The last days of the Pacific Cup race were quite busy. Since the spinnaker halyard broke we couldn't sail directly down wind so we had to sail at steeper angles off the wind, Gybing back and forth across the rhumb line instead of directly toward the finish line. I'm very late in posting this blog entry, but we are all safe and finished the race on July 23rd.
The last few days of the race were full of making water, managing electricity consumption and allowing the solar panels to charge the batteries as much as possible during the day so we could sail through each night. Since our alternator failed several days earlier the solar panels have provided all of our needed electricity. It's important to note the we turned on the engine, for battery charging only - not propulsion - for a total of 6 hrs during the race. During those 6 hrs we realized that they alternator had failed and much of the 6 hours was spend trouble shooting the problem. Since we couldn't correct the problem at sea we never did turn the engine on again until about a mile past the finish line. I'll detail more about the needed repairs in a later post. the solar panels generated enough electricity to run the water maker 6-10 hours each day, the fridge and freezer several hours each day, the navigation and communication equipment, and necessary lighting. The solar panels did this while charging our 1000 Ah house batteries so we would have energy during the night. We turned most all of our navigation equipment except for the low power LCD screens that display our instruments, wind speed and direction, boat speed, depth, heading, and auto helm on occasion.
We sailed toward the finish line gybing along the to eventually cross the finish line @ 1724 on July 23rd for a transit time of 14 days. We had a great time, worked hard, and sailed from San Francisco to Hawaii to achieve out common goals.
Congratulations to my crew for a job well done, and thank you all who helped make this possible.
Now, on to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch!