isn't an entirely happy one either. I've been casting about for an analogy. Maybe sending a child off to college. You're supposed to be happy about it, but you know that the door to one universe is closing with a clang and another is opening.

We had another totally beautiful day yesterday. We were wishing we could share such perfect moments with loved ones and friends but there is no way. To get there you have to pay your dues.

Our Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 0600 PDT position was 21N44, 153W07. Course 260M, speed 7 knots. We went about 151 miles yesterday and we have approximately 260 to go.



I'm really sorry that my attempt at light hearted chat came across as critical. Nothing negative was intended. No negative feelings here. Only joy of accomplishment. Imagine. Counting the three delivery attempts this crew has covered at least 5000 miles and has been together in a self sufficient box 7 x 10 x 20 feet for almost two months. By comparison the space station would probably be considered light duty. All that, and we continue to be, each day, overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of sliding along under a colorful sail, blue skies, puffy clouds, the rumble and roar of the water rushing by. No way, really, to put it into words, You have to be here. (And we are.)


Tuesday, July 24, 2007



DTW 329

i am sitting here trying to think of what to put in the blog but i don't really think anything happened yesterday, it was really hot!!!! alot of us just lounged around on the deck. Nancy and Christin saw a moon bow on their watch, that makes for 2 nights in a row, they also got to see the moon set. according to them it looked like a ship on fire. oh and Caroline and i had dolphins come by on our night watch.

this morning Donna and Caroline had a few pilot whales. at some point we were sailing on a reach, so we put out the reaching strut. after breakfast, Caroline put out the fishing lines. she put out her super special lure, the Jamaican hula twister, and a lure my big brother made me, that one does not have a name, but he said it was guaranteed to catch. after our lunch of chili and rice, which we later found out has been recalled, don't worry were watching for sighs of botulism in each other. Caroline's line got a hit, it was a perfect size Mahi mahi, after she got it all cleaned and Christin had put the the hose away we got a hit on Phill's line another Mahi mahi, we were going to throw that one back but once we got it on board we saw that it had lost its eyes in the struggle. Christin helped Caroline clean that one, while Nancy and i tried to keep the boat moving in light winds.

Nancy cooked the first fish in the oven with butter, onion, and garlic salt, it was really yummy!!! i think that is about it.

CAPT. LG out


Doug: what happened?? i thought we were having fun. i am always willing to learn new things. i hope there are no hard feelings and we still see you at the party.

Kimmie and Stryder: i hear you guys can't make it for the finish, oh well. i am glad to hear you are working, i hope it is not anything lame. i love you guys and will call you when we get in. i hope Stryder got his package i sent. lots of love

D man: nice to get to talk at you this morning. you're the best shore crew ever. i am going to send Richard and Valerie a e-mail about the shirts right now. give Oopu a hug. see you really soon.

Maya: i think you sent us a very funny blog yesterday, the crew and i were in stitches!! Bill really liked the C.P., Cirrus pride part. my mom and i have been wondering where you were. see you soon. LG

Aunty Dana: if we make it in on time my mom and i were thinking that you, uncle Tom, and Aunty Candace might want to go to the banquet with the crew. i need to have a head count cause i need to buy the tickets by Thursday morning over the phone. love you

Here she goes again

Wonder if Nancy is going to try to break every shackle on the boat! No need to worry about "girls" on this boat - it's a "can do" gang.


Not to worry about canned chili...
These pictures were taken 5 minutes apart. Caroline holding catch #1 and then came catch #2.
Fresh mahi mahi for all.

Cirrus - Play Girl edition

Now there's a pair I'll never have to wash again!
The fashion statement of a "dork"?
I don't think so!

Watched Pots ..........

........never boil. Just when we could use a decent day's run, it's another poke along. (About 128 painful miles.)

Tuesday, 24 July 2007, 0600 PDT position was 21N49, 150W24. Course 240M and speed 6 knots. Grasping for milestones, let me note that we have passed 150 longitude and are about to drop under 400 miles to go.

We have had a rash of bits of advice lately. We're hoping some of these knowledgeable individuals will feel sufficiently keenly about some of these issues to buy us a beer at the YC and pass their experiences on to us in person. Of course, some of the advice amounts to, "You should do it the way we do it, instead of the way you do it."

On Cirrus, usually, no one climbs the mast, and we don't intentionally hoist or lower sails that are whipping about in the wind.

Just for fun (And because I have a couple free minutes.) let me ramble on a bit. We do a lot of things on Cirrus that most serious racers can't imagine. Mostly having to do with safety and being able to use the skills of crew new to the boat or without extensive open ocean racing experience. For example, we use two spinnaker poles, each with it's own dedicated topping lift, fore and after guy. That's six lines so far. Then there are fore and after guys at each clew of the spinnaker, and a halyard, of course. We're up to eleven. There is a spinnaker fence, to prevent wraps, that has an associated halyard. Twelve. And then the line for hoisting and lowering the sock. Thirteen. Then, of course, there are running backs, twings, and (Don't get me started.) all the lines associated with sheeting from the end of the boom in very light conditions. You get the picture.

Wish us wind. See you soon. Bill