galacticair

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About galacticair

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    San Francisco
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    Multihulls

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  1. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Loving the suspense right now. Unlike previous editions there is no clear leader. Options have been taken and committed to, and everyone is more or less at a snail pace, if not a standstill. Now we just wait to see where the wind fills in first. Blueflash clearly decides not to attempt going N to Porlier Pass, after missing out on Active pass. Probably a smart move. We tried pushing to Porlier in 2016 on the F31 and rowed all night, even anchored for a bit. ‘Only’ 13nm to Porlier from Active, but it took us 10-11hrs or so, and by that point we were 6hrs behind the boats that had passed via Active just ahead. So Blueflash looks like they will wait out Active pass, the contrary current is now >4kts but should reduce to 2kt at 3am, and slack at 4am. If some breeze fills in maybe they’ll even make it out earlier, though I doubt it. Active Pass exit is 8-9nm windward of where Sail Like A Girl is now, currently doing 2kts and even less VMG. Meanwhile Ptarmigan appears to even be drifting S in Georgia St current... So the boats might all meet up pretty close once BlueFlash exits, race on! Of course all the Georgia straiters are hoping for the wind to fill in. We’ll see - all the forecasts have been inconclusive so far. Impressive work by all the soloers and doublehanded sailors too. Definitely fun to see where they all parked on the tracker’s satellite view! Good paddling conditions for them tomorrow I suspect.
  2. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    the Tracker is actually pretty good, I think. Yes, some boats 10min position reports get skipped sometimes, but 10min doesn’t make a huge difference unless you are a huge tracker junkee like some of us glued to it right now As Rick said, just click on your favorite boats and check the update times. Later on in the race I bet some trackers will start turning off - we had to cycle ours on/off at least every 24h in both 2016 and 2017 otherwise it would self power off at the 24h mark like clockwork. So the last update times become more important then. As for the boat logo vs track line - I think they’re separate data files and get updated at times at different intervals. I saw a case where the track line was ahead of the logo, which was indicating a position report 20min old, and presto some min later the position updated and the logo landed where the track was showing. So the track might be 1 10min sched ahead at times, useful for us power users!
  3. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    PT Watercraft looks like he hit a very nice current escalator along the south shore of N Pender Island. Probably created some wind too - been going a solid 5.5kts for a few positions. Behind MnotKrazee and BlueFlash are not quite benefiting from it (yet?). Sail Like a Girl is definitely making short work of the Saturna split at 6kts+, I’m surprised Ptarmigan is consistently 2kts slower in what should be same wind & current. To me E does look better for now, but who really knows what wind SLAG will find around that point! W has been hampered by a lot less wind than EC forecasted for Haro St.
  4. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Other points to keep in mind: PT Watercraft is most likely aiming to stop to sleep, which makes going the Active a logical choice - lots more places to stop on the inside, and if he misses Active tide gate he can always tuck in and resume when it is favorable again. I also think Mnotkrazee will be looking for calmer waters given the strong wind warning in Georgia str (even if it seems to have yet to pan out) - strong wind is definitely not their friend. So of the fully crewed all weather boats the more interesting comparisons are Blueflash going (for now) to Active or Boundary, followed by various tris (Lost Boys etc) and the Olsons. Meanwhile Sail Like a Girl, Ptarmigan and Wild Card are clearly opting for Saturna. PT Watercraft was doing well an hour ago, but right now the East has sped up a bid and West is slowing — sounds like 2016 again...
