Noon Report, Monday July 14

Noon, Monday, July 14 (PDT) Lat 32d 09m N, Lon 138d 08m W Speed 7 kts, Course 240 deg mag Wind 14 kts
Yesterday around this time the wind was falling again, but we were in good spirits.
Today we’re in even better spirits! After our CHicker Biryani dinner we had another spectacular sunset and beautiful night with generally good winds, and the occasional light squall with drizzle. Around 4:00AM the wind had fallen off again,and our boat speed was around 3 to 4 knots, but the seas were small and we could still keep the spinnaker full. Around sunset we had a small pod of six to eight dolphins keep us company for a half-hour, occasionally jumping completely out of the water
Around sunrise the wind picked up and we have had a good 15-kt breeze taking us to Hawaii. The seas are up just a little and we get the occasional boost as one picks up our stern and we slide forward. We are sailing pretty deep, with the wind well aft of the beam and a course to steer of 240 deg magnetic (this course is a goal, but we steer as needed to keep the sails full).
VALIS does the morning radio roll-call at 9:30AM, and it’s fun to talk to many of the Pac Cup boats. Not all boats use the SSB radio to check in; some use email or a satphone voice report. We get the 8:00AM tracker positions just before the roll-call, so I announce the positions of all boats as I collect the SSB reports. A couple of hours later, the Pac Cup shore team emails out the fleet positions so those who can’t hear the SSB roll-call can find out where they stand.
There is a bit of a conflict here, with VALIS being a competitor, and me seeing the positions perhaps an hour before anyone else on the water. I am comfortable with it though, since it takes me several hours to process all this data (after roll-call I have to compile a list of reporting boats and send that to the Pac Cup shore team), and I deliberately don’t make any course-change decisions until my roll-call duties are complete.
VALIS remains fourth in her division (Div A). We’ve been holding our own over the past few days in the light and fluky conditions. We are starting to see the Division A boats split north and south, as we all try to match our boat’s performance to the expected conditions. And “expected” is the word of the day. The forecasts we can get are pretty unreliable past the first several days, and that’s where big things can happen. We’re playing it pretty conservative, but going a little north of the traditional Hawaii approach, and we are several Div A boats who are apparently taking the southern route.
It’s been several days since we’ve seen any shipping, but in 15 minutes we will be passing about 1.5 mile from an 860 ft freighter “MOKIHANA”. She is currently on our bow and will be steaming past at 21 kts, on her way to Oakland. I just had a nice VHF chat with MOKIHANA, and let them know about the Pac Cup fleet. They already know about the Pac Cup and had seen a couple of sailboats yesterday (Pac Cup???).
Crew Profile — Lin: Lin is an avid Pacific Northwest racer, and usually works on the bow. In 2012 Lin helped us bring VALIS back from Hawaii, and she is a valuable member of the VALIS 2014 Pac Cup team.


Regards, Paul / VALIS

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