Saturday, June 15, 2019

Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – The Start

Mahina Kai - Day 1 – Marion to Bermuda – The Start
Wind SW 16-20kts Seas 3-5ft

A rainy night for the crew dinner gave way to clearing skies.  The day of the race is partly spent recovering from the crew dinner/party the night before, partly making final preparations for the race, and come 12:00: the start!  Thanks to the race committee for all their hard work to setup and manage the race.

There are five size/weight classes at the start, so it takes about an hour to get all boats across the line and into the race.  Thursdays rain storm setup Friday to be a lively sailing day in Buzzards Bay, and since the bay is long and narrow, the SW winds allow plenty of opportunity for strategizing how to best set-up tacks to exit the bay.

Our class was away at 12:55. During the race, we often use the auto-pilot to hold a specific course, but switch back and forth to manual control.  When the auto-pilot is driving the boat, it is normal to see the wheel turn back and forth as the auto-pilot compensates for wind and sea conditions.  About an hour into the race, I noticed that the wheel wasn’t moving.  At all. 

We did some investigation, and found that the auto-pilot mechanism was properly connected and driving the boat – all good there.  However, it appears that the cable connecting the wheel back to the quadrant attached to the rudder has loosened and kinked.  This is why the wheel wasn’t telegraphing the auto-pilot actions.  After much consideration, we determined that this was not a repair we could complete under way, and it would not be safe to begin an ocean crossing without wheel control, so the crew agreed to withdraw from the race and return to port :( 

Egg sandwiches for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and dinner was baked chicken with veggies.  Cookie of the day is lighthouses.

 “Never a ship sails out of bay but carries my heart as a stowaway.” - Roselle Mercier Montgomery

#SVMahinaKai #marionbermuda

Thursday, June 13, 2019

1-Night to Start - Crew Dinner Update

Great dinner and night with the shore crew.  We are ready for bed.  Calm
night here on the water in Sippican Harbor.

Sent via OCENSMail satellite email service.

Countdown 1 day until start Marion-Bermuda 2017 – Crew Dinner


The crew is assembling in Marion, and supplies are being shipped in from around New England in preparation for the race tomorrow.


Part of the crew will stow gear and supplies into all the nooks and crannies of the boat, while others attend the weather briefing and skipper's meeting to receive final details of the race and latest updates on Atlantic weather.  There have been some positive and negative indications in the prior weeks… surface maps show quiet winds around Bermuda, while rainstorms around Narraganset bay are making for a gloomy day.  Storms should exit by morning, giving us a breezy and sunny start. 


Meanwhile the gulf stream is showing both negative and positive currents directly in our path, so some strategizing will be needed on how to navigate the currents for shortest path and highest benefit.


Tonight, Beverly Yacht Club will have their work cut out for them as they host the crew dinner with BBQ amid downpours.  Race sponsor Goslings will be on hand with rum drinks to prepare us for the tastes of the island.  Looking forward to seeing new and old friends, and the other boat crews.  It is especially nice to spend time with our shore crew and families who have provided so much time and energy to help us prepare for this adventure – we love you!


Mahina Kai is Hawaiian for "Moon over water".  Coincidentally we will be sailing with the waxing moon, reaching full on Monday during the race.

#SVMahinaKai #marionbermuda

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Countdown 2 days until start Marion-Bermuda 2019 – Beverly Yacht Club

As we pack and prepare for the race, there have been a few last-minute adjustments and repairs to the boat.  Today Mahina Kai is positioning to Beverly Yacht Club (the departure host).

We had a special visit from ship's pastry chef Cathyann, with a cache of treats to help maintain crew morale and compliance during the race.  Thank you for all the love!

#svmahinakai #marionbermuda

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Countdown 3 days until start Marion-Bermuda 2019 - How to monitor the race

Most of our communications offshore will be Blog posts.  We will also make ad hoc posts to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as we are able.  We will use these hashtags to identify our posts.
Race Hashtag: #marionbermuda
Vessel Hashtag: #SVMahinaKai

Ship-Board Ramblings:    


You may also want to follow: @MarionBermuda

Departure Yacht Club:
Arrival Yacht Club:

Marion-Bermuda Race Group:

You can see our position relative to the fleet with YellowBrick Vessel Tracking

#SVMahinaKai #marionbermuda

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

9-Days to Start

Greetings race fans!
9-days to Start!  The Mahina Kai team is preparing to position in Marion next week for the start of the race.

#marionbermuda #SVMahinaKai

Friday, May 17, 2019

MBR2019 4-weeks to start!

Good morning race fans!
It is 4-weeks from the 14-June start of Marion-to-Bermuda 2019 race!
There is still time to book shore-crew accommodations in Bermuda if you want to rendezvous with Mahina Kai on our arrival, anticipated Tuesday 18-June, weather permitting.
The crew spent some time this winter in the Safety at Sea course, practicing in the pool with life raft operations, and outdoors with fire safety. The Admiral and Captain have been diligently overhauling boat components, making sure the mechanicals are ready for a blue water excursion.

Last month the crew finishing sanding and polishing the hull, a new jib was installed, and Mahina Kai slid into the water. The crew will perform some shake-down drills later this month as we finish race preparations.

Stay tuned for more details!
#marionbermuda #SVMahinaKai