Aroundoceans with SV Emerald Sea

Our journey on water

25 March 2018 | Victoria. British Columbia
05 October 2017 | Victoria BC
24 August 2017 | Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
27 July 2017 | Reeds Bay, Hilo, Hawaii
10 July 2017 | Reeds Bay, Hilo, Hawaii
22 June 2017 | Bora Bora, French Polynesia
18 June 2017 | Bora Bora, French Polynesia
12 June 2017 | Humane, French Polynesia
05 June 2017 | Moorea, French Polynesia
05 June 2017 | Tahiti
07 May 2017 | Tahiti, French Polynesia
21 April 2017 | Fakarava, Tuamotu's, French Polynesia
05 April 2017 | Tahanea Atoll. Tuamotu's, French Polynesia
05 April 2017 | Makemo Atoll, Tuamotu's, French Polynesia
07 March 2017 | Rikitea, Mangareva, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia
20 February 2017 | Rikitea, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia
14 January 2017 | Playita, Panama City, Panama
02 January 2017 | La Plait, Panama City
17 December 2016 | Isla Nargana
16 December 2016 | San Blas, Panama

Passage Bora Bora to Hawaii

10 July 2017 | Reeds Bay, Hilo, Hawaii
"The sea has a way of teaching you to see - not just by making the eye dance across the surface of things, jiggling, sweeping, swooping, taking measure in ways the landlocked eye can't even conceive. Its trickier than that: teasing you to look at whats bobbing at the edge of your vision, at what lies beyond: deep inside, locked in memory or destiny"
M. Lavin, 1959

Midway in our passage the winds subsided and the seastate calmed and that allowed us a few moments to sit out on the open forward deck in the cooling breeze and admire the big blue around us. The deep blue, clear, waters, the bows slicing through with a bow wake...mesmerizing like watching camp fires as kids. And the sky blue with its puffy hovering clouds. All alone we are - only Emerald and us. Hey, looks who's joined us... a pod of spotted dolphins decided to make a joyful presence! It's these moments that your soul needs to take it all in, think and accept. Open your mind, free your soul!

The Plan: It's a 2240nm passage. We'll maintain a course 010 - 015T degrees from Bora Bora which would take us well east of Christmas Island and into the ITCZ (near the Equator). This is not a rhumb line to Hawaii but if we don't do this then we'd later be banging into the winds when we do cross the ITCZ and the NE trades kick in towards Hawaii. We'll make efforts to squeeze as much Easterly as we can.

Our sail passage can be broken down into three parts. Part 1 from Bora Bora to the convergence zone with SE trades of 15-20kts winds, Part 2 in the convergence zone with little wind and a whole lot of overcast with squalls and rain and Part 3, from the convergence zone to Hawaii with the NE trades of 15-25kts winds. Its was all pretty uncomfortable and boisterous sailing as the winds and wave were generally forward of our beam i.e. reaching; so there was a lot pounding, slapping (that cats are infamous for) and spray. We still made some good speeds and daily progress runs, all with a 2nd reef in and often a reef in the genoa (Im always under canvassed!). Our flybridge tent kept us well sheltered from the winds and spray. We slept, when possible, at the flybridge or on the salon benches. Yet, this passage ranks as one of our most uncomfortable passages that we've undertaken and thats primarily as most of our previous sailing has been downwind - far more comfy! In hindsight, to reduce so much reach sailing, as we didn't get sufficient easting, we should have made our way back to Tahiti to get a better wind angle to Hawaii. One has to be a bit of a masochist to enjoy ocean passage like this for days on end.

We didn't fish as we have a freezer full of fish and we want to lessen this load before the US Agriculture department decides to confiscate it. Rose prepared 6 days of healthy meals before leaving so there wasn't any cooking to be done in the beginning. But...poor girl...she remained pretty much horizontal for first days out with stage 1 sea sickness (more about that below). As a requital, Rose will fly to Canada from Hawaii and later meet me in Victoria and I will take crew on from Hawaii.

Emerald crossed the Equator for the 4th time on 30 June at 17:40hrs and we celebrated with .... a beer!

One highlight: We are midway to Hawaii and after 7 days of bouncing around and walking like a drunken sailor the seas became calm and subdued. And then amazingly...our moods took a swing for the better - a few moments of euphoria, jubilation ... finally! And then there's no better way to enjoy those moments than strip down, have a cooling deck shower and run around the deck with nothing on but a smile! And dolphins! Then ... no sooner came the ITCZ....

It took about 3 days to get through the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) which went from about 03N to 7N. We could see it clearly on our forecasts in the 'rain' mode. It was quite squally but their intensity rarely exceeded 25kts and we made efforts to dodge them ... with marginal success. Mostly 80% or more overcast with plenty of rain but no lightening (thankfully). As expected the winds were all over the place: high when a squall initially hit us and then next no wind as it passed. As a result we motored or motor-sailed a good way through.

We used PredictWind/GO for weather forecasts and routing checks and SailDocs/GO for big picture weather reviews and warnings over the North Pacific region.

Always a highlight in our day - we stay in touch twice daily with cruising friends in French Polynesia via the PolyMagNet on 8173kHz - a volunteer HF net run by cruisers for cruisers. And we also got to chat with SV Silverland - an amazing young family we met from Holland in their 40's Dutch ex-fishing motor-sailor. Champ kite surfers! We shared some great anchorages and diving in the Gambiers with them including with friends Sasha and Roger of SV Endbal.

Seasickness is a malady and one Rose suffers from occasionally - and this trip has been one of these occasions. And while I seem to have a stomach of iron and seldom feel the symptoms, this trip even tested me. Often it is something that goes away in a couple of days at sea. Drugs, such as Sturgeon, can be taken to relieve the symptoms, even after you come down with it. Rose also takes ginger and she has in the past tried a variety of other so-called remedies i.e. accu-pressure bands, etc but these haven't worked. The symptoms typically begin with frequent yawning, followed by a slight headache, dry mouth, pallor, cold sweats, nausea and sickness. This was the first time Rose had drunk seawater, ½ cup twice a day, and she say it did help her!

To make life interesting during the ITCZ squalls the port side genoa sheet Clutch decided to loosen up from its foundation. Clutches are those neat little devices that grab and secure the lines and maintain the tension on them. Should this break off then there would be no sailing the genoa so a fix needed to be executed immediately. Trying to retighten the two bolts from the clutch side was just not going to do it as the nut just spun. So I had to completely remove sections of the salon ceiling, cut an access hole to allow me to get my hand and spanner on the nut while Rose tightened the screw. Typically of a boat repair....1hr of preparation to do a 30 second job! That was all done while bobbing up and down in 2m swells! Reef line chafe is another issue with the 450s' boom and if not paid attention to, a reef line will chafe thru and break in no time. I have learnt a few tricks over the years and employ these. But on this trip the 2nd reef line began chafing thru and I end-cut 25cm off to shift this area. Also then one of the aft boom sheave rollers broke. I've made it a routine every morning to run around the boat and its rig inspecting for anomalies. Murphy resides on yachts you know!

Two days before arriving the sailing condition were just a delight; big blue sky, hardly any swell, 15kts NE wind on a beam reach, 8-9kts SOG and 'Franky Perez' blasting on the hifi. We pulled into Hilo Bay of Big Hawaii at 04:00hrs on 9th July and anchored in Reeds Bay. All the conditions were good and safe for a night entry i.e. little swell, near full moon, well lit marker buoys, confirmed accurate charts.

Departure: Bora Bora; 09:00hrs 24 June 0900
Arrival: Hilo; 04:00hrs 9 July
Total Days: 15 days 19hrs
Total Miles: 2235nm
Average Daily Run: 143nm
Best 24hr Run: 188nm


Photo: Hitchhiking Brown Boobie
Vessel Name: Emerald Sea
Vessel Make/Model: Lagoon 450
Hailing Port: Singapore
Crew: Steve P, Rosemarie P
This site charts the adventures and misadventures of our family and hopefully share some of the practical tips and tricks that we picked up along the way. As our experiences grows so will the site as we share with you our aroundoceans journey. [...]
We untied the ropes from Keppel Marina in Singapore in August 2014 and haven't looked back. Across the Indian and around South Africa into the South Atlantic Oceans, the leeward Caribbean and