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Half Way Home

July 9th, 2006

Italy won 5 to 3 over France after penalty kicks.

Now back to a sporting adventure, the Vic Maui, that will not be decided by penalty kicks and red cards!

Today the Division One boats will cross the notional half way point of the race. By the end of today they will have less than 1150 nm to the finish in Maui. Of course, by the time they have finished, every boat in the race will have sailed a lot more than 2300nm, as they first had to tack out of Juan de Fuca Strait and then sail a course to skirt the Pacific high, before sailing towards the finish.

In Division 3 the position report has Blue Moves II leading Passepartout and Freehand. Vic Maui Race Tracker information shows that Blue Moves II continues to struggle to keep the same pace as boats to the southeast. Passepartout logged the best 24 hour run in Div 3, covering 182 miles. Can the crew of Blue Moves II find a bit more breeze and keep her advantage, or will Passepartout and Free Hand, sailing in better breeze, continue to chip away at her lead?

Today’s position report shows Tripp Tease leading Division 2, having had a slightly better 24 hour run than Kahuna, who is now shown in second. Kinetic continues in third, followed by Turicum, Night Runner, Red Heather and Antares. On the east side of the course, Red Heather has found conditions to her liking, logging the 3rd highest average speed for Div 2 over the last 24 hours. While many of the boats in Div 2 start to arc towards the west, Antares continues southward hoping for more favorable conditions. Can Red Heather and Antares improve their positions by staying to the southeast side of the fleet?
In Division One, it remains Voodoo Child leading from Cassiopeia and Horizon. The “old school” SC50, Horizon, racked up the best 24 hour average speed of the fleet at 11.9 knots and is reveling in the conditions she found to the south of her two rivals. Will these favorable conditions last and can she catch both the boats ahead of her?

Updates today come from Division 2.

From Kahuna:
A school of dolphins swam with us for 15 minutes or so this morning maybe 50-100 of them firing back and forth across our bow and along side. Also we took our first cephalopod (sp) prisioners...(squid) on deck this morning.
A little lighter winds right now...12kts and from 011 degrees (just E of N) this signals the big turn is coming soon...just need the forecast pressure drop to show up and we will ease into a turn towards the islands.
1518nm to go. Now we are 700mi. west of San Diego. At present Cabo San Lucas is 300mi. closer than Maui!
Here are a couple of on board reports from boats we have not heard from yet.

From Turicum we received the following update about yesterday:

We continue to sail in light air (about 10 NM/hr) but have managed to log 182 NM in the past 24 hours. We now find ourselves at N38.31; W130.37 as at 19:00 (GMT) with a heading of about 185 degrees (magnetic). The forecast continues to predict that the high pressure area will move Westward, with winds increasing for us as we continue South.
As the sea conditions have been relatively calm during the past day or so, we have been able to observe that the ocean surface in this area has become populated by thousands of tiny jellyfish-type creatures. These creatures are anywhere from about 1 to 5 centimeters in length and have a translucent body with a bright blue centre. What distinguishes them however, is the air-filled sail which runs the along the entire length of the top of their bodies and extend well above the water surface. They seem to use these sails to move across the surface of the water in whichever direction the wind takes them, which results in large numbers of them congregating in small patches of the calmest water.

We are eight people living, working, eating, and sleeping in very close proximity aboard a 44 foot sailboat. It would stand to reason that, given the realities of that situation, personal hygiene would, for each and every one of us, rank very near the top of our list of daily priorities. Nic, who is the only woman on board, has tried to lead by example, but has become a little frustrated as the male members of the crew have apparently not been quite as quick on the uptake as might be expected. They have, it seems, failed to follow her example with any acceptable level of enthusiasm, so today, the normally reserved Nic, felt compelled to make an impassioned request that the men (at least those on her watch), clean up their act, and to do so forthwith.

Showering on board Turicum is, it must be said, a rather luxurious affair-- we have hot running water. Hale, in another masterful stroke of Head design, has configured the plumbing system so that we are able to draw salt water into the heating system, thereby giving us an unlimited supply of hot water for our showers. We have several large containers of Ivory Dish Soap on board and find that it works remarkable well as a body cleanser as well as a fine shampoo.

Antares updated their progress over the last two days:
July 8
The barometer is almost chipped from the eager tapping from the Navigatrix. The two shifts are now competing for mileage for an undetermined ante, making progress a valuable commodity for more than one reason. More sunshine and wind today,even in the right direction. Not much wildlife besides jellyfish, a few birds, and the briefly shirtless, cavorting skipper. The night winds are good albeit a difficult course to hold for all drivers --very tiring-- but we steered a great course. Tomorrow’s roll call will be the tell all if our diligence has paid off at all.
The usual 2-hour sunrise is opaqued today with sea fog blowing through.
Almost enough moisture for a quick shampoo, but we’re sailors not bathers.
July 9
We’ve never so anxiously awaited role call. We know we’re behind and driving as hard and fast as possible to position ourselves for a weather advantage. Where is everyone now? To pass the time, it’s time for the Olympic Rotting Vege Toss this morning with Sharon handing off the delights to Sam for the lob overboard. Now that’s entertainment. Perfect timing for chum. The sun is up, and the reel is dragging our best lure.
Keep the onboard reports coming!
Next report Monday July 10 at 2100 PST

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