Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Finish Line

The story of Journey's End from the Skipper, Steve Brown:
Well, we have pulled out all the stops, put on the party hats and fired up the noise makers. It’s three in the morning and have under a hundred miles to go. The wind gods don’t seem to hear our celebration. No matter. We’re so fired up no one can sleep. I just got off my three hour watch with Gordon. He and I shared steering duties through a light squall. Russ is planted at the nav station, where he’s deciding how close to Kalapapa light we want to be. It’s been a bit brighter with the rising moon for the last week, but this darkness is now alive with the loom of Maui and Molokai’s piercing light houses. It’s been Land Ho! since early afternoon, and now in the darkness we are figuring our approach and subsequent final jibe to DHLH, that’s the new abbreviation on our navigation screen, now that Kalapapa Light is abeam. Diamond Head Light House is Journey’s End.

Earlier this afternoon Gordon hosted happy hour with a special bottle of Scotch he had been saving for the last night. During the festivities toasting each other, Linus stole the finest proposal, by holding his glass high and toasting all of our shipmates that wanted so very much to be with us at this moment, and that we think of them, and wish them with us for the final night of the next TransPac. Tonight it is us; tomorrow we will be with our loved ones, our race finished. These prospects make sleeping impossible. As the light house disappears behind us we all take bets on who will come the closest to guessing our finish time, Gordon’s 10:00 AM guess is looking to come the closest. Sunrise has Oahu slowly rising over the horizon as the details of Makapu are the first to take shape. We are here!

Sandy beach is now just abeam with the Koko Head blocking our view of the finish, I am still at the helm, everyone is on deck, we’re in our offshore positions, Steve Horst is on the bow, Russ is in the pit, Linus is at the mast, and Scott and Gordon are in the cockpit. Linus does a final check for the jibe, and asks me to make the call when the boat’s ready, just as we have done together for the last two weeks. As we rotate through the final jibe of the race, Diamond Head comes into view; the lump in everyone’s throats has the boat silent.

Racing directly to us is a small sportfisher, she’s really making waves. When they arrive to greet us, it’s the film crew, where they immediately start filming our finish. By this time we are smoking along in a pretty good sea way, the skipper of the film boat is an expert and has them about ten feet off our bow and the crew is holding water proof camera gear on sticks just on the waters surface, it’s wild we feel like celebrities it’s lights cameras action as we rock and roll our way to the Buoy. Just as the excitement of their arrival dies down we can see a huge navy launch approaching, she’s the one we have been waiting for. All of the wives and girl friends have been up early preparing for this moment, the excitement is intoxicating, they come abeam of us screaming and waving there’s not a dry eye on deck. In a few moments we get the announcement over the radio: “ BrownSugar, this is Diamond Head Light, You have finished the TransPac.”

As we continue sailing in the heavy wind I tell the guys in the cockpit to take a mental snapshot of Waikiki and the skyline. A few moments later we drop the sails and put the motor in gear for the first time in over 16 days.

Our escort vessel with its precious passengers has pulled ahead to show us the way thru the channel to be greeted by the Voice of TransPac, ALOOOOOHA BROWN SUGAR booms out. Many of our friends who have already finished are on the second deck of the club, waving and screaming, it’s just a beautiful sight. The escort vessels lead us past the club where our own arrival party is waiting for us, Jennifer’s parents Ken and Jean with their wonderful friends Barbara Gamer and Dennis Adams have prepared an incredible arrival party complete with Barbara’s Hula club who perform for us. After a couple of MaiTais we all realize no one has slept in twenty four hours and our legs are no longer willing. We are done.

Thank you all for the Love and support.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Oh, the parties!!!

Well, it's been a few days since we've posted any entries in this blog. Hopefully, our faithful bloggers know that Brown Sugar arrived safely as planned. They had a spectacular arrival into Honolulu and were heartily cheered into Ala Wai Marina by the crowd assembled at Hawaii Yacht Club--a true heroes' welcome.

Then the parties started.

