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Ocean Planet – Panama Bound 

March 7, 2002

Position: 17 28N, 102 46W.
Heading 95deg @ 9.5-12kts.
Wind from 300deg @11-13kts.
“Wilson” 8-11 PSI.


After so much seaching for wind in the PV race, we have been delighted with a nice steady breeze so far this trip. It’s nice and warm at night, and in general, totally awesome mellow sailing on a fantastic sailing machine. We have been using the autopilot a lot (ok, all the time…) and I have been fine tuning the various settings thru our Nexus instruments to make it seem like I’m driving. We briefly hits 17kts in a puff (and a perfect wave) with the autopilot a little while ago, driving straight an arrow.

The biggest treat of all has been our big Doyle genniker/spinnaker/code 5/hybrid sail. For shorthanding sailing this sail is spectacular: fast, forgiving to trim, and roller furling so it easy to hoist and lower. For reaching we grind the luff tight and it is basically a giant light genoa. Then when the wind pipes up and we crack off, you just loosen the halyard and ease the sheet so that the sail can fly forward…and it’s a heavy running spinnaker! The tack of the sail is attached to a continuous spool furling drum that slides out on our custom Forespar bowsprit. Almost too easy…

Our crew for this trip is Greg Nelsen (still here after PV!), Hank Grandin (at a spry 75yrs, he has about ten times the sailing miles that I do…and is a great cook!), Dave Olson (he has doublehanded across the atlantic), Howard Holmes (who is blown away at how much faster is than any other boat he’s been on), and yours truly.


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