It’s Friday! Day six and we’re still in our fowlies, no end in sight, no tropical heat, no clear skys, no constant trade winds, not a pleasure cruise. Nope, it’s looking to be one of those years where we have to fight hard for every mile in challenging conditions, grey skies, winds 13 to 25, no stars, no moon, dark nights, lots of work.
But it’s the end of the week, not that we can tell, every day seems to meld one into the other. Because of our choppy sleep schedule it seems there are two mornings every day so it is easy to lose track of what day it is and what time of day it is. Our schedule, baring any necessary “all hands”, is four on, four off, four on, six off, six on, then it reverts to four off, four on, four off, six on and six off, etc... on and on till we get to Maui. The watches cycle at the same time every day. The six hours begin at 6am till noon, then from noon till six pm, then the fours are from six pm till 10 pm, 10 pm till 2 am, then finally 2 am till 6 am completes the cycle (and we do this for fun!). The hardest shift it the 10 pm till 2am shift. It’s all in the dark and one was probably well asleep from their off 6 pm till 10 pm shift. The 2am shift is tough too but we get to see the sunrise, which is always a delight and amazing display of the hope for the day to come.
Another great activity on this day was we all had showers! We have lots of hot water from running the motor every day to charge the batteries and keep the fridge/freezer cold. It was great to get cleaned up and smelling nice, because, you know, sometimes a guy just likes to feel pretty. Well, maybe not pretty, but good, or at least not rank. We’ll take not smelling bad any day over the four or five days of accumulated stench from being too hot due to being overdressed and working hard, then too cold from not working enough and sitting for long periods of time in our wet clothing (and we do this for fun!).
A common saying from our skipper is to “sail her like a stolen rental!” well, as Steve just told me, if we’re sailing her like a stolen rental then we’re sleeping in the trunk of a moving stolen rental! Sleeping is a challenge to say the least. Not only are we swaying side to side, front to back but there is constant noise from all the movement of people and boat hardware, also the rush of the water going by as the boat travels at 8 to 13 knots is amazingly noisy. Combine all this together with the rushing wind and breaking waves and a choppy sleep pattern and it makes for pretty trying time to get any good sleep. But when we do sleep and it does come, eventually, it’s efficient and effective. We all are getting enough to function well, drive well, eat well, make good decisions and take care of one another.
As Mike said: They have intense real times every evening now!
We have received great news! All our hard work is paying off, apparently we are in 2nd position overall and 1st in our division. This is inspiring and has been a good boost to the crew. We’ll soon be at the half way point and working on the fast half as the race always seems to go faster in the second half. Not only do we not have the Straits to get out of but we’re getting better at driving and have a more constant and efficient sail set. Here’s to “sailing it like we stole it!”
New speed record : 14.9 by Tim, downwind in 10 to 20 knots, gusting to 28knts
The Vic-Maui is about Adventure, Teamwork and Challenge, we are certainly experiencing our fair share.