Webb Chiles circumnavigation - the stats on his 30,000 miles by Karl Robrock

Dear Fellow World Cruiser Owners,

At first light on Monday, April 29, GANNET and I sailed into San Diego Bay completing her first circumnavigation and my sixth.

The final passage from Balboa, Panama, to San Diego was slow and difficult, the hardest I can ever recall when there was no severe weather.  We never had more than 25 knots of wind and possibly no more than 20.  My wind instruments have died again so I can only estimate.  

What we did have was a thousand mile almost windless hole.  

As you know in light wind a Moore 24 can sail windspeed or nearly, yet that doesn’t help when windspeed is 2 knots or 0.  The most common word in the passage log is probably ‘becalmed’.  And the most common phrase:  ‘the wind headed us.’  

We had by far our slowest noon to noon run of the entire circumnavigation, only 16 miles, and I had the G2  asymmetrical up part of the day.  Ten days later we broke that regrettable record with a day’s run of only 14 miles.  Five of the six slowest weeks of the circumnavigation occurred during this passage.

The calms were followed by headwinds.  These were predictable,  but I had hoped we might have to beat only the last 800 or 1000 miles.  We did beat the last 1500.

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The daily runs  for the entire circumnavigation total 29989 miles.

The best noon to noon run was 185 miles between Marathon and Hilton Head last year.

The worst 14 miles between Balboa, Panama, and San Diego this year.

The best week 1002 miles between San Diego and Hilo, Hawaii in 2014.

The worst week 368 between Balboa and San Diego this year.

The longest passage: Darwin to Durban  5814 miles 55 days.

The shortest passage: Hilo to Honolulu 197 miles 2 days.

Not counting the anchorages while daysailing inside the Great Barrier Reef from Cairns to Cape York, Australia, or the side trip to St. Michaels, Maryland, last year, we stopped only thirteen times.  People arbitrarily divide sailors into either racers or cruisers.  A circumnavigation with only thirteen stops is not cruising.  It is not racing either.  Maybe I’m just a sailor.

2014 Hilo; Honolulu; Apia; Neiafu; Opua

2016  Bundaberg; Darwin; Durban

2017  St. Helena; St. Lucia; Marathon

2018  Hilton Head

2019  Colon/Balboa; San Diego

I believe we were under sail 302 days.

I put the masthead in the water at least three times.  The Windex was replaced in New Zealand, South Africa and St. Lucia.  The wind instruments in South Africa and St. Lucia.

I cracked the hull keel joint.  This is not a criticism, but perhaps as someone suggested proof that I sailed to the edge.

GANNET was in many gales, the two most severe while approaching New Zealand and South Africa both had 55 knot winds as officially recorded.

GANNET is presently in San Diego while I have flown home to Evanston, Illinois.  I will return to her in about six weeks.

People who passed by her on the dock last week often comment that she does not look as though she has sailed 5,000 miles this year and 30,000 in the past five.  As far as I know she has no significant damage.  However, she needs expected maintenance, particularly in what I call The Great Cabin.

It is said that artists should always be striving to create a masterpiece.  Marine architects and boat builders are artists as well as engineers and craftsmen.  In the Moore 24 George Olson and Ron Moore created a masterpiece as proven by all your race wins continuing through the present on a more than forty year old design and by hull number 40, GANNET, built as an around the buoys racer, sailing around the world.

We have great boats.  I trust that yours brings you the joy and pride and satisfaction that GANNET brings me.

Sail on.

Webb unable to withhold a smile. Image courtesy of Latitude 38

Webb unable to withhold a smile. Image courtesy of Latitude 38

Gannet back where she started

Gannet back where she started

Back in the comforts of home

Back in the comforts of home

Webb’s surreal blog can be found here: http://self-portraitinthepresentseajournal.blogspot.com/

2019 Doublehanded Lightship by Karl Robrock

How the hell did those two knuckle heads know where to go ??? Well it was easy, I got the hot tip from coach Dave Hodges. We looked at the wind forecast and the tide charts, the gears started turning in Dave’s head…. He said go left for current relief heading out, and right going in, Sweet… we had a plan.

We had a decent start with a little puff that pushed us ahead of most of the fleet, then stopped dead and rolled by everyone. But we had a plan and we where sticking to it. So, we slowly worked are way to the south tower following the Wolf Pac A- loot- trash [editor side note: this is a reference to Andy Hamilton, owner of Moore 24 Barbaloot, Pete Trachy owner of Moore 24 White Trash, sailing on their new Donovan 30 Wolf Pack]. Tacked and headed in toward mile rock, we had just enough pressure to keep us moving forward. About half way to mile rock we looked back, and most of the fleet was going backwards. Dude it’s working, we need beers and tunes, so I jump down below to queue up some Bob Marley and grab a couple cold ones…… poooooooof, the manual cord on my PFD had come out and got snagged on the hatch. Mike was laughing in my face before the thing could fully inflate. No problem I have a spare cartridge I’ll just do I quick reload, oh wait its in the truck!!!!

