Pacific Cup ’08 – One Day Later…

Morpheus crossed the finish line yesterday at 3:00am just ahead of a group of boats and another set of squall clouds! The adventure was over, but our day was just beginning.

At the 25 mile checkin, the race committee asks you how many people you have onboard. To many this seems a strange question, but we knew the code. They need the number to figure out how many Mai Tai’s to meet you with at the dock. We answered that there were 32 onboard expecting, a laugh and a request for a correction. Instead, the radio operator confirmed 32 onboard, and our hopes soared!!

One of the boats behind us was “Pegasus”. When they crossed the finish line, they found that their spinnaker halyard (which had probably been up for 7 days) was stuck at the top of the mast. With a reef aprox. one mile beyond the line, that’s not really a good thing. In the confusion that followed our escort boat wandered off to help them, and we were left with the choice of waiting or finding our own way through the channel. The KYC Bar and perhaps 32 Mai Tai’s were waiting, we found our own way in!!

The rest of the day becomes a bit of a blur, we made it to the dock without hitting anything, drank 16 Mai Tai’s, and then found that the KYC bar was CLOSED!! How does that happen?? Nuff said.

We established our pole position just outside the bar door, and took full advantage of that position from the time the doors open until we left the club for our new “home” in the afternoon.

Little can be said about the hours that followed. Several supply runs to the store down the street followed between swims in the ocean, lots of online catch up, and some well deserved naps!!

Pacific Cup ’08 – Almost There

This will probably be the last update for the 2008 Pacific Cup.
If last night was nice, this is twice as good! Perfect sailing conditions of about 20 knots, spinnaker up, pole back and heading right for the mark.
Looks like we’ll be somewhere about 2-3 hours too late to catch the Hula Girl and her crew. Congratulations to them, they did what they needed to, and a bit more, to win the race between our two boats. Now, both of us will spend some time after our finishes watching Recidivist and Sabrina behind us. Both of those boats have a good chance to correct our in front of us, and perhaps even Hula Girl. Time will tell.
Onboard Morpheus it really has been a great trip. Most of the regulars agree this is the most talented and compatible crew yet. No issues or complaints onboard, and perhaps some of us are just a little bit sad to see the finish line so close.
In any case, I need to get up on deck and enjoy what little is left of this great trip.
Thanks for checking in on us!
-Jim
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Pacific Cup ’08 – Don’t tell Debbie!

3:00am PDT
267 Miles to Hawaii
Five years ago, I convinced Debbie that we should get a boat to do some cruising with the kids, and an occasional ocean race.
I may not have understood it at the time, but while the cruising is and has been nice, I found tonight that the real reason we have this boat is so that I can drive it downwind in 20+ knots of breeze in big waves towards Hawaii surrounded by thousands of stars, and a few big squall clouds. Avg. speed well over 10 knots, top speed somewhere north of 18 knots.
What a fantastic watch I just finished!
Here is another huge thank you to Carl Schumacher for designing Morpheus!! She is just what we hoped she’d be. One of these days we’ll get her the victory she deserves.
We had to sail more than 3/4’s of the race, but have finally gotten what we came for. The next 24 hours of sailing will be the best of the trip.
-Jim
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Pacific Cup ’08 – Great Squall Sailing…a wrap…and one less kite!!

Sorry for the very short update this AM. It’s been a busy day for us. Great sailing right now. REALLY great sailing!
So…we’ll save the details for the bar, but the bottom line is that last night at about 3am, as we prepared to gybe in front of yet another squall we ended up wrapping the kite around the headstay. Once, twice, three….five times!! Couldn’t get it to unwrap regardless of our best ideas until about 30 min later when we went ahead with the gybe. (Not many have gybed a “reefed spinnaker” like we did last night!) At that point, the same wind dynamics that wrapped the thing worked backwards and out came the wrap!!
We dropped the spinnaker to fix a small tear, hoisted another, and then re-hoisted the 2A ASAP.
Hurray!! All was well and much to our relief, we had dodged the biggest bullet of the trip.
Turns out it was not a bullet after all. In fact, it was a slow burning fuse…
An hour later as we rolled into another gybe, the spinnaker split along a couple of seams that were obviously stressed and damaged during our wrap adventure.
In any case, we have our backup spinnaker in the air, and are enjoying some fantastic downwind sailing today. Great combination of wind and waves, making for some high speed runs and reminding us why we do this race!!
As for the race, our screw up cost us about 10 miles last night, and that was reflected in the position reports and standings at 9am. It’s going to be difficult to move up from our current 4th in class, but we’ll keep her moving and see what happens!!
See you all soon,

-Jim
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