Sunday, July 28, 2013

Since Our Last Post...

Hello Westward Fans!

Life has been a whirlwind since our last post! We have finished, celebrated, made new friends, cleaned up the boat, seen some of Hawaii, rested (though, not too much), saw Westward off, and now are wrapping up Transpac 2013. What a ride. Sorry to leave you in the dark for so long! Many of you have probably seen pictures on Facebook or on the Transpac site. We will post some here on this blog once they get off cameras. Some of you have heard the stories, but for everyone who hasn't, here's an overview:

We last left you the night before our finish day...and what an exciting night that turned out to be! We were passed in the late hours by Ragamuffin, a 100 foot boat. In the light air, they slipped by us and while we could only see their running lights, it was fun to watch and know that we'd held them off for so long. Our last night was plagued by light air and squalls, which meant: MORE SAIL CHANGES! We've gotten really good at sail changes on Westward. For a short time, we had our 1970's era orange and yellow symmetrical spinnaker up. Not only was this a different shape and color than we'd been used to seeing, it sure was quiet. When a sail gets to be over 30 years old, it loses some of that new sail crinkle that we'd been used to hearing. It also had a different smell than our others. Something more like what a boat locker would smell like. It was fun to have "The Great Pumpkin" up for a bit.

By the time morning rolled around, we were still in light air, but beginning to see land. The whole crew was up and beginning to get things cleaned up for the finish. Stanchions and ventilators were polished, bunks cleaned up, decks washed, and the cockpit swept. We had to look good for the finish. Sometime in the middle of all that Maserati, another of the super-fast boats, passed right by us. We were on starboard, but let them cross ahead of us (we're so nice). Also around that time, the wind finally began to fill in and Westward really began to stretch her legs to the finish. It was like she knew what was about to come and was excited for it.

The wind filled in as we sailed past Molokai towards Oahu. All the kids grew up hearing about the Molokai Channel, and everyone got to drive and experience it for themselves. Jon and Alli sailed before the gybe and then Sam took us through our last gybe and line up to the finish. Graham was next up on the wheel and as he was driving, a helicopter circled and caught some pretty awesome footage of Westward ripping along (this is the mobile link to it:

About 45 minutes before our finish, we were passed by Wizard (another of the fast boats) in the channel. We were all pretty awestruck. It turns out that one of Alli's junior sailing coaches was on Wizard and they joked about gybing over to mess with us a little bit. We would have loved a little match race to the finish. David vs. Goliath. We all know how that one turned out.

Mara and then Willie drove for the final moments of our race. The finish of the race is passing within 100 yards of the Diamond Head buoy, which we did on Saturday, July 20 at 18:09:24 Hawaiian Standard Time. Ultimately, we finished 9th overall and 3rd in our class. Not so bad for a boat that hasn't raced in 30 years with a crew for most of whom this was their first long distance race! 

After you finish Transpac, the race committee gives you your official finish time, which number boat you are to finish (10 of 58!), a quick congratulations and welcome, and then turns you over to your escort vessel. Our escort vessel, Hoochie Mama, waited as we took sails down and then led us from Diamond Head, past Waikiki, into the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. The entrance to Ala Wai can get pretty hairy with waves breaking on both sides. We were glad to have someone to follow.

It was a beautiful time of day to finish and as we cleaned up the boat, we were all enjoying our first Hawaiian sunset. As we turned into the channel to the harbor, we heard a great party going on with music and cheering--sounded like people were having a lot of fun and a place that we should check out. That's when we heard "Aloha Westward!" and realized that all that commotion was our Aloha Welcome. We timed our finish perfectly (sunset on a Saturday) and the Hawaii Yacht Club was packed with people welcoming Transpac boats in. Westward got to dock right at the front dock, which was filled with our family and friends, other boat crews, and our soon to be friends from Hawaii Yacht Club and various Transpac welcome committees. 

When you get to Hawaii, your boat has to be inspected and during that time, you're not allowed off the boat and only the inspectors are allowed on. That, however, does not stop the over the lifelines hugs, high fives, and welcome kisses. It was really awesome to see Shauneen, Lauren, Sadato, and Rosey on the docks along with family friends Claire Martin, Ally Marquardt, Paul Huber, and Rob and Evan Wallace. With all our supporters, the Westward crew received quite the welcome, and we probably had the most leis (which was good, because we didn't smell good). Also meeting us on the dock was the crew from Between the Sheets, that included two longtime Bell family friends Kerry Deaver and Doug Jorgensen. Westward corrected out ahead of Between the Sheets (even though they finished first) and it was a touching moment to have them meet us on the dock for a prideful admonishment. Kerry and Doug had a "talking to" with the Westward kids about sailing too well. 

