July 21, 2017, 1230
Well, what happened? We went into full-on beast mode is what happened. Here’s the wrap-up.
We started day 11 in 6th place. We had a shot at third if we were lucky but with everyone gunning so hard at the finish, it was going to be tough to make up the time. It was highly possible we weren’t going to make a podium finish.
But, the breeze was up. The three Santa Cruz 52’s that were ahead of us don’t surf as quickly as we do and we started beating our robot overload’s predictions. Then a squall came through early in the morning and we TOOK OFF. We kept beating our predictions and soon we were in 5th, then 4th, then it was a full-on battle for 3rd. Hans had to keep modifying our predicted arrival time and Charlie and Sam kept the boat moving all day.
As Molokai began to loom into view on the port side we were looking solid for 3rd place. Hans didn’t think we could make up the next 29 minutes of corrected time against Hula Girl in the next 35 miles but we’d be fucked if we didn’t give it a try.
We went on drive rotation. First, Bill was up, then Charlie then Hans jumped on the helm as we started to careen down the Molokai channel. Then the sun set and a squall hit in the pitch black with no moon. I relieved Hans at the helm and we surfed with speed to our jibe point where Hans picked an optimum angle for us to push the rest of the way through the channel to the finish.
Then the Jibe. In the past, Jibes have been a project on this boat and everyone was prepared for a yard sale as we were hit with solid gusts pushing the boat faster and faster down the waves. Nerves up, Sam went to the pointy end, Randall R to the mast, the rest of us hoped for the best… And we pulled that off, a successful night jibe in 20+ knots of breeze. The only casualty was the cover on the spinnaker guy parted and we couldn’t bring the pole back more than a few feet. We were stuck for trim options for the remainder of the race and pulling off another jibe wasn’t in the cards.
Peter C, Sam and both Randall’s were now trading off working the main, Van Selst trimmed spinnaker, Charlie went hoarse calling out the compass course because I couldn’t be distracted to look at the numbers. Hans and Bill worked on the navigational approach first to Koko Head then to Diamond Head. We kept getting gusts and had to work hard to keep our angles which was difficult to do without any options to trim the kite.
Koko head loomed, lights on Oahu became more distinct, the boat continued to surf hard and fast towards the finish.
Past Koko head it was time to hand off the helm to Bill to finish the race. Within minutes, the spinnaker guy had decided that it had had enough of our shit and the shackle holding on to the spinnaker broke through the splice and we had to finish the race with the spinnaker flying off the tack line with Mark working hard to keep it full for the last few miles.
I crawled up to the bow, Sam was at the mast ready to relay to Hans the second we crossed the finish line. Everyone else was humping the boat to make it go faster. And then, the Diamond Head buoy lined up with the lighthouse and our race was over. We did what boys do - we high-fived, we punched each other out of good nature, we told dirty sailor jokes. We knew we’d done well and we knew we had worked hard.
But the best was yet to come…
We motored into the Ala Wai and took our victory lap. The Yacht club blaring ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” over the speakers in honor of the Dutch boy who couldn’t make this race. When we arrived at our slip, there was a whole host of people waiting for us. Waiting to put a maile lei on the boat, waiting to complete the check-in forms, waiting to put leis on us (so we’d smell better) and waiting to hand us our mystical mai tai’s.
The forms. There were lots of forms. Sign here, sign there, check your garbage, did you break anything (Sure did – the rudder bearing) can we inspect your emergency water? When they ask that many questions, you know you placed.
One of Han’s friends emailed a screenshot of the yellowbrick tracker that put us in 2nd. We had no idea how accurate it was but we knew it was going to be close with Hula Girl on corrected time. Then we all checked the official race standings and yes, we were in 2nd – by 5 minutes. In those last 35 miles we had not only made up 29 minutes of corrected time, but added 5 minutes to it to secure our place on the podium.
Oh how the Mai Tai’s would flow that night. I don’t think Sam remembered finishing the race the next morning but he sure as hell didn’t wake up for his shift. Wayne Zittel (of Hula Girl) said it best over breakfast in his joking, jovial way: “Way to go guys, great race. We hate you.”
Tonight is the awards ceremony and while I’m once again on the Big Island with my family, I am proud that Bill and the rest of the crew get to accept 2nd place in what was a very, hard fought race.
Overall, this was the toughest Transpac that I’ve completed. The psychological beating we took in the light stuff and the physical beating the in the heavy. The complete lack of sleep and the physical push to keep the boat moving. Pumping that main on every wave is exhausting and I’m just now starting to physically recover and feel like a human again. Sleeping in my own bed is certainly nice and seeing my two girls has been a pure joy. I’ve had a chance to talk with other members of our crew and they’ve mentioned that they are still sleeping 12 hours each night catching up. I lost weight. I know others must have.
Would I do it again? Absolutely. And this was a fantastic crew to do it with.
About me: I am god’s gift to women and sailing - and a true Adonis of the sea (my wife just spit out her coffee). If anyone needs an MCM, helm or backup low-side runner trimmer for the Volvo Ocean Race, let me know.
July 16, 2017, 1130
We wallowed, we moaned, we imagined competitors were killing it and we were proven right. 4 knots of breeze followed by 7. Then, a line of clouds and wind to 15; we were getting out! Then a squall, 20 knots pointing us directly at the finish for over an hour gaining us precious miles and leaving us in good pressure that we've been taking home ever since.
Speed. Pure nasty, mouth watering speed. We are a demon on a wave, going a full 10 miles per hour. I think about that and wonder why we consider sailing to be an insane sport that only goes 10 mph… and it's because 10 mph on the water feels like you're a Nascar driver with a wild bobcat in the back seat. Sponsored by wonderbread, fig newtons and Me.
Horizon has this locked up. They picked an apt name for that boat when they decided to campaign her… but we're eating away at everyone else's lead. Sometimes small bites, sometimes large chomps like Shaggy with a Scooby Snack. 8 miles on Hula girl in 1 hour - check. 1 mile on prevail, check… Hans' b.s. calculator has us with a potential corrected spot on the podium. I like Hans' b.s. calculator. we live, eat and breathe by it every hour when we get a new poll from yellowbrick.
Mark Van Selst now has a new nickname: Mephistoles. He abhors the light and welcomes all darkness. quick to cover the instrument lights and prefers to gybe in complete darkness. Some onboard think that he has sold his soul for distance in this race. We give him shit to no end but he's usually right on the calls for a sail change.
Breakfast was abhorrent. We scrounged for whatever we could find. I resorted to lunch meat and cheese rolls with peanut butter and dried cranberries. Sam tried to flavor his water with strawberry jam (a failure by his account) and Mark flavored his with sriracha (a success by his account alone). We have reports that Bill has been cuddling up with a squeeze bottle of mayonnaise searching for a source of caloric intake of any kind. Even the celery is gone.
Almost to the mythical land of never ending mai tai's and fresh water showers - lord knows we need both.
“If you're not first, you're last.” - Ricky Bobby.
July 14, 2017, 2000
If you're watching the tracker, we're a slow sperm wiggling it's way to that wonderful tropical egg in the Pacific. Strong swimmer, not so sure. It looks like Horizon is fighting hard to inseminate themselves into the Ala Wai and claim the prize. The rest of us are out here fighting a slow death not knowing the battle has already been won.
But the race isn't over until we cross the finish line. Even if we have to do it upside down or swim the documentation number across the line of the Diamond Head buoy.
Don't get me wrong, this is not even close to a email admitting defeat. We have the boat we really wanted to get and there are still 36 hours left in this race and the race is still tight. If we can make up a small handful of hours on our competitors we can still move up far into the standings. We haven't given up one bit. we're actively trimming and drivers swap out every half an hour to 45 minutes to keep focus in this lighter air and relentless sun.
Randall R is going to need some ice at the finish line. He had an accident with the tea kettle this morning and might appreciate a fresh ice pack… something we can't provide out here.
Food hoarding, boat speed and mai tai's are hot topics among the crew. Randal L was accused of stashing the Tapatio hot sauce this morning. That will be worth more than gold if we have to switch to freeze dried. Oatmeal, Cholula, bread, chips, all forms of snacks and most tortilla's are gone. Bill tried to foist very old fermented pineapple that he dredged out of the bottom of one of the coolers on us for dinner. Tasted like it had turned to rum.
Other than that, spinnakers up, spinnakers down. Squalls to the left of us, Squalls to the right, but we're stuck in the middle with none.
Big D… Swimming home.
July 13, 2017, 2200
No squalls. none. On the horizon, sure, but not for us. Slow, lots of shifts and jibes, spinnaker screw up followed by 7-8 knot breezes in the AM.
We lost massive ground to everyone last night. Whatever we did, we screwed it hard and owned it.
Fiche passed less than a mile behind us this morning. Our supply of tortillas are now on ration, 1 per person per day and trading has already been attempted with zero success. We tried to hail Fiche on the radio to see if they would trade us for mayonnaise but they didn't answer after three attempted hails. Pricks. Either they knew we had nothing to trade or their radio was off.
At least Oaxaca is still behind us, we have that.
It's hot today, full sun, no clouds near us. We're drinking crystal (meth) light infused water like Richard Simmons is going out of style and we're sweating in the 80's.
More birds around us, lots of flying fish (the fish, not the boat we just passed, but plenty of them too).
We finally stepped into some breeze about an hour ago, gybed and we're hoping this takes us in the right direction.
Cornue pulled a funny yesterday. Randall R. asked him to tie the sails to the deck repetitively and Peter C. gave him the stinkeye of death. In the middle of the night watch Randall R was forced to untie an obscene amount of knots in prep for our spinnaker change. Peter C seems to be in better spirits today.
A few more days to go. Send wind, but don't send Bill emails. His fan club is growing out of control.
Peace out fanboys,
July 12, 2017, 2130
Your hard earned tax dollars are alive and at work out here in the Pacific. Yesterday we had an encounter with not only 1, but 2 warships conducting maneuvers around us. They'd steam away, then I'd come back on watch and they'd be back again making it look like the previous watch just sailed in circles. They were conducting Helicopter ops and the lights buzzing low to the horizon had us wondering what other race boats were around us.
It's no secret we jibed south yesterday. There are two thoughts to the routing on the end of the race… go south or go north. With our Jibe yesterday we are splitting with Oaxaca and so far we have been making significant gains on them. The forecast for us looks light tomorrow and gives them more breeze but their course has them sailing an extra 150 miles! That's a big gamble they are making splitting with the rest of the fleet like that. It's a hero or zero move and our sibling bay area rivalry with Oaxaca is on hard. Projections have us finishing 45 minutes ahead.
In other news, we've been making gains with our current move south. We've moved a bit on just about everyone today and held even with the others. Go team Deception!
Funny story about Randall L. I'd never met him before and thought he was some Sam groupie that was crashing the crew dinner because everyone kept referring him as “Handel”. After a day of stinkeye I finally figured it out when he left the damned dock with us to the start line. I have to say thanks to Shana for loaning him to us as he's a great driver and always upbeat even when I stepped on his testicles on the first night getting into my bunk.
Food is starting to get scarce. Oatmeal is gone, gone, gone. Due to an error in accounting, we have lots of cheese and meat and it looks like we're enjoying sandwich wraps for breakfast and lunch for the foreseeable future. Our Thai hooker hot sauce is dead. A crew favorite. It met it's untimely demise this evening when we rationed it between us. This race had better end soon.. we're out of the good stuff and on to god damned celery and mini carrots.
No real squalls showing up yet but we're seeing some cloud formation around us. We're really, really hoping to get some action tonight…
Squeal on. Big D.
July 11, 2017, 1730
We had a case of the slows last night. As is usual around this time in the race the debate raged on: Follow Hans' perfect heading or keep the boat speed up. We followed the heading and let Wha?Kaka crawl into sight. They were just 2.5 miles off our transom when I woke up but there's nothing like a fellow SC50 wanting to mate with your stern pulpit to make you sail faster… we've since put them at 3 miles back but it's a tough battle fighting their bigger kites and longer poles. In retrospect we think that 2nd pod of dolphins was is advance scouting drone unit that he used to find us.
Hans is forming a strategy… at least we think he's forming a strategy… he won't say much. Just hunkers over the computer screen and mumbles about when the next grib file becomes available and buggers us about why we can't sail lower.
Charlie has been monitoring our fresh water capacity and found out that we had plenty on board so fresh water scrub downs for everyone. This has made us all more tolerable to each other.
Speaking of Mark, his powers of spin trim not withstanding, he has begun to reference most of the crew as his 'minions'. Crew morale has skyrocketed.
Word is we run out of M&M's on Thursday. This is a bad thing. We have plenty of celery left but we've had to water down the ranch dressing to ration it. Who packs celery for a Transpac provision? Oh yeah, our skipper Bill that's who.
As for myself, I've had to start wrapping my hands with electrical tape like a prizefighter before I go on watch just to pad new callouses that have formed. Yes, we're all working that hard.
Disappointing to see today's provisional results. From 4th to 6th. But it's still close and with Triumph's early dive south, we should pass them in the standings by tomorrow. Still, gotta kick Hula Girl down a few pegs. But this game is not over yet and some uncertainty lies ahead so we live to fight another day.
I have given standing orders that if Wha?Kaka gets any closer while I am off watch, I'll find creative ways to lighten the boat. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
July 10, 2017, 2030
In our earlier email we listed the damage report so far… rudder bearing, sat phone, spinnaker guy, etc…
BUT THEN, we were visited by a pod of about 50 dolphins. At first we thought they were a pod of attack spy dolphins set upon us by Morazedeh on Oaxaca to be quickly followed by mechanized laser sharks but it was not to be.
These dolphins visited and hung out for about 10 minutes. Soon after, we were able to fix the sat phone and the water egress from the rudder bearing greatly slowed. We think they took the rudder bearing from Horizon and installed it on our boat. Thanks Dolphins! Thank you very much!
They checked back in with us about an hour later and we waved them off after saying many thanks… and then the mechanized laser sharks appeared!
Top speed today was 16.99 knots set by Charlie (speed freak) Stuart. Speaking of Charlie, he wants to let his wife know that he's on his knees with his knee pads on and he's doing great! Read into that what you will.
We just passed a boat to the south. Not sure who they are but they had a race main up with an old blue on blue tri-radial from the 80's…
July 10, 2017, 1330
Damage report today. It looks like our lower rudder bearing has failed (again, sigh…) and we have our best dishrags and sail ties forming a gasket under the steering quadrant reminiscent of the 2010 Pac Cup. Also, Sat phone crapped out, one instrument display is fried and we chafed through a spin guy… Still trucking, we've got this. We've got the 'tude of sail as fast as you can and let the boat sink at the dock.
Hans has been admonishing me for trash talking the fleet… It's a sign of respect… just so you know.
Competitors - They made some hay down south of us with everyone down there gaining last night. They must have had better wind as we had some stretched out moments of only 12-13 knots of breeze up to the north. We eeked out some distance against the boats with us up here. Still in 4th… but holding on with our bleeding fingernails.
I think Bill is enjoying his bachelorhood. There are way too many meals planned that involve tater-tots and casserole. I don't think he was allowed to eat that kind of crap when he wasn't single. It brings me back to scary mid-west fare as a kid. At least there isn't cream of mushroom soup involved.
But man, we're working the crap out of this boat. Really, no one is taking a break. Trim, grind, drive, trim, sit to the high side trim some more, make food, eat food, sponge the bilge… everything we can think of short of strapping a diesel turbine to the deck.
Sam… I promised to talk crap about Sam so here goes: The kid is actually growing a beard. Something we previously thought him incapable of doing. He's the type of kid that's way to happy so we send him on all the crap jobs. Go to the bow, yeah! Help lash the steering quadrant, yeah. What is up with this kid? Does he down a Costco size container of anti-depressants daily? Anyway, with his newfound facial bush, he's starting to look like quite the yeoman lumberjack that with a bit of manscaping has me convinced that he's bound to ditch his lawyering gig and open a hipster bike shop selling fixies in the Mission. You heard it first here. - Actually, he has some chops. Give him a bit and he's gonna be a rockstar driver and he's been awesome to have onboard.
Thanks everyone for sending the Sheep jokes. They're appreciated by everyone except Randall R… who bears the brunt of them. We've been giving him a hard time ever since Long Beach when a last-minute winch servicing had him losing a winch main bearing overboard. Poor guy started this race with a mark on his head but he takes it all in stride. We're sewing up a sheep costume for his wife however… Seriously, Randall is in the thick of it. Never late for watch, getting a hang of screaming down waves (him screaming, not the boat… it's quite alarming) and all with a s*** eating grin.
Hey, while I'm at it. Race Committee you know what would be really cool? Publishing the corrected time delta's in the daily race reports. I remember you used to do that and it's nice for us to know if we're an hour behind or ahead of someone. Gives us something to push for you know? Also, thanks for fixing the JPN flag on Yellowbrick. Mahalo!
And all those welcoming volunteers in HNL… we come off these boats stinking to high heaven and you still come give us fresh mai tais and take a pic and then promptly run away. Still, It's impressive you get within smell distance. We wouldn't do it and we really, really appreciate all that you do.
July 9, 2017, 1630
A new sign appeared above the nav station that reads:
“July 9th. Dear Navigator: F***: ” followed by checkboxes for “you, me, off, it, Horizon, Oaxaca”. Horizon is checked.
We fell into 6th place last night but we're not giving up yet. Kaka went dark on the tracker a bit early this morning and we wanted to let Dee Cafari know that “Stealth Mode” is only an option in the Volvo Race.
I again realize why no one wants my berth on this boat. The active spinnaker sheet is on a winch only 12 inches above my head so its a constant BUUUURRRRRP, click click click click burp click click… followed by what sounds like the screaming of a monk seal as someone slowly sqeezes it in a bench vice. I have once again discovered the joy of ear plugs and finally got a decent 3 hours of sleep this morning. Gotta crawl back to the quadrant and check out those cables…
We've been getting some winds and have been trucking along with the highest speedo reading at 15.58 knots so far. Hans has a plan… at least we THINK Hans has a plan.
Boat is crashing along at 13 knots. Sounds like fun up there.
Also, think twice before provisioning a boat with individual packs of nuts for snacks. They've become known as “salty nut sacs” and they are a high commodity on the boat in the dark hours.
July 8, 2017, 2100
Still out here. Still cloudy. Getting warmer (thank god).
We've hoisted. Boom, going faster now and we saw 'Kaka' (Oaxaca) slide behind us 5 miles off our transom last night on a southerly course. They're working their way back up to us but they're still behind. We got our provisional daily standings and we're back in 5th. That little ass wagging Hula Girl saddled up to slide into 4th. That long keel and turbo rig favors them in this reaching stuff. It won't last much longer as we are all aiming to finally get around the ridge in the next 18 hours or so. Welcome to the slot-car phase.
Hans finally capitulated to us whiny children.
“You will board my boat and we will sail across the sea and drink Mai Tai's in Hawaii” - that's how this voyage was sold to the newbies on the trip but I have a beef to Pick with “Mr. Disney”. I have been listening to that damned Moana soundtrack with my kids for over two months. They think I'm out here “Moana-ing”. I know all the lyrics and my kids are cute as hell singing along. So for all the parents of young children on this race… I want to see you and your paid crew do the hula on the awards stage. Is that too much to ask? Naw, besides, you need to return the heart of Nefiti.
Not much else to say. Did I mention it's finally getting warmer? Only 1800 miles to go. The vomit crew have returned from the status of the living dead. The boat (well, us) is starting to stink quite nicely. but other than that, the hard stuff is over and the racing is on.
Big D- OUT.
July 7, 2017, 2100
Out with the old, in with the new, back in with the old. It's been a littany of sail changes this morning. Down up, down up, down up, up. re-run sheets, repack sails. Half the crew had a double watch or close to it. We're trying to hold our course but on the verge of wipeout. We like the horsepower and boat speed and we're heading where we want to go but we really want this wind to lift so we can start flying a kite and get some surf time. That and it's probably time to change the underwear.
Latest standings have us one up on Oaxaca (or as a certain Dutch boy says: Kaka) and we're possibly within striking distance of Horizon if the south doesn't pay off. Speaking of Horizon, it's not as much fun to make fun of them anymore now that the Hippie is not on the boat. Come back Hippie, we like your tie-dye and the linger of your patchoulie told us we were heading the right direction.
Ready for some potty humor? Our head is on port - or the low side of the boat - and bilge water splashes around in there on the floor. You don't dare go in there with bare feet because the whole time you are thinking of what might have spilled out the bowl into the bilge. That, and I can't figure out why after years of sponging the bilge on this boat, the bilge water never come outs clear. It consistently looks like someone laid a crap under the floorboards. Is that an SC50 thing? Can someone ask Bill Lee on Merlin?
Ok, so we're like a bunch of petulant little children on this boat. “Hans, can we put up the kite now?” “Hans, can we come down?” “Hans, are we almost there yet?” “Hans, I have to go potty!” “Hans, Randall poked me!” Finally after bugging him he finally relented and let us put up a kite (part of sail change Friday) but it didn't stay up long. Hans is a very, very mean parent.
I need to go brush my teeth. The fuzz is starting to grow.
Oh, we've had 4 people ask to get these after the fact. Is that like facebook likes? Are we popular or something?
Also, Bill wants us to say: “Thank you for the peaches, Peaches” and the crew wanted to add: “We liked your melons” - shows you to never do something nice for us.
July 7, 2017
We're about where we expect in our standings - middle of the pack with some easy room to go up. We can see Medusa off on the southern horizon from us and the two of us have been keeping pace side by side for the past 24 hours.
But you can see that on the tracker. Let's talk about life onboard with the question: How do you keep from killing each other?
Sounds drastic right? Murder on the high seas? It's the stuff books are written about but it's important to keep in mind we are 9 amped up guys shoved together in a damp 50ft carbon and fiberglass tube rocketing through the water and we have share beds as our BO increases. Surprisingly everyone is doing great on this trip and pulling their own weight. There's no grumbling (except for the stomachs of the vomit comet crew). How do we do it? Politeness. These guys are here to help. If you need anything, ask and it will appear. Advil, food, water - they'll hand feed you grapes at the helm if you ask and everything is please and thank you.
But don't mistake that for us being a bunch of nice sheep. I think Charlie got out his calipers and made sure we had skin the consistency and thickness of shoe leather. Keep in mind we're constantly egging each other on and the boat is starting to form it's own scent.
Speaking of sheep, we've told enough sheep jokes onboard that I'm sure we all qualify for honorary Kiwi or Aussie status. If Spithill and his boys come by, make sure to tell them to bestow us some form of Kiwi acceptance badge ok? I think they have the authority to do so.
So, “Piggy” is our safe word. If you don't hear us screaming that, we're doing OK out here.
July 6, 2017
2 of our crew have succumbed to the vomit comet - which is not bad compared to previous races. But… there's something smeared along the leward rail that looks like someone crapped their pants and did the 'scooch'. I'm told it's burrito out the wrong end but I'm not so sure and no one is volunteering to clean it up.
Now that the sun is out spirits are starting to rise. We're beginning to actually get some sleep and the bilges are getting sponged dry on a regular basis. We're frequently cracking 9's on the speedo and we're happy with our sail selection - which is damned good because we didn't bring much in the way of upwind sails to choose from.
Once in a while someone pops up on AIS and we still think we're looking good. We haven't seen the position reports yet but fingers crossed we're still in this race.
For those noting that we're sailing under a JPN flag on the tracker. We like to say it's “Deception” baby… but in reality someone screwed up on the data entry. If anyone in the race committee is reading this, I think Bill would appreciate that it gets changed. [Editor's Note: “Fixed”!]
Deception, over and out…
July 5, 2017
I'm not going to talk about our abysmal start or how we managed to play catch up. You can see that on the tracker. What I'm going to do is answer our most asked about question from family and friends: “What do you do at night?”
It's a close held secret among ocean sailors. We secretly anchor out, open up the evenings choice wine (a Lafite 42 tonight) put on our best sailor whites, Bill don's his sailors cap and we share jolly tales amongst ourselves whilst eating french cheese for hours before turning down for a warm cozy nap while our butler Jeeves cleans up our mess. Why do you think we sign up for this race?
Naw, this is ocean sailing and we're pretty cold/wet/sleep deprived. Waves have been coming over the bow and soaking us in the cockpit, Did I mention that it's cold as hell… It is and I still can't feel my toes and we're fighting hard not to nod off while we're on watch. Ask anyone if they want anything and the universal answer is “an hour and a half more sleep”. It's almost 5am and we can finally start to see some light on the distant horizon and that should help wake and warm us up.
If our navigator was awake, I think we'd all pester him again about when we can go to Hawaii.
Otherwise, we think we're pleased with where we are at and certainly pleased with our boat speed as we put a few boats behind us yesterday and this evening. We've yet to see what the stats say and everyone has gone to stealth mode so we can't see who is around anymore but there are a few lights on the horizon so we know they are there.
Signing off from the damp, dark, cold, wet dank ship Deception.
July 4, 2017
Aloha everyone and welcome to the daily suffering that is to become the Deception Transpac updates. I didn't say we were the ones suffering, it's you guys that are reading this crap.
If all you really want to do is track us, you can bypass our drivel and go direct to the tracker here: https://yb.tl/transpac2017 We're in division 4 boat named “Deception” and we start tomorrow at 1pm local time but there's a 4 hour delay on the tracker.
Bill Helvestine: He's the owner, the papa bear and the one responsible for packing way too much electrical tape and mayonnaise (kinky right?) that the rest of us pull off the boat. This is Bill's 4th race to Hawaii and he's also the one who asked me to take over coms this year. BIG MISTAKE.
Charlie “Speed Freak” Stuart: This is Charlies 3rd race over and he's our race doctor with an enthusiastic view towards amputation as a solution to life's woes. The term “Speed Freak” isn't due to a drug habit but the way he starts perking up towards the end of these races has us continually wondering.
Hans Opsahl: I'm happy to hand over the title of Naviguesser to Hans this year as because he takes the crap if we do poorly (what, our fault?) This is Han's 4th time across and lord help us with this computer jockey in charge. My throwdown to Hans is we had better get us a daytime finish and beat Morazedah and his paid crew on Oaxaca. If not, someone's gonna feed the sharks in the Molokai channel and Hans looks like a tasty morsel.
Mark Van Selst: I expect his lucky neon green shirt to be in rags this year (finally) but does this mean he's going to subject us to a sunburned, hairy man-chest? We'll find out when he gets off the plane in his cal-trans safety shirt and race thong (because, you know; to save weight).
Randall “the Benny” Rasicot: This is Randall's first trip with us to the islands but he's been up to no end of hijinks including throwing winch bearings overboard and searching the entire LA area for new ones. I know we'll survive this race, but will Randall?
Randall “the handel” Landaiche: I literally can't say enough about Randall - I've never met the guy. Until last night and I didn't even know he was our crew because everyone called him “Handel”.
Sam Wheeler: Ok, Sam suggested these emails become “increasingly deranged” and I think we should get rid of the word “increasingly”. I like the guy but now he's on my list for serious trash talk. Sam's also the baby on board at 31 and we're not sure he's even shaved yet.
Peter (Porno) Cornue: Tall, kind of quiet, wears a funny looking hat and has spent too much time in Michigan. His idea of a good time is to buzz in your ear like a giant mosquito so we'll be slapping him around a bit (but word on the street is that he likes it).
Peter Shumar (that's me): I've done this race a few times on Deception and I'm constantly amazed that these poor suckers ask me back each time. I've since moved away from the bay area and don't even know what a boat looks like anymore. If you find me rigging soft shackles to your car, that explains it.
All right, that's it for today. I've gotta go put a dyneema shackle on the axle of some POS rental car in the parking lot.
The Deception Crew