2023 SHTP SF to Hawaii 3 Westsailors are in the race

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  • July 05, 2023 6:47 PM
    Reply # 13224045 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/3

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Monday, July 3rd

    We hit the 1/2 mark at 0630 SF time this am! Was nice to get to that milestone.

    The wind got very light and shifty through the night, so it was hard to find a point of sail that wasn’t thrashing around in the swells. At some point, I finally found a good point of sail that was a bit higher than I wanted to head, but it mellowed out things; I figured it would shift back.

    Finally got a few hours of sleep in the early morning. Today was supposed to be in a zone of about 12-14 knots of breeze, but it was more like 5-8 knots for hours this morning/early afternoon. Rolling around like that is hard on morale and the gear. Just trying to stay positive, knowing my position in the race standings can’t be good unless this crazy light air stuff is spread through the course. Was getting ready to set the spin with enough breeze, and then in a matter of 10min it went from 10 knots to 20, and we were barreling along at 7.5knts of boat speed. Had that boost for a few hours. It’s going to be a long last half of the race if the wind continues to be so much less than forecast.

    Had my 1/2 way mark celebration with the presents, cards, and pictures Dani sent along with me and some ice cream. The freezer isn’t really all that frozen since I’ve been shutting the refrigerator off at night to save power; with all the cloud cover we aren’t getting a full charge every day. It was super mushy ice cream, but delicious nonetheless!

    ⛵️Team Tortuga 

  • July 05, 2023 6:48 PM
    Reply # 13224046 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/4


    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Tuesday, July 4th

    Happy Birthday, America! It was another super light shifty wind at the start of the day. I was just trying to find a combination of course and sails to minimize the rolling in the swells. The wind finally filled in, and we were 5.5/6 knots all day.

    I was feeling pretty lethargic and couldn’t motivate myself to get the spinnaker up. I smashed my knee pretty good a few days ago while tripping on deck, and it was sore, but then, while doing the thru-hull repair, I had to do some crazy boat yoga to get all the way over the engine and into the stern area The only way to support myself and have my hands free was to put all my weight on my right knee. After doing that for a 4th time, I’d really done something to my kneecap. It started swelling and getting red. In the picture, it's looking better than 2 days ago when it was a big red blob Been icing throughout the day the last few days and taking it easy, and that’s helping keep the swelling down. Maybe that’s why I’m feeling so run down. Anyway, It’s hard to move around right now, so my moves getting around a bouncing boat are very calculated. Today was spent being mellow and icing my knee.

    Hoping the wind holds and we don’t start the day again bobbing around for a few hours before the wind fills in, which seems to be the pattern the last few days. Still mostly clouds today but actually had a sunset for a moment.

    Day 10 and still not shorts weather! I want my money back! 

    ⛵️Team Tortuga 


  • July 06, 2023 11:46 AM
    Reply # 13224442 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/5

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Wednesday, July 5th

    Another light wind starts the day. Looking at the weather forecast it’s going to be pretty light today and tomorrow. Usually, on this part of the race, it’s blowing in the high teens and gusting into the 20s, and you’re basically holding on for the ride. That would have been fantastic this year but, not the case.

    I am feeling a bit better today, although my knee is still pretty swollen, and it’s challenging moving around. If it continues to be on the lighter side maybe I’ll try to get the kite back up. Would be so much faster, but it’s a lot of foredeck work to get the all-spinnaker gear up and launch with limited mobility, etc.

    I made contact today with the medical outfit the PacCup uses for medical advice at sea, just to be safe on the safe side. The knee is definitely painful, but the swelling is more alarming; it’s also swollen off to the side of my calf, not where I injured it. The feedback from the Dr is I’m doing all the right things, icing it, elevating it, taking ibuprofen, and trying to keep weight off it. They had me draw a circle around the red-swollen area with a sharpie to monitor the progress in the next 12/24 hours. Great idea! So taking it easy again and have been doing a comfortable 5.5 knots pretty much all day. Great for cruising, but terrible for racing.

    The ring that the topping lift and downhaul attach to, on the whisker pole decided today was its last day. Heard the pole drop and some chaos. Got some Dyneema lashing and made a new loop, and back in business.

    Was sunny pretty much all day, and the batteries got over 13 for the first time during the trip. Ended the day with a gorgeous sunset; as the sun went down, I could see a series of squalls running mostly parallel with us all stacking up and making one larger black squall mass, getting bigger and darker and more ominous.

    I dropped the head sail to slow us down a bit and to try and let it pass, and after about 20 min. I also headed up about 40 deg for 30 min to let it pass. I didn’t want to take any chances of getting caught up in that one; it looked nasty!

    There was a large white light off in the distance to the port side. Assuming it was a commercial shipping operation of some sort. Didn’t see anything on AIS, but with the amount of light I assumed it was still a good 5-10 miles away. Eventful way to end an uneventful day.

    Singlehanded sailing takes a village. Dani helping coordinate coms with the Drs and my friend Jim sourcing all the parts I need for repairs HI, just another example of the team efforts. There is no “I” in Team Tortuga.

    Team Tortuga

  • July 09, 2023 3:58 PM
    Reply # 13225594 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/6

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Thursday, July 6th

    The most uncomfortable night of the trip so far. It was near impossible to get any sleep with the crazy rolling motion side to side with the counter sea state colliding. I did slightly doze off, for a bit, to be shaken awake around 0530 with the sails slating terribly and doing about 2 knots.

    I could sort of make out the squall behind me headed our way, and it made sense being on the leading edge no wind zone. Calm before the storm! Well, not really, but I had a nice burst of speed for an hour and was doing 7.5knots. The first time the chart plotter showed less than 100 hours to finish. 99 hours of miles on the wall, 99 hours of miles, take one downpour, pass it around, 98 hours of miles on the wall… Now THAT is a song I can get behind! If only that was a consistent boat speed. Back to light winds all morning and eeking out 5.5 knots.

    The swelling on my knee has gone down a bit; it is still swollen on the side of my leg though. It’s turning a dark red hue.  I can’t put much weight on it. Keeping off of it as much as I can.

    More light winds all day. Really hoping the gribs are right, and we start getting into the wind in the mid to high teens soon. I had a view of an amazing sunset tonight and a pesto penne with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and olives for dinner.

    The Kraken has not been sighted as of yet.

    Team Tortuga

  • July 09, 2023 3:59 PM
    Reply # 13225595 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/7

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Friday, July 7th

    I’m no longer awarding the most uncomfortable night of the trip, as I had thought the previous was it, but now all the remaining nights want to win it. Nope. Sorry. No longer part of the Tortuga Awards program, so you can all stop vying for it!

    I will say that there was a real moment of zen hand steering around 0300 doing a smooth 7.7 knots of boat speed as a squall was passing over us. The boat felt perfectly balanced while the rain and winds whipped past for about an hour. The winds, dare I say, have picked up a little later this afternoon in more the 15-knot rage, which is keeping us closer to a steady 6 knots of boat speed and is bringing us that time to finish read out on the chart plotter so much closer!

    When we occasionally jump up to 6.5/6.7 of boat speed, it actually becomes less than 72 hours! That's only 3 more days of singing sea shanties, getting rum rations, and carving exquisite scrimshaw art. Because, of course, that’s what I’ve been doing this whole time!

    The red Sharpie perimeter drawn on my leg has worked and kept the swelling from my knee from spreading farther. Every medical kit should have one of these magic markers. Still lots of icing, elevation, and taking vitamin I.

    I had another great sunset; the boat was doing 6/6.5 with winds in the high teens into the wee hours.
    We are getting there. Slowly, but we are getting there.
    Team Tortuga

  • July 09, 2023 3:59 PM
    Reply # 13225596 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Randy and Tortuga are safe and sound. Follow them here.

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/8

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Saturday, July 8th

    The squalls continued throughout the night, helping keep the boat speed up. I had just popped my head up the companionway to check the glowing sunrise happening behind us. No sooner had I done that, the AIS alarm went off. There was a boat headed our way on our starboard quarter. There was no name displayed for the AIS ID, but I saw it doing about 9 knots, so I assumed it was a Transpac fleet boat. I hailed them on the VHF radio, and sure enough, it was SV Juno from the Transpac fleet. I had a nice chat with them. They asked me what my wind speed instruments were reading. I said “Light in the morning and windy in the afternoon.” “Oh, you’re a real Sailor” was the reply” I don’t have a wind speed indicator regardless". Haha. They passed me astern by about 2 mi doing 10 knots underspin.

    Light air and rolly seas most of the day. Frustrating knowing that it’s normally much windier on this part of the course, and I should have been making a lot better progress. The swelling of my kneecap has gone down but not the swelling of my leg around the injury. The doctors recommend I start taking antibiotics today just in case something else is awry with fluid build-up etc. Danielle had sent them a list of all my meds on board, so I had what was needed.

    Was hoping for a Mai Tai Monday arrival but it will be more like a Tiki Time Tuesday one at this point…

    Team Tortuga

  • July 09, 2023 4:03 PM
    Reply # 13225598 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The racers are getting close to HI... 


    Webcam at Hanalei Bay resort. 

    Current position out of Hanalei Bay at time of posting 

    Hulu is 88 miles @ 6.4kt
    Elizabeth Ann is 114 miles @ 6.7
    Tortuga is 235 @ 6.3kt

    1 file
    Last modified: July 09, 2023 4:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • July 10, 2023 8:07 AM
    Reply # 13225825 on 13219736

    A MAGNIFICENT RACE!  Hula, with Bill Stange, crossed the finish about 20 minutes ahead of Elizabeth Ann,  with Gary Burton, BUT, Elizabeth Ann corrected out about 15 minutes ahead of Hula.  Elizabeth Ann has a one second per mile rating advantage over Hula, due to technical differences.    

    Elizabeth Ann and Hula will be listed as the 12th and 13th fastest, corrected time finishes of all time in the history of the Single Handed Trandpac (SHTP). A truly MAGNIFICENT RACE! I am in tears. Randy, on Tortuga, is currently holding on to 8th place. He is due in Tomorrow morning and will also break the previous W-32 record crossing set in 1978 by Michael Lintner.