Wouldn't you know that Westward docked right next to Dorade. After all those days and all those miles, we finally got to meet the crew. They finished a few hours before we did and hung around the dock to welcome us in. Dorade were the division and overall winners of Transpac. We couldn't have been beat by a nicer, more complimentary, more supportive group of people. We exchanged our stories of the race, laughing at each other's nicknames for the other boat. We ended up, fittingly, spending a lot of time with the Dorade crew over the next week or so and look forward to following her virtually through her next adventures. 

Transpac boats all have hosts that throw them a welcome party. Ours were from Island Pool and Spa and threw us the best party a boat could ask for. Jim, Kate, Howard, Wendy, and Laruen, thank you. We are so glad to count you as our new Hawaii family.

As one boat's welcome party winds down, another's is just starting. About an hour after we finished, Sleeper, the boat that ultimately got 2nd in our division, finished. We stayed to greet them and were very happy to finally get to meet them after watching them for 12 days.

Since we were the 10th boat in, we had quite a few boats that needed to be welcomed, and we took that responsibility seriously. In fact, so seriously, that we did a lot of welcoming of boats and people who did not just finish as well. We met a lot of people, reconnected with old friends, and generally had a great time for the next few days. Alli and Graham, who were staying on the boat, pretty much ventured only as far as the end of Transpac Row (where all the boats are docked) until Tuesday. It was great to hear all the stories and hang out with "real" sailors. It turns out, the Westward/Dorade saga was being followed by a fair number of the rest of the fleet! 

On Tuesday, the Westward crew headed down Waikiki for a ride on outrigger canoes and to hang out on the beach. It is such fun to surf those canoes down the waves. Captain Kenny took us out into the second break for some awesome rides. After the canoes, we got to return our hosts' generosity and took them out for a sail on Westward. Wouldn't you know that Dorade was doing the same thing...

Wednesday was a day of relaxing and errands until the Transpac Luau at Waikiki Yacht Club. Thursday morning brought our first round of goodbyes as Jon and Lauren took off for a wedding. Alli, Graham, and Mara spent the rest of the day touring the Oahu by car until it was time for the awards ceremony. After the awards ceremony, we all headed back to Hawaii Yacht Club for dinner and the Bells' second favorite activity: dancing. We totally ruled the dance floor.

Friday the kids relaxed and the adults went down to tour a nuclear submarine. It was a great experience for them. That evening, Alli and Graham sailed on Howard's boat and got third in class! The whole crew was reunited for the Transpac Mt. Gay party at Hawaii Yacht Club. 

On Saturday, we all headed over to Kaneohe Yacht Club, thanks to Howard and Wendy. On our way there, we stopped at Pali Lookout. Pali Lookout is very windy. The world gliding record of 21 hours was set there. At Kaneohe Yacht Club, we relaxed in the shade, at cheeseburgers and ice cream, watched squalls roll in across the bay, and generally enjoyed being together. 

Saturday night, we met up with Westward's return crew for dinner. Westward's return crew is a group of four port pilots. These are the people who bring large ships into and out of various ports. For fun, they like to deliver sailboats home from distance races. We spent dinner hearing about their previous trips and asking questions about driving ships into and out of harbors. We couldn't be leaving our girl with a better group of guys. The return crew has their own blog you should check out: Given that there are no showers on Westward, you can bet that at least one (and probably only one) of the descriptors in their blog title are true. Westward started her return journey home this morning and will probably arrive mid-August. She'll make her triumphant return to Catalina not long afterwards.

Most of the Bells have left Hawaii at this point or are leaving tomorrow. It's hard to remember exactly what "normal" life is like, but it's time to return to it. Thank you all for following us on this amazing adventure. When you're a thousand miles away from land, your world seems so small. It really was something to regain a little connectivity and learn about all the interest our little boat generated. We appreciate all the support. Westward's sailing crew was six, but the Westward Team was far larger. We couldn't have done it without you.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Message from: Willard Bell

Hello Westward Fans!

As of the time of the writing of this post, we are within (hopefully) a day of finishing...and boy do we have some stories. Currently, we're sitting in light air trying to get all the speed out of the old girl we can. It's hot on deck, so whenever we can, we're involved in projects down below. Jon and Alli just cleaned out the icebox and sent a "gift" up to Graham and Mara to offer to Poseidon. (We hope he likes it, because we could use just a smidgen more breeze.) We are glad that we're not crossing the equator for the first time, because King Neptune would have come on board to intiate the Pollywogs (Alli, Mara, Jon, and Graham) into the ranks of Shellbacks. To do this, he would have used whatever it was that just got thrown overboard for the fish. Yuck.

If you've ever spent more than a week at sea on 50 feet of water with your family, you might be able to imagine what life on board is like right now. We are laughing...a lot. It's mostly puns, but we're also really getting good at the knock-knock jokes.

Not only are the jokes rolling (we're planning on taking our show on the road), but delusions have set in. The other night, when Graham was sound asleep down below, Jon swore he saw Graham sitting on the cabin top. Graham, upon seeing the life jackets and tethers we have hanging on a line in the main cabin, reached out to shake hands a tether (who he possibly could have been introducing himself to on this boat is a mystery). The foward cabin, where the girls are sleeping, has a low overhead. The other night, convinced she was on deck for a fictional sail change, Mara bonked her head pretty good (she's ok!). Alli woke up last night trimming the lee cloth (the cloth that prevents sleeping crew from rolling out of their bunks) for maximum speed (we're not sure if it helped).

All in all, life is good. We spent the night within sight of Dorade, but the wind speed and angle favors her hull shape and sail plan more, so she has begun to pull away. We also saw the largest boat in the fleet, Ragamuffin, sail by us last night. It's good for us that it's taken so long for this to happen. Our crew work is good and we can do a spinnaker change (complete with packing the old one) in about 10 minutes.

We all feel so lucky to have this experience and when we cross the finish line, it'll be bittersweet. We are fortunate that the six of us will be able to have these shared memories and can't wait to share more in person with you all when we see you. We understand that our rockstar shore crew of Shauneen, Lauren, and Rosey Bell, and Chuck Livingstone, and Claire Martin are in Honolulu getting the party ready. We can't wait to see them.

Depending on weather conditions tomorrow, this might be the last blog post from sea. Stay tuned, though, because we'll keep you updated on what the finish was like, the post-race fesitivities, and there will be pictures from our time at sea.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Into the Tropics!

Hello Westward Fans!

As this is being written we are just crossing into the Tropics over the Tropic of Cancer. We've had pretty light sailing all day and are all ready for some more wind!

We had some good news this morning. We are not the only ones who have experienced this loss of wind velocity and as of the morning report, we were in third in class AND third overall. It's anyone's guess as to what will happen in the next few days, but that piece of news was enough to earn us a special breakfast of biscuits and gravy and scrambled eggs.

One of the great treats of this trip has been experiencing all of the treats that being so far from land affords you. For instance, all day we have been watching schools of flying fish. Yesterday, one flew right over the boat! At night, we have been sailing up a moon river (when there aren't clouds in the way) and sailing under a starry sky (again, when there aren't clouds in the way).

It's dinner time aboard Westward right now. On the menu for tonight: Twice baked spaghetti. This is a recipie that our grandma/mom/Inie made, so this is a traditional Transpac meal for Westward.

We are also beginning to talk about our final approach into Honolulu, which is exciting. We're on the downhill slide now, folks. Think fast thoughts for us!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Under 600 Miles

Hello Westward Fans!

We've been busy since our last post. At the time of writing, we have just under 600 miles until our finish, so just a few days left!

We have seen a little bit of everything in our last day and a half or so. Westward and her crew have successfully weathered squalls, lulls, big waves, calm seas, blistering sun, and cold. We have done a few gybes, always trying to sail closest to rhumb line (most direct course to the finish). Our crew work has improved quite a bit.

The sailing has been great. We've all been practicing surfing Westward down waves and the "kids" are happy to finally know what all the hype has been about. There are long stretches of time when we're disappointed to only be surfing along at 13 knots. The past few nights, the night watch has gotten to sail down a beautiful moon river.

We have fallen into a great rhythm on board and are getting along well. We think we're plenty funny around here. You'll have to be the judge when we practice all our new jokes on you. We have found many more figurines and have a nice community going on the dinghy davits on deck. Every once in a while, during a sail change, the whole population is eliminated until we find them all and tape them back up. At the moment, we have about 12 on deck and have found enough more a second colony is going to be started down below. The boys have a facial hair competition going. Sam is winning, but he had a bit of a head start. Graham and Jon are neck and neck, but you'd still recognize them in pictures. Alli and Mara have decided to end their body hair growing competition.

Today is a day of celebration here on Westward. The whole crew would like to wish one of our key shore crew members, Shauneen Bell, a very happy birthday. We can't wait to see you in Hawaii!



Monday, July 15, 2013

Halfway There!

Hello Westward Fans!

Well, we've made it past the halfway mark (about 1112 miles to finish). That happened about noon Westward time (which is the same as Pacific time) yesterday. We celebrated with carne asada tacos and a beer for lunch. As this is being written we have about 900 miles to go to Honolulu.

Yesterday was a mixed bag race-wise. If you've been reading the position reports, you've probably guessed that we spent a lot of the day in light air. For most of the daylight hours, we were averaging close to 6 knots. This was below our usual. The weather was beautiful, though, and it is hard to complain too much when you're spending a beautiful day sailing.

Thankfully, by the time night rolled around, the wind picked up. We spent about three hours averaging 9 knots down the moon river. Absolutely beautiful sailing. When this boat gets going downwind (her favorite) she pretty much sails herself and it's really fun. As night wore on, the wind kept building and all hands were called for sail changes and gybes. It's become a running joke on board that when we do change a sail, we often change more than once and sometimes end right back with the sail combination we started with within a short time. Last night was no exception. Let's just say that we're becoming very good at sail changes and spinnaker packing. Fortunately, the sail we left up for the 2 am watch was the heavy-air runner because they saw some big winds with a squall and spent most of their watch seeing speeds of almost 15 knots on the speedometer.

When the position reports came this morning, we were able to see how we performed compared with the competition. We are still third in our division, which is good. We had a slower day than Dorade (who we haven't seen since the last blog post), and are now about 14 miles and almost 10 hours behind them. They are currently the division leaders. We are in 22 overall, which isn't surprising considering that all the boats have started, so we expected that some of the super fast boats would pass us.

Today has been great sailing, and we're doing our best to keep Westward pointed to Hawaii and going fast. Right now, we are routinely seeing 12+ knots on the speedometer as we surf down waves. Now, we just need that to be our average speed rather than our max. Everyone think fast thoughts for us!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Game is Afoot

Hello Westward Fans!

We are just starting Day 6 out here in the middle of the Pacific and we've certainly had an exciting 24 hours. First: the sailing. Last night, our closest competition, Dorade, was off our stern. But after some squalls and corresponding calms, they sailed below and out in front of us. We spent the rest of the day and night chasing them down. They seemed to have gone stealth last night, using their deck-level running lights instead of their masthead light (at least we hope that's why we can't seem to find them at the moment). We are all very excited for the sun to come up to see our relative position.

There is a pretty important reason that we're so interested in Dorade's position: We need to finish about seven hours before they do in order to beat them in the race. Races like this one, with so many different kinds of boats competing, have handicapped scoring. Each boat gets a rating based on certain characteristics like length, displacement, and the kinds of sails used, among others. The actual elapsed time from start to finish for each boat is then corrected using that rating to calculate a corrected finish time. Dorade's and Westward's ratings are such that even if we beat Dorade across the finish line, if we don't do so far enough ahead, their corrected time will be better than ours and they will win our little game. So, even though we are almost 1200 miles to the finish, we are paying close attention. Plus, it gives us a pretty fun and productive way to pass the hours. We've even converted our binoculars to Dorade Espionage Devices, which we use to keep track of their every move. We can only imagine, and often do, what the conversations in the cockpit of Dorade are like when they see Westward.

But that's not the only game we're playing. Our speed competition is still going strong. Sam is showing us how it's done with the highest 30 minute average at 9.2 knots. The kids aren't giving up easily, though, and are nipping at his heels. Willie has been dubbed the boat whisperer, because even in the lightest conditions, he can make the boat move through the water. We've got a squid count competition going, counting the number of squids on the deck in the morning. Alli is leading with four. Also, plastic figurines have started appearing the oddest of places. We've got a small community started taped to the dinghy davits on the cabin top. We suspect that we'll have a small town before we reach Diamond Head.

The conditions are just beautiful and we're having a great time. We couldn't feel luckier.



Friday, July 12, 2013

Transpac is Starting to Make Sense

Hello Westward Fans!

It's about 1030 Pacific time Friday morning as this is being written and we couldn't be happier. Since our first spinnaker set on Wednesday, the wind has moved aft, the boat has flattened out, the sun has shown itself more often, clean clothes have come out of bags and been put on, and all kinds of competitions have started on board Westward (other than, of course, the actual race). As Graham remarked "Transpac is starting to make sense!"

Last night was a good night for anyone who wanted to do a lot of work. We decided to douse the 2.2 oz reacher in favor of our 1.5 oz downwind runner and after that was set, discovered that we needed to switch to our .75 oz kite (aka the Steve Dair Special). In under an hour, we'd set, doused, and packed twice. Over the course of about four hours, we'd also switched the staysail for a spinnaker staysail, flaked and stored all the jibs that had been used, rigged the preventer (to keep the boom from accidentally gybing), rigged the 35 year old spinnaker net (to prevent wraps around the forestay), reran some of the sheets, and covered sharp bits on the bow pulpit to prevent chaffing. At this point, everyone has enjoyed the fruits of our labor by driving Westward under full spinnaker in lovely sailing conditions.

We have been playing a bit of cat and mouse with Dorade, who is off our stern currently. It's a little exciting to have our competition within our sights and definitely helps us remember that we're in a race. Our team of expert navigators has indicated that yesterday's run was better than the previous day's. Crew morale is high and we're having fun. There was even a formal uncle (Sam) niece (Alli) waltz on bow.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Start, Around the West End, First Squall, First Kite

Hello Westward Fans!

It's been a pretty active two days for Westward and her crew of Bells. With Monday morning came the expected pre-race chaos and the unexpectedly large send-off crew. By about 11:30 we were off the dock and headed toward the race course. Our first adventure was just outside the Angels Gate Light when the engine alarm went off to let us know that we had lost oil pressure. Quick work by Sam and the rest of the crew had us up and moving again in no time. We made it to the start line, checked in, talked starting strategy, got our sails up, and were in sequence. We started just to leeward of the other classic, Dorade (whose restoration story is chronicled on a website that you should search for if you have a moment--we tried to Google it for you, but neither our wifi nor our iPhones' Siris are working this morning). We got off the line well and in great wind conditions for Westward. We approached Catalina right about Parson's Landing, tacked up the Island, and were around the West End by 1600.

Around the West End, we cracked off onto a close reach and sailed for about 36 hours in 18-28 knots of apparent wind. We were pretty wet and cold, but happy to be headed to Hawaii. Last night, we had a few masthead lights in our sights, which provided great entertainment for the late night watches. Our other late night entertainment was the watch change sail change. All four cousins were up on the bow wrestling with hanks and dacron and working as a team their grandfather would be proud of. Wet, cold, exhausted, and totally happy. Early this morning, a brief squall blew through (our first of the trip!) and we saw our highest boat speeds.

The most exciting news to report is the sail change that came this morning! Skipper Sam and Navigator Willie have been itching to throw up one of our asymmetrical spinnaker and we did that this morning. We are reaching along and a pretty good clip under a full main, staysail, and asymmetrical chute. We are pretty happy with our position reports. Boat and crew are performing well and are happy to be headed to Honolulu. Even though we've gotten warmer, we're looking forward to putting our foulies away permanently.



Monday, July 8, 2013


Does the satellite phone updating the blog work?

The Crew's All Here!

2013 is a happy year for the Bells. In addition to Westward sailing Transpac and all the excitement that brings, we have two weddings and two babies to celebrate. The year of celebration started at San Diego Yacht Club on June 29, 2013 when we celebrated the wedding of Daniel Bell and Trisha McCanna.

This was also the day Westward's Transpac crew was reunited for the first time since the shakedown sail.

Westward's home port is San Pedro, but the crew is international. Sam, Willie, and Graham all live locally. The rest of the crew has wandered a little farther from home. Jon lives in Santa Barbara, Alli in Washington, D.C., and Mara in Japan. The local guys were all very relieved when the out of towners showed up to take on their share of the boat work.

The week prior to departure was a busy one. There were about a million little boat projects, sail testing, provisioning, and send off parties. 

Westward has a sailing crew of six and a support crew of dozens.

Mara, Alli, and Lauren at the grocery store.

