July 24, 14:00 PST, Lat 27°30’N, Lon 145°41’W

Richard off watch sleeping in our one bunk. Did I mention that our toilet is a white plastic bucket, our lights are headlamps, and our water is in the bottles that we took with us. Evolutionary survival it is!

Today we got lucky, in a strange way. Luck is everything. You do all you can to prepare, you work twice as hard as anyone, but without luck you are nobody, nowhere, nothing. Luck is everything. You don’t make your own luck; it’s in the stars, in the waves, in the wind and in the net that you get wrapped in. And we were in many ways lucky. And the series of apparently unfortunate events keeps on unfolding.

Once we cut loose we put our A6 fractional up, longing for our big A2. But that’s greedy when it’s blowing 25 and gusty. We notice that this kite is just fine and then the big 30+ squall hits and we ride it. I mean we sail it, we carve it, we are flying and we are safe. With the big A2 up…ouch. But then we are stubborn and don’t quite ‘listen’ and this morning we decide to put our backup A2 kite up. We want the big thing; it’s a drag race to Hawaii and we can’t let that crew of eleven beat us. We figure, let’s take the A6 down and hoist the backup A2. Never mind the effort required to hoist 200 pounds 80 feet straight up. We have to do it. Heck, what do we do Olympic weight lifting for? What’s the point of that snatch and that clean-and-jerk? Not just an Olympic medal at the Beijing games.

So it’s blowing 20 to 25 and we’re not thinking. All set-up for the change. Got to have it. We use Karver locks for the halyards which are a great piece of technology. No need to climb the rig, all nice and safe! So we try to unlock the lock. Nothing happens, nada. We gave it 25 tries in all positions for the snuffer. Nada, nein, niente! So we lost at least another hour and realized that the A6 was our kite to the finish because neither Richard nor I was going to climb the 80 foot mast in these very windy and wavy conditions. We get back on our way and within 30 minutes we hit this line of squalls with 27 knots of wind at it’s leading edge. Thank you Lady Luck for the malfunctioning Karver lock. It worked to our advantage today.

Now getting this kite down… That’s another story for another day. One day at a time. One wind shift at a time, one wave at a time. But the time will come!

We discovered at this morning’s roll call that we are still leading all the big crewed boats, boat for boat. Wow, that is a lucky surprise! We are also still inside the course record and that is an even greater and more exciting surprise. Lady Luck is smiling on us.