I am still working on writing some updates and messing with some film but here is an update about a search and rescue operation that I am helping with over the next couple of days.

 

During the Singlehanded Transpac, there was a boat abandoned by it's skipper as he needed a medical evacuation. Dirk Welmouth on the Vindo 40 "Bela Bartok" was transferred onto a container ship headed to Oakland, CA. "Bela Bartok" was 411 nm from Hanalei and was left with a small amount of sail set and a wind vane still steering the boat to the islands. Dirk is an experienced sailor and accomplished seaman. He became sick with a staph infection which was said to move to his lungs. His medical situation was so bad that the freight ship had to accelerate to Oakland to get him to safety. He is said to be recovering and should be in California soon, if not already.

 

The boat is now approaching the island of Maui. I want to be cryptic about it's position or whereabouts until we have possession of her, but in an effort to save the boat from being run aground, lost at sea or salvaged, the Singlehanded Transpac fleet has come together to save Bela. A very generous fleet member paid for the charter of a fishing boat and two other generous fleet members purchased plane tickets for Ruben Gabriel and myself to fly to Maui. Ruben is a great friend of mine. We double handed my Moore 24 around the Farallones this year and both recently sailed Moore 24's in the Singlehanded Transpac, so i'm really honored to be able to share this experience with Ruben and work to save Dirk's boat. Dirk lives aboard the boat, so this is someone's home that we're talking about. Having lost a boat at sea, that I lived on, this is very personal for me to try to help reclaim Dirk's home.

 

I am typing this from an airplane and with any luck, we will have intercepted Bela before sunrise as I believe the transfer will have to happen at night.

 

Forgot to mention, all of the boats in the race were equipped with "Yellow Brick" tracking devices. The tracker is still on Bela and is updating her position to us. Race committee had Yellow Brick remove Bela's position from the race website and only we in the fleet have access to that information. It could be a bit sketchy but Ruben and I hope to be able to locate the boat tonight and make the transfer. The Coast Guard is in support of us and will be standing by the scene. Our search and rescue vessel is a small fishing boat with twin outboards. Should be fast, maneuverable and seaworthy. Also, it's on a trailer and ramp launch able so that we can launch from the most convenient spot. 

 

Wish us luck!

After 14 days and 12 hours, "Hope for the Warriors/ US 101" finished on Saturday night at 9:30 pm Hawaii time. Over the final 3 days, we came from behind to move into the lead near the end of the race and win our class by a margin of 1 hour and 34 minutes. Extremely happy and excited about the result. Sorry for the lack of comm during the race, but we had a LOT of problems on board including severe lack of electricity which created no communication and no ability to write blogs. I have been resting and relaxing and am just now getting back to work. In the next couple of days, i'll be uploading video, photos, my log book and a full race recap.

Very happy to be in Hanalei with a class win! Massive thanks to all of my sponsors and friends who helped me get here. More to follow soon...

still having charging issues. doing lots and lots of hand steering. pleasant tradewind sailing and having fun. 914 miles to go.

 

First from Ronnie, via email.
 
Hoping this works and I can send my first blog of the race. Had no sun and therefore no electricity for days, so i'm just getting recharged and going. My ssb worked last night very well for the check in and I could hear well this morning, so my comm situation is on the up and up.
 
Very rough race for first 5 days. Primary autopilot's rudder reference sensor stopped working after 2 days and that left me using my back up tiller pilot. With no solar power and fully depleting my batteries in the first two days (primary autopilot is hydraulic and very power hungry...) I was left to hand steer with no other real alternative if i wanted to keep racing. I hand steered 60 out of 72 hours for a 20 hour/ day average over 3 days. I hit my mental and physical breaking point a few times, dropping both sails and collapsing in the cockpit. Very very difficult psychological and physical struggle.
 
I did manage to wire my b&g autopilot brain to my raymarine tiller pilot brain and am sharing wind data. So at least the tiller pilot steers to apparent wind now. Happy about that.
 
Doing much better now. Morale is up. Sun is out. Blowing pretty light in trades, about 12 knots. Some squall action now. 17 knots. Gotta go handsteer and maybe gybe.
 
Didn't gybe. Rode 15-18 knots of pressure for a few miles, with a favorable wind shift headed straight to Hanalei. Squall rained itself out and now breeze is going lighter.
 
talk later.
 
-Ronald A Simpson

who's online

We have 9 guests and no members online

Back to Top