On the Road Again …

Posted on July 18, 2016 in Fight the Kraken, Great Pacific Race 2016, Moana Uli, Ocean Hearts, Row Aloha, Sons of the Pacific

Monday, July 18th, 2016 – Race Day 44

WEATHER: In a matter of hours, the tradewinds should become re-established with the wind direction backing from the S/SE to ESE. The wind should flatten out the seas left behind by the storm, giving all teams a glorious couple of days. 

STORM WATCH:  Hurricane Darby has maintained its strength over the past several hours and is still a category 1 storm. Darby will soon be entering a hostile environment with much cooler water. The storm is set to progressively decay over the next few days as it moves to the west and then takes a slight curve to the southwest. Darby will approach the Big Island later this week, but the storm will likely be a much weaker system before it nears the Hawaiian Islands. 

Tropical Storm Estelle is just under hurricane strength and is approximately 520 nautical miles SW of the southern tip of Baja California. Estelle will likely develop into a hurricane tonight but then rapidly degenerate. The outlook calls for Estelle to reach 28N 137.5W as a post-tropical remnant low with 25-30 knot winds on Saturday far to the east of (behind) our crews. 

All of our rowers are, in the words of Willie Nelson “On the Road Again”.  They are back at the oars and making progress toward Hawaii.

As the fate would have it, getting going again has not been an easy task for our front runners, Liz Dycus and Pat Hines on Team Ocean Hearts.  During the process of going on sea anchor, their retrieval line – the line used to collapse the parachute of the anchor – became untied.  Without this retrieval line, it is a lot more work to recover the para-anchor, but not impossible.  You have to haul in the para-anchor hand over hand because you are pulling an open parachute through the water, which is difficult work.  The options for Liz and Pat were to swim out to the deployment line (the line attaching the parachute to the boat), put a line onto the deployment line to pull it in from a different angle, or cut the para-anchor loose (not advisable. They may still need it).  Early this morning Pat rang to let us know that they had managed to pull in the para-anchor hand over hand and had gotten back onto the oars. Once again they have impressed us with their determination and strength.  Way to go ladies!

In today’s cover photos we see Erin and Ryan hauling in their para anchor during the prologue race drills.  Mugatu, the boat rowed by Endurance Limits USA, is similar to Roosevelt, the Team Ocean Hearts boat.

Team Ocean Hearts were not as affected by the remnants of Celia as the teams on the eastern end of the fleet.  The reason Ocean Hearts went on sea anchor was actually because they were about 50 NM off the island of Maui.  Great though the prospect of any land must be to our teams right now, remember that Waikiki is on the island of O’ahu.  Team Ocean Hearts were in NNW winds that were forcing them toward Maui.  Therefore, it was prudent that Liz and Pat wait for the wind to change from a WSW, to a more southerly and south westerly wind direction in which they could make progress toward O’ahu, the Molokai Channel and ultimately Waikiki.

Our rowers may get a little company out there in the vastness of the Pacific Ocean.  There are currently three major sailing races happening which may directly cross paths with our rowers.  These are the Pacific Cup which goes from San Francisco to Kaneohe on the other side of O’ahu, the Vic-Maui Yacht Race from Victoria to Maui and the Single Handed Transpac Race, which runs from San Francisco to Hanalei on the island of Kauai.  Each race knows our rowers are out there.

Our other powerhouse ladies team on Fight The Kraken are also back at the oars once again.  They checked in with Race Headquarters this morning and reported “yep it feels good to be making positive progress. Still pushing to be there on the 29th!” And a little later they wrote “melekelekemaka! that’s all the Hawaiian I know.”  We wonder if they know that this is a “Merry Christmas” greeting.  Perhaps they heard that Moana Uli Rowing has been jamming to holiday tunes lately and are following suit!

We have responded with a few Hawaiian words of our own, including:

Hele – Move, go, travel
Maika’i no au – I am fine
Wikiwiki – fast or speedy

We also received word that the Kraken girls had checked in with their land team and made the following report.

“They are in great spirits! When the wind shift clocked around East, about 20 knots, they decided to get rowing. They pulled up their sea anchor, and Vicki started to row. They are taking off heading North West. They saw a bunch of Dorado fish hiding out under the anchor (also known as Mahi-Mahi). The fish didn’t want to leave the boat!

Within a few hours of rowing, they saw a bunch of Dorado fish and also a 7 foot long Thresher Shark! It was swimming next to ‘Sedna’, their boat, and was actually rubbing up against her!!! So Very exciting!!

They just ate their last package of Ramen Noodles. They have plenty of other provisions; a combination of healthy condensed calorie packaged foods, and MRE’S, but Ramen Noodles were their favorite.

Vicki and Megan would like to send their gratitude to everyone who have offered their well wishes and prayers through the ground team. A very special “Thank YOU” to all who have been thinking about them and tracking them!”

The girls also gave a shout out to our Support Yacht Galen Diana.

“The entire FTK Ground Team, Families, Friends and Supporters, would like to very much thank the Great Pacific Race Team and Skipper, Rod Mayer, of the Galen Diana for their amazing support.  We really appreciate you being in the trenches with Vicki and Megan during these difficult times while facing the same disturbing conditions.  Thank you so much for your support and keeping an optic view on them!!”

Here are Race Headquarters, we know the crew on board the Galen Diana will be humbled by your gratitude, and we are also thankful they are also safe, and continue their journey throughout the fleet, keeping a watching eye on them from the sea.

PREDICTED ARRIVAL 07-18-16 @ 16:00 PST
CREW VMG RECENT VMG START
UN Finished Finished
OH 22-Jul 21-Jul
MU 28-Jul 24-Jul
SOTP 03-Aug 01-Aug
ALOHA 04-Aug 01-Aug
FTK 02-Aug 04-Aug

GREAT PACIFIC RACE STANDINGS as of 4:00 pm PDT
1 Uniting Nations: ROWING – FINISHED 39 Days 9 Hours 56 Minutes
2 Team Ocean Hearts: ROWING –126 NM to finish, Rowed 2308 NM
3 Moana Uli: ROWING – 227 NM to finish, Rowed 2095 NM
4 Sons of the Pacific: ROWING – 488 NM to finish, Rowed 1911 NM
5 Row Aloha: ROWING – 504 NM to finish, Rowed 1918 NM
6 Fight the Kraken: ROWING – 579 NM to finish, Rowed 1832 NM
Endurance Limits: RETIRED – Rowed 241 NM
Endurance Limits USA: RETIRED – Rowed 207 NM