surface of the water, our American friends appeared to be celebrating the 4th of July on July 5tth as there were fireworks shows happening all along the length of the Olympic peninsula, and there was a pack of whales in the
distance that you could occasionally spot as they came up to the surface. The only sour note for the evening: we were supposed to be racing!
Unfortunately, the entire night was spent drifting with the tide and chasing what little puffs of wind that did blow through with the wind seeker sail. Morning brought with it fog that reduced visibility to ~1NM so we got to
play hide and seek with the commercial traffic in the Straight of Juan de Fuca. Mother Nature also wasn't finished toying with us as the wind conditions for the better part of the day were quite confused. At points the wind-ex at the top of the mast was spinning in circles and one sail would be trying to be on one point of sail while the other sail would be trying to be on a different point of sail. And just to make things really interesting, when the wind did come up, it'd be strong enough long enough to cause us to decide to change sails only to have the wind die down as soon as the new sails went up or immediately change directions. Watching our competitors wasn't of any help either as they were all experiencing different wind conditions. By way of example, we were about 15 minutes behind another boat on the same tack and watched it travel through a wind transition that caused them to gybe their spinnaker but keep going but for us, it caused us to become parked because by the time we got there, the transition had turned into a hole...
But things began to look up when we finally rounded the end of the Olympic peninsula (after playing one more round of hide and seek with two deep sea vessels that forced us to travel much further northwest then we had planned) as there was at least some wind and generally it was consistent in its direction. We had one last tease from Mother Nature where the wind disappeared completely again for a relatively short period of time but as
this blog entry is being written, we're traveling at ~8 knots with the spinnaker flying. And while technically we're probably about a day away from being in true blue water yet, it feels that way because the land is obscured
by the lingering fog and true ocean swells are now the normal sea state instead of the odd swell that makes it into the Juan de Fuca Strait. These are all signs that we're not in just any local area sailing race anymore, but in a race across the Pacific. i.e. now the real adventure has begun!
Signed: Biscuits Are Never A Nice Appetizer But Really Excellent After Dinner.
P.S. One thing I had hoped would happen after we started the race yesterday was that the theme song stuck in my head for the past several months would finally go away but unfortunately this has proven not to be the case. Any ideas on how someone can get the theme song to Gilligan's Island out of their head would be greatly appreciated!