When BS arrived in Honolulu, a mere 16 days after they started, they were still in the first half of the arriving boats. That left them with the responsibility of greeting their comrades who were still out there fighting the good fight. In addition, the first of the yacht club parties was the evening of their arrival, leaving BS's crew time to clean up and nap for an hour or so. They've been real troopers through the parties...clearly displaying the fortitude and determination that got them through this race with their aloha spirit in tact. They seem like they really had fun!

Tonight we'll attend the Awards Dinner and proudly proclaim that " We're number six, We're number six". Until next time...
The crew will be posting some closing comments soon, watch during the coming week for their final Transpac 2007 wrap-up.
Click here to send to send your Congrats to the crew of Brown Sugar on the Official Transpac Website. Mahalo.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

just 50 miles more...

They called from their cell phones at 0345 and were 50 miles from the finish. Moving along fairly slowly at about 9 knots. It may get a little faster, but their best guess is arriving about 0900. Some BS fans will be out at the finish on the escort boat to greet them, then the parties start! First it'll be their welcoming party on the F Dock as soon as they get off the boat. Then they'll have time to rest today before Hawaii Yacht Club's party this evening followed by a party each day until most of the crew heads home.

Oh yeah. In between, they'll be working on getting the boat partially dismantled for its ride back on a ship.

P.S. Did you hear they caught Dorado (mahi mahi) last night? It turns out it was actually THREE Dorado, two of them at once!

100 miles to go!!!

The BS Hono camp received the 100 mile call at about 2130 tonight. A little confusing since they were predicting arrival at noon tomorrow. We're guessing there was a minor mathematical error...the boys should be here at the crack of dawn or shortly after...probably 7AMish... Somehow they're still finding the strength, will, and time to e-mail!

Rec'd 7/24 at 2012 HT
Yup the boys are excited about finishing, we have all made our predictions of when. There is some confusion: are we talking California time or Hawaii local? Its getting pretty rough out here.

I made hot water on the BBQ this morning. The coffee clatch had tried the same thing a couple of mornings ago using the percolator. That unsuccessful attempt was during our daily morning rain squall. It's a pathetic man soaked to the bone, tending water that won't boil.

My approach was to put the tea pot inside the BBQ and tie the lid closed. Happily I removed my boiling kettle only to find the little red knob that lifts the whistle was now a bubbling red blob. No matter, we got hot water. I took my baked kettle below to do battle with a half dozen caffeine head cases. What you learn about making hot drinks aboard is the kettle lives on the gimbaled stove, the cups are filled on the drain board. Trying to pour hot liquid into something on the gimbaled stove is impossible. I promptly loaded the mugs with one cup bags, and poured. Boat lurches, and three of them go down. I now have spilled the majority of the hot coffee into all the clean dishes, and we have no more paper towels. Sheesh! Now I just found out we're down to the last Oreo.

Miss you all

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

BS Fans can post their Congrats on TP Website

Brown Sugar's estimated arrival time was just moved up to 8:30 Wednesday morning and it could continue to move up earlier. They could still have some of the gnarliest weather of the trip ahead in the Molikai Channel, but they're almost home!

Anyone who wishes to post a note congratulating the Brown Sugar crew can do so on the Transpac Website after they arrive on Wednesday. Click here for the link or go to Daily Standings on the Transpac Website and look for the name "Brown Sugar" under the Arrival Date of 7/25.

The start of a perfect ending...

Rec'd 7/24 at 1348 HT

Our last dinner will be an especially memorable one this evening. Fresh mahi-mahi. With only150 miles to go to DH, can consume the rest of our food supplies. We still have some fresh carrots, and pre-cooked rice. Linus prides himself as quite the sushi chef.

All is well.
Team BS

Thank you Derek & Dennis!!!!

Special Thanks go to Derek and Dennis, our newest members of Team Brown Sugar's Support Crew. We had some computer challenges after moving camp to Honolulu...they got us up and running again so we can keep the blog current. Thank you guys!!!! Go BS!!!!