Huzzah Cruising the Pacific

11 May 2017 | Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai Is.
09 May 2017
03 May 2017
28 January 2017
12 November 2016
06 November 2016
29 October 2016
28 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
26 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
24 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
23 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
23 October 2016
20 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
19 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
18 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
18 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
16 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii

Life in Nawiliwili Harbor

15 May 2017
Now that we've been here two weeks, we're starting to learn our way around the town of Lihue, and will be expanding our range significantly when we rent a car in the next couple days. For now, we've learned a few tricks for increasing our mobility and access to the major shopping areas when the cruise ships call at a nearby dock. We simply wait outside the cruise ship terminal gate and hop aboard the free shuttles that K Mart and other retailers provide. The drivers don't seem to mind as we always tip - something many cruise ship passengers don't seem to do. And when the ships aren't here, Uber rides are only $10 to/from Costco, Home Depot and Safeway.  photo GampJ Kalapaki Light sml_zpse2tzqv8c.jpg
The marina itself is a very basic, State-owned facility of ~75 berths on stationary concrete wharfs and finger piers. Truck tires are hanging everywhere to protect boats from the two-foot tidal changes and brisk trade winds. One might describe the marina as having an industrial look, as you can see stacks of shipping containers and a propane storage farm right next door. The marina's single restroom is typical Hawaiian style with open ceilings and a beach (cold water) shower. The shower even sports a door, and is very popular with the local community. We are very lucky to have moorage here as there are only a dozen slips that would accommodate our boat in this marina, and only one is for transient yachts. And this is the only marina on the island that has larger slips. Fortunately for us, Kristy the Harbormaster is a super nice lady that really works hard to help cruisers like us. Thanks to her, managing crew arrivals and provisioning for our passage home will be considerably easier than if we were at anchor!
The US Coast Guard is our closest neighbor in the harbor and maintains a station here with two fast response 40' aluminum boats, and lots of activity to observe a few hundred feet behind Huzzah. We have watched them drill in protective suits, disarming each other of weapons under the hot sun, and shouting a lot. Jody already alerted them to the fact that they were flying the Hawaii State flag upside down. We originally thought this act might be on orders from the White House, but it's been flying correctly for days now - so maybe not. .
We've begun to meet more of the locals with boats here, and have been to the Nawiliwili Yacht Club a few times after racing.  photo Ozone Crew_zpsmsycxbps.jpg
A former competitor from my Tacoma Yacht Club days lives here now and races his Olson 30 each Thursday afternoon against five other Olson skippers and a handful of PHRF boats from the Yacht Club. I used to own and race the same type of boat, so I was able to finagle my way aboard his boat. It's not easy working an Olson foredeck in 15+ knots of wind at my age, but that's the position assigned to me. We just won the series, so the crew is happy! And our cruising friends Bill & Deb arrived a few days ago in their 40' sailboat Anakena. Always nice to be with friends when exploring new places!
Kauai is a small island, and the people seem to take pride in that fact. The Aloha spirit just seems a little more genuine here than elsewhere I've been in Hawaii. To me, it almost feels like the Polynesian culture we experienced a short year ago while in FP. We love it here. And the rain squalls that roll through each night and cause us to jump out of bed to close all the deck hatches, just keep it real.
Aloha from Huzzah

Family Time in Kaua’i

11 May 2017 | Nawiliwili Harbor, Kauai Is.
After arriving in Nawiliwili Harbor and seeing my guest crew off to their hiking and sightseeing adventures, it was time to catch a nap and get Huzzah cleaned and organized before collecting Jody at the Lihue airport the following evening. A mere 4 miles from the marina, I had planned to walk, but since I now had a 50 pound sail to get shipped to Honolulu, an Uber car was my only choice of conveyance.
Since Uber isn't allowed (officially) at the airport arrival terminal, we had to walk a couple hundred yards to an intersection off the airport property to schedule a ride via the Uber app. As we were standing on a dark corner waiting for some guy name Alex, it struck me how cheap I was being, and wonderful Jody was to go along without complaint. I won't do that again, however! A short ride later we're settled aboard Huzzah like we'd never left last February.
Meanwhile, Valerie, Ryan and little Henry were chilling in a super-sweet ground level condo on the beach 15 miles away in a Poipu resort. The next day we quickly joined them in what would become our daily rhythm for the next five days. We would arrive at the condo late-morning after Henry's nap, play on the bleach or in the shallow bay, kick a ball around on the manicured, golf course like lawns, and share dinner together. Typically nothing too fancy, a BBQ or takeout - always keeping things easy for Mom and Dad. And we couldn't of had more fun together.  photo Henry Sml_zpsfooeioyi.jpg
Spending more time with our grandsons has been one of the blessings of retirement. Oskar spent a couple of weeks' aboard with Rose last Summer in French Polynesia, and we look forward to getting the Milo and Theo out for some crabbing or fishing this summer once the seasons open.
Cruzin in Hawaii!

Passage to Kauai

09 May 2017
It all sounded so simple - connect with a local sailor from the Yacht Club and do an overnight passage to Nawiliwili Harbor some ~95 nm's to the Northwest. You know, sail 271 degrees for 16 miles to clear Barber Point, then reset the autopilot to 301 degrees for 12 hours of idyllic beam reaching under gentle seas and amazing stars and you're there.
I had met my new watch captain and some of her crew earlier in the week, then sailed with them as a team off Waikiki in a dying breeze the evening prior to our departure. The crew was a bunch of friendly thirty-something's - personable, interesting and immediately likable. Most were imports from the mainland, here for the positive culture and awesome weather. The watch captain was a retired nursing professor from the local university, and owner of a 35' sloop. On departure day the crew began arriving about 4 pm under overcast skies. The weather forecast models highlighted the absence of the usually dependable trade winds as a series of big low pressure systems approached from the NE. Since low pressure systems are nasty things that typically roam the oceans at will, our night passage conditions were uncertain at best. Time would tell. After casting off from Ali Wai, we motored West an hour to Keehi Boat Harbor for diesel, as Nawiliwili has no fuel dock and our last resupply was last October in Bora Bora. However, in typical tropical style, the fuel dock had been damaged the prior weeks or so, so we were out of luck! Not a show stopper as we had plenty aboard to make Kauai, I just didn't want to haul diesel to the boat in Jerry cans. Don't even start with the Jerry can and Jerry rigged jokes please : - )
As we motored NW in the fading evening light, cartons of Thai take-out surfaced -transforming our cockpit table into a huge buffet of white rice, spring rolls, fish, and every curry sauce you've ever heard of! In hindsight, that may not have been the best food choice for this passage. Oh, did I mention the crew and their skipper numbered eight? Normally, this would be an easy sail, and I'm sure most crew envisioned sitting in the cockpit all night telling jokes. The actual passage was quite different however!
With dinner complete, we raised sails in the darkness off the Ko Olina in 3-5 knots apparent wind. For non-sailors, apparent wind is what the boat "feels" which is always different than "true" wind on a moving boat. For example, if the wind is blowing 10 knots, and the boat is moving 7 knots into it, the boat feels 17 knots. Conversely, if the wind is blowing 10 kts from behind, you only feel 3 knots. This night, the wind blew from every direction at 3 to 22 knots apparent, with lighting and rain squalls skirting by. Combined with a fairly agitated sea, this passage was not an easy one. The result was seven seasick crew (including me and my other watch captain) of the nine. The other two reportedly slept through the ordeal, and were quite chipper at our dawn arrival.  photo IMG_3382_zpsf5k4grmi.jpg

The other thing that happened was the "Bravo" watch, tired of hearing the mainsail slat in the light winds and bumpy seas, tightened the mainsail sheet firmly - unfortunately, the sail ripped in two under the huge loads generated by 15 tons of boat rolling in the sloppy seas. Coming onto watch, the first thing I do is to check the sails for trim and condition. My heart sank when I looked up to see my relatively new sail was in two pieces. Interestingly, I was the only person to even notice! I quickly dropped the sail and we motored onward to Kauai. In the middle of the ocean, this would have been a disastrous situation, but we had the luxury of simply motoring to our destination. A small stack of Ben Franklins' and few trips to the Airport to get the sail repaired in Honolulu is the remedy this time. Live and learn!
Cheers from Nawiliwili.