So we made it out of the bay with the Wolfpack and Banditos ahead us, flopped over to port and the drag race began. We were a bit over powered with the J2 and that mixed sea state was terrible, but we made it work. Banditos was to in front and leeward of us, they where blocked by the jib so we didn’t have constant visual with them. We sent it straight out the main channel, by the time we got to close to the last mark I look over and see Banditos way low. We looked at the chart plotter, we were right on course. I don’t know why they went so low, But thanks John for the early x-mas gift. We tacked at the Lightship with the Condor and headed off to mile rock. When we got about a quarter mile for mile rock we saw something going on with the condor, we were about set but held off for a few minutes to see what was going on, didn’t hear any chatter on any of our 3 radios. After a few minutes they got it together a sailed off. So, we set, had to gybe to clear the south tower, then back to starboard for finish.

Scott Nelson and Mike Radziejowski on Lowly Worm 2.0

Scott Nelson and Mike Radziejowski on Lowly Worm 2.0

Thanks Karl for all your hard work, I probably would have skipped this one if it wasn’t for you pushing the offshore thing. Thanks Syd Moore for the use of your life sling and jack lines, and of course Mike Radziejowski for sailing with me

Hope to See Ya All in Santa Cruz for the PCCs

Team Worm 2.0

Results posted

[Editor note: Huge thanks to Leslie Richter at Rockskipper.com for the fleet shots!]

2019 Farallones champ John Kernot and Steve Carroll on Banditos

2019 Farallones champ John Kernot and Steve Carroll on Banditos

Joel Turmel and Hood River guest driver Dave Gee on Firefly

Joel Turmel and Hood River guest driver Dave Gee on Firefly

Peter Schoen and Roe Patterson on Mooretician

Peter Schoen and Roe Patterson on Mooretician

Mark English and JP Sirey on Mas!

Mark English and JP Sirey on Mas!

Conrad Holbrook and Eric Ochs on Topper II

Conrad Holbrook and Eric Ochs on Topper II

2019 40th Doublehanded Farallones by Karl Robrock

Ocean racing is a completely different experience than Bay racing. There are far fewer heart pounding moments like starts, mark rounding and spirited discussions with other boats. There are far less boat on boat shenanigans, but there is lots of strategy and boatspeed discussions - and a lot of other discussions about who knows what before remembering you are supposed to be racing and preparing for the next change that the weather or race course will throw at you. That said, even on a 50+ mile race the Moores were never very far apart. We sailed three abreast bow for bow on starboard tack for at least 3 hours each one of us having moments of ‘we’re going great’ to moments of ‘what the hell just happened’ as the other guy legs out on you.

The race was started in 0-3 knots easterly in a very early quiet ebb. The Moores were the 8th start and we got a little puff in our sequence that got us drifting a little faster than the previous starts, quickly putting us amongst some of the bigger boats. This helped set us up for the overall corrected time results. The northwesterly filled in from....of course, the south, and all the fleets were fully powered up an hour after the first gun. Snafu led the charge out past Bonita. The 6 boat Moore fleet largely stuck together early working our way west and north beyond Bonita, the big question as always was when to commit for the island on starboard. Then came the 3 hour long drag race to the island. The breeze lifted significantly leaving us free to ease the jib slightly and sail fast. The headsail change was always coming and inevitably arrived with the breeze hitting 12 -15 knots.

The island could be seen from 20 miles away- at 6ish knots it is a long layline. We got there around 2.30-3pm in about 20 knots with slightly eased sheets. The island was spectacular, crystal clear with relatively calm seas. As per usual, there was only time enough to steel a few glances at her. Banditos led by just a few boat lengths from Snafu with Mooretician just behind in 3rd.. The first 5 Moores rounded within 10 mins of each other- marvelous racing after around 6 hours on the track.

Gorgeous day at the islands

Gorgeous day at the islands

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On the far side of the island chutes were popped on starboard before a quick gybe back to port to see if we could lay the bridge as it was always going to be a tight headstay reach. Now was when you really missed a having 800+ lbs of crew camped on the rail to get the boat rolling. It was obvious we weren’t going to lay the bridge as Pacifica was mostly in our sights. So about half way in to the bridge, kites came down. The wind strength popped up a little a bit and the wave angle squared and we actually got in a few nice surfs.

Positions stayed as they were at the island but we had lost sight of Mooretician, which is never a good thing in the ocean. We were joking that Mooretician had gone north early from the island and was roaring down the course to our north....naah couldn’t be. Sure enough their kite appeared at Bonita seemly abeam of us as we popped the kite again just outside of Mile Rock. Mooretician & Snafu converged incredibly close to each other at the bridge after having sailed completely different courses on the way in. They were close behind us as we all gybed onto starboard to make the finish line within a few minutes of each other.

Mooretician approaching the finish

Mooretician approaching the finish

Big thanks to BAMA for continuing to make this incredible experience possible for us all.

- John Kernot, Banditos

Results posted

Mooretician

Mooretician

Topper II

Topper II

Snafu

Snafu

Banditos

Banditos

2019 3BF by Karl Robrock

Great battle in the CCW direction with each of us leading for periods. We footed from it to south Hampton to steal the lead from 66. Then out of the distant past comes 85 who went really high after the Berkeley pier and SMOKED us by a 1/4 mile at RR.

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December 2018 Update from GANNET by Karl Robrock

GANNET only sailed 1700 miles this year.
I checked back to see what I wrote to you a year ago and I did what I said I might do then.
In January we sailed from Marathon, Florida, to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, covering 500 miles in three days, including GANNET’s best noon to noon run of 185 miles.

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Fish Out Of Water by Karl Robrock

Moore 24 gathering at Misfits Flat on September 7, 8, and 9.

Lester Robertson and Mary have 3 manta twins, and 4 Manta Singles singles, along with 4 other Fiberglass French landsailers for the use of all.

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The 42nd Annual Moore 24 Nationals 2018 by Karl Robrock

Moore 24 Nationals in Hood River, Oregon, one of the most consistently windy places to sail in our country and if half of what is written above is true one of the most fun and active towns you can imagine.  A sailing venue I always think of with a little trepidation in the weeks before – why are going here

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Mooretician Strikes Again – 2018 DHF by Karl Robrock

When boats get spread out on the racecourse and you lose sight of your competition, you never have a true sense of your standing in a race.  It’s not until you see the results posted that you find out how well you really performed.  That’s how the DHF was for us and the end result was better than we ever thought.

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2018 Big Daddy Wrap Up by Karl Robrock

The forecast was ugly early in the week. Rain and more rain. We certainly need it but on a Roadmaster weekend? The skiers in the crowd were certainly stoked!!

John Gray aboard Immoral was on his home turf defending his dominating 3 Bridge win. Local hotshots Banditos, MooreWave*Ohs, and Vaughn Seifers dusting off Flying Tiger were lined up to give a master class in sailing the Circle.

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2018 Three Bridge Fiasco Winner’s Report by Karl Robrock

It started out with all things going the "right" way. We had carved out a tiny block of time on Friday afternoon to prep the boat, which included spending an hour trying to fix existing (“I swear they worked 6 months ago!”) running lights, before giving up and buying the last set of tape on junk from West Marine just before closing time.

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Moore 24 Nationals 2017 by Karl Robrock

Holy bejeezus that was good times! My affinity for the little old Moore 24 is no secret and her infamous beginnings not with standing she’s proven to be a boat that brings together some serious fun loving people. I mean seriously, who would have thunk that a sailor that ruined a good mold burning party by stealing the mold would end up making modifications to this remarkable boat that turned it into an unparalleled inshore and offshore platform that over 40 years later is still capable of taking a serious beating for 3 straight days while bringing together sailors that are more like family than on course rivals.

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Big Sur’s Big Blast by Karl Robrock

"We were in some deep shit" Says Gilles Combrisson, who was sailing double handed on the Moore 24 Snafu with Karl Robrock in this years Coastal Cup, a modified version, some 204 nm from Monterey to Santa Barbara.

"We got into it early, just south of Point Sur, with winds in the med to high 20's with big puffs in the 30's. It was grunty" Gilles adds.

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Sonny Sails the Fiasco by Karl Robrock

My sailing partner, Don Teakell with Pineapple, was being a good dad this year, attending his son Jack’s 7th birthday celebration on Saturday, so couldn’t sail the Three Bridge this year. Since he was being a good dad, I decided to be a good dad too and take my nine year old son, Caleb (also known by his father as “Sonny”), with me.

He was actually a little gun shy about sailing on the Bay after experiencing 30 knot gusts and seeing another boat get smacked down by a whale in the Santa Cruz regatta

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