July 22, 14:30 PST, Lat 29°09’N, Lon 135°36’W
Squall, after squall, after hole, after squall, after….. And every time there is pretty much a gybe. Now we feel like two silly humans gybing this 50 foot powerful machine, just the two of us. No crew. 20+ knots and trying to get the performance of a fully crewed boat. They have us racing fully crewed boats. That is also ‘interesting’. Like our 2 person team on our 50 footer should compete with a Santa Cruz 70 or a brand new TP 52 crewed by 11 sailors. And good ones too. I think that Richard is a super-hero. He’s got super natural powers. So it inspires me and we both rise to the challenge. A few bruises, cuts, wipe outs, but after three days we are still ahead of those fully crewed racing machines.
Dave Ullman, one of my all time sailing heroes and mentors, is doing tactics on Holua. Dave and I made a dockside bet before the start: The bet is one US Dollar for the one who wins boat-for-boat.
Rudi used to navigate on the Holua for Dave. So it’s a strange feeling on the HF radio when ‘Holua speaks’. It’s like ‘Good morning, this is sailing vessel Holua, Whisky Delta Delta niner one seven niner reporting our niner hundred position….’ But it’s not Rudi’s voice. And every time it gives us both a pause. Like getting an email from the account of someone that passed away.
That voice now is that of another very good friend of ours: Adrienne Calahan. Adrienne is one of the great navigators of our time, she’s also a maritime lawyer in Sydney and just had a beautiful little girl. Adrienne has gone around the world many times on racing sailboats and is one of the toughest people that I know: When all hell breaks loose aboard, everyone is incapacitated, rocked, bruised, scared, Adrienne has a smile on her face: ‘Can I help you mate?’ Rudi would surely approve and of course now we’ve got to outsmart both Dave Ullman and Adrienne if we want to win that one Dollar bet.
Right now there is another squall looming so I have to stop typing and skip sleeping. Time for another gybe!