Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 11 - Dream On!

Recently we had a query from Rick, who is doing the race but not the delivery. He asked us:

"Is there any advice on quality of life things to make sure to bring along for the return trip? You probably have said a dozen times "Gee, I sure could use such and such or wish I had brought this or that.""

Up to this point we hadn't given it much thought, but after some discussion several ideas immerged. One of things we all miss is a particular hors-d'oeuvre (puu-puu), the one where you start with a slice of a small red skinned potato that has been boiled. You add a dollop of sour cream and a generous dab of caviar. (We couldn't agree on the best caviar to use but I could send you a list of suggestions if you are interested.)
Another place that there was not universal agreement was what to drink with it. Even champagne was mentioned. (Yuk!) Myself, I lean toward a particular Danish aquavit. Others had vodka suggestions.

Another thing we miss is live chamber music. Recordings are not the same. Alas, not very practical during a sailing trip. If someone wanted to do something really cool they could arrange a greeting at RYC consisting, for example, of a violin, viola, cello and flute. The score could be just about anything, with a slight preference for Mozart.

At the last minute Kate said that a climbing wall would be nice. Once again, not so practical. A trip up the mast, just for fun, is in the works but we have agreed that it would be more interesting to do it during the day when it is light so you can look around.

As far as learning, literature, navigation, etc. Kathy's new iPad has taken care of that. Its GPS navigation and charts are better than what we have on the boat. It seems to contain just about every book that comes up in discussions. (This is a bookish group.) Classics included!
We spent part of the early evening on a Periodic Table app that even has 112 properly named. Half the night was spent using its animated star charts to find and name various constellations. Thank goodness it was my watch and I had to be up anyway. ~~ Bill

Break, break.

Bill and I may agree on a lot of stuff, but caviar and chamber music are not among them. Bruschetta and Billy (ZZ Topp) are more to my taste. While we were discussing this topic (early, very early) this morning, I added my suggestion that a mobile shower room would really add to the dock party. One thing led to another and I hallucinated on a music video with ZZ Topp playing Sharp Dressed Man in this huge luxurious locker room with the sights and sounds of showers in the background. Maybe have the showering sailors and their groupies doing some kind of "Thriller" dance behind the shower curtains. Man, I gotta get some sleep!

Seriously though, to answer Rick's question, one thing that would have added comfort to this delivery would have been a cockpit cushion. We were very fortunate that we had benign conditions and we were able to keep the bean bag on deck almost all the time; extremely comfortable. I mean EXTREMELY! You have no idea how hard the fiberglass feels after several hours of having your backside jammed in place against it. If condition had been wet on this trip, the bean bag would have been kept below and there would have been a lot of really sore butts (aka monkey-butt; Google it!).

I think the time has come to start discussing our landfall. Here on the boat, we have a local copy of Cirrugator running. In theory, it should give us the same results you see on the Cirrugator website. However, our results may be slightly different because I might be using slightly different weather data from Ulli, and because Ulli knows what he's doing and I don't (Time offset = 17, right Ulli?). So, allowing for those variations, our copy of Cirrugator says that we will land at 7:27 pm on the evening of the 16th. Of course, that's completely bogus; we all know that Cirrus always lands between midnight and four am. The other thing we have just started looking at is the tide data for the Golden Gate. If you are not familiar with the Golden Gate Bridge, it is known for its very strong tidal currents, currents that are strong enough to overwhelm the forward movement of sailboats, and currents that are strong enough to create a violent washing-machine effect if they flow against strong winds. Ideally, we will arrive at the GG on a strong flood tide with the wind behind us. Alternatively, we would look for a slack current regardless of wind. Anything else can be very slow and extremely scary. So stay tuned for updates as we get closer.

The other big deal in current events aboard Cirrus occurred yesterday. We were equally distant from Hawaii and the mainland, 1089 nautical miles. Kathy and Kate organized a hell of a bash (see photos). And gourmet delights included tuna salad for lunch (my favorite), pasta for dinner (my other favorite) and various goodies like giant chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, accompanied by real champagne. I want to stress to all our friends at Sea Life Conservation that all champagne corks (all one of them) were noisily popped but kept safely aboard. Kathy also provided the ribbon corsages and bubble pipes. The bubble-blowing competition was pretty muted though. I think Kate was first in the big bubble class, and Kathy and I were distant thirds, totally incompetent. Bill declined to compete; that man knows how to blow a bubble!

That's all for now. Smoke 'em if you got 'em! Thanks for your comments yesterday; keep them coming. ~~Chris


  1. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jacques-Yves Cousteau (11 June 1910 – 25 June 1997), a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the aqua-lung, pioneered marine conservation and was a member of the Académie française. He was commonly known as "le Commandant Cousteau" or "Captain Cousteau". Cousteau's legacy includes more than 120 television documentaries, more than 50 books, and an environmental protection foundation with 300,000 members. Bonne fete, M. Cousteau! Or said another way, in the words of Douglas Adams, "So long and thanks for all the fish" - Agnes

  2. You are having the caviar without chopped onions???

    Ric, if you could bring an ice cube maker on board, that would be really cool. Imagine, cold drinks while underway! Gosh, I would even consider giving up the chopped onions for the caviar.

    Chris, the time offset depends on the "1st valid date" of the GRIB file in use. Mine at home has a valid date of "2010-06-11 0000", and so indeed for your yotreps position of today at "UTC: 11/06/2010 16:29:00" the offset would be 16.48h (you can use decimals). If you have a fresher GRIB file, your offset is accordingly less.

    But it seems that we are using something very similar: I have your arrival at the 16th at 1903HST, or 10:03pm PDT, which is 2 hours earlier than my prediction!

    Now this needs some serious words to the crew: while I am trying hard here at creating an image of mine as a serious old salt, I cannot have a party crew like you beating my forecasts! Throw an anchor if you have to, but stay within the time frame allotted!

    And while it looks like you will be using the engine for the night, start practicing hanging-on-to-something. You won't have to complain about lack of wind for the last days! With that wind you don't have to worry about current under the gate, you can sail uphill. Fortunately it doesn't look like you will be tempted to use the spinnaker; keep them safely stowed.

  3. It doesn't look too cold or miserable out there! Keep it up.
    Kim and Lou

  4. Every time you do this trip I look at the pictures and read the blogs and think...I really should not be such a chicken! But chicken I am and so thank you for sharing so well in order for me and those like me to have the experience vicariously. Love that you are having such a wonderful time. Love that Bill is doing it is part of what makes Bill who he is. Love that Chris relinquished the communications con for a bit -- hearing from the rest of you was great fun. Hope the 2nd half is as good as the 1st. KYC is ramping up for your return. Aloha kakou.

  5. Ulli's serious words were pretty funny.
    thx - sam

  6. Hey Dad and everyone else,
    Enjoying the pictures, the quotes and the lively discussion. Looks like you are all having a fabulous delivery trip. Though each trip is different this one sounds like it has been loads of fun. Food prep sounds like it is going well. I cannot imagine. I have enough trouble cooking on dry land I simply cannot imagine cooking in that tiny galley. Continued fair winds to you.

  7. Rick and Maria LuciaJune 11, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Ok Crew I have made my list and will bring the caviar, ice maker, bean bags, etc.

    Thanks for all the info, this is great to be able to share so much with you.

    Happy King Kamehameha Day!

    Rick and Maria Lucia

  8. Well, we heard from Bill and Chris - now how about Kathy and Kate's "fantasy" arrival and pupu? They're both able to read write and spell too! Surrender the keyboard, guys! And, surprise, we can change the menu. as to ZZTop, Chris, you may need to use a vote of the crew..
    Kathy, Dad says, "good sailing, we're thinking about you." Mother is no longer interested in Lat/Long reports. Tough crowd (kidding). I didn't call them last night. And, I'm finally not calling her Ruth (another story - mine).

  9. I am not sure of the protocol for this comment thing. Just wanted to let Chris know that I have been keeping Agnes company (via telephone) or bothering her. Not entirely sure which but I am basking in my fantasy that she waits anxiously for my witty conversation.
    Read the blog and saw the pictures. Looks like a great adventure with a group of really neat people. Congrats on the house!
    See you (someday) in WA.
    Love from Monica

  10. PS -- I'm with Bill both on the music choices and the potato/caviar pupus. The man has good taste (and it's his boat!)

  11. Rick and Maria LuciaJune 12, 2010 at 4:03 PM

    Hello Cirrus,

    Its a very sunny and quite warm Saturday in Windward Oahu. Today our day started with Soccer/football as the World Cup has just started in South Africa. Since you are, for obvious reasons, among the few on the planet not following this; today the US played England. There is a British naval officer where I work and I bet him a dinner over the game. When I told this to Maria Lucia (a true fan of soccer), that I had bet on the US against one of the premier world teams; she just laughed; then when I protested, she laughed some more.

    Well the game is over and where we shall eat is a big question. It was a tie, 1-1. For the US this is an epic moment; for England its a terrible disgrace. Especially since the US goal was not exactly a well deserved one. Anyway I think we shall do this in a gentlemanly fashion and so we, the Brit and I, shall treat each other to dinner.

    Rick and Maria Lucia