So finally after months and possibly even years of getting her ready Dorade is back on the Trans Pac course. It felt like a big relief to get off the dock at Rainbow harbor, it doesn’t matter how much preparation you put in it still feels like you have forgotten something.
So after a little more than 24 hrs we are the most northerly boat, the yellow brick tracker showed us in seventh position but the sched’s sent to us by the race comity show us in 3rd. The yellow brick is delayed by six hours so boats can not use it as a navigational advantage to see what boats ahead are doing, and also if the worst should happen the authorities can notify family at home before the panic starts.
We had a good clean start yesterday within half a boat length from the line and we made a great course up to Catalina. It would have been nice to make it around without tacking but this is fairly normal in this race. Two tacks later we were clear of the island and heading out into the Pacific Ocean . So far we had been sailing close hauled with the J2 and everything else up, as we headed out the breeze started to increase and we changed down to the J4 and started playing around with reefing and un-reefing. Head sails take a long time and a lot of effort to change on Dorade so we play around with the main more first until we are sure a head sail change is necessary. We still have the J4 up after 24hrs spit was a good call.
From what I understand of this race as this is my first, the first day is where you can win or loose the race. It’s all about getting far enough offshore before the breeze shuts down in the evening so you want to be out in the gradient wind before then. Fortunately we made it but so did everyone else!
It has been extremely wet on board until recently and very hard to get any good rest, I finally got some sleep after 24hrs of being awake and into some dry clothes. Everybody has settled into the watch system now and is well rested and enjoying the sailing. The freeze dry has been going down well but I think we are looking forward to the first fresh meal his evening. It didn’t seem worth wasting the good food last night as a couple of people may not have been on top form and didn’t want to see the meal more than once.
Anyway for now we are very happy with how we are doing and enjoying the on board routines. Looking forward to being able to crack the sheets a little more in a day or two and start pushing hard under spinnaker in trade winds.