Preparing for Passage

04 May 2017
Every passage starts with safety checks. After getting hoisted up the mast to complete a pre-departure check of the rigging and navigation lights by one of my passage crew mates Adam, I began bending on the Genoa & Code Screecher. That's when I noticed a significant tear in the Genoa luff tape and some minor chafe issues that required the sewing machine. So, down comes the Genoa, out comes the 65 pound sewing machine and various pieces of Dacron & Kevlar repair tapes. Not being a core competency of mine, this task eventually took me hours' to do in what my buddy Ken would have completed in 45 minutes. Once finished, Adam came back to the boat and helped me feed the repaired sail into the furling unit as it was hoisted. Then the raw-water impeller on the auxiliary engine needed to be removed and checked. Then the oil level and fuel filters were checked. Check, and check again. And so went the non-linear process of working each item on the checklist. Start, identify problem, solve problem, then continue.
A good example of this process going wrong was a bottom scrub. I had contacted a guy named Charlie recommended by another sailor weeks' earlier, but couldn't get him to actually show up to do the bottom. After multiple delays, he finally shows up the day of our departure and proceeds to do a half-hour bottom scrub that looked as if the neighbor kid did it. I could see significant growth was still on the rudder, so I used the GoPro to verify that I had been ripped off for $80 of services not rendered. Due to the massive tourism business on Oahu, there are people everywhere waiting for an easy mark. With no time to shame him into doing the job right, I was his "mark" today. Oh well, the weather, views and 99% of the people here are awesome, so it couldn't spoil my day too much. Anyway, the crew were scheduled to arrive at 4:30 pm for our overnight passage, and I still had lots of things to do!. Oh, did I mention the crew and their skipper numbered eight! I'll cover our passage in my next blog update!

Cheers from Huzzah!

Back in Hawaii

03 May 2017
I arrived back in Honolulu a week ago after three awful months of Pacific Northwest weather. Rain, cold, more rain - the worst stretch of bad weather I can remember in the 55 years I've lived there! Bloody dreadful it was! I only managed to get a few hundred miles on the bike, so mot much to be proud of when my riding buddies had to wait for me on those cold 45 - 65 mile rides.

But I did get some things accomplished on daughter Valerie's new home in Gig Harbor. In spite of all the rain, we were able to make good progress on a crawl space remediation project, replace rotted fascia trim board, and eventually a new roof and gutters were installed. We also spent some fun times with daughter Rose and her family, visited with the extend family on Easter, and caught up with some friends.

Back at Ali Wai marina, nothing had changed. The water was still filled with garbage, and the local liveaboards still looked at me oddly when I fished plastic bags, pillows, auto windshield sun reflectors and other eclectic floating objects out when I had a free hand. At some point they'd always tell me they used to do that too, but eventually gave up! I'm happy to report that not everyone has given up. We met this Canadian couple from a nearby hotel who bought a net at a local shop and spent an hour cleaning out the trash one day.  photo Garbage Netting people_zpsku5hogtz.jpg Ali Wai Garbage Netting photo Canada Garbage netters_zpsficrvhhm.jpg Nice to know at least these Canadians care about our oceans!

My friend Bill had checked in on Huzzah a month earlier, so I knew things were good. The main Lithium battery bank was within a fraction of a volt of when I left it, and the dehumidifier had the interior bone dry. So I filled the water tanks and walked to the local ABC store for some easy food until I could get to Costco to stock up and veggies and fruit. After 8 weeks the aluminum propane tanks had been inspected and re-certified for use. A two day event often takes weeks' here. And that's okay, you just need to plan for it. Hawaii is a Pacific Island with its own unique culture and tempo, and to me, it feels more Polynesian than USA. Maybe that's why I like the people here so much.
After finishing a few boat projects and bending on the sails, I will be meeting with my crew for the 95nm passage to Kauai's Nawiliwili Harbor.

Hanging loose in Hawaii!

