Med Viking II

Race Day 5

Today we really started to feel the warmth from the trade winds despite the fact that, as I am writing this, we are about at the latitude of Tijuana, still relatively north from Hawaii. We traded the foul weather gear for shorts. Nobody is complaining. Note that while sailing we are wearing our life jacket, and we are tethered to the boat (the big yellow line).

New dress code

Later in the day we started to get some sprinkles but nothing dramatic. The ocean is pretty big so seeing other boats is pretty rare but today was the exception. A big tanker heading to Korea came within 1 nautical mile from us. At our speed it is less than 10 minutes and at his speed just a few minutes.


Yesterday afternoon we saw the first flying fish, and sure enough there was one on our deck this morning. We normally get a lot more fish every morning, but the deck of Med Viking II is higher above the water than boats I have sailed before.

Starlink is really a game changer. We can make video calls with the family, download the full weather forecast and follow the latest political news

Race Day 4

Wind was lighter today. We had the spinnaker all night long and we are still running it.

Spinnaker in the sun

Today we also charged the batteries for the first time. We are having some problem with the generator, but we managed to get some juice in the batteries. Since we were running the generator, we also turned on the water heater and all took some warm showers. That was welcome after being exposed to ocean water the first night out. We also turn on the water maker to refill our drinking water also put some in the tank. We generally don’t drink the water from the tank.

We run watches as follow: 2 hours on, 4 hours off. It is difficult to maintain any sleep pattern, but Karine seems to be happy:

Karine steering the boat

Race Day 3

We are already in warmer weather. The wind also calmed down and further from the back of the boat. This allowed us to launch are (asymmetrical) spinnaker. We have been running it all day long. We will likely keep it at night if the weather stays the same..

Last night, we were slightly affected by the global technology outage: we could not download our weather data (GRIB files) which help us deciding which direction we should sail. The problem was fixed this morning and we are continuing to the south to avoid the area with no wind just on the rhumb line. We are sailing a longer track but we are also moving faster.

Last night, the crew got lucky and saw the green flash at sunset.

You may have read elsewhere that a boat was attacked by a shark and had to turn around due to damage to its rudder. We are ready to fight any hostile creature we will encounter.

Happy Skipper

Race Day 2

Last night was a bit difficult. It felt that we were in a washing machine. The boat was moving nicely between 9 and 10 knots with some peaks at 12 and even 13 knots.

The weather is still not very stable. Winds are down to about 15 knots from 20-25 knots last night.

We read that 5 boats have retired from the race. Hopefully this is enough boats for this year statistics!

Race Day 1

Long term weather forecast are not always accurate and this is good for us. Early indication was that we would have a miserable start but the forecast kept improving as we got closer to the start date. We had good wind from the start and we have now 20-25 knots of wind. We are sailing at or above 8 knots.

In this race there are many strategies as far as routing goes. Some years it is better to stick to the rhumb (direct) line. This year is a bit different because the forecast predicts unusual wind pattern on the rhumb line so the whole fleet is going south.

It is nice but tough ride. A lot of water coming on the deck.

Only one encounter so far: a sail drone that came close (but not too close) to us.

All is good with the boat except for a water leak in the skipper cabin…

Arrived at Richmond (SF Bay)

Med Viking II and crew docked safely at KKMI in Richmond at 1 AM on June 24th. We had to make a stop of about 8 hours in Santa Barbara because the conditions where not good to pass Point Conception (aka Cape Horn of the West). We had timed our departure of San Pedro to pass Point Conception around 2AM but it was clear that the forecast had been a bit optimistic, and we should wait a few more hours before the wind would calm down. We left Santa Barbara at 7AM and were able to pass the dreaded cape without too much problem. Still the winds were a bit higher than expected and it was cold and foggy.

We had some nice encounters with sea life on the way north. We saw many dolphins and a few whales. In one sighting, the whales were breaching. It was quite a spectacle. The last whale we saw was in collision course with the boat. We did not have time to alter our course, so we waited with apprehension… Apparently, the whale had decided to dive instead of flapping its tail against our boat. Thank you, Mr. or Ms. whale!

Here is a view of our trip north:

We passed the Golden Gate bridge around 11PM. While entering the bay, we had an amazing view of the city with a full moon rising above the skyline:

We drove back to Orange County the same day and are planning to come back to start the race to Hawaii in July.

Many thanks to crew Marc and Guy and a very special thanks to Andrea who cooked us wonderful meals at sea.

Going to San Francisco

This weekend we will try to bring Med Viking II to San Francisco. The weather has not been good. There was a lot of wind around Point Conception causing wild fires around Southern California. Because we will near the coast, the AIS tracking should work (link is on the right side)

New Boat!

On November 9th, 2022, Christina and I became the proud owners of Med Viking II, a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 519 from 2016. The boat is in great shape and well equipped but as always we already have a long punch list of repairs and improvements. The boat is currently getting a bottom paint job in San Diego but we are planning to sail up north to San Diego the week after Thanksgiving.