There might only be six people sailing Westward to Hawaii, but the actual crew of the boat numbers well above 20.

Transpac Eve

It's finally here. Transpac. After all the work and thought and time that has gone into prepping Westward and the crew, we sail off tomorrow. That's tomorrow, though, and today was a flurry of activity getting everything ready.

There were provisions to bring on board:

Sails to fold:

Battle flags to hoist (thanks to Jon and Lauren!):

And tons of little errands to run and projects to complete:

We cleaned the bilge and the head. We prepped propane bottles. We scrubbed decks. We checked and double-checked safety equipment. We dipped the diesel tanks and filled the water tanks. We talked to old friends and expert navigators about the best routes for Westward. We also took a little time to remember that sailing is fun and we're especially lucky to have this time together:

Shiny ventilators!

As today draws to a close, we know that we wouldn't be where we are today without the tons of people who have contributed to getting Westward ready for this race. We sincerely thank you all. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


After Westward was put back in the water after her major overhaul, the crew was called to LA for a shakedown sail over Memorial Day weekend. Alli came in from DC and Mara flew all the way from Japan for the event. Charlie, Shauneen, and Lauren joined the six Transpac crew on this adventure. We the Saturday morning of Memorial Day weekend finishing some prep work. Then we headed out for some man overboard and emergency rudder practice. When that was all said and done, we headed for the West End of Catalina and beyond!
Graham and Willie test the emergency rudder.
It was a beautiful afternoon sail, but by the time the 10pm watch came on deck, we were sitting in about five knots of breeze under a beautiful full moon at the West End. After a change to a lighter sail, we started ghosting along. In the first hour of after changing to a light air genoa, we had a beautiful sail. The closer we got to San Nicolas, the windier and rougher the weather became. As the wind built, we kept changing sails. Only one of those sail changes was the direct result of a ripped sail.

By the time the 2am watch came on deck, we were in some pretty rough weather. Those of us down below were holding on for the elevator ride that came right behind the crest of every wave. Those of us on deck were bundled up in foul weather gear and trying our best to stay dry. After about three hours of heavy pounding, around 5am, an off-watch crew member discovered that we were taking on water. The manual bilge pump proved its worth and the water was emptied.

We turned downwind and the Dads (Charlie, Sam, and Willie) patched up the three inch seem that opened up. In just a few hours, the wind had died, the seas calmed, and the sun was shining. Amazing how that happens at sea: you can be wet and miserable and just a short time later the sun is shining and all the discomfort is a distant memory. We tested out ALL the sails (including the drifter and an asymmetric spinnaker), and sailed between Catalina and San Clemente. We finally rounded the East End of Catalina heading for Long Beach and the boat yard.

A beautiful afternoon for a sail
At this point, and so close to home, you'd think our adventures were over. We sure did. Boats have a way of humbling you, though. While we were power-sailing in about 3 knots of breeze under a
full moon, the clew on the main decided it had had enough and blew out. As the crew were reefing the main to deal with this, we noticed a weird smell coming from the engine room. Willie and Sam concluded that the generator was had probably burnt out its ball-bearings. Another sail change, a few curse words, and an hour later, the engine was running well enough to get us into Alamitos Bay and well-deserved rest.

Within 48 hours, Westward was back on the hard for some more bottom work.

The bottom post-shakedown

Even with all of the excitement of the shakedown sail, the biggest news is what went right. The crew got along great and got some good practice in. We are all even more excited for the race!

Westward and Transpac 2013

If you grew up a Bell, you grew up listening to the stories of Transpac. There was the race that, while Westward Ho was being readied, a can of orange paint was left out in the garage and ended up on the cars. That was the same race that, on the delivery home, the pots and pans got a good scrubbing as a whale used the keel as a barnacle scraper. After one race, the boat headed to Alaska; another race found the whole family (this time with spouses!) cruising Tahiti. And, of course, a family favorite story of Westward rescuing a crew off of San Nicolas and still arriving in Honolulu with extra food.

On July 8, 2013, more Westward Transpac memories will be created. Westward will sail in her first Transpac since 1981 with six crew, all family, aboard.

We invite you to join us in our adventure. Learn about the crew, the race, and the work that went into readying the boat for her first ocean race in over 30 years. During the race, you will be able to track us on the Transpac site, and when we can, we'll also update this site.

It takes a huge crew to sail a boat to Hawaii, and you're part of ours. Welcome aboard!