The VicMaui Race is on. The cruising division started on July 5th and the Racing Division started on July 9. You can go to the VicMaui website and check out the fleet position using their Yellowbrick-based tracking feature. Below is a report from on board Kinetic, a Beneteau First 47.7 in the Racing Division.
by David Sutcliffe, July 10th, 2012
Kinetic 2012-07-10-0800: "speeds and feeds"
Unusually favorable winds continue, and for now we are blasting along at great speeds. The big navigational puzzles, and less wind, still lie ahead. Low cloud persists, with a few hints of blue sky and a brief early morning glimpse of the half moon. Some condensing moisture, or more candidly, drizzle, freshened the deck overnight. That definitely wasn't in the brochure!
As we move away from the continental coast, there are very few vessels nearby other than the rest of the Vic-Maui fleet. And none that we can see. Our visible horizon is about a six mile radius, and much less than that in low cloud or fog. While most vessels express their dimensions in feet or metres, one large vessel we saw on the AIS had a reported length of 0.174 nautical miles (about 1,060 feet)! Another reported "restricted ability to maneuver" and was recovering an underwater object in a water depth of 9,400 feet.
We've seen very little marine debris so far, just the usual fishing floats adrift, small pieces of styrofoam and a few large lightbulbs apparently discarded from commercial vessels.
News from the Port watch:
Brenda the "Grinder" is on top of her game, grinding spinnakers sheets like a pro. "Speedo" Gaylean holds the driving record so far, with a night watch surf to 14.8 knots under spinnaker, eclipsing previous aspirants Greg and Adam. Adam has already been up the rig in boisterous conditions to retrieve a halyard which unclipped itself during a hoist. The foregoing proves "Data" David's axiom that "inanimate objects aren't". Greg "Grog" claims to smell as fresh as a daisy after his morning ablutions, but there is no independent verification. Gaylean made a great breakfast of scrambled eggs in wraps, proving her stomach works well for offshore sailing.
News from the Starboard watch:
At press time, Starboard watch nicknames were not available. After an extended battle of wills with two purportedly inanimate sheets (lines), Bill saved a sail bag that tried to go up the rig on its own. Fair-skinned Reto is sprouting a red beard and slathering on the SPF one million as protection against the sun burning through the fog. Vern is becoming known for making a mean cup of coffee. He passes along to Anne that there is no time for meditation out here. Alex says "look Mom, no hands, but don't worry, I'm clipped in". Speaking of hands, Jeff is nursing a hot pair this morning after trying to hang onto a spinnaker halyard during a douse.
Kinetic is Goin' to Maui!