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Old 31-05-2018, 21:25   #16
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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Wish I could do that trip!
You are already used to the cold part anyway!
Would have loved to have you! It's actually not the cold per se, and this might be a bit odd to admit, but I can't stand the feeling of goosebumps. Never have
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:50   #17
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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Would have loved to have you! It's actually not the cold per se, and this might be a bit odd to admit, but I can't stand the feeling of goosebumps. Never have
I yeah the only thing worse than goosebumps is goosebumps and salt water blisters! Bring your fleece and thermos and plenty of hot cocoa!!
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:09   #18
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

The strategy for dealing with the high depends on where it is and where it is going. Last July it went so far north that I worked my way along the southern side to get to Santa Cruz. I went far enough north that I had 10-15 knots of wind to deal with instead of the 20-25+ I had for the first few days.
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Old 01-06-2018, 13:06   #19
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

In my five late July - August returns from HI to San Francisco I've never needed to go much above 40 deg N to get over the top of the Pac High. When it looked like we would be forced way north, a low would come down from Alaska and give us a nice path towards the mainland. I've occasionally had to motor for 24 hours when the western edge of the High crept west. Here are four of my trips:


Of course if you're doing the SHTP race, you will get some excellent advice from some very experienced sailors. And the last few hundred miles of the return can be calm, or it can be brutal, or anything in between.
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Old 01-06-2018, 21:44   #20
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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Of course if you're doing the SHTP race, you will get some excellent advice from some very experienced sailors. And the last few hundred miles of the return can be calm, or it can be brutal, or anything in between.
Oh you betcha! Not only have most of the folks in the SSS made this roundtrip multiple times, but they have also posted a TON of information on the SSS resource page, much of which I plan to read through just before I leave so it's fresh in my head. There are many postings in the forum and I've also attended the prep seminars over the years where I learn so much more each time. I guess I like to aggregate opinions and find the common answer from the majority. That said, I don't recall anyone having gone south like Don mentioned. That makes me want to find out more about this. I also recall hearing that the high was super high one year; I think that was in 2014. When were your trips? I really appreciate the tracks you posted! The consensus that year of the big high was that most had to go far north, but now I need to ask "how far north above 40 degrees?" That's good to keep in mind. I had toyed with the idea for a long time of heading toward Vancouver instead of SF Bay to do a winter layover in a new locale, but I kinda need to get back to some business this year
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Old 01-06-2018, 22:07   #21
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

One of the biggest factors regarding sailing hard is having faith in the boat. I'm 100% certain your Freedom is up to the task, in fact I know it is. In the middle of a dark night when things aren't nice, knowing your boat is rock solid matters.

Unfortunately there was several occasions I beat Freeform up, she shrugged it all off and didn't falter.. not once. You have a good boat.
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:12   #22
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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I also recall hearing that the high was super high one year; I think that was in 2014. When were your trips?
The trips on my little map are from 2003 (a cruise), and '06, '08, and '10 (Pac Cup races). We also did the '12 and '14 races, but the return was to our new home in Friday Harbor so the Pac High location wasn't quite as critical. You can find daily (or almost daily) reports from all these passages if you want to wade through our blog, but you will probably get better info from the SHTP crew.

One interesting track is the one to Oahu in 2010, where we sailed *north* of the great circle route. That year there were low-pressure systems (remnant tropical storms) that really messed up the typical wind patterns to the south.
Sometimes the traditional routes just don't work!
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Old 02-06-2018, 09:17   #23
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

Hey Dale. You certainly should know that Freedoms have what it takes! There are going to be two doing the race. The other F30 skipper did it in 2016. I wanted to do it then, but didn't feel either Kynntana or I were ready. I've spent the past few years racing/cruising a lot and beefing up everything so my expectation is that her systems are now solid. This has included new masthead crane and wiring, new tricolor, new VHF and wiring, new running rigging, dropping the rudder and packing it with grease (I'm curious how many people have ever done this?), new sails, new rigid boom vang, better reefing system (i.e., not in-boom), new Tides strong track (the new sail had so much power it was pulling the old slugs out), new autopilot, stronger blocks in traveller, new electronics, new bottom paint (all old paint sanded off and new barrier coat added), new folding prop and shaft trued, more hand holds, all ports and hatch leaks fixed, and new arch with solar panel. I'm waiting for a new prototype emergency rudder from Scanmar for my Monitor slef-steering. That should be ready next week. The main things I'm doing this weekend are adding winches on the coaming (the one thing lacking in Freedoms and I don't have the gunmount pole) and getting the SSB and modem figured out to download Gribs and get SailMail. Then there are all the redundant gear and tools to fix things if anything should break. So yeah, I'm fairly confident that Kynntana is a solid boat. I am also soooo ready to get going. I've had enough with the boat projects!!
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:54   #24
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

I can only imagine how excited u r these days as the day of judgement arrives. Proud of you. BTW, is that your Freedom in the front row at the Vallejo Yacht club? For some reason I thought u said something about your boat being in Vallejo.

I used to race when I was younger. I look at what you have done to "ready" your boat... and smile at how much money we pump into our boats. It really becomes obsession for us, da? The fleet organizers want it to be as safe as it can be. I think you will do well. I have always loved the unstayed Freedoms. I have a twin masted Sharpie. She is unstayed and winchless. She matches my personality perfectly of being unstable and clueless perfectly. I added a second boat down in San Carlos in April just to confirm my wife's deepest fears that I am truly insane about boats.

I am so excited for you. You must have 40000 thoughts going on n your head at any one time getting ready. When you were 20 years old... did u ever think u would be doing this?