    Last modified: July 13, 2023 10:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
  • July 13, 2023 10:27 AM
    Reply # 13227434 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Randy and Tortuga 7/9

    Tales from the Deck of Tortuga
    Sunday, July 9th

    Had a clear sky for a few twinkling hours with loads of constellations visible before the light pollution of the moon rise.

    Steady breeze throughout the night with another beautiful sunrise. Had a few intense squalls in the morning with some rain. I’ve been able to keep my sails up and drive the boat down as it passes over us. I saw 8.4 knots of boat speed for a bit as one was passing over.

    The swelling of my knee and the part of my leg that puffed up next to the injury has gone down a little. Hoping the antibiotics are doing their job.

    The wind was strong in the mid to high teens today until about 3 pm, then it got into one of its light zone moods of 10-12 knots with rolling cross swells. Super frustrating watching the time to finish diminish when you go from sailing at 7 knots to 5 knots. It’s almost a day longer.

    Made up a batch of pesto gnocchi for dinner as well as the next few meals.

    I’ve been using both Pelagic autopilot actuators switching between “Cheech and Chong” as they have become affectionately named. Cheech is the standard-size Pelagic that I’ve been using at night because it takes less power, but he likes to talk and talk and is always telling stories. Chong is the heavy unit (heavy man, heavy), I installed it before this trip. He’s a lot less chatter, but you’ve got to keep an eye on him, and his course sometimes gets cloudy. He’s tripped on the breaker a few times, but I’ve got on a new higher amp one coming to the islands. Far out man!…

    Team Tortuga

  • July 13, 2023 10:28 AM
    Reply # 13227435 on 13219736
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    (Dani) Hi everyone!

    I am thrilled to report that Randy and Tortuga arrived safe and sound. Randy got a text from Dave King earlier today, and Tortuga (along with the other two Westsails) beat the previous standing Westsail record. Tortuga finished in 15 days and 18 hours! This beats Tortuga’s previous record of 17 days.

    Thank you all for the support and sweet messages during this adventure


    From Randy and Tortuga 7/10 and 7/11

    Tales from the deck of Tortuga

    Monday, July 10thThe wind picked up through the night, and I was down to the double reefed main and pulled out super Yankee. We were ripping along at 7-8 knots all night. Had a few long squalls that helped with the increased winds. With the reefed down main, the helm was light but I think the small amount of sail up added to the increased yawning we were doing with the cross swell. It was laughable to try and get any sleep with the thrashing of the boat and swinging beam to beam. I managed an hour by wedging myself on the cabin sole between the settee and the life raft with some bean bags just because I wouldn’t go flying back and forth. Hula and Elizabeth Ann, the other 2 Westsails, have finished by now An amazing run those guys put in!! Hoping they both correct out in the top tier! It’s physically and mentally draining just sailing the boat with white sails let alone managing sailing with spinnakers for more speed with the large waves and squalls etc. day after day. Since I injured my knee I’ve basically sailing the boat conservatively and trying to keep it balanced enough to handle squalls with minimal intervention. Yesterday was the most deck work I’ve tried to do since the injury with switching the jib pole around and reefing etc and I can really feel the knee today. It’s hard to balance and not put weight on the knee etc.

    We are in the home stretch now! If the winds don’t go light on me I should be arriving after midnight or so. We shall see. Lots of squalls on and off today. There were a few that looked pretty intimidating but were just a lot of rain and no crazy wind speed increases. ETA is now around 0200-0300!

    Team Tortuga 


    Tales from the deck of Tortuga

    Tuesday, July 11thOf course my finish had to be at 1 in the morning and rainy! I was so backward with the time that I thought it was actually was 3 hours ahead! Why would it be daylight, who needs that to see anything? Thank you to the race committee for being there in the wee hours today to help with the finish, getting the boat anchored, etc., and a big special thank you to my North Star Danielle for coming out for the finish and being there for me. This race is hard. It's hard emotionally and physically to get the boat ready and make sure you’re doing all the right things for a safe crossing. It's hard on your relationships because you have spent months just working on boat projects while putting other priorities aside. It’s hard financially, with the amount of money spent on gear or boat yard bills, etc. As well as there is all of this pressure that “Hey it’s a race, I gotta do well!” that pressure along with the hardships converge and create this fission of energy that produces something so special for the very few people who are able to do the race. You’ve got this priceless gem of a memory born out of all the difficulties and sacrifices it took to make this happen. There is a reason that some people sail this race multiple times. (Myself included) Perhaps it’s trying to do better over all time or sail faster than another boat. Or try the race on a different boat. But maybe it’s something more, the chance to challenge yourself personally and time to reflect on what’s really important in life. Feeling at one with the rhythms of nature and slowing down the pace of today's hectic connected life Regardless, We’ll all have something to remember now when we’re in our rocking chairs and say “Yeah I did that, I sailed my boat singlehanded to Hawaii, and what an amazing experience it was!” (“Oh no, not THAT story again!”)

    Team Tortuga 


    Last modified: July 17, 2023 12:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
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