Off The Shelf

Posted on June 6, 2016 in Endurance Limits, Fight the Kraken, General, Great Pacific Race 2016, Moana Uli, Ocean Hearts, Sons of the Pacific, Uniting Nations

Monday, June 6 – Race Day 2

WEATHER Forecast for Wednesday through the weekend:
High-pressure systems cycle clockwise in the northern hemisphere and this is the reason why crews must row circa 360 nautical miles SW before turning ‘the corner’ to row in a more westerly direction to Hawaii.  Last week the high-pressure system dissipated over mainland U.S., but a new system is now tracking east across the central Pacific Ocean to fill the vacant spot.  As the high moves towards California, winds will begin to funnel down the coast from a NNW direction.  While this will mean taller waves and stronger winds for the rowers, the sea and tailwind will shunt them towards Hawaii.  Expect to see an increase in boat speeds and mileage south, and crews screaming ‘yee-haw!’ as they enjoy surfing conditions. 

NOTE: In these early days of the race, we check in more frequently with each team.  Please note that we may not report on EVERY boat EVERY day.  Don’t be alarmed – and remember that no news is good news.

All teams are now west of the Continental Shelf – the lip of underwater rock, which fringes the coast of the western United States.  This is excellent news.  One of the biggest challenges of the Great Pacific Race is the first few days, where crews need to row as hard as they can to clear the shelf while also trying to acclimatize and find their rhythm at sea.  The Continental Shelf is often a gauntlet of adverse weather and current conditions and so all crews have passed their first big test.

However, pairs team Sons of the Pacific have one further obstacle to negotiate.  At 26 miles long and 8 miles wide, the Davidson Seamount is one of the largest known seamounts in the world.  Above this volcanic underwater mountain, which rises up from the seabed to give a depth change from 1966 fathoms to 756 fathoms, there will likely be an area of turbulent water.  Erden Eruc and Louis Bird aboard ‘Yves’ are currently aware of the seamounts location and are wisely passing to the north.  For more information on the Davidson Seamount, click this link

Starting with the teams of four…

United Nations reported in to let us know they had a very good first night in calm conditions. They have seen loads of whales and during the night had a dolphin swim right under the boat, however because of the bio-luminescence it “looked more like a snake!”

Endurance Limits reported that they were exhausted, but were quite focused on asking about the other teams to hear if everyone else was doing OK.  Such a considerate team!

The support yacht Galen Diana caught up with Moana Uli earlier this afternoon in a fair breeze at an average of 12 knots in swells of about five feet.  Our support crew reported that the Moana Uli crew were all feeling well and all systems on board were working.  It was reported that the Moana Uli crew spotted some whales during their first night at sea, dolphins and birds.

For our pairs teams, Team Ocean Hearts reported that they had two whales come really close to the boat and blew right next to them.  Also, Liz and Pat spoke with two freighters that were close by.  They were acknowledged over VHF and then the ladies stopped to allow it to pass ahead of them.

Last, but certainly not least today is our report from Fight the Kraken.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY VICKI!  Race headquarters checked in with the team and the entire support crew (taking a break from clearing up the staging area) sang happy birthday over the phone.  The support yacht Nomad, who last night were ‘ghosting’ between Fight the Kraken and Endurance Limits USA, also serenaded the ladies as they checked in with them on the water.  As a birthday treat, the girls are enjoying a block of cheese for energy, and drinking lots of water to stay hydrated.  They reported that they were playing ‘tag’ with team Row Aloha earlier, but have since lost sight of each other.  According to a post on their Facebook page, they both slept well during their first night at sea and looked forward to coffee, which “tasted pretty good.”

We were asked to pass along a special message from Vicki for her niece, to let her know she was thinking of her … “”hoping that the dance recital went great!”

GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT today
1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 1993 NM to finish, Rowed 110 NM
2 Endurance Limits: ROWING – 2000 NM to finish, Rowed 106 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 2000 NM to finish, Rowed 108 NM
4 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 2026 NM to finish, Rowed 70 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 2034 NM to finish, Rowed 66 NM
6 Row Aloha: ROWING – 2034 NM to finish, Rowed 59 NM
7 Endurance Limits USA: ROWING – 2037 NM to finish, Rowed 57 NM
8 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 2038 NM to finish, Rowed 56 NM