7-13-10 1605 PST
Today we've gotten good views of flying fish, and also had a couple of squid board the boat.
The night was a series of squalls with mostly good speed down the course, though a few lifted us way high of our desired course (rapid gybes in front of the squalls not being an option with our current setup, short a guy and only running one sheet). We had a few relatively minor roundups but otherwise a smooth night.
One small squid jumped up high enough to smack Dirk in the arm and land in the cockpit. It was probably about 5 or 6 inches long, with short tentacles it used to grab a line when he tried to pick it up. Later this morning, a small flying fish also jumped onto the boat but was returned to the water still flapping.
Jens has a bruised rib but is still taking care of everything.
This morning, we crossed the halfway mark (distance-wise, as timewise we hope we're well past halfway there). Tonight we'll try to put something nice together for dinner.
Some other competitors have had serious equipment issues (rudder, rudder post leading to leak, boom connection to mast, backstay, forestay). We've been relatively lucky. Even chafe checks such as on the spinnaker halyard after a few days of flying it have looked great.
[Written by Nathan...]
We crossed the halfway point this morning.
We just finished some simple appetizers (trout, sardines, crackers, cheese). Dinner will be some kind of carbonara (smells great but Jeff is trying manage expectations). I'm not sure where he found some of the stuff I see going into preparations but it should be memorable. You certainly can't beat the setting.
One additional wildlife note: albatross this morning.
The sun came out in the late afternoon and it's been a great day!
[Written by Bob....]
We are still looking for a 240 mile day. The wind is lighter in the morning, and then picks up around 3 in the afternoon, and is good till 4 AM. It is picking up good now at 8:30 PM.
We just finished a nice dinner to s celebrate half way. Jeff made pasta with prochuto and peas. I had some sparkling cider, and others had champagne.
During the children's hour, we heard we are behind 3rd by 2 hours, and 5th is another hour behind us. I didn't realize the 13th overall. With it so close, it is pressure. We already have a broken spin guy and lost spin sheet.
We forgot our fishing gear, so the biggest fish we will get is whatever flies on the boat. We have seen a few flying fish and squid on deck, and lots of flying fish as we speed by. You should see how excited Dirk gets when he sees the wild life.
It is hard to keep the boat clean. We all celebrated our half way day by taking a salt water shower, but now all our foulies remind us of how we used to smell. But it sure feels good to be clean again.
Jens fell and hurt a rib. He is taking pain killers and electing not to drive at night. He drives very well during the day and is managing the weather fax and gribs. He was expecting we would be jibing in the next 24 hours, but it looks like the light air that was projected in filling in, and the wind is clocking left for our favorable starboard tack. Our heading has been 240, and it has been hard to sail so low with the spinnaker. We have to heat it up a little to keep boat speed during the earlier part of the day. Our current need os to keep dropping in latitude. Hopefully our symmetrical spinnaker will help us sail a shorter course than the 3 asym boats ahead of us. This is a possibility as the race has become less reaching during this section.