Living Aboard in Waikiki

28 January 2017
We've been living aboard Huzzah in the Ali Wai Marina for a month now, and have thoroughly enjoyed our Hawaiian experience! The weather has been fantastic, sans a few days of rain. Our location provides us easy access to all the services and amenities we need with a huge shopping mall, grocery stores, big-name hotels, a copious number of restaurants, marine chandleries, and the ubiquitous Costco, Home Depot and Walmart stores. In contrast to our stays in Mexico and French Polynesia, this is almost too easy! To date, we have hiked up Diamond Head, visited most of the island's major beaches, walked the fashionable shops on the strip (apparently, people do buy designer shoes and handbags when on vacation), ridden the city busses, watched surfers carve big waves, and patronized many of the local restaurants. The good news is that our outings have contributed to us walking about 4 miles a day. And a special treat for us has been spending time with Jody's parents Stan & Jerry! Their condo is less than a mile away, so getting together for meals, a football playoff game or a walk has been fun and easy.
 photo BigWaveHawaii_zpsbjddtqkr.jpg

The never-ending boat projects have received some attention as well. After 19 years', the main cabin windows were beginning to leak (especially after the last passage), and needed to be replaced. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but totally underestimated how difficult cleaning the old adhesive off the aluminum frames would be! After 4 days of effort, the new windows were finished just in time for our first big Hawaiian winter rain.

The cruiser community here is small, but the people are awesome! We've made friends with sailors that have (or plan to) sail the South Pacific, so we have a lot of common interests. Most are younger than us, working to fill their cruising coffers before moving on, but cruising sailors don't seem to have generational differences. Our new friends have gone way beyond normal levels of kindness by loaning us their car, or taking us to/from the airport, and helping us with the marina bureaucracy. And all are game for a spontaneous cockpit party.

Our marina is not part of the upscale environment that surrounds tourists visiting Waikiki. In marked contrast to the gorgeous hotel lobbies, pools and well-kept shops, our marina is a dilapidated backwater armpit. The marina water is polluted with every type of floating garbage one could imagine. People have died (it's true) from flesh-eating bacteria contracted from falling in the water here. The cinderblock restrooms have been trashed, most toilet doors are missing, and few showers still function. Homeless people are everywhere digging thru the garbage and drug addicts sleep and shower in the marina's open restrooms. The land portion of this marina is a sketchy place. We pay a $150/month liveaboard fee to use locked restroom facilities, but most liveaboards apparently don't. They say it's not worth paying as they're just a bad as the unlocked ones, and the undesirables get in anyway. We agree. While many of the marina docks are fairly new (since the last tsunami), there's no sign of any maintenance since. The dock gates are broken and chained open, so people wander our docks unchecked. It only took a few encounters with druggies for Jody to opt out of the marina restrooms. While some liveaboards here are cruisers like us, the vast majority are here for the cheap accommodations. You'd be amazed how many 30-40' fiberglass sailboats built in California 40+ years ago have people living on them here. At $300/month, it's a bargain. These liveaboards have an entirely different mentality than most folks you meet on a dock. They seem to know very little about boating, and take almost no pride in their boat. There are numerous examples of hoarders piling junk on their decks so high you can't even recognize the boat.
 photo Hoader Boat_zpsduaj6sng.jpg
I'm guessing these folks were raised in a bad trailer park somewhere. If there was a better choice for a marina, we wouldn't stay here. But private marinas and the yacht clubs have long waiting lists, and the sister government marina is the next harbor is reported to be even worse - which is hard to imagine. It would be hard to find a shoddier marina operation anywhere in the world. In short, a poorly managed facility, even by local government standards.

Outside the marina is another world entirely. The Hawaiian residents are super gracious, and couldn't be more friendly. The Aloha spirit is everywhere, and we love walking amongst the community. As someone said to me; "so much aloha, so little time". Once you traverse the marina parking lot to the beach or main streets, this place sparkles. Easy to see why so many come here.
Like is good aboard Huzzah in Hawaii!