  5. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    So far all the forecasts look like they wrong, including EC (by a lot). Nothing new there...! I’m going to check out HRRR model which Randy suggested - never heard of it
  6. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Latest tracker shows Mnotkrazee and PT Watercraft didn’t take Johns pass so either they are going to Active or hedging their bets and keeping option open for boundary pass. Sail like a Girl and Ptarmigan did split right, so boats are already taking different bets, which is great. 18h wind reports show 6kts WNW at Kelp Reef, 3kts at Saturna, 11kts in E Georgia St (Tsawwassen ferry), but lightening up. Saturna reports always seem iffy - seems to be in a lee area, but certainly with current wind at Kelp reefs continuing to Active sounds tempting...
  7. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Historically the faster boats have passed Seymour on Monday late night or Tuesday early AM, with the following pack passing on Tuesday AM or afternoon. So Monday 10:16pm onwards is where is should get interesting. Keep in mind “official” (Waggoners guide) guidance is to pass within 20min or slack, though i’d personally put it at 60min still being reasonable (no major whirlpools), and some boats have done 90min or more after slack riding the building ebb, and seemed to do fine. I personally would not want to ride the 11kts max ebb Tuesday at 1:30am, in the middle of the night! The one good news is the current seems to generate apparent wind so you get some power in your sails at least, even if it is light elsewhere. I wonder what is the R2AK record for hairiest ride through Seymour? Any ideas?
  8. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Fair point - I don't know about other teams. I think though you'd be surprised how many teams at least check the tracker regularly -- you're pretty alone out there, so it's nice to follow how other boats are doing (even if they're not in your peer group). And definitely if you're competitive I think it's natural to check the nearby boats -- if they get too close, it gives you extra motivation to pedal harder/longer! On the Nacra 20, we actually looked at our phones a lot. Tracker, Navionics charts, weather forecasts, current wind reports at weather buoys... Every few hours probably. We had a handheld GPS for close-in nav, but those screens are way too small for looking beyond a few miles to the next passage options. The VHF weather was nice but you had to listen carefully so not to miss things. It matters how worried you are about heavy winds, and whether you sail at night. We sailed every night on the Nacra (at least half nights on two windier nights), and we also sailed between two gales <24hrs apart. That's not "sail what you've got" -- if we were sailing like we actually had a beach cat, we would not have sailed at night, and taken ~10 days, not 7 1/2 days. The way we were sailing, we looked at the weather because our lives depended on it. You probably care about the weather less if you're on a cabin-boat like a tri or a good monohull, but even then... The scariest sailing night of my life was R2AK 2016 on the F-31, because we looked at EC and EC was wrong about the timing of a gale, but right about the intensity. All day was well under forecast, so we didn't think twice about the discrepancy and got our butt truly 100% kicked after Bella Bella just as night fell. With land effects, you go around a headland and see the wind go from 5-10kts to 25-30kts+ in a few minutes -- if that happens at night, you don't even see it coming, and you're in instant survival conditions... But I take it folks would rather discuss other stuff, so I'll lay low for a while!
  9. galacticair

