The Hula Girl, a Santa Cruz 50, untied her lines yesterday afternoon at 1600 local time with 8 crew onboard. Destination unknown, pretty much wherever the wind would take us. In our case we have been very lucky. Amazingly, the wind has been very light, 5-8 knots from the South. Currently (1000 local) we are running, yes running in a Northwesterly direction off the coast of San Francisco. As I said, very unusual.

We are on a two day, offshore training sail in preparation for the Pacific Cup, the race from San Francisco to Hawaii, which starts on July 17th.

We have been blessed with plenty of sealife so far. Just off Point Bonita, the Northern entrance to SF Bay, we literally ran over a whale. Luckily, she did not hit our rudder. About two hours later we saw yet another. I am surprised to see whales around SF at this time of year and so close to the Bay. This morning we saw plenty of sharks. We see the tip of thier fins as they circle around, just below the surface. Last night we could hear seals barking. Maybe they are not there anymore. The water is nice and clear now that we are away from the Bay. This is a great opportunity to run the watermaker.

We had 20 knots from the West as we slipped out of the Golden Gate, but that wind quickly dropped and backed within 45 minutes. So we had an easy night of light air reaching, south then west of the Farallon Islands and now we are off Bodega Bay. The plan is to use this southeasterly wind to get northwest and then to run back with the northwesterly which should fill back in this afternoon. This will give us a long run way back to SF tonight to test spinnakers and check our polars.

We have run the watch system, had nighttime steering practice, made a good lasagna dinner (freeze dried lasagna which would make my Italian friends cringe) and we just had breakfast, granola with blueberries and coffee. So we are not hurting.

We have found many things that are not quite perfect so this will give us a chance to address them before the race. Some of these things were are fixing out here like, splicing different lengths to some of our halyards and strops.

I have taken a few photos, but I did not load the software for that yet and don’t know if I will be able to transmit those larger files but I will try to work on that this weekend.

That all for now from the Hula crew.

Danny Cayard, Allie Cayard, Mark Towill, Robbie Kane, Ralfie Steitz, Cameron McCloskey, Morgan Gutenkunst &Paul Cayard