Winter Digs

12 November 2016
This was the view from my Alaska flight as I departed Honolulu a few days ago. Huzzah’s temporary slip is in the Ali Wai boat harbor, which is just west (left) of Waikiki Beach. Feel free to drop by if you’re in Waikiki. I’m now back in Gig Harbor working down my list of projects like cleaning gutters, setting mole traps, charging car batteries, fixing plumbing issues, etc. Amazing how stuff can break just sitting there unused. The best part of being home has been hanging out with Jody! We’re catching up with family (already been to a funeral) and visiting my grandsons’ is next on my agenda. I was enjoying the unseasonably warm 65F plus temperatures - until today, that is. If it’s not raining too hard, maybe I’ll get a few miles on the bike in the coming weeks. Cheers!

Temporary Home

06 November 2016
Huzzah's is now secure in her temporary home until June '17 - at the Ali Wai Harbor on the West side of Waikiki Beach. We're right in the middle of the action, so a perfect location for the periodic visits Jody & I will do over the coming months.
 photo Ali Wai Marina Sunset_zpsmq3z4fmf.jpg

Over the last week, my crew Scott & I have have been fairly busy cleaning the boat, re-bedding & repairing some stantions, addressing some minor leaks, drying and stowing sails, etc. We've cleaned below decks as well, and even found a home for our excess food! Bottom line, we ready to come to the cold PNW.

We made it!

29 October 2016
After 18 days, 3 hours and 28 minutes of passage-making, we landed at the Hawaii Yacht Club's Aloha dock about 5:30p (local) Friday afternoon! Located just West of the Waikiki strip in the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, this place is in the heart of the action. Unfortunately, Customs officials won't be available to clear us in until Monday morning, so we can't even leave the boat (we did get permission to use the club's facilities, however). That's a bummer for Dave, who flies out Monday afternoon. Things are well otherwise. A kind Harbormaster named Robert really took care of us. The Aloha dock is right in from the yacht club's restaurant & bar, and when we pulled up, more than one person asked if we had permission to be there. Thanks to Robert, we did! It was a blessing to have a hassle free place to land after 2,424 miles at sea!

 photo Dave n Waves_zpsed4rqwxx.jpg

I would be remiss if I didn't share than the last 4 days of our passage was fairly difficult, the last 30 hours more difficult and taxing than I had ever experienced before. Big waves and 30 knots of wind for days' drain one's energy and sleep reserves. And I worried constantly that we would break the boat. It's impossible to describe the feeling when a boat launches off a big wave, then crashes back into the water 2- 4 feet below. Doors blow open in the galley, and things fly everywhere and the sound is deafening. But my sailing mates were undeterred by the conditions and remained steadfastly positive, hour after hour. For that, my sincere thanks to Dave and Scott. I would gladly go to sea with you both again.
What's next? Scott & Gerry have scheduled a week to wash the salt off everything, dry the boat out, make repairs to broken gear and find a long-term transient slip to keep Huzzah safe until June 2107. I will post some GoPro videos in the near future when I return to civilization and get my broadband/internet access back! Life is good aboard Huzzah again!

Last Day at Sea

28 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
The past couple days we've been sailing through intense winds and waves. At this moment (6 am), It's blowing 30 knots on the beam, with 2 meter swells and a lot of wind waves. We are sailing Huzzah as fast as we dare, always mindful to make sure we “don't crash the ambulance” as we say. We are continually taking water into the cockpit, and we're all soaked. Not cold, but soaked. We've been sailing over 8 knots for some time, so our ETA into Hawaii YC is 7 pm this evening. A welcome respite it will be.

Pounding out the final miles

26 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
For the last day and a half, we've been beating into 20-25 knots of wind and large seas. We are 330 miles South of Hawaii now. More than two-thousand miles have passed under the keel since we departed Bora Bora 16 days ago. Our mainsail is double-reefed and our genoa is triple-reefed to keep Huzzah's speed in check. Blasting over 6 to 8 foot waves is really hard on Huzzah, so we try to limit our speed to 6.5 knots. We routinely crash into North Pacific waves that likely originated in some nameless storm hundreds of miles to the East of us, sending seawater across her decks, and too often into the cockpit. Life below is difficult. The boat lurches every which direction, making even the simplest move difficult. The hatches are sealed, so the 85 degree temperatures is extra humid. It's a difficult and uncomfortable situation, but my sailing mates Dave and Scott are awesome - and we will get 'er done! Cheers!

Shades of Gray (October 24th)

26 October 2016
The last few days have been difficult, as we've been sailing in the ITCZ. And the fact that it's moving north with us and preventing our escape is starting to make me crazy. Everything here is gray. The clouds have different shades thereof, but from horizon to horizon the scene is gray. The sea is ink gray as well, and it all looks as if we're watching an old black & white movie. And worse, the rain & wind squalls pound us night and day. Combined with the 6 to 8 foot swells tossing the boat about, we want out. Now! Please.
Today at 2:00 pm was our official 2 week of passage milestone. In that time, we've covered 1,791 miles (128 per day), and are anxious to knock off the 636 miles between here and Honolulu. When this damn ITCZ lets us free, we'll have big 20+ knot winds for the final 4 days or so. Wish us luck.

Shades of Gray

24 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
The last few days have been difficult, as we've been sailing in the ITCZ. And the fact that it's moving north with us and preventing our escape is starting to make me crazy. Everything here is gray. The clouds have different shades thereof, but from horizon to horizon the scene is gray. The sea is ink gray as well, and it all looks as if we're watching an old black & white movie. And worse, the rain & wind squalls pound us night and day. Combined with the 6 to 8 foot swells tossing the boat about, we want out. Now! Please. Today at 2:00 pm was our official 2 week of passage milestone. In that time, we've covered 1,791 miles (128 per day), and are anxious to knock off the 636 remaining miles between here and Honolulu. When this damn ITCZ lets us free, we'll have big 20+ knot winds for the final 4 days or so. Wish us luck.

ITCZ Means Crazy Winds and Seas

23 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
Not really. It's actually the acronym for the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone. This is where the Northeast trade winds and the Southeast trades converge, and is marked by extensive clouds, squalls and intense showers with features similar to the doldrums. Basically, you know you're here when the wind goes light, then seems to come from every direction at once, then randomly throws a rain or wind squall at you. This causes the sea to become agitated as well, so it really though to live here as the boat thrashes around like a petulant child. So, while the North Pacific High and the South Pacific High fight it out, we are slowly motoring through the mess for Hawaii. We have a great wind forecast for the other side and good fuel reserves, so we're pressing on! Cheers from Huzzah.

Hawaii Passage - Day 12

23 October 2016
We began day twelve of our passage this afternoon with a new record! With a fresh breeze, Huzzah sailed 174 nm's for the day's run. This is one of her best days at sea for any passage, but it's the elapsed time and average miles per day on a passage that count most. Our average on this passage has been 137 miles per day. That's respectable given the light winds at the beginning of our passage when we only covered 63 miles one day. I can't tell you how many times I've thought how miserable I would be sailing this trip in a slow, heavy displacement boat (e.g., Island Packet, Valiant, etc.), so often considered to be the quintessential cruiser. So what's the big picture? We've sailed over 1,500 miles, and have about 900 to go, so we're roughly two-thirds of the way to Honolulu. We should arrive within the week, but you can never count on the wind and sea. That's all for now. Cheers from Huzzah

Slow Roll

20 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
Slow Roll
(Originally Posted Oct 20th.)
Last night the wind decreased precipitously from the 12+ knots we'd been enjoying to about 5. So the 3am watch rolled out the code screecher sail and we went into our "light mode", meaning we do a lot more hand trimming and hand steering to make best use of the limited wind. It makes the night watch pass more quickly for each of us, but it's a heck of a lot of work! Going half our normal speed sucks. Forget the 160-mile day we were counting on, and hope for a mere 100. Fortunately, the seas are very light now, so it's easy sailing (think sailing in Puget Sound). Now, it's twelve hours later and nothing has changed. We're still sailing in the same mode under clear blue skies and the occasional puffy white cloud. The crew is totally in the passage rhythm now, we stand watch, sleep, eat, read, do a boat chore and crap. Sorry to be blunt, but that's the daily routine. Hum, wonder who's cooking tonight and what's for dinner :.
Oh, we do spend considerable time gathering weather information from the Iridium and weather-routing software. We also chat on the SSB radio, call home on the Sat phone and count the miles' sailed versus the rhumb-line distance - looking for and any significant milestones to celebrate. This morning for example we crossed the half way point of our passage at 1,176.83 nm's. Hip hip Huzzah for that! Maybe the old man will grant us have a Captain's Hour this afternoon?
Cheers from Huzzah!

We're Coming Back!

19 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
With the theme from Chariots of Fire blazing in the background and twelve-year-old scotch in hand, the crew of Huzzah sailed back into the Northern Hemisphere today! What a beautiful sun-filled day for the occasion, with great wind beam reaching at 7.5 knots! Next stop is Hawaii. Life is great aboard Huzzah!

Smooth Sailing Today

18 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
The winds are favorable, the seas calm (relatively speaking), and the sun is out. We are sailing North, in almost perfect conditions at 6+ knots in 14 knots of wind. Gone is the double-reefed main and genoa, the big ugly seas and gusty squalls of just a day or so ago. So we enjoy the now, never knowing what the next challenge will be. Another 150-mile day has us all in smiles today. The next milestone will be crossing the equator tomorrow afternoon. Dave is a Pollywog, so the Shellbacks (Gerry & Scott) will need to show him the ropes - so to speak! Neptune will not be happy if this is not done properly, so we need to be on our game. As they say on TV, “more news and film on that later in the program”.
Cheers from Huzzah.

One Down

18 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
With our first week of sailing behind us, we're looking ahead to approximately two more weeks of sailing to reach Hawaii - some 1,500 miles to our North. And while our first week stated out slow due to a lack of wind, we've been making good time over the last day or so. We covered over 800 miles our first week, but we're optimistic we'll be doing better in the future. Today, we sailed a respectable 154 in a steady 15 knot breeze. The only problem is that our wind is currently on the nose, so the seas are making the decks wet and keeping the hatches closed is mandatory. That means hot and humid below - yuk! Sailing into large waves is also a difficult motion to function in, as the boat is constantly moving in unpredictable ways. One example is the broken toilet set caused when the momentum of a wave knocks its occupant off! (BTW, guys sit on toilets while at sea for this very reason). So, one has to be very careful to not get banged up while moving about. Otherwise all is well. We have wind, food, lots of fuel, full batteries and about 1,500 miles of sailing ahead of us. Cheers from Huzzah's crew (aka Gerry, Dave & Scott)

Ugly Night

16 October 2016 | Passage to Hawaii
Gerry
We currently have a full moon which really makes night sailing easy. But mean old Aeolus completely ruined last night for us and turned things into a real shit-fest. Huge squalls of intense wind and rain were thrown at us from every direction. One was so severe, the unsuspecting helmsman on watch was overwhelmed with wind and did an un-commanded "auto tack". Nothing bad happened to Huzzah or her crew, but it takes a full crew's effort to get the boat reefed down and back on course. And so this passage goes, one moment we're light wind reaching in placid conditions, the next a big wind makes us struggle to maintain control. We're having fun in spite of all this however, sharing our favorite music and playing "name that tune". My sailing mates are quite music savvy indeed.
We press on (as if we have a choice) with optimism and good attitudes. We've sailed 600 miles since Bora Bora, and completed 126 miles over the last 24 hours. As my friend Frank used to say" If this were easy, everybody would be doing it". I can assure you, nothing easy about this!
Cheers from Huzzah!
Vessel Name: Huzzah
Vessel Make/Model: Jeanneau 45.2 built in '99 for the BVI Charter fleet. Purchased in 2011 in Seattle, and began an extensive re-fit.
Hailing Port: Gig Harbor, Wa (currently In Hawaii)
Crew: Gerry & Jody Gilbert
About: Retired professionals living the dream. Gerry & friends do the ocean passages, wife Jody & the kids fly in for the cruising. Departed the PNW September 2015.
Extra:
Huzzah \(ˌ)hə-ˈzä\ : an exclamation of joy, applause, appreciation — or shout of acclaim. Huzzah may be categorized with such interjections as hoorah and hooray. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), in the 17th and 18th centuries it was identified as a sailor's cheer or [...]
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