    nacra 5.8

    All else equal, take a look first to see if there's a big difference in the sails between the two boats. That's a big $ item and performance variable too. Get the best sails you can. Other than that, I'd look at hull conditions (cracks, hollow sounds / soft spots, obvious repairs, etc), mast condition (any cracks, plus look at the forestay attachment at the hounds, the forestay tang can elongate and need replacement), as well as the center beam right below the mast rotation ball (a known weak spot at least on larger Nacras where you'll see cracks in the aluminum. These are usually all repairable but you probably don't want to be fiber-glassing or riveting in month 1, unless that's something you enjoy... In contrast, cosmetic weathering, old lines, old hardware/blocks, and even the tramp are all fairly affordable to replace as new...
  10. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Reposting a good story about Leg 1 from the R2AK Facebook page: http://www.threesheetsnw.com/blog/2018/06/r2ak-2018-a-fast-and-fun-romp-across-the-proving-ground/ Looks like fun times on Team Wild Card - I love how they added a trapeze on the SC 27. Great example of the creativity spurred by R2AK.
  11. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    If that 1900 is true then I agree, i’d love to be at Saturna then. However, if it’s true, then getting there by 1900 given that lack of wind shown in Haro St is going to be tough. In 2017 we made it to Saturna by 2100 or so in very light winds (1-2kts, a lot of pedaling/paddling). If boats get to Saturna later than 1900 then the 2200 forecast in fact could be argument for going to Active if you can pedal there fast enough before the current gate closes. That wind hole E of Saturna doesn’t do you any good... In fact, 1900 looks like the conditions for 2016, were Saturna clearly won. 2200 looks like the conditions for 2017 — the results were more equal across the options, maybe even a bit better for Active. In 2017, had we known we’d get the 2200 conditions all Sunday, we might have chosen Active instead. We chose Saturna because we expected the 1900 conditions but didn’t get them (maybe we were too late)... I’ve seen 4+ model forecasts and one human forecast (Environment Canada) - none of them agree. But if you take EC and subtract 5kts, you still get a lot more wind than windy is showing in your screenshots - about 0-10kt in Haro, and 15-20kt in Georgia st. Given sea breeze effects i’d expect closer to 5-10kt in Haro in the afternoon. In that case the lane to Active could be quite quick. Only the sailors will know since they’ll find out the true local conditions on the waters. Plus big caveat, i’m not local to PNW. Folks in PNW, especially anyone who has done the Van Isles 360 probably have a ton smarter thoughts. I’d love to see them!
  12. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Your math is right - my point is 6nm further north once you exit Active is a lot shorter even with wind. Beating up wind it could be 90min to cover that distance, and there may not be that much wind right around Saturna. That’s what makes it interesting. Do you prioritize shortest distance (Active), or fastest way to Georgia strait (which I agree is John’s Pass then Saturna). By the way Saturna is what we took in 2017 on the Nacra along with Broderna and Freeburd I believe, and were happy with that choice in the light airs, even through Pear Shaped on the Multi 23 also did great via Active Pass, and Bad Kitty took a middle option (heading towards Saturna but hitching left at the last minute to take a pass just W of Saturna, shown in the green line on your map), which seemed fine too. In contrast in 2016 John’s Pass seemed to pay off big time, much more one-sided. The other thing is Active is slack current in the early evening Sunday and quickly builds to an opposing 2kt current by 10pm. So a boat needs to be confident of making it before the gate closes if there’s not enough wind and paddling against 2+ kts doesn’t work. That’s a big bet since obviously the distance to cover by 10pm is greater than what you need to do for Saturna. We just missed the gate in 2016 which is why we ended up chosing Porlier instead, meanwhile Golden Oldies managed to brute force it through Active just ahead of us, and gained 6h by next AM. Plenty of bets to make! My own guess is if the wind is there, Active will win.
  13. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    Goes to show how local winds are! I think we never got the 25kts further up the channel until much further north about 4-5 hours later. In fact we spent a lot of the 4-5 hours paddling or at least paddle + sailing... so yes zone forecast don’t mean much when there are so many land effects!
  14. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    I don’t think many people will be left on Haro Strait till midnight, though I haven’t looked in detail. Tide pattern seems similar to 2016-17 with a bit of an ebb to fight against till mid Sunday afternoon, then a supporting flood the rest of Sunday. Wind looks stronger than 2016-17 forecasts overall. Those years actual wind was mostly 3kts or less in Haro Strait, yet many boats still made it to Saturna or Active pass thanks to the current, with good human power making a big difference. So the bigger focus is not Haro in my mind, but whether to shoot for Active Pass (shortest, best if some wind), Saturna (great current escalator all the way there, though longer - typically best in light airs when pedaling), or plan to stay inside to Porlier or further (sheltered, but potentially 0 wind even if 15kts in Georgia st). Some of this can be game time decisions by looking at wind, currents, how other boats are doing, how close to nightfall you are, etc. I think it will be interesting this year!
  15. galacticair

    R2AK 2018

    The ECWMF and GFS models look low compared to what Predict Wind’s modes show and what Environment Canada is showing. Could be 20-25kts on the nose in S Georgia strait Sunday afternoon through Monday early AM. Of course EC often over estimates their forecasts... Given the range of forecasts, it makes sense to keep a close eye on actuals reported by weather stations & lighthouses - for some smaller boats maybe inside in flat water could be a lot faster, especially at night... Elsie Pidock did that successfully in 2015. We tried this in 2016 on the F31 and failed miserably, losing approx 6 hours...