SUN, STARS AND COLORS AT SEA
Today’s cover photos of Fat Chance Row was taken at Latitude 24° 32.201′ N Longitude 141° 38.553′ W
LEAD BOATS: Winds from the E @ 10 to 15 knots. Seas from the S moving to the SSW @ 6 feet / 12 seconds.
MIDDLE BOATS: Winds from the E @ 7 to 13 knots. Seas from the ENE @ 6 feet / 9 seconds.
BACK OF THE FLEET BOATS: Winds from the ENE clocking to the E @ 7 to 11 knots. Seas frm the ENE moving to the NE @ 6 feet / 9 seconds.
The skies are clearing for our teams during both the days and the nights. After being at sea for a month, all our teams seem to be enjoying their surroundings a bit more. Perhaps they have become more accustomed to the unique ocean environment or perhaps they are just enjoying the warmer and calmer weather. Tales of swimming during the day and star gazing at night have been reported across the board.
CC4 Pacific expressed a rather poetic moment when they texted:
“Tonight, we contemplate the infinity from our tiny vessel. Considering the number of flying stars passing over our heads, we should reach Hawaii with no problems “
They also reported a “blazing orange moon” which rose over the Pacific which they had never seen before. Then in the morning they said that the sun had turned the seas into a pinkish color. We hope they were able to snap a few photos of both the moon rise and sun rise in between rowing.
As for the stars that accompany the moon, Sami Inkinen describes what it is like during the night:
“And stars? Many have mentioned or asked about the night sky. I took a moment the night before during my night shift to just stare at the sky. I thought I’ve seen it all during my backcountry adventures, but with zero light pollution around the Pacific 1000 miles offshore, I have to admit that until you see the clear sky and stars like that, you’ve never experienced stars before. Just amazing.”
We hope that some of the crews will start to see the shooting stars caused by the Delta Aquarids and Perseids meteor showers giving the crews the chance to wish upon a shooting star.
During the day, Meredith Loring on Fat Chance Row described a sea of a different color:
“The skies and sea are beautiful in this weather, one light and the other dark sapphire blue that glitters under the oars and in a trail where the boat has traveled. Occasionally a stormy cloud will pass overhead and the winds will suddenly pick up while we are beneath it, these moments are bliss as the days are increasingly hot and sweaty.”
With calm seas and clear skies, Loring decided to take a little swim in what Inkinen described as their own kiddy pool. Even with their time out for a dip in the Pacific and doing a little boat cleaning, Fat Chance Row have continued to make gains and are now only 62 NM behind the Pacific Warriors.
This however wasn’t the biggest gain seen in the last 24 hours. The Boatylicious girls put an impressive extra 25 NM between them and CC4 Pacific. While accomplishing this, Team Boatylicious also crossed over the half-way mileage mark to Hawaii, dipping under 1050 NM to go in the Great Pacific Race. Great work girls!
Further ahead, Team NOMAN reports on the color of their skin:
“You will be glad to hear that the sun is out most of the day now, and we are getting lovely and brown all over. We’ve even taken to rowing in just t-shirt and shorts at night (depending on the waves) which is such a wanted break from the wet weather gear and layer upon layer.”
The team is reported to be in “absolutely brilliant spirits” even though they are exhausted from the row. As with our lead boat, Uniting Nations, Team NOMAN continues to have issues with their seats which they describe as “pretty buggered” although sometimes they can work “when they fancy.” Uniting Nations is now rowing with two stationary seats. As it turns out, this has helped their timing while rowing as now both rowers have the same amount of restricted movement. We hope this will allow them to log some daily mileages similar to those that they had been doing earlier in the race as their recent pace seems to have suffered and Team Battleborn have been able to gain 15 NM on the lead boat. With the distance between the first and second positioned crews decreasing to 147NM Uniting Nations must now be starting to feel the pressure of the Irish, British and Australian quartet breathing down their necks.
We continually monitor the weather on behalf of our crews and send individual forecasts to each crew based on their current and expected position over the next 96 hours. There is little that the rowers can do about the weather but it does help to know what to expect in the future and especially how long adverse weather conditions may last. We also keep a watchful eye of NOAA reports from the national hurricane center for the eastern and central Pacific areas. Since the start of the race in early June there have been a number of hurricanes and tropical storms form and dissipate far to the south and east of the race route. These dissipated weather systems may create a few days of disrupted weather for our rowers but have not had any adverse effect.
We are currently watching Tropical Storm Wali which is currently more than 1000 miles ESE of Honolulu and moving towards the Northwest at 10kt. Currently the forecast for Wali shows it hooking around to have a more westerly track (further away from the race route) and the 35kt sustained wind speeds that it currently exhibits, decreasing dramatically as the system weakens and then dissipates over the next 72 hours. We will continue to monitor the positon and strength of Wali but at present we don’t believe this system presents any significant threat to our crews.
UPCOMING SUPPORTER EVENTS:
CHESTER, UK – For those of you in Chester, UK please stop by The Greyhound, Farndon, Chester on Saturday 19th July 2014 for your own chance to get on the oars. This is an all day affair starting at 12 noon and finishing at midnight. Get involved and learn more by visiting Battleborn’s get involved page.
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 1:00 pm today
- Uniting Nations: ROWING – 222 NM to finish, Rowed 2057 NM
- Battleborn: ROWING – 369 NM to finish, Rowed 1941 NM
- NOMAN: ROWING – 596 NM to finish, Rowed 1736 NM
- Pacific Warriors: ROWING – 843 NM to finish, Rowed 1493 NM
- Fat Chance: ROWING – 905 NM to finish, Rowed 1520 NM
- Boatylicious: ROWING – 1040 NM to finish, Rowed 1281 NM
- CC4 Pacific: ROWING – 1262 NM to finish, Rowed 1189 NM
Elsa Hammond: ROWING – New route to Mexico (destination TBC); Rowed 637 NM