Paul Cayard on the Transpac

A report from the TP52 Flash

Friday July 10th 2009, Author: Paul Cayard, Location: United Kingdom
Pretty excited today to find ourselves in first place overall! Lady luck must be smiling on the good ship Flash.

We are not doing anything very exceptional, just sailing steady down the middle, with one eye on the router and one eye on the competition. Some of our competitors are doing the slalom, cutting from the south of the fleet to the north. Either they have some specialty sail that they want to use or they decided they were not in love with the south and wanted to be north. Anyway, we are just observing and keeping it steady.

The trade winds appeared yesterday late afternoon. The high overcast of the first three days gave way to sunshine and puffy cumulus clouds indicative of the tropics. Today we have a bit of cloud cover back, and even had two mild squalls of 27 knots of wind.
We are making good time. We will probably finish sometime Monday, which will be right around the 8 days mark. I think Alfa has a good chance at the record. So far, the weather could not be better for a race to Honolulu.

15-20 knots of northeast trades have been the menu for the past two days. Onboard the good ship Flash, everyone drives, regardless of experience. It is nice to see the young guys absorbing so much and smiling so much. The big gybe is coming in the next 20 hours. I have been studying the router and the weather maps together with Jay Crum trying to pick the sweet spot for our approach to Diamond Head.

Onboard, life is easy. The boat is smooth and when below you have the rushing sound of the water running over the hull. Flying fish are starting to appear and one landed onboard last night. Not many dolphins yet but not much trash either. The sea looks incredibly clean. This is really good news. Allie took a bath today on the back deck..in her bathing suit. The boys aren't too worried about their smell yet. Maybe tomorrow.
Beef Stroganoff, Turkey Tetrazzini, and Teriyaki Chicken are getting a workout. We will be done with that when we get to Honolulu. A big steak will go a little ways toward filling the void.

Just had a big weather download session on this off watch. Time to get back on deck in 45 minutes for my sunset sail.

Paul

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