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Chris Museler reports from
Titan XV: a collision, a Code Zero, and a champagne wake
2045 EDT. What an incredible day we’ve had! When I woke up to
clear skies and glassy conditions, I knew the sea breeze was setting
up nicely. After our delicious hot lunch aboard Tom and Dotty Hill’s
Titan XIV, we set out in a relaxed mood, everyone smiling about
the conditions. The spectators were all smiles and cheers. There were
so many people camped out on the Castle Hill lawn that you couldn’t
see any grass.
started well to weather of the other mini maxis in Class 10 (Gibbs Hill
Division) and from then until sunset (a few moments ago) it’s been
champagne sailing conditions – sailing at 13-15 knots in a steady
wind. We’ve been the lead boat for a few hours, but now as
it’s getting dark, Speedboat is passing us to leeward.
She started at 4:30, an hour after we did, and it’s now after 8.
Rán (in our class) isn’t far behind.
about 5:30 we hit a large marine animal of some kind. It may have
been a basking shark, maybe as long as 20 feet. The hit was soft and
we almost stopped. The fish made a few squiggles, spun off, and swam
away in our wake. The boat appears to be undamaged.
switched to a Code Zero, and as our grinders are getting busy they look
a lot bigger than before. Mark Strube, who finished second at the Star
Class Europeans two weeks ago, is 250 pounds of muscle. The crew
has just had dinner – hot rice and chicken with pineapple, which took
an hour to cook in two large pots, plus the usual Snickers and Pringles
for snacks . . . and apples, too.
Food preparation aboard Titan XV
time to finish this report, leave the nav station, and go up on deck
and hike. This sailing’s not nearly as civilized as what they’re
experiencing on the Cruiser Division boat we passed earlier in the day,
like it was standing still. But we have our enjoyments.
These big modern keel boats, with their double-wide transoms and twin
rudders, have such a narrow underwater presence that the ride is smooth
as silk, similar to that of a large racing catamaran and even an ice
boat. The tiny foam trail we leave in our wake looks like champagne.
The scene aboard Titan XV
From Steven Thing, Bermuda
0001, Saturday at
40d 30n N, 70d 47m W
a yellow-orange slice of moon in the west, like a fresh piece of melon.
Stars overhead. Not cold. Good visibility. We’re close reaching
in about 12 knots of wind with smooth seas. We can see more than 25
sets of navigation lights all around us and about 20 AIS triangles on
the display. Everyone seems to be going the same direction!
couple of transponders are spotty (maybe someone put a sail bag on top
of the transponder).
McCurdy’s at the helm – sorta, having a conversation with Tedd
We’re motorsailing just now to charge batteries, and the on-deck crowd
has been letting the autopilot steer since mid afternoon. We are now
well into the Nantucket shipping lanes. The other watch says there were
“words” on Channel 16 from a commercial vessel about their encounter
with so many sailing vessels.
did the 2000 weather broadcast based on the 1400 report from
Nobody reported in, which is probably okay due to the ideal conditions
out here tonight. This night of sailing – with steady winds giving
everyone a close reach down the rhumb line, with no chop and no spray,
and able to see so many other boats – is the sort of experience we
burn into our memory so that we can put up with the occasional
Having breakfast, juice, eggs,
corned beef hash & coffee. Easy to make in the galley with the boat
upright and no bouncing around. Would guess that everyone else here
is doing the same.
The night watch reported seeing two whales (traveling as a pair), two
pods of porpoises, a very bright Milky Way once the moon sunk into the
ocean, and the reflection of other boats’ running lights in the smooth,
almost glassy sea.
Needless to say, we are witnessing a High Pressure zone, with what wind
there is wandering in various directions.
We can see, off to the southwest, what I would normally call sea breeze
clouds – which reveal the warm water of the anomaly described at the
skipper's meeting. We notice (revealed by their AIS data) a few boats
a long way west of us, presumably seeking that ocean feature. Ian
18 boats in sight, one with a spinnaker up. Nothing unusual reported
by the transponder team -- except for a few who are not reporting. Will
place a call to them soon.