Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A message from Sandy (dang Sailmail!)

it's july 22nd, almost 4pm and i've awakened from my early afternoon nap to see the happy fact that we are a half hour from our half way. it feels like reaching a goal. what a neat race so far. a little about our course - we understood this to be a rhumb line race from the beginning. i don't have log entries in front of me right now, but i know we jibed to port pole some days ago with no sure expectation of our tack in days to come. yesterday, still on port pole, we fought for headway in inches and sometime during my off watch in the evening found 20 to 25 knots of wind and we were racing again. it was light to medium again in the early hours of the morning, slowly increasing to that magical speed and angle when we were off and running again. the trim of spin and main was a fast one that didn't require any adjustment. when it was time for me to say goodnight at 0500, we suddenly realized we were being "squalled" for the first time. doesn't that mean we're in the trades? we've been under overcast skies for most of the 7 days and one area of weather to our port and behind us decided to give us a wild ride. a real wild ride. so we doused the spinnaker in 25 knots of being on the edge of control and everyone agrees that we don't need to replace our sock that was mangled days back! the sail has been set and doused a number of times with no need of it. the spinnaker came back up shortly before 0900 roll call this morning and thereafter the sailing has been a scream. winds built, seas steadied and in 18 to 23 knots of wind we had frequent long surfs hitting speeds over 10. i hear it's calming a little in honor of our halfway party in a few minutes from now. i am so happy about how we're doing. no we're not the fastest race boat by far, but compromise is an able and well equipped cruiser that is very fast, and fun.

it's now the 23rd in the morning. everybody is tired with another busy night of squalls and little sleep. our halfway party was so much fun. leslie had some great decorations that made us laugh. sally and kame, thanks for making an appearance. we'll send pictures so you'll know what i'm talking about. eliza also provided some fun stuff, and we got lots of pix. leslie had the families write letters and there was some tender moments among much humor. last of all, dinner was super yummy with john's perfectly cooked barbecue beef, fried rice and sally's very delicious cole slaw. wow. dinners have truly been appreciated.

leslie and i had first watch after sunset last night and for the first time had beautiful clear skies and lots of stars. also lots of cumulus clouds all around so it wasn't so surprising when we all got up for squall duty in the early hours.

i hope to write more soon. we are in the trades, still barreling down rhumbline. squall strategy is working if a little conservative. we've had no problem dousing without the sock. we hear different stories from some boats about their squall experiences. i think most all boats are going fast. it's getting warm and it's lots of fun sailing. sandy

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