half time

Life with 11th Hour Racing on the TJV

That’s right sports fans it’s halftime. 2500 miles down and 2500 miles to go. If we actually knew how long the race was going to take would we have even left the dock? You bet, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t started to miss simple things like ice and a full night sleep on a bed that does not crash and bang. This race is all about endurance. Keeping the pressure up 24 hours a day, day after day, takes its toll after a while. Both of us are looking forward to just being able to chill out and not worry about boat speed for 5 minutes.

After two days floundering around in the bottom of a high-pressure system, we broke free yesterday morning and have had an action packed run since. The breeze piped up good and proper and we spent the night surfing down big waves with sustained boat speeds in excess of 20 knots. When these boats get really juiced up they are a high adrenaline experience. It makes for some big grins.

Sprits onboard are high, even though it has been frustrating to watch some of our competition to the north hook into a different weather pattern and put some crucial miles on us that we will spend the rest of the race trying to whittle down. We have been running 4-hour watches, which is on the long side, but enables the off watch person to have some proper down time. We have enough variety of freeze-dried food onboard that things are still interesting. I’m not sure how we are going to feel about that in another 10 days. There is only so much freeze-dried chili a man can eat. We also think some barking spiders snuck onboard in the freeze dried bags because we keep hearing them barking after meal-time. They must just like the freeze-dried.

The Hydro-Generator has been a really great addition to the boat and has generally supplied all the power we need and more. So much more, in fact, that it has opened up discussion about any number of 12 volt appliances that might be brought onboard. Ice cream machine? Bread machine? Why not?

All in all it’s been a good 2500 miles. There has been some good weather and some bad. Some really fun times and some times when all we want to do is pull our hair out (flopping around with no wind and lots of rain can do that). The ups and downs are part of ocean racing. Its all about the journey.

One of my biggest impressions so far has been with the shear amount of water out here. It sounds silly but even after spending so much of my life on the water, this trip has impressed upon me just how much water there really is on the planet. We have seen one or two boats in the last week, a whale, a couple birds, and a bunch of flying fish. But mostly it’s day after day of water and clouds, as far as the eye can see. It really is amazing.

Now our sights are firmly set on Costa Rica and that first rum drink. I can almost taste it now. First we have a few boats we need to try and beat to the finish line.