Friday, July 8th, 2016 – Race Day 34
WEATHER: The forecast across the fleet is for 15-20 ENE winds for the next 48 hours. While the winds may not be stronger than usual, the seas are likely to be sloppy and disorganised as the leftovers from Tropical Storm Agatha get superseded by the leftovers from Hurricane Blas.
STORM WATCH: Cooler sea surface temperatures are taking a toll on Blas. As of this afternoon, Hurricane Blas has weakened to a category 1. Blas will continue to encounter cooler water as it progresses to the WNW. Rapid weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, and Blas is expected to weaken to a tropical storm by tonight and become a post-tropical cyclone Saturday night or early Sunday. Recent center fixes show a continuation of the track NW. By Sunday, the forecast is for a westward turn in the low-level easterly flow. The extended outlook for Monday predicts max 25-35 knots at location 21.5N 140.5W , 20-30 knots at location 20.5N 144.5W on Tuesday and for the storm to completed dissipate by Wednesday.
Tropical Depression FOUR-E became a named storm this morning. Tropical Storm Celia is currently 1,750 nautical miles SE of our most easterly teams and moving at the slow rate of 5 knots per hour. During the next 24 hours the cyclone will pass near or over an area of cooler sea surface temperatures left in the wake of Hurricane Blas. This should slow intensification. From 24-72 hours, the storm is expected to reach warmer water, and significant strengthening is likely, due to the favorable upper-level winds. Celia may become a hurricane on Sunday. However, from 72-120 hours in, Celia should again encounter cooler sea surface temperatures, which should cause the cyclone to weaken.
We’ve been talking a lot about the weather lately, and for good reason. There is a lot going on in the Pacific and here at Race Headquarters we take every possible developing storm very seriously. Blas has been downgraded and is taking a banana-shaped course to the southwest and away from our rowers. PHEW! We continue to keep a very watchful eye on what is going on and even what might possibly develop into something.
You may have noticed that several of our teams are diverting slightly from the direct line course to Hawaii. While they are doing this, Row Aloha, Sons of the Pacific and Fight the Kraken in particular, have been reaching phenomenal speeds, sometimes over 3 NM per hour! This is really fast for an ocean rowing boat. Huge kudos to Row Aloha, Sons of the Pacific and Fight the Kraken and all of our teams for rowing hard to stay ahead of the weather systems that seem intent on chasing down them down!
Add into this some inclement weather above the sea. Rain! Lots and lots of rain. The crew on Row Aloha said it best when they reported that they don’t mind rain, “but the FIREHOSE!” A good dousing of fresh water can do our teams good. It’s a free shower, and we have a feeling that at this point a few of our crew could maybe use a little freshening up.
Louis Bird, over on the Sons of the Pacific has been keeping fresh and trying to work on his tan as much as possible. “I guess that’s why he takes his shirt off at any opportunity” reported his rowing partner Erden Eruc. “I don’t tan out here because I am almost always in a long sleeve shirt and in shorts if overcast.” A bit later Louis let us know that he has got leaner during the row and that his arms and legs are indeed fairly brown. “My chest and stomach are white though so I’m looking like a Neapolitan ice cream right now!” Louis said.
A bit further forward in the fleet we heard that Team Ocean Hearts have had the joy of seeing some amazing rainbows in the last few days. There is a silver lining to these storms! They also reported “A yellow tail tuna swam up to the boat and checked us out yesterday. Lots of flying fish coming on to the boat. We’ve managed to save some of them and throw them back overboard. Pat’s OK touching the little ones but I have to handle the big ones. LOL”
Apparently there is one other thing that both ladies are afraid of, according to a recent post on their Facebook page.
“About 8 days left to Hawaii!!!! Our bums are pretty bummed out from the rowing motion, if you get the drift. So much so that while we’re not afraid of 30 foot waves, or a pushy whale, or klutzy flying fish, the idea of the sting of salt water just to scrape our boat of barnacles scares us to no end.”
We are also thrilled to see that all of our teams are under the 1,000 NM to go mark. We continue to wish all our teams luck and encourage them to row like the wind, but just not into it!
PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-08-16 @ 18:00 PST
|CREW||VMG RECENT||VMG START||DAYS TO GO|
MEANWHILE, Back on shore …. In case you missed it, CLICK HERE to listen to the radio interview with Vicki & Megan from Fight the Kraken on 93.3 WMMR Radio in Philadelphia.
GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT today
1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 344 NM to finish, Rowed 1943 NM
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 520 NM to finish, Rowed 1875 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 687 NM to finish, Rowed 1627 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 880 NM to finish, Rowed 1506 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 987 NM to finish, Rowed 1382 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 996 NM to finish, Rowed 1375 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM