What are you wearing?!

Posted on July 15, 2016 in Fight the Kraken, Great Pacific Race 2016, Moana Uli, Ocean Hearts, Row Aloha, Sons of the Pacific, Uniting Nations

Friday, July 15th, 2016 – Race Day 41

WEATHER: Teams closest to Hawaii can expect winds between 15-20kt from the ENE clocking NE with wave height 8-15ft from the same direction. For crews further back in the fleet the winds are expected to pick up as the remnants of CELIA pass by. Crews can expect winds between 25-30kts and waves of 15-25ft high.

STORM WATCH: Hurricane Darby became a category 2 hurricane as of this morning. Darby is considered to be at its peak intensity right now and is expected to begin weakening late tonight or Saturday. A slight northward adjustment has been made to the official forecast track.

Tropical Storm Celia has weakened into an unnamed depression. The deepest thunderstorm activity is present just off to the east of the center of circulation, which is well NE of all crews. Celia is weakening and this trend is expected to continue through the weekend. 

Southwest of Mexico, Tropical Depression FIVE-E is now a named storm, Estelle. In the short term, the environment looks generally conducive with moderate vertical shear, very warm water, and quite moist conditions. In about two days, Estelle should start moving over cooler water induced by the upwelling and mixing from the Blas-Celia-Darby trio. As a result, the cyclone is anticipated to steadily intensify and then reach its peak strength at about day three. It will be moving over very warm water and relatively low mid-to upper-level wind shear, so there is a good chance Estelle could attain hurricane strength over the weekend.

Our five crews still out on the Pacific continue to impress us.  Top of our list today, and now leaders of the pack is Team Ocean Hearts.  Once again the ladies have impressed us with the highest 24 hour NM logged at 64!  This is 9 miles more than the next highest number logged which was 55 NM by Moana Uli Rowing.

We have been wondering what has been inspiriting these incredible and powerful women.  Looking back to a blog written by Pat on March 15, 2015, we believe we might have found an answer.

People ask why do you want to do it. Why beat yourself up with all that training, only to beat yourself up even more with 50 days of non-stop rowing across the ocean? Even worse, why would you risk it?

It’s a hard question to answer, especially to people unfamiliar with endurance sports. How do you give a short response without sounding crazy? If you say “I like to challenge myself” you are clearly a masochist. If you say “it’s a spiritual journey” they think you are one step away from joining a religious cult.  Here is how I answer the question. The challenge is when your glycogen gets dangerously close to “E” and your body starts messing with you to get you to stop, cramps, fatigue, twitchiness, fluctuating body temp, and an ego ready to throw in the towel- it’s not fun.

But the truth is that it will be the defining part of the row for me. When you push yourself through this barrier, moving forward despite everything your body is signaling to stop, you learn to trust your will. You find, on the other side of all of the pain and self doubt that you are far more courageous than you thought. In a nutshell, that’s really it.

What lies beyond the challenge is what defines all of us. By overcoming your own perceived limits, you face the undeniable truth that you are stronger than you thought. It’s not always a conscious thought, but it’s always there. It’s what will get me through each mile I row and every minute I spend away from my children.

True words of inspiration.

Liz and Pat have also hopped on the bandwagon of teams who have had bird visitors.  They reported having had a rather large rainstorm the night before last.  Here is what happened.

We picked up a hitchhiker. A sea bird landed on the boat. I think he flew into the oars strapped to the boat and hurt his leg. He hung out on the deck for about 20 minutes resting and then took off.

We are starting to get a bit curious if Gary the Gull isn’t just making the rounds between our crews in the Great Pacific Race.

During todays check in reports we inquired about what teams have been wearing.  For the race organizers, this is a good indicator of what the temperature is at various locations around the Pacific. Wave height, wind speeds and water temperature is information readily available on the internet. Air temperature is not recorded, unless you are right there on the Pacific. We will let you decide how hot you think it may, or may not, have been for our crews.

Row Aloha:  “My loafers.  Actually shorts, shirt and a hat.”  We are curious to know if that shirt is a Grateful Dead shirt, and from which tour.

Fight the Kraken:  “We are wearing what we have worn for the majority of the trip – foul weather gear.  UGH.”  They later reported in “For some reason, really craving a gas station hot dog – the greasier the better!”  We found this a bit humorous so asked what might be for dessert – “Ho-Ho’s, Ding-Dongs or Twinkies”?  “Ding Dongs all the way!” was their reply – and a good one!

As usual, we had one team with the winning comment of the day.  Team Ocean Hearts wrote in:  “We are naked!”  Perhaps this is the secret to getting so many miles logged in the last 24 hours!

Meanwhile, back on land … 

The new record holding team of Uniting Nations got back to business.  They met up with Safety Officer Lia Ditton this morning to go through their final scrutinizing process.  Part of this process involves evaluating the food that they took on board.  One thing that struck Lia as particularly sensible was that they were taking a digestive enzyme tablet with every meal.  Although the crew lost 56 pounds between the four of them, one team member actually ended up GAINING just over a pound during their crossing.

Then it was time to clean the boat.  Once everything was removed, the main cabin still smelled like dead fish, so the crew then gave Danielle a much needed bath … twice!  She is airing out nicely in the warm Hawaii sun, awaiting the next potential record breaking team to jump on board and give her a go.

Danielle was built by Sea Sabre and is a twin boat to Isabel which is currently being rowed by Moana Uli Rowing.  “Danielle now holds two consecutive wins in the Great Pacific Race.  As boat builders, we are very proud of both the Uniting Nations teams from 2014 and 2016.  We send our warmest congratulations to Cyril, Fiann, Thiago and Carlo.  Well done lads!”  said Justin Adkin of Sea Sabre.

Stay tuned as the race to Hawaii is not over yet!

PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-15-16 @ 18:00 PST
UN 14-Jul 14-Jul
OH 19-Jul 21-Jul
MU 21-Jul 23-Jul
ALOHA 26-Jul 30-Jul
SOTP 26-Jul 31-Jul
FTK 29-Jul 02-Aug



1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – FINISHED 39 Days 9 Hours 56 Minutes
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING – 263 NM to finish, Rowed 2163 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 342 NM to finish, Rowed 1976 NM
4 Row Aloha: ROWING – 569 NM to finish, Rowed 1820 NM
5 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 585 NM to finish, Rowed 1794 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 643 NM to finish, Rowed 1733 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM