Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Trans Pac 2007 aboard the N/M 55 BOLT ( Written in 2007)




N31/29 W121 Friday July 13. Wow, Friday the 13th and the Nuts on "BOLT" are sailing the boat well and working hard.Now as I write this the crew is placing a reef in the main with the jib top up in 17 knots of breeze and we are heading straight for our waypoint. 
Yesterday at the start of the race Carson had a very good start at the  committee boat. Clear skies, news helicopters, chase boats all around us. The crew of Bolt all had smile's as we felt the freedom of the race starting and we were out of the gate so well. We laid Catalina on starboard tack with 21knots of breeze and our # 3 up. Long night with good breeze everyone was getting their sea legs and gearing up for battle. One funny moment came when Dan Gribble was coming down the companion way and his life jacket inflated and he found himself stuck between the galley stairs. You had to hear his voice "OOOOOOOMAN, That not right!”

Things are well on the boat as we are half way of day two living sideways.

BOLT Crew


N 29/57 W 125/40 Saturday July 14 1&1 at roll call today to say the less things at GREAT on BYC 1, I am referring to the boat as BYC 1 because the owner Craig Reynolds is the commodore of the Balboa Yacht Club this year, today. BOLT is holding up very well and everyone game face is on because we all no very well that early positive results are not necessarily good for the end game. The key to this one will be to hang in there when the results change. Everyone is back at full speed and the sea sickness is a thing of the past. Today we have been battling light breeze 5-10 knots out of the north we have the 1A up with a staysail and full main. Next couple of days will tell the story for us.  

BOLT CREW

N28/37 W128/10 Sunday July 15  Long day with lots of sun, some rain clouds, and light breeze. We spent most of the day gybing back and forth to try and keep on or course of 222. Mike Pinckney has done a good job keeping us in faze and or hopes up. We know we are skirting the high way to close, like Len has said, " It's the ticket we bought" and we are working hard in the light breeze. We just crossed LUCKY DOG with us heading to the left and the dog gybing behind us as we go into the night of day four. Roll call will be hard on us tomorrow, although the crew is gelling together and I am confident of our performance.




Bolt Crew

N27/42 W129/22 Monday July 16 Tough day on BYC 1 today we have a light breeze 1-4 knots, with the occasional fish swimming carelessly along, lots of sun, rich blue waters with misty white clouds all around. Yes, we got to close to the Pacific High and we are down to a very short stack. If we were playing chess we moved our queen out to early and have got slapped in the head. The odds of winning the game from here is very slim, but amazingly the crew on BOLT are in high spirits and made our play with the poker face of a pro. Our strategy is now to salvage what we can and find some wind some how some way and get to the finish intact.ALL IN ALL the BOLT crew is GREAT, happy and safe.
BYC 1 Out! 

N27/08 W 132/24 Wednesday July 18. After most of the day in light breeze we now believe we have found more breeze and have made it through the high! When the breeze came in, the crew jumped and we now have the 2A and a staysail up and doing 8 kt at the barn. The crew is in great sprits and many a good yarn has been spun.
We look to an a approaching weather system in hopes of more wind and MAYBE a chance to catch up although slim we can hope.
Its fun to sail with Carson and to have watched him grow up at Balboa Yacht Club. He shows good leadership skills and looks for advice to achieve his goal. He has stayed focused and wants to finish the race with a strong effort and good times.
Lets hope with a little luck we can get a day back on the leaders.
BYC 1 OUT!

N 26/W139 Friday July 20. Good breeze and good times yesterday. Under clear skis and 17-23 Knots of breeze with the 2A up the competition began for the top boat speed. Pinckney took the early lead with a 16.8 knot ride, about 2 hours latter Gunner Torre took a Commanding lead with a 18.7. This contest is taken very series and holds all the clucking rights on the dock after the race. There has been many a time were I have wished for less wind for the rest of the race and have been VERY disappointed to be beaten. So when Pinckney came back at the end of the day with a 19.5 Gunner let out a load " shoooooot" when the number was read.Gunner was then out of his bunk for another trick at the wheel and looking for the next big wave.
Well, Pinckney has the top speed for now. Mike is one of the top sailor in the country and he has been a huge help to us on this trip. While in the high, Mike kept pushing looking for any wind shift, changing sails and keeping things on the light side. He always cleaning up and going the extra mile to get the best out of the boat. He has also been coaching our gov cup team so I have been taking notes on what makes those little boats go for next weekend club champs. We are very lucky to have such a person on BOLT this year.

BYC 1 OUT

N24/W147 Sunday. Hot! Hot! Hot! Slow going in light breeze was our weekend progress. 2A up most of the time with three to four gybes a day. While on board there is a lot of time spent in cleaning the boat, moving ballast from one side of the boat to the other, preparing meals and sailing.
Bud Elam is taking care of all food, ships operations, taking his watch and roll call. Bud starts his day at 6:00 PST with the position of the boat and spend the next two hours going through roll call and position reports and then updates the crew. After this task has been completed Bud moves on to feeding the crew breakfast and then making sure all the batteries are fully charged. Next Bud takes his turn on watch and its soon time for dinner and making water. We all have been feed very well and Bud is well organized and complete his task effortlessly. Bud is an interracial link to team Bolt and always in high sprits with an edge for competition.

Another part of the boat is keeping the engine running that allows up to keep the batteries charged, water maker running and the refrigeration cold. The man for this task is Dan Gribble. Dan the owner of Boatswains Locker and the key sponsor of the Governors Cup. Dan runs with German precision always on watch on time with coffee or water and keeps his mind on what makes the boat go fast.
We are now 560 miles to finish line and its looking like Wednesday sometime. Of course Dan and I have flights out that day and its not looking to good for us. NEXT is the Molokai Channel,normally always windy and one of the biggest challenge of the race.
BYC1 Out


N/23W/150 Monday July 23. Hard day on BOLT today. When you have made your move then, get crossed/passed, you still are looking for a chance to make a move. Now that people, from your class, are finishing the game is over and we still have two and a half days to get to the finish. Thats a hard day! Although the crew is working well together you would like to nock over the queen and play the next game. Not in sailing, we are playing it out, working every shift and making every sail change.
The person behind all these sail changes is our bow man Terry Young. Terry is by far the hardest worker on the boat and leads the charge on every sail change. He is up the mast, out on the spinnaker pole or hanging upside down from a spreader for fun. Thats Terry Young, BOLTS bowman and I would go to battle anytime with Terry on the Bow!

N21/W152 Tuesday July 24 Everything going well on BOLT Last night we had good breeze and a number of sail changes. With the thought of Mai Tais and our loved ones the crew of BOLT last night went through three spinnaker changes, six gybes and endless spinnaker and main pumping. We are now 250 miles from the finish line and down to the Cup Noodles and water with some apples and oranges, mixed nuts and we are working hard to get in.
Speaking of working hard Commodore Reynolds has been standing his watch, cooking, cleaning and talking his trick on the wheel. You can see our race results has not pleased him although with a deep breath, big smile and a reminder its time to change the spinnaker he is always in the game. Myself I can be so lucky to hear a crew member say "Hey DAD" maybe I will hear my son tell me I am sailing to low and to heat it up someday when I am the skipper of a boat in the Trans Pac. Its been a good time watching them banter in tense and in the lighter moments, the high fives and the private conversions. I can only hope I am so lucky.
This has been a good trip and good times. Last night at sunset, I could only see the outline of Craig " Hey Craig, THANKS" he replied with his deep laugh.

I will do a recap on the finish and lessons learned on my flight home.

BYC 1 OUT! 

American Airlines Flight 270 Hawaii to LAX Friday July 27. The movie is playing and there is a seen when the family in the story gathers around each other for a group huge. Well! Thats all it took for me before my eyes watered up and I came inches from the stuttered deep breath. I miss my son much it hurts deeply. I cant tell why the need to go to sea is within me and why I continue to allow this type of pain. Missing any moment during of the early father son is truly selfish on my part and unwise.

So why do inflect this type of pain to myself with the need to go to sea during these priceless years? For me it the ultimate battle with strategy, physical effort, team camaraderie, and tactical challenges. Strategy is the direction I find myself leaning towards be over the years my physical effort grows weaker each year.

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