From the SC 50 Hula Girl racing in the Pac Cup…
It’s a little after 3 am out here in the middle of nowhere.
Well, actually we aren’t in any proverbial nowhere, we are out in the beautiful Pacific Ocean on a fantastic evening., so that part might be a little misleading. But the middle part is wholly accurate: we have just passed the halfway point in the 2012 Pacific Cup race from San Francisco to Hawaii. Out here, right now, we are farther from any speck of dry land than you can get anywhere else on the planet. 1035 miles, if you want to be exact. So if ‘somewhere’ for you equates to terra firma, then I guess indeed we might be in the middle of nowhere after all.
Out here we are pushing into the tradewinds where the breeze comes on stronger and steadier. Earlier, the sliver of a moon pushed thru the patchy clouds, a welcome sight after a couple of dark dark nights out here. The way the reflected light plays off the water in a shimmery streak off the side of the boat which masks the speeds we are hitting as Hula Girl surfs, then loads up on the back of a wave, then surfs again. The darkness can almost fool you into thinking that we are stationary, a snapshot with all the trappings of speed, but frozen… unless you look down and see the water rushing by, or hear the hissing of the searing past the hull, or catch a glimpse of the spray thrown by the bow. Then it’s pretty clear we are trucking along. The moon has set now, and it;s all stars.
I just spent an hour driving. It’s just glorious out there. I snuck the earbuds in and fired up the tunes. It’s about my favorite thing in the world: driving a fast boat with the kite up at night on shuffle play. It will never get old.
It’ wont be getting light out here for a while… we are somewhere between Pacific TIme and Hawaiian time, where civic distinctions don’t exist and the mariners only deal with their own language, differences from Zulu, GMT, and the like. Life is good aboard… we are having a blast. Great company, great sailing, great competition. We have been underway a little over four and a half days, with about 4 to go, if we are lucky.
But who am I kidding…. we are already lucky.
Time to get some sleep before the next watch. Have a great night, and we’ll .see you all when the sun comes ’round again…
Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team