Would you be willing to give us a rough estimate of how much money you have spent getting the boat beefed up and ready for this race since you committed to the idea of solo racing?
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Old 02-06-2018, 14:01   #25
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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Would you be willing to give us a rough estimate of how much money you have spent getting the boat beefed up and ready for this race since you committed to the idea of solo racing?
That could be a splash of cold water that would cause ME goosebumps... is it possible sometimes it may be better not to know, perhaps?
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Old 02-06-2018, 14:53   #26
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

Don, very tactful and fun. I've put 40k into my restoration on a 5 k boat. I'm still not done. But I'll say I am over the hump. It would be nice if she wants to share. If she doesn't share I understand the pain. What an adventure for her or anyone to be a participant of this historical race.... and to do it singlehanded. She's got a good boat with the unstayed rig.
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Old 02-06-2018, 15:12   #27
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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Don, very tactful and fun. I've put 40k into my restoration on a 5 k boat. I'm still not done. But I'll say I am over the hump. It would be nice if she wants to share. If she doesn't share I understand the pain. What an adventure for her or anyone to be a participant of this historical race.... and to do it singlehanded. She's got a good boat with the unstayed rig.
I completely agree! I am just imagining what my wife might say if I ever laid out all the $ spent on the boat.. and I am doing it on a shoestring without any big plans!
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Old 02-06-2018, 15:15   #28
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

Gamayun,

On one of our trips back from HI to SF, it was pretty vigorous conditions. There was a deep low off Mexico, and the high got sucked south, and the NW'lies slid down on us, as well. At the same time, Skip Allen was also returning from HI to SF. He recommended on ham radio that we sail south a bit to get closer to the lighter winds. We didn't want to lose the northing we had clawed to gain, did not follow his advice, and had gales and quite large seas for most of the trip, whereas Skip, wonderful and knowledgeable sailor, and "Wildflower," understanding the wx pattern better, never had over 20 knots, and had gone straight from HI to Santa Cruz, no great loop to "get over the high".

It was a good thing to learn that one can still stand one's watches while so seasick one is shaking.

Ann
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Old 02-06-2018, 23:51   #29
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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I can only imagine how excited u r these days as the day of judgement arrives. Proud of you. BTW, is that your Freedom in the front row at the Vallejo Yacht club? For some reason I thought u said something about your boat being in Vallejo.

I used to race when I was younger. I look at what you have done to "ready" your boat... and smile at how much money we pump into our boats. It really becomes obsession for us, da? The fleet organizers want it to be as safe as it can be. I think you will do well. I have always loved the unstayed Freedoms. I have a twin masted Sharpie. She is unstayed and winchless. She matches my personality perfectly of being unstable and clueless perfectly. I added a second boat down in San Carlos in April just to confirm my wife's deepest fears that I am truly insane about boats.

I am so excited for you. You must have 40000 thoughts going on n your head at any one time getting ready. When you were 20 years old... did u ever think u would be doing this?

Would you be willing to give us a rough estimate of how much money you have spent getting the boat beefed up and ready for this race since you committed to the idea of solo racing?
Oh my, Alan, where to start?! First, I wonder whose Freedom that is in Vallejo? What is its name? Mine is in Oakland tucked behind Coast Guard Island. My primary purposes for joining the SSS was to learn how to become a better sailor and how to safely cross an ocean whether I have crew or not. When I first heard about the race in 2012 (before I bought my boat), I thought, "yeah, that's just nuts. Who does that?"

The main thought in my head right now is probably, "you have got to learn how the SSB works!!!" And there are still some 4,000 things to do before I leave. It kills me to say this but I have probably spent an average of $10k per year on the boat. Most of the work I do myself with a huge amount of assistance from skilled and generous friends. I've been lucky and super blessed in this way. I would have never gotten this close to the start line without their support. I'm sure if a boat yard were to have done this work instead, it would have been easily $30-40k per year. I paid $52k for my boat in 2013.

I love that you have a boat that matches your "unstable and clueless personality." I so get that, though for me, Kynntana is definitely the sturdy, stable one whenever I might be weak-kneed by fear. I have never heard of a Sharpie and thought I'd heard about all the other free-standing rigs out there. Can you post a pic? How the heck do you sail winchless?!?!

Thank you very much for your nice email and well wishes, Alan By the way, have we raced together? You're not the same Alan who wears kilts and throws telephone poles, are ya?
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Old 03-06-2018, 00:03   #30
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Re: Kauai to San Francisco - mid July

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Gamayun,

On one of our trips back from HI to SF, it was pretty vigorous conditions. There was a deep low off Mexico, and the high got sucked south, and the NW'lies slid down on us, as well. At the same time, Skip Allen was also returning from HI to SF. He recommended on ham radio that we sail south a bit to get closer to the lighter winds. We didn't want to lose the northing we had clawed to gain, did not follow his advice, and had gales and quite large seas for most of the trip, whereas Skip, wonderful and knowledgeable sailor, and "Wildflower," understanding the wx pattern better, never had over 20 knots, and had gone straight from HI to Santa Cruz, no great loop to "get over the high".

It was a good thing to learn that one can still stand one's watches while so seasick one is shaking.

Ann
Skip (AKA sleddog) is sailing royalty. To know him is like being a child who has been let into some special inner circle with the cool kids. Yet, you'd never know that by talking to him. He also writes these amazing posts on the forum about everyone and everything in the sailing world along the West Coast and elsewhere. He is one of those guys (and there are very few of them in my book) where if he told me "you might want to sail south" I would probably do it without a single second thought. And yes, I found out on my qualifier that it is possible to go 3 days without eating and still be able to race the boat
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