Ok, now it’s getting interesting. We here aboard J World’s Hula Girl are about 850 miles into the 2225 mile race from LA to Hawaii, and last night things started changing. We knew it was coming. We knew when it was coming. But it still can be nerve wracking. The barometer has been rising, and the breeze finally went light, and shifted to the east. By light, we are talking 8-12 knots, so it’s not boat-stopping, going-fishing light, but anytime the progress slows, we get nervous. The big questions is what’s happening to the boats to the north of us? The weather forecasts we have been seeing are indicating that it should be lighter up there. That means that the majority of our fleet “up there” should be going slower and/or sailing higher to maintain speed.
But we just don’t know, yet. We get position reports for the other boats, but it is delayed six hours (supposedly… the reports we have been getting have been more along the lines of eight hours old… not sure why this is). So the impacts of last night won’t be seen on the relative positions and tracks of the other boats until well into the game today. We get one (near) real time report each day, and that comes a bit after 7am via email. We were encouraged to see that we traveled more distance than all but one of our fleet over the past 24 hours.
Even though the breeze has for the moment stabilized and freshened a bit (steady 12 knots at the moment), we expect that it’s going to get more interesting over the next couple of days. Expedition, our high tech routing software, has been offering numerous suggestions as to the optimal route, varying with each new weather forecast, so if it is challenging the silicon chips, it’s frying my little brain.
So shipboard nothing could be too much better. Mark is crashed out on tip of the #4 jib in the main salon (not sure why he didn’t make it to a bunk?). Geoff and Jason are getting rack time in the aft bunks. Sug just ‘freshened up’ and is sporting clean clothes (I was going to say something…). Dave is driving with Carbo, T.K., and Josh on deck. Josh is getting reprimanded for forgetting what they had talked about yesterday: fruit in the morning, beef jerky in the afternoon/evening. Apparently he was busted gnawing on a big beefstick before finishing his Grape Nuts. Bad bowman! No boy! Bad bowman! Now get up there and bag that sail…
It was a bit gloomy and drizzly out early this morning, but is getting sunny now and we are moving along nicely at 9 knots-ish, and that’s what’s important.
Comment from Tom “Sug”:
Hey guys…into the middle of it all! Its like camping in a car flying across the ocean. All crew on board keen and poised. Bye for now. Good luck “Lively” in the 300/Youngstown!!
Than’s all for now… we hope all is well shoreside, and we’ll be broadcasting from mid Pacific again soon…
Wayne Zittel and the J World Team
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