MARTHA departed Waikiki at 1100 hrs on August 1st bound for Ko’olina Marina to refuel and then on to the fabled Hanalei Bay, Kauai.

Transpac was an incredible experience from start to finish and I think it important to note that the Transpac Yacht Club is a non profit mostly volunteer organization.  The Race it sponsors is made possible by the tremendous excitement and energy of the staff and volunteers on both coasts.  In Honolulu alone there are about 550 volunteers.

For instance, when a vessel is 100 miles out from the finish there is a check in call. This starts the machine rolling on shore and preparations are made.  At 25 miles there is another check in with a more accurate ETA.  A VHF call at 5 miles and then across the line at Diamond Head, finish time is confirmed and then boats are handed over to a guide boat to guide you into Ali Wai boat harbor.

The Tpac officials and the guide boats were especially busy because of a large Southerly swell that was breaking in the  Ala Wai Harbor Chanel.  The harbor had been closed the night before and we were the last boat in the day of our arrival.

Officials on the beach would time the wave sets and then give the “go for it” high sign on the VHF,  with the final bit of encouragement, “don’t stop and don’t slow down.” In our case, as we entered the channel about 100 yards behind us an 8 foot swell reared up.  I could tell something was behind us by the somewhat shocked look on the crews faces as they looked aft, Doug softly said, “don’t look back.”

Somewhere out there a photo will surface I’m sure!

From the first check in at 100 miles out the vessel’s host, (that’s right, each vessel has a host),  has been on call 24 hrs a day and is preparing the welcoming party.

What a lovely feeling to have smiling, welcoming people assist with your dock lines, greet you with an Aloha,  drape a lei around your neck, and hand you a Pineapple drink with ICE.     After the  Transpac officials  boarded and cleared us in with all regulation paperwork, we were free to relax and enjoy the party provided by our host, Lenny, and the Waikiki Yacht Club.  Jim Callahan, John’s brother, organized some music and a traditional Hula dancer.  What an enchanted evening!

We can’t say enough about MARTHA’s Aloha experience and give a hearty thanks to our host Lenny and the Waikiki Yacht Club!

Aloha

Aloha

We all really like ALOHA.

 

Departure for Kauai!

MARTHA motors to Ko’olina to refuel!

 

After refueling our short crew of 6 raised sail, deep reefed main and staysails and turned to the Kaena point on the the North

Sydney and Pat,  watch mates

Sydney and Pat, watch mates

west corner of Oahu. In the lee of Oahu we were seeing wind in the 17 to 26 knot range with small wind chop,  once  clear of the Kaena point we were  exposed to the full fetch of the pacific  and the seas were chaotic and large, wind now 25 to 30.

Blue Pacific and Oahu West End

Blue Pacific and Oahu West End

 

 

 

 

 

We were seeing more spray and water on deck now then anytime during Transpac, we  struck the main and proceeded under staysails alone and that made for easier going.

At dawn Kauai was in sight and we were anchor down in Hanalei Bay.

Unless we get chased out buy Guillermo we will be here until August 16th, bound for Victoria B.C.

And then Home!

Ist sunset in Hanalei Bay

Ist sunset in Hanalei Bay

 

MARTHA and crew are safely and comfortably tucked in at the Waikiki Yacht club in the Ala Wai boat harbor in Honolulu.

It was nip and tuck on arrival as we were the last boat in before they closed the harbor due to dangerously high breaking surf at the harbor entrance.

One more night Offshore wild not have been so bad,  but there would certainly been some disappointment with the beautiful Waikiki yacht club so close at hand!

Fetching Catalina

Fetching Catalina

 

The race was an incredible adventure MARTHA and her crew did a fantastic job of getting it done!

The wind for our start was light but began to build towards Catalina.   Clearing the west end of Catalina we continued to climb in order to make some Westing and get positioned  into the pressure we knew was to the Northwest.

Apparent wind speeds at around 25-28 across the deck made for a lively wet ride, there’s no way around the issue that going fast in big seas is a wet proposition!  Martha was happy with a single reefed main, and working sails, fishermen when effective.

Once we were able to  crack off a bit life tended to get easier and we were clicking off some sea mile.   IMG_4619

4 days in a row over 200 miles a day, one day at 236 miles.

We knew that the leaders in the fleet were climbing West and a bit North,  we wanted to climb but the stronger pressure was just outside our reach.

Our fear was if we chase the wind North of West and we don’t get there in time,” the pressure always seemed a day ahead”, we would get stranded well north of what seemed prudent.

Snug and with big smiles

Snug and with big smiles

If we could stay in reasonable pressure south of west we could tighten the string to Hawaii and save some miles.

Well it didn’t go that way, looking at the weather charts there was a chance of some pressure to the Southwest, so off we went looking for a break, which we did get now and again but we did spend a great deal of time with 6 and 7 knots of wind across the deck.

The day before we finished was the slowest day,  3 and 4 knots boat speed, yuk!

When we would see an increase in apparent wind from 6-8 to 10 to 12 knots MARTHA would light up and really move out.

The Schooner rig is un willing to go deep or DDW,  we need to reach fast and we need pressure 15 knots of wind or more to make up for not going deep.  The crew  worked hard at switching gears and making sail changes and we were successful in always keeping the boat moving.

When we conceived of racing  Transpac,  we promised ourselves to sail conservatively and safe.

As a prudent mariner we must protect the vessel and crew from injury and as  responsible Foundation Board members and Captain we can not afford to break MARTHA and have her stranded in Hawaii.

Schooner Sisters

Schooner Sisters

Durring the day we pushed as hard as prudent and by O dark thirty we were snugged down to Fisherman, Mainstay sail, A spin and Main.

The watch could handle most evolutions and it afforded a level of safety and comfort.

The only exception was the last night out, we flew the Queen all night with a very watchful eye for squalls, “glad we did” and she did the trick!

For some Historic data, we have  a copy of Ocean Racing by Alf Loomis aboard, courtesy of Tim Mehrer Captain of Zodiac. I affords us a look to see how MARTHA did in Transpac compared to her sisters long gone.

In the chapter on Transpac Alfred writes:

1906 LURLINE  had a time of  12 d, 09h, 59 m.

1908 LURLINE        ”                 13 d, 21 h, 31 m.

1910 HAWAII          ”                  14 d, 03h, 23 m.

1912 LURLINE         ”                 13d,  17h, 03m.

2015 MARTHA        ”                  13d,   7h, 28m, 32s.

You get the Idea!

Not bad for her first Transpac,  especially a Transpac with such difficult weather conditions to sail in.  JR Hanify and B,B, Crwninshield would be proud!

From the heart, the Schooner Martha Foundation Board and crew would like to thank all those friends far and wide that have given of themselves to keep MARTHA alive and well into the next 100 years!

Mahalo !

Aloha!

Aloha!

 

Tracking note

We will not be using our trusty SPOT tracker for this leg.    You can follow all the boats on the Transpac website    and then go to the “yellowbrick tracking”.     We will try to send updates to our Facebook page, remember, you do not need to be a member to look at […]

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Transpac / Bound for Honolulu

MARTHA is on the way to the start line off Point Fermin. The crew has worked its magic and we are as ready as we can be! The division splits are in and the times are posted on the Transpac web site,  in our division we will be head to head, boat for boat with […]

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Gearing up for Transpac / Departure for Long Beach

MARTHA is preparing for a San Francisco departure and the crew have all gathered for a Friday evening dinner at the Saint Francis Yacht Club. Special thanks to the Saint Francis for hosting MARTHA the week before our departure for Longbeach. We find it an interesting fact that as MARTHA and crew prepare,  we are […]

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San Francisco Events and Friends

The Great Schooner Race was quite a hoot  and a wonderful weekend was had by all.    Check out the photos and such on our face book page. Thank you to Ted Pike for making the journey from Port Townsend to visit and sail with us,  it’s good to see friends from Port Townsend.  Edensaw […]

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SFYC and Camp Four Winds/Westward Ho

We continue our adventures in the big Bay and have now found our way back to the San Francisco Yacht Club who has most graciously hosted MARTHA,  their flag-ship.   We will be here for the week, getting ready for the Great San Francisco Schooner Cup and preparing  for the upcoming Trans-Pac ocean passage and […]

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Master Mariners Regatta

The 2015 Master Mariners Regatta proved to be an exciting if not a difficult race.  There was a little of the first and a lot of the second with a strong flood ripping through the gate. MARTHA was fortunate to have a great after guard of local bay talent with our crew member John Callahan, […]

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San Francisco Bay

Where it all began. The crew from the Schooner Martha Foundation has been working for 19 years to get to the point where MARTHA was ready to return to this event.    All of the volunteer work and support from the community is paying off and MARTHA is here! In 1996 when the seeds for […]

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Point Conception to Santa Cruz

MARTHA and crew enjoyed a rare gift from Neptune, San Diego to Santa Barbara in 24 hours. After a two day respite we made an early morning journey to Cojo Anchorage at Pt Conception.   After resting and checking over everything,  we boogied North to Santa Cruz arriving in 26 hours. We had to motor the distance but […]

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