Gary the Gull … and Eddy

Posted on July 12, 2016 in Great Pacific Race 2016, Moana Uli, Ocean Hearts, Uniting Nations

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016 – Race Day 38

WEATHER: Crews have been reporting in 5-10 knot winds from variable directions today. The wind direction for all teams should be more stable tomorrow, E-ESE 15 knots. Some heavy rain may precede what will remain of storm Celia as she passes by the fleet later in the week. 

STORM WATCH: Hurricane Celia is set to weaken into a tropical depression by the time the storm reaches 140 degrees west – the edge of the Central Pacific Basin. Maximum sustained winds have decreased and continued weakening is forecast during the next 48 hours, with Celia likely to downgrade to a tropical storm on Wednesday. The outlook calls for 30-40 knots at 22.7N 142.6W on Saturday and 25-35 knots at 23.5N 147.5W on Sunday. The more westerly our rowers can get this week, the lighter the winds are likely to be. 

Tropical depression FIVE-E became our next named storm this morning. Storm Darby is currently over 1900 nautical miles away from our most easterly rowers. Further strengthening is expected, and the majority of the intensity guidance indicates that Darby will become a hurricane in 12 hours. Gradual weakening is forecast beyond day 3 as Darby traverses decreasing sea surface temperatures.

Overall, all of our teams continue to impress us with their incredible efforts to get to Hawaii. The official countdown has begun for Team Uniting Nations. Family and friends have been making contact with us as the hours dwindle until they can see their loved ones once again. Updates for Uniting Nations Row can be found here. If you are planning to come by the Waikiki Yacht Club, please let us know via email at

Today we would like to highlight two teams – Moana Uli Rowing and Team Ocean Hearts.

Our support yacht Galen Diana continues to check in on our rowers out in the Pacific and yesterday caught up with Moana Uli Rowing just after sunset. Their onsite weather report said that the air was warm and dry. The winds were a moderate 16 knots. The ocean swells were about 2-4 feet and building with moderate ocean chop on the surface. These are ideal conditions for a visit. Here is their report:

“Tim, Greg and Brian were all out on deck to greet us. It had been fifteen days since our last visit. They looked and sounded in good health ‘despite their sore bums’ they said. They continue to row a modified shift with Tim and Brian both rowing 3 hours on and two off. Greg rows his 2 hour shift alone. Both Brian and Tim stagger their shift to each row 1-1/2 hours alone and one hour together. This has been their favorite schedule thus far and they said it is working out great for them.”

Remember that Tina Neill, their fourth crew member, was transferred off the boat about 28 days ago due to a shoulder injury. It is remarkable that this team has been able to regroup and re-strategize in order to keep going. It sounds to us like they have worked out a very good system and we applaud their efforts.

You may recall from yesterdays report “Music To Our Ears”, that Moana Uli Rowing had not let us know what they had been listening to. We now have the answer for you.

“Other than their modified shift schedule, other challenges over the past weeks have been things such as losing all their good music off their device and being left only with Christmas music!”

If Christmas in July hasn’t been enough for them, they have also had some challenges with “Gary the Gull.” Here is their story …

“Gary the Gull is a big bird with a big beak that was occupying the top of the cabin and making a mess of things, if you know what I mean. The crew had tried to reason with him but Gary the Gull wouldn’t go. Every time they shoved him off, back he came. Things went on like this for quite some time.

Eventually, after a good cleaning, they were able to reclaim their solar panels. They think Gary the Gull is a type of ‘Shearwater” ocean seabird that is pelagic and was claiming his island, Isabel…”

We are glad to hear that Gary the Gull has since been voted OFF the island!

For those of you who have been watching the YellowBrick Race tracker, you may have noticed something odd happening with our powerhouse ladies team of Liz and Pat on Team Ocean Hearts. These ladies, who have been a force to reckon with for their entire crossing, have met a force they are struggling with – Eddy.

Eddies are defined as “a circular movement of water, counter to a main current.” If you click on the world symbol on the tracker page to get the topographical map, you will see several latitudinal ridges underneath where Team Ocean Hearts are currently rowing. This undulation in the seafloor is called the Molokai Fracture zone and may be responsible for the adverse pull of the ocean in their location. The ladies are strong and will, literally, pull through this. We know that their course has been a bit unorthodox at the moment. We hope to see them break free of the current and back on track to Hawaii soon.

We heard from Liz and Pat and here is what they told us: “Needless to say we are frustrated with pace but in the states we have a saying. THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL. 10 kt wind and confused seas. We row on.”

Power on Liz and Pat! We are all cheering for you!

PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-12-16 @ 17:00 PST
UN 14-Jul 14-Jul
OH 15-Aug 21-Jul
MU 25-Jul 24-Jul
ALOHA 31-Jul 31-Jul
SOTP 23-Jul 02-Aug
FTK 27-Jul 04-Aug


1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – 90 NM to finish, Rowed 2200 NM
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 396 NM to finish, Rowed 2017 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 500 NM to finish, Rowed 1815 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 695 NM to finish, Rowed 1693 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 746 NM to finish, Rowed 1624 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 777 NM to finish, Rowed 1596 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM