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Onde Amo Daily Reports

Onde Amo Day 13

July 15, 2017, 1200

Good morning to all our loyal readers!  

We are about 200 miles from the finish, at least as the crow (or more appropriately seagull) flies. We will have to sail a bit further than that, but are making good time and looking for a finish before noon tomorrow HST.

Overnight, we had good winds and made good time and recovered some of the lost distance on our competitors, but it does seem that we will run out of race course before we can catch them.

Yesterday, we were treated to a visit from the Flying Corzini. First, he checked out our main sail for wear, then checked out the lower spreaders for stability, and finally, went to the top of the mast for an inspection of all of the gear there. He also got some great video of the boat sailing from that view. After that, he was back to Sarasota Florida, where all circus acts go to retire!

Yesterday was a long day of mediocre winds, fair, but not great boat speed and hot clear skies. Many of the crew fought the boredom by finding boat tasks to do. Dan chose yesterday to tape cords all over the nav station to make the communications equipment we have been using for the past 12 days more efficient (about damn time)!  As we have been keeping a keen eye on our electrical consumption, Dean decided to determine the electrical draw on most of the components on the boat. This was done by switching each one off and then back on and recording the difference. This process was going well, until he switched our navigation system off and when it came back on, the electronic compass that the system (and especially the autopilot) uses for boat heading, did not come back on. This discovery was followed by a tap on my shoulder while I was napping and having a weird dream, and "Houston I think we have a problem". Good news is that the next few hours occupied two or three of us finding and trying to diagnose the problem. It appears that the compass chose the exact moment that Dean switched it off to die - what timing? Oh well, we have a work around until we get to Honolulu. All of this speaks to turning the lights off in a room when you leave it - just say’n!  

Looks to be another hot one today as the sky is clear and bright.

This morning, when I came on watch at 02:00 PDT, the moon had not yet made it's appearance and it was breathtaking, seeing how many stars there were in the sky. The Milky Way was as clearly defined as if drawn on the sky with a Sharpie. When the moon came up about an hour later, almost 3/4 of the stars disappeared, as if shut off by Dean in his attempt to save power. Then, the clouds started rolling in and within another hour, you could hardly see a single star.  

One more night! Hopefully tonight will be as amazing as last night was. It would be a great way to finish this incredible journey!

Again, thanks for all the support and for continuing to read my daily messages. I don't know that I will get one out until we are in the harbor in Honolulu.

Aloha!


Onde Amo Day 12

July 14, 2017, 1230

Good Morning World! We have dipped under the 400 miles to go mark and all of the sudden, the finish is starting to seem real. Unfortunately, the winds are a bit on the light side (roughly 10 knots), and after charging along with 18-20 knots of winds for days on end, it seems like the boat is just wallowing along. The winds are supposed to fill from the NW later today, and then build even more as we near the finish down the Channel.

Everyone seems a bit subdued this morning, maybe it is that the finish seems real, or that we are limping along (albeit at 7 knots). Also, as we analyze the hourly reports of positions (as for you tracking us on YB Tracker, it is 4 hours delayed), we are consistently making up ground on both Dark Star and Creative, but it looks like we will run out of race before we catch them. If the wind picks up to the point where they can plane, then they will start to put us further in their rearview mirror.

Tonight, we start freeze-dried dinners for the rest of the race or go to peanut butter and jelly wraps. I will poll the crew later, on what they want to have for dinner. My guess is, it won’t be what we have in our galley!

We haven't really developed nicknames for each other, at least not that I am aware of, although different people have referred to others by names that were not given to them by their parents grin

More later…


Onde Amo Day 11

July 13, 2017

The entire crew of Onde Amo would like to wish Janet Lincoln a Happy Birthday on this her special day. We will all get to celebrate a belated birthday with her in Honolulu next week.

Well, after many days of just driving the boat and little sail handling, things have gotten interesting. In the past day, we have changed sails 5 or 6 times to try and match the shifting conditions and we have gybed at least 5 or 6 times. In the first hour of my watch this morning, we gybed twice and changed sails once. It looks like the final 500 miles could be equally as exciting.

In the past hour, we had our first real squall of the race. Squalls usually consist of stronger winds, change in wind direction and rain. The rain was light and quite refreshing, in fact that might count as my second shower of the race. The wind direction did shift, but we didn't really get the increase in wind velocity we had anticipated.  

Last night for dinner, we had our second freeze-dried meal, chicken risotto. It was quite tasty and had a nice creamy consistency, much like a risotto you might get at your favorite Italian restaurant. Tonight is our last freshly prepared dinner, beef with mushrooms. After this, it is all freeze-dried or PBJ’s. Jim Lincoln once again showed off his culinary skills by making buffalo chicken wraps.  

As the sun was coming up this morning, I was going to get a picture of it as it lit up the clouds with various shades of pink and red. The only miscalculation was that the flash was on on my phone and Mike C was at the helm. Good news is that when we can look at the picture on a big screen, we can probably examine the back of his eye fairly easily. Not smart. :(

Good news is that we are seeing less trash in the ocean, although a couple of boats have caught fishing nets and had to back the boat off the nets.  

Staying hot, we are in the tropics now. The squalls will be welcome to bring some relief from the heat and a quick shower to boot.

Onde Amo pressing on towards Honolulu.


Onde Amo Day 10

July 12, 2017, 1100

Well, we are in the tradewinds that will carry us to Hawaii.  From the latest reports, it looks like the winds will be consistent from here to the finish, with maybe a build in the winds and seas as we come down the Molokai Channel to the finish off Diamond Head.

Like the night before, we switched to a heavier spinnaker for the overnight to save the A2 for the daylight sailing and hopefully, the finish. We switched back to the A2 this morning right after daybreak. The hours are really starting to get weird as we stay on PDT and continue to head west. Sunset now comes after 2200 and daybreak doesn't come until after 0800.

Early this morning, we had a couple of interesting events. First, a boat, which we think was Buona Sera, passed us within about 5 boat lengths. A bit close in rolling seas with light winds, which makes the boat hard to control. Oh well, we didn't have an incident, but would have preferred more room. Of course, he was the leeward boat, so he had right-of-way. We had a bird following us for a couple of hours early this morning and doing a kind of flyby, like he was looking for food. After I went off watch at 0500, a flying fish landed in the cockpit. Dave was concerned that the bird might try to land, so he came up with the idea of lighting the bird up with his headlamp to scare it off. Unfortunately, he lit Jim's left eye up at close range with the brightest white light his headlamp could offer. After examination, we think the burns to his retina will heal in the next few weeks. Brilliant!

Looks to be another hot, clear day. Yesterday, we started with overcast like every other morning before that and then it cleared up and got hot. Trying to nap down below was difficult, so there was a dog pile of three or four off-watch bodies trying to sleep on the pile of spare spinnakers in the "Debbie Bag". Quite the sight!

We have named most of the spinnakers as follows:

A1 - "Clifford" as it is solid red
A2 - "Good and Plenty" as it is pink, grey and black
.5 oz - "Casper" as it is solid white
.5 oz - "Islands" as it has the logo of the previous owners but looks like an island chain sewn on it
.75 oz - "Patches" as it has been repaired several times
1.0 oz - unnamed at this time, please feel free to forward any suggestions
1.5 oz - "Thor" because it is powerful and very tough

We found a stowaway night before last. It was pretty lumpy and the boat was bouncing around quite a bit. In the middle of it, my iPad comes to life and Siri starts asking if she can help in some way. I was able to convince her that we had it under control, primarily by the use of the on/off button on the iPad. We found it pretty hilarious, but it may be that we are getting pretty delirious!

Pressing on towards Honolulu…


Onde Amo Day 9

July 11, 2017, 1700

Well here on Day 9, we finally saw the sun and it sure changed from overcast and cool to HOT.

The race is coming down to who set themselves up well over the past several days. We are south of Creative and hopefully have better wind and a better line to the finish. We fly the 1.5 oz symmetrical spinnaker overnight to protect the A2. We have heard that at least three other boats have blown up their A2's and it is the sail we need for the finish. We put the A2 (nicknamed "Good and Plenty" for the candy of years ago) right after daybreak and will carry it to at least sundown. Funny thing, by staying on PDT our day light starts at about 08:00 and ends about 22:00. We switch to HST as we near the finish and get three hours back. After we changed chutes, we gybed onto port (wind coming from the left side of the boat) and will likely stay on this tack for several more hours. Then, we will have a long run on starboard tack and then likely two final gybes to the finish.

After the gybe, we had to send Mike C up the rig to put some reinforcement patches on the main. It had some wear spots where it had worn against the rig while being on starboard tack for several days. This time we got pictures!

We made 5 gallons of water yesterday in anticipation of needing more as the weather gets hotter. Dinner tonight is Italian sausage, peppers and kale over pasta. Didn't get any complaints last night on the freeze-dried, although everyone noted that it gave them flatulence!  Mike C. said he would still give us a good Yelp review. You can check out us out at Yelp and follow us on Twitter at #OndeAmoRacesToHonolulu. Rumor has it that we have more followers than President Trump!

We are having a fun time, but looking forward to Mai Tais in Honolulu and seeing all our loved ones. Thanks again to all our followers and supporters.

The Happy Crew of Onde Amo pressing onward!


Onde Amo Day 8

July 10, 2017, 1700

Aloha from Onde Amo!

Day eight finds us doing much the same as we have done for the first seven. We are charging along on starboard tack with the A-2 spinnaker up doing about 8-9 knots in 16-20 knots of wind. Tomorrow we get to try something new. The routing software has us gybing and going on a port tack for about 6 hours before we gybe back. No one on the boat remembers how to sail on a port tack, but I am confident that we can figure it out.

We just watched a boat pass about 5 miles to our south, we think it was likely Medicine Man, but it was too far away to really see who it was. Dan says that we should see more boats over the next day or so, as the faster boats that started on Wednesday or Thursday start passing us.

I was not on watch (which means I was likely asleep), but the crew on deck saw a school of flying fish of about a hundred, being chased by a school of Mahi Mahi. We have had two flying fish land on the boat so far. Wow, are they stinky!

We are seeing lots of trash in the water. Just today, we have seen several black balls about the size of a basketball, that are used on fishing nets, a ball of net that was slightly smaller than the boat, a 5 gallon water jug, a 5 gallon fuel jug, a plastic crate like we sell at West Marine, but it was in yellow, and a tire complete with rim. Dean did such a good job of getting close to it, that we probably have tire prints on the bottom paint on the starboard side.

Yesterday afternoon around 5:00, it got very interesting! First, we broke the after guy that holds the spinnaker pole back, so the spinnaker was flying free. We got the chute down, ran a replacement after guy and got the chute back up, only to see that it had a small tear in it. We swapped to a different spinnaker, repaired the original one and swapped back to the A-2. All in all, it took less than an hour. Then we noticed that the next to top batten in the main sail had broken. So, we sent Mike C aloft in about 20 knots of wind to put a patch on the main. He did a great job and I am happy to report that, although the main has a bit of a funny shape at the top, no other damage to the sail. We are seeing in the Daily Report that Rio 100 hit something and damaged one of their rudders, that Cabernet Sky blew up their A-2 spinnaker and don't have a replacement, and that Tropic Thunder damaged their A-2 spinnaker and are only using it during the daylight hours.

I can say for a fact, that it is quite a bit harder to drive at night when the wind is up like it has been for the past couple of days. Not only can you not see the waves coming so you can adjust the boat to their angle, the wind is more shifty at night, both in velocity and direction. It is certainly steadier and therefore easier to drive to during the day.

We are still making steady, if small gains on Creative, but Dark Star is proving to be the competition for the rest of us in the class. In the Daily Report, they noted that they are doing 13 knots most of the night and hit 20 at one point. We are doing 8-9 knots and hit 12-13 occasionally. Oh well, everyone is pitching in on the daily boat chores and driving the boat as hard as we can.

Tonight's culinary delight is freeze-dried beef stroganoff. Jim Lincoln was again practicing his skills with quesadillas of various flavors.

Sure hope we see the sun again soon. We haven’t seen it since we left Long Beach. More tomorrow!


Onde Amo's Happy Sunday

July 9, 2017, 1530

In the words of my beloved Commodore and Onde Amos's Godfather, Claude LeBlond - HAPPY SUNDAY!

At 03:00 this morning, we changed from the 3/4 oz symmetrical spinnaker to our A-2 asymmetrical spinnaker, and we have started clawing back time and distance on our two competitors. Our strategy of staying to the south and hoping for better wind, versus that of Creative and Dark Star, might be starting to pay off, but time will tell. Based on today's forecast, that strategy might work, but may not be as solid as it seemed several days ago.

Thanks to Jim Lincoln we had a new culinary delight for breakfast - grilled peanut butter and jelly wraps. To make it more interesting, he had to grill them in the big blue pot, as it is the only cooking vessel on the boat. That is the same pot we used to warm the chicken and rice soup the first night. I have gone so far as promising to produce and direct his cooking show on "101 Creative Ways to Make Peanut Butter and Jelly". More to come on that idea grin

We are seeing trash in the water every day, not huge bunches, but we have passed several balls of fishing net, several nets that have apparently come off fishing nets and assorted other stuff. Plastic takes sooooooo long to break down, that if you even have a fleeting thought about throwing something plastic overboard - STOP!

We have explored several ideas on a strategy that might trim a few seconds off our time at the finish - more on those later.

The boat is staying clean, due in large part to the fact that one crew member has the duty of cleaning the head and another the galley, every day. We gave the cockpit a salt water bath today to remove a few coffee spills and other assorted stuff. As we have used less water than we had planned and the crew is getting a little ripe, today is shower day! We are running the engine to charge the batteries, which also makes hot water, so all will be clean and sweet smelling in an hour or so.

Crew moral is high, good wind makes things like that better. Everyone is getting along and working hard together. Other than losing a winch handle the first day, we have not lost or broken anything since. Mike C. does a complete walk-around and inspection of the rig and rigging every day to keep lines from chafing and assorted other problems.

I have to go get the latest update on how we did four hours ago. Have a good Sunday!

S/V Onde Amo and her intrepid ‘Band of Brothers’.


Onde Amo's Day 6 Report

July 8, 2017, 1630

Just putting the subject of this message highlights one of the more interesting aspects of this race so far - the fact that we all have to keep asking each other and ourselves "what day is this?". As we have been on starboard tack (wind coming from the right side of the boat) since we passed Catalina Monday afternoon, and we have hardly seen the sun, each day passes into the next without fanfare. The pattern looks to continue into Monday of just driving the boat and trimming the spinnaker we have up.

Several people asked me about food before we left. Let me give you an overview of how we prepared for this adventure. First, I want to thank my darling Risa, for her help in the planning and execution of the plan. Although we don't always agree, it was fun putting this all together.

  • Breakfast – originally, three options based on each person's individual choice: bagels, yogurt, or oatmeal. The bagels apparently didn't have any preservatives in them and fairly quickly starting growing a biology experiment and had to be jettisoned.
  • Lunch - wraps with ham, turkey, cheese, peanut butter and/or jelly of each individual's choice.
  • Dinner - here the meals fall into four categories:
    • Fresh - we brought two dinners refrigerated, as we would be eating them in the first two nights and didn't need to take up space in the cooler.
    • Frozen - we prepared and brought 7 frozen dinners. Each of these is in a quarter sheet pan (like you use in a chafing dish) and feeds a crew of 6 nicely. These have been dishes like Cuban pork on yellow rice, the bacon cheeseburger tater tot casserole, and chicken over rice, like tonight's dish. Most of these have a protein over a carb, like rice, pasta or tater tots. Each afternoon, I take the frozen dish out for the next night's dinner, transfer it to the refrigerator to use its cold to keep the contents in there cool.  I take that night's dish out of the fridge around noon and let it come to boat temp by dinner time, utilizing less propane to heat it up.
    • Freeze-Dried - we have three different entrees of freeze-dried food. These you mix with hot water, let sit for 20 minutes to re-hydrate and then enjoy. One that we have aboard is beef stroganoff, which is listed as the best seller at REI. We will likely have three or four freeze-dried dinners. We also have a few cans of chicken and shredded beef (Costco) if we run out of everything else… just before resorting to Cannibalism. Let’s not go there.

Cannibalism: Should we HAVE to resort to cannibalism, the vote has been taken and Dave, our resident vegan, was chosen to be first, as he should have the cleanest tissues. Jim keeps going by and poking him, just to make sure he is still tender. grin

General Health: I am happy to report that all are well. Mike Mahoney’s finger is healing nicely, although he will have a permanent ring on his left ring finger! Dave, our resident vegan, had a bit of an intestinal bug for a day or so. I personally don't think it had anything to do with the beef jerky that we rubbed all over his tofu burritos. By the way, I forgot to reference that Dave brought a mountain of vegan burritos on which he is subsisting. Blah!

If you have been watching us on YB Tracker, we are starting to make our move on Creative and Dark Star. Both are to our north and getting pushed up towards the high. We are continuing to drive south and hopefully, towards better pressure over the rest of the race. At least we have stopped the continued progression of those two away from us.

Gilligan (aka Captain Crashley)
The Good Ship Minnow


Onde Amo - Good Morning on Day 5

July 7, 2017, 1130

We are sailing along with good boat speed, and have been since yesterday afternoon. Crew is having fun and arguing over the correct measure to use to determine who has the fastest time. One camp wants to use boat speed as measured by the paddlewheel, the other camp wants to use GPS speed. If you are looking at YB Tracker you are seeing GPS speed.

Now for the Fake News. We are indeed winning the race and if anyone including YB Tracker and the Transpac Race Committee reports otherwise, that is ‘Fake News’. We have reduced our world to a size, roughly 40 feet by 13 feet, and we control the reality therein!

For those of you at home that might be watching us on YB Tracking, let me give you the short version of what you are seeing. Even knowing our strategy, it is frustrating for us looking at the YB results on an hourly basis. We decided two days ago to move to the south of Creative, and now Dark Star, even though we knew it would be slower going for a day or two. Looking at the wind files for the next week, we will have better winds than the boats to the north of us, and will then be able to pull the time and distance back that we have lost. In addition, when we get to running really deep, as we should tomorrow or Sunday at the latest, they will have to gybe back and forth and sail a long course to get to Honolulu. As we now have steady winds and are charging along at 8+ knots we believe the strategy is sound. In chess, it is like sacrificing a pawn to take the king.

Life onboard has been reduced to being on watch (working at sailing the boat), and being off watch (sleeping, or at least resting). The watch allows for a maximum sleep period of 4 hours at one time. The sleep periods are interrupted by being on watch for three hours at a time. For example, I am on watch for 4 periods each day of 3 hours each. I am off watch for one four- hour period (10:00 pm to 2:00am for me), two three-hour periods and one two-hour period. As we are all getting settled into the routine and getting used to when we get to sleep, I think everyone is doing fine. Of course, having to do a sail change (which requires everyone) at 1:00 am this morning, takes a valuable hour off your rest time depending on what your schedule is.

Last night for dinner, the non-vegans had pasta with Italian sausage. Tonight, we are taking a culinary trip to Mexico (pretty much directly behind us) for burritos.

ALOHA from the hardy souls charging across the Pacific towards Diamond Head!

 


Onde Amo – TransPac 2017– Day 4

July 6, 2017, 1800

After a fairly long night of light winds, we are powered up and back to "getting Creative". They went south of us last night, found wind and popped out ahead at daybreak. We are trying to work south a bit, as there is better pressure coming in the next few days and the weather to the north of us looks light. We will see how this pays off.

The crew has enjoyed the provisions so far (or at least they say the right things:-)). They liked the bacon, cheeseburger and tater tots that we celebrated the Fourth of July with, and last night we had pork with black beans and yellow rice, inspired by restaurants like the Columbia in the Ybor City section of Tampa. Tonight, we are having fusilli lasagna. We did have to jettison the last of the bagels, as they were growing a funny colored fur on them. Oh well, the boat is a bit lighter.

Yesterday and into last night, we made several sail changes to try and find the right spinnaker to fit the course and conditions. I think we have tried five different spinnakers so far, however we do have a few more to try. Somehow in the middle of all of that, we tangled the halyards that are used to raise the sails.

Mike Corzine is our bowman, which means that he is on the ‘pointy end’ of the boat whenever we have to do any kind of maneuver. He is also the guy that went up to the top of the mast while we were sailing along at about 6 knots to untangle the halyards. He has a dry sense of humor, which is often targeted at Jim Lincoln, but we have all been targets, and I am it will get crazier as the days march on.

Dave Zoratti handles the pit position, which has nothing to do with his underarms. Instead, he handles the halyards and associated lines as we change sails and do other maneuvers. I enjoy doing pit, but also enjoy having a ‘master’ at that position. I get to jump in when Dave is asleep. Dave was one of the initial guys that helped me put this campaign and crew together.

We keep pressing on towards Hawaii. Keep an eye on us on YB Tracking. We feel and appreciate the positive energy that you are all sending us. We hope not to let you down!

The entire crew of the Sailing Vessel - Onde Amo

 


Onde Amo – TransPac 2017– Day 3

July 5, 2017

We had a great run last night, mostly under the Code Zero and put time on all of our competitors. This morning the wind has shifted and gone light and Creative (J/105) has managed to slip up on us. We have tried three different spinnakers to find the right shape and weight for the conditions. This is difficult as the conditions keep changing.

It was warmer last night, albeit not warm. We have dense clouds at night, so we have yet to really see the moon, hopefully soon. We did get a bit of a drizzle during the night, but not enough to really be a nuisance. It is warmer this morning and the crew was able to go back to shorts from the bibs that we have all lived in since Monday night.

Dan Aeling is our navigator and one hell of a smart guy (although he did choose to sail with this bunch of misfit toys). He studies weather patterns and can explain them to the point where I finally understand the Coriolis Effect. He has us positioned well, although it seems weird to go this far south to get to Hawaii. Additionally, he is a very good sailor and one of our best drivers.

Mike Mahoney is our assistant navigator and seems to understand most of what Dan says. I can understand him if he dumbs it down a bit. Mike is a steady part of the crew, although I understand he did get a bit excited when he tried to set his finger on fire by working on the batteries before we left. Good news is the finger is still attached and not turning any funny colors yet.

Sometimes it is hard to drive the boat, not due to wind or wave conditions, but human conditions. This morning, Mike Corzine was having oatmeal for breakfast and decided he didn't like the almonds in it (how un-Californian is that?) and he flicked one away and it stuck behind Dave Zoratti's ear. Not to his cheek, but really far behind his ear. I was driving and almost spun the boat in a circle laughing so hard.

We have seen two whales so far, one Monday afternoon during the crossing to Catalina, and then one yesterday afternoon. Last night, right before sunset, we saw our flying fish, but did not collect any overnight. Good thing, they really stink after laying on the deck for a few hours.

LOOK OUT CREATIVE - we are coming for you!

Onde Amo out!
Stephen Ashley - Skipper

 


Onde Amo – TransPac 2017– Day 2

July 4, 2017

As we approach dinner on this, our second day out, the wind is holding at about 9 knots, as it has been most of the day. We have seen winds as high as 15 knots, and as low as 5, but the good news is that we have had good winds since the start. We have already gone through several sail changes, as we have flown our largest jib (#1), our next size down (#2) as the wind built, and our Code Zero, a flat-cut spinnaker that is used for reaching. We have had the wind coming from the starboard side of the boat since we rounded Catalina, so I think my left leg is getting shorter from standing on it all the time.

Tonight for dinner to celebrate Fourth of July we are having cheeseburger and tater tot casserole. It is a surprise so don't tell the crew!

Let me introduce you to a couple of the crew. Our Watch Captains are Jim Lincoln and Dean Stanec. One of them is on deck at all times and they are charged with making the decision if it comes down to a hard call. So far, everything has been done with lots of input from everybody.

Jim works for UK Sailmakers and helped get Onde Amo's inventory of sails squared away. He is also our "weight nazi" which has generated some interesting discussions like "why do we need a spatula, a spoon and a pair of tongs for the galley?" Followed by "Jim, leave all of those where they are!".

Dean is with the Wholesale Division within West Marine and was my boss when I started at the Long Beach store 4 years ago. He is an electronics wiz and together we spent several hours diagnosing and replumbing the issues with the water maker - problem solved! We even made 3 gallons today to celebrate!

Everyone on the crew is settling into the routine of the watch schedule, which means you are on watch for 3 hours (working) and then off 3-4 hours when you get to rest, or whatever you want to do within the 40 feet of space that is Onde Amo.

We have deployed a bag which our boat neighbor, the ever-talented Debbie Kraemer made for us to store sails in when we didn't need them on the deck. It sits on the high side (where you want the weight) and holds the sails without them being in the way or at risk of going overboard. The appropriately named "Debbie Bag" has worked great and has even served as a nap spot once or twice.

Today has been overcast and a bit on the cool side, but we hear that there are sunny warm skies ahead. We are well-positioned, relative to our competition, and are liking the how the race has gone so far.

More later…

Skipper Stephen Ashley
SV Onde Amo

 


ONDE AMO - TransPac 2017 – After the Start

July 3, 2017

This is our first report from Onde Amo on our way to Honolulu. It has been a busy morning, as we had to re-plumb the salt water system and the water maker, but all is working well now!

We had a good afternoon after the start yesterday, as the winds filled in and held through most of the night. Thankfully, the winds were better than the reports had predicted. The winds got lighter this morning, but we are still moving along at 6-7 knots.

The crew is doing well! We enjoyed the chicken and rice soup for dinner and have not even drawn blood during a couple of the heated discussions about religion :-)

Thanks to everyone that came out to see us off or sent us well wishes! The crew did get a bit nervous about all the people who said they would "see us on the other side". It prompted some of the religious discussions.

Until later… keep sending good thoughts and prayers to the Wind Gods!

 


ONDE AMO - TransPac 2017 – First Report

June 28, 2017

Wow! It is hard to believe that we are only a few days away from the actual start of a journey that has been over a year in the planning and prep. On Monday, July 3rd, Onde Amo and her crew of seven, will cross the start line (hopefully not to be over early) and race 54 other boats to the Diamond Head Buoy off Honolulu, Hawaii.

As a skipper, I couldn’t ask for a better, more supportive crew! When I hatched this crazy idea of racing across 2200+ miles of the Pacific Ocean, I asked Dave Zoratti, Dean Stanec and Scott McKeiver to be the core around which to build the rest of the team. Luckily for me, they all agreed, but most likely they have had thoughts about that decision over the last year. We added Jim Lincoln, Dan Aeling, Mike Corzine and Mike Mahoney over the next several months, as we worked to round out the team with individuals that could spend 12-14 days within 40 feet of each other without bloodshed, and to fit the skills and talents together to make this the most competitive race possible. Sadly for us, Scott made a life change a few months ago, leaving beautiful, sunny SoCal for grey, gloomy Seattle (WTF?), and will be joining us in spirit, but not in person. Guess the biggest decision will be - who gets his ration of rum every day! Sometimes it pays to be the Skipper.
Many different people have asked about food. For our hot dinners, the most important meal of the day (okay I know they say breakfast is, but “they” are once again WRONG! BTW, who the hell are “they”? Hmmm - something to ponder as I am sailing…), we have a mixture of soups, casseroles (frozen) and freeze-dried. In talking with a number of people that have done this race, it turns out to be an effective diet plan. I know I could stand to lose a few pounds, Dan and Mike M not so much :-). 

As for weather, we hope it runs the gamut from good to superior! As a team, we have raced the boat many times over the past two years, but this year have had to withdraw from two races (Midwinter Around Catalina Island, and Newport to Cabo) due to lack of wind. Additionally, we have had a couple of others that have been challenging, due to light winds. Although we might have to deal with a day or so of light winds, hopefully we will have good winds for the majority of the race. I have been looking at the forecast already, but will keep the analysis of that to myself until closer to start time. I have gotten myself into trouble talking about forecasts and predictions too early before a race, and damned if some people have opted to listen. In general numbers, a race of 12 to 14 days would be good for Onde Amo and her band of intrepid sailors. You can follow us on your computer or mobile device. Download YB Tracking app or go to https://2017.transpacyc.com/media/watch. There will most likely be a 4-6 hour delay in the actual time on the course.

Lastly, (for this edition), I want to thank everyone who has supported us as we worked towards this goal. Every one of the crew has a Significant Other and family who has supported them while we raced together to get the team and boat ready, while working on the boat to get the last of the projects on the “To-Do” list finished, and of course for the two weeks or so that we will be offshore. For me, it has been my fiancée, Risa Scott, who has been right there beside me (often racing on the boat with us as an eighth crew member) for the entire trip so far. We haven’t always come to the same conclusion on how to proceed and I am sure I haven’t listened as often as I should have, but Risa has always been there. She will wave at us as we head out on Monday and be waiting for us when we come into Ala Wai Harbor in Honolulu. She will also be forwarding our messages from Onde Amo as we travel to Honolulu and back. Thanks for everything, I love you. Until our next report from the water… keep us in your thoughts!

SV Onde Amo
Stephen Ashley, Skipper