July 16 — Too Much Excitement

3:00PM Wednesday, July 16 Lat 30d 13m N, Lon 145d 16m W Speed 7kts, Course 323 deg mag.
Yesterday’s half-way party finished off with a great meal of salmon cakes with Hollandaise sauce on a bed of Thai rice, prepared by Lin. As sunset approached we doused the large spinnaker and replaced it with the “shy kite”, a small spinnaker designed for higher wind speeds. This dropped our speed a small amount, but gave us a more easily managed sail plan for the unpredictable evening squalls.
The night was glorious, with broken clouds and a bright moon. We could identify the familiar constellations, and the warm air was quite comfortable. Even with the moon shining down we could occasionally see flashes of phosphorescence below as our boat sailed by the marine life.
As the night progressed, the wind gradually built, with small squalls giving us showers and wind-shifts. Around 5:30AM (still quite dark this far west) a gust/shift somehow caused the spinnaker guy to come loose from the winch, with the spinnaker pole swinging rather violently forward. The increased wind, along with the unexpected sail configuration put us on our side, with the cockpit half-full of water. While the crew tried to get things under control, the off-watch crew struggled to put on their safety gear and climb topsides to help deal with the situation.
While a bit scary, this was actually not a serious situation. The crew was fine, and tethered, no hardware had broken, and the boat stayed dry down below due to the high bridge-deck of the PSC44 design. We managed to get the boat back on her feet, and run downwind while we brought the spinnaker down on deck. Unfortunately, the sail had ripped a panel, and is probably out of service for the duration.
We unfurled the Genoa, and spent the night under main/genoa. We made reasonably good speed, pretty close to our desired course. After sunrise we jibed the genoa to starboard and held it out with the spinnaker pole: the Wing and Wing configuration. This is how we have been sailing, but we are now preparing to hoist the large spinnaker. This will give us back the speed we have lost under plain sail.
Today we were passed by two fast Pacific Cup boats: Swazik (a Swan 45) and Locura (a Nelson/Marek 92). We had nice VHF chats as they sailed by within a few miles.
Crew Profile: Phil Mummah


I met Phil during the 2008 Pacific Cup, when he raced his boat No Ka Oi. Our paths crossed a few times and he joined the VALIS team for the 2012 race. He has joined us again for this year’s race, and we are glad to have him back.
That’s it for now, Paul / VALIS

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