Dark Star Daily Update – July 10

1) 0800 PDT Position is:  26 deg 30 min N, 139 deg 59 min W

2) CONDITIONS
– Sea: SWELL 6-10′, 4-6′ WIND WAVES
– Sky: OVERCAST, SQUALLY
– Wind Oscillating 045M 20KTS
– Pressure 103.3kPa/1033mB

3) COMMENTS: A record run for us last 24 hrs.  Great day of surfing.  Seemed like we spent more time at 13 kts than at 8, with top speed 22 kts falling off a wave last night in an explosion of spray.  That’s it.  We have no dry gear left.  Just dropped the chute for some maintenance and a back down to clear the rudder but are back at it after 15 mins under main.

Other cool experiences: At the exact moment our GPS told us we’d sailed halfway yesterday, a pod of porpoises appeared and surfed with us for half an hour.  Last night we sailed through a school of flying fish that all started to scatter in random directions as we approached.  Looked like they’d been dipped in phosphorescence and fired out of a gun into the night.

Saw our first squall last night so we know that we must be getting closer to Hawaii.  Really appreciating the big new elliptical rudder and running backs that we installed over the winter!

Dark Star Daily Update – July 9

1) 0800 PDT Position is:  26 deg 58 min N, 135 deg 50 min W

2) CONDITIONS
– Sea: SWELL 4-6′, 3-4′ WIND WAVES
– Sky: HEAVY OVERCAST. light rain.
– Wind Oscillating 020-050M 16KTS
– Pressure 103.4kPa/1034mB

3) RANDOM COMMENTS: Halfway today!  It’s Stampede time back in Calgary so celebrations will definitely take on a western flavour.  But let’s talk about this sun thing.  We’ve begun to suspect that Hawaii has been a hoax perpetrated by the Dark Lord and we’re actually racing to Mordor.  All those firey mountains should have been our first clue.

Dark Star Daily Update – July 8

1) 0800 PDT Position is: 27 deg 37 min N, 132 deg 16 min W

2) CONDITIONS
– Sea: SWELL 4-6′, 1-2′ WIND WAVES
– Sky: HEAVY OVERCAST
– Wind Oscillating 020-035M 16KTS
– Pressure 103.2kPa/1032mB

3) RANDOM COMMENTS: It has been said that prison is a lot like the navy, only with better company. To that we might add better food, more reliable access to the outside world, more personal space, better hygiene and (unless your transgression landed you in a Siberian work camp) a lot more sunlight. We’ve all just about had enough of this heavy overcast and have been searching the boat for anything we can sacrifice to the sun gods. The problem appears to be that they don’t actually want anything we have onboard. Would someone on a boat with better appointments please step up and take one for the fleet? Thanks in advance from all of us.

In the absence of any celestial bodies whatsoever, we have been honing our skills with the sextant by bringing down sights using random clouds or our masthead. Oddly a useful exercise as the mathematics is one thing but getting used to the physical mechanics of operating a precision instrument on a heaving deck is quite another.

On the brighter side, we have a wall chart that we’ve brought on every pacific crossing and have noted that at this point in the 2014 Pac Cup we had lots of sun and not a shred of wind for three days.

We’ll take the wind, thanks!