In light of receiving such a short sailmail message from Jens last night, I was concerned for all of you, that you might grow weary of learning how I spend my totally free time :D, as Sven is in Davis, Liv in Berkeley, and Jens at sea for two weeks. When, to my wonder, I looked and found not one tiny, but THREE highlight-crammed messages! Like Christmas!! The first is from Nathan, then a bit from Tim.
"(for the blog, author and typo/accuracy blame to Nathan)
After the start, we headed for the center of the channel to try to catch some ebb on the way out. We were in the wind shadow of the 60' Swan and occasionally one other boat but took the short term hit. In retrospect, some of the small sport boats did pretty well for themselves taking a shot over to the left about 1/2 way to the gate.
From passing the Golden Gate to Pt. Bonita, we stayed a bit north but in the channel. This seemed to work out pretty well for us.
Right after clearing Bonita, we continued heading out in the channel. Other boats took an immediate shot north (particularly Sapphire, one of the Synergy's, hugging the shore right around the corner and continuing for several miles).
We did tack north after a while and the initial play seemed to be to our benefit. Right after Bonita, the wind dropped off sharply. We split tacks back and forth with our division in light air and low swell. Making a play to the left turned out to help us a lot as the predicted southerly (unusual) offshore breeze swung the wind direction hard left.
In the evening and first part of the night, a pod of whales accompanied us and the Swan, sometimes surfacing quite close. Sometimes they're disorienting because if they're not close, sometimes they've already submerged by the time you look over. It was very impressive, but I'm not sure if we have any pictures.
We did try setting the 1/2 oz kite, but the wind angle forced us to give up. Unfortunately, we put a small tear in the foot (now sewn up).
Through the night, we fought intermittent wind holes. Boatspeed was mostly between 2 and 5 kts. The light air persisted through the early morning, but by around lunch were at least rolling steadily along.
As I write this (evening 8 Jul) we've downloaded some fresh weather data and are optimistic about the coming day."
Over to Tim for the morale:
"The crew is settling in their respective routines and watch schedule. Despite the initial slow sailing spirits are good. It seems we are waiting for a bit of warmer weather to get the shower up and going...can't wait for that..."
"We had a great day sailing so far in 5-10kts of breeze. We are now 100 miles from SF, 1900 to go! My next watch is at 8pm. It looks we are in fourth place after the first day. All crew is doing well. We have good radio connection with the communication boat in the fleet. I am happy with that. I will download new emails when this goes out. Maybe there is one from you.
[Shoreside note] I'm guessing that the crew is extremely happy, thanking the gods, even, about going more than 5 KTS...up to 10!! They had initially thought to sail north out of the GG yesterday to catch more wind, so I was surprised to see them in the channel all afternoon and evening. With that, I will turn to the events here in Palo Alto...no worries about showers...my bike speed could be faster...was accompanied by a pod of squirrels for awhile...spirits are good...AND it's really peaceful at the moment. over-and-out.