Day 11

Hello from VALIS and her crew, as we approach Kaneohe and the finish line. As we get closer, the margin of uncertainty for our arrival time is getting narrower and narrower. Today John took estimates/guesses from each of us and put them on the whiteboard. They range from 11:47 AM PDT, to Midnight, all on Sunday. We’re haven’t decided what the closest answer wins, other than honor and respect – perhaps that’s sufficient.

It’s been pretty uneventful sailing for us today. The skies have been sunny, there have been only mild squalls, the swells small, and our speed good. This morning we put up the second-best daily run in our division (Azure beat us), and we have picked off a few more boats, putting our overall ranking at #35 over all. With luck and good sailing we might place in the top half, which would be a huge improvement over our performance in 2006.

We used the last of the Mahi-Mahi at lunch in some excellent fish tacos, prepared by Rich. Later he produced some fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. Michael is now making dinner; salad and Persian Chicken with rice. We are hardly roughing it here!

We have seen very few other vessels these last few days. Last night we saw what was probably a fishing boat on the horizon, but nothing since then. Tomorrow and Sunday we may see more Pacific Cup racers, as we converge on Kaneohe Bay, and we may see some Navy ships that are participating in the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific) exercises. There will be 35 ships, 6 submarines, 150 aircraft & 20,000 soldiers, Sailors, airmen and Marines from 10 nations: Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Netherlands, Peru, Rep. Of Korea, Singapore, UK & US, taking part in the waters near Oahu. We have been assured by our friend Jack Thomas, XO of the “Skinny Dragons” Orion P3 Squadron based at Kaneohe, that there will be no live ammunition being used in the race area.

Until tomorrow,

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