~~stuck on the edge of paradise, yet again~~
‘Siesta’ is the forth boat from the left at the breakwater/pier coming out of the right side of the Hawaiian Hilton tower (see NOAA site for better picture).
Running a racing sailboat requires a lot of work. The Kauai Channel Race is probably the most challenging race in Hawaiian waters because of the distances involved and the exposure to unprotected waters. In those kind of conditions it takes 10 to 12 well trained, competent people to handle the boat safely. As I mentioned in my previous post, this is the race where a few years back Curtis put a superficial crack in ‘Siesta’s hull when she launched off of a wave crest and free fell into a trough while coming back from Kauai after the race. From the NOAA weather reports (see below) it looks like it will be moderately dicey especially with the difficult return to Oahu on Sunday.
For the past week there have been several mandatory ‘all hands on deck’ events for the crew. I am the only on exempt from these because I’m 270 miles away. I always show up a day or so before the race and help get the boat ready.
First Curtis scheduled a training session last weekend where only 2/3rds of the crew managed to show up. Instead of the boat’s crew being able to hone their skills Curtis had to retrain people to fill vital positions that were vacant. Then there were several work events that needed to be done to get the boat ready for the upcoming race. Only a handful of people managed to show up for these as well.
In defense of the crew, many of these people are very smart, talented individuals with complicated lives. Traditionally the bulk of the regular crew has been comprised of U of H graduate students, many working on their dissertations in the earth sciences and oceanography departments. I have learned so much from them in terms of how the oceans and how volcanoes work through our discussions. Racing on ‘Siesta’ is a necessary outlet for them where they get to use their physical and mental talents in a fun and rewarding way. The camaraderie of this caliber of people has been rewarding as well.
In talking with Curtis yesterday we discussed this perpetual problem of trying to run a race boat. Curtis has decided that over the next year or so he plans to sell ‘Siesta’ and buy a more solid cruising boat. He will still race this new boat but will be able to handle it less people. Also the costs and work of maintaining a high tech, cutting edge boat will be greatly diminished.
For now Curtis has decided to pull ‘Siesta’ out of the ‘Kauai Channel Race’ and set his sights on getting boat and crew together for the ‘Lahina Return’ race in a couple of months. Several years ago we literally surfed at 18 to 20 knots for 7 hours with full spinnaker in huge following seas. It was a thrilling E-ticket ride that wouldn’t be possible in ‘Desire’. Although I have to say that I’ve had her up to 9.3 knots, laterally carving the faces of waves off of Northern California, which is theoretically impossible for a 26 foot displacement hull. But then ‘Desire’ is an amazing boat.
So where does that leave me? As you may have gleaned through my nautical musings, nothing is for certain when it comes to boats and the ocean, or for that matter, people as well. Like trying to determine the position and speed of an electron, there are statistical maybes involved but no certainties. I’ll continue polishing up my ‘On Desire’ posts as I prepare to tuck ‘Desire’ back into storage and get ready to deliver ‘Jungle’ back to the mainland. From there who knows? I have a few weeks of work in San Diego and then I’ll make my way back to Seattle to see what awaits me there. If the gods of fiduciary commerce smile favorably on me, I’d like to take a side trip to Connecticut and see how my mom is fairing in her new digs with my brother’s family. If not I’ll make due with what I have on hand and I’m sure that will be interesting as well. Most certainly I’ll hone my talents, gain new insights and experience, as well as meet interesting people along the way. It’s merely a matter of conducting your thoughts and actions in such a way as to be able benefit in what the universe passes within your grasp of involvement. The filter feeding barnacle principle of existence.
From the Marine section from the Area Forecast Discussion
issued at: Jul 29, 2009 4:00 PM HST
Winds have diminished a bit over most areas so the small craft advisory has been cancelled. Winds are expected to pick back up again Friday and on into the weekend so the small craft advisory will again be up during that time for the usual windy zones.
A new south swell is expected to begin filling in late Thursday or Thursday night. Latest wavewatch model output indicates that the surf will reach advisory levels Friday and Saturday and possibly into Sunday.
1100 PM PDT WED JUL 29 2009
FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC…EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..
DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTINUE IN ASSOCIATION WITH A TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED ABOUT 350 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS. DEVELOPMENT…THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO BE SLOW TO OCCUR AS IT MOVES GENERALLY WESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE…LESS THAN 30 PERCENT…OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.