July 23, 3:30 PM

Latitude 31d 48m N, Longitude 138d 31m W.
This is the kind of sailing the brochure promised! 20 kt winds, blue sky, puffy white clouds, the occasional dark cloud with rain. And we’re not even in the tropics yet!
This morning we put the spinnaker back up and have been making great speed towards Hawaii. The swells are up a bit, which give us a little push as they sweep by.
The morning roll-call radio net went well, and the new positions put VALIS in Division A second place. It seems that No Strings decided to dive south, and that no doubt cost her some time. So the top three are Cassiopeia, VALIS, and No Strings. We are tightly grouped, and this will no doubt be a dynamic situation as the race progress and conditions change. Still, we’ve got a real horse race!
Around 11:00AM, we were hailed on the VHF by doublehanders “Plus 16″. They had spotted our sails, and we could indeed see them on our starboard beam (to the north of us). They slowly crossed our stern and continued on a more southerly course, passing within about a mile. We got some photos. It’s pretty unusual to see a fellow racer near the halfway point, but this year we seem to be mostly following the same general course.
For lunch Dick prepared grilled cheese sandwiches, and the beef stew is thawing for dinner.
Aloha, Paul / VALIS

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