Freaky Friday(s), flirting with the “Pacific Glue-Pot”

We hate Fridays as of late.

Last Friday morning, we sat in a hole off San Nicholas Island and watched our fleet sail away from us, taking a 60 mile lead which we have been hammering at since then. We were in last place in the 2013 Transpac, racing to Hawaii at that point. Since then we managed to pick off boats every day, and were sitting in 6th as of yesterday morning with a couple more boats in our sights. The breeze was great thru the night and the moon was spectacular. At the 6am position report on Friday, we were about 700 miles from the finish.

Mid morning, things started to get weird. A line of squalls moved thru the area, and in the vortex behind them, the wind went funky. It died then shifted to the south, then died again, and shifted to the SE, then to the E, then I can’t even remember…. and so on for some three hours. Our team rocked it, changing sails to each new wind and keeping the ‘Girl moving. Finally, after a lot of hard work, the new breeze filled form the Northeast and we were off again. It was pretty painful to be going so slowly for that long, and we were hoping that our competition might be dealing with the similarly unstable conditions. Unfortunately, at this morning’s roll call, we found that it looks like we were likely the only ones who chanced upon that unstable area… well, maybe the SC52 Relentless did, since they were somewhat nearby and they lost a lot of time too. The ‘Pacific Glue Pot’ is what Geoff named it.

So today we are back at it…. we know we can catch and pass a couple of these boats, but we just hope there is enough racecourse left. With only 500 miles to go, the clock is ticking…

Beyond the lumps we took, it’s been stunning out here. Beautiful and mild weather, a fun boat, and a great crew. The moon is approaching full and the skies have been clearing up, so nights are fantastic. We are just past the breakfast hour at the moment, with Jimmy driving and Mario trimming. It’s starting to get warm out there, feeling pretty tropical. At least with the lighter breezes, we care able to open hatches and get some nice breeze thru the boat in the afternoons. Lots of flying fish, a couple of lonely seabirds out here in the big blue… and that’s about it. We’ll probably start seeing more boats as we get into the bottleneck approaching Hawaii, but the fleet is still really spread out.

That’s it for now… more soon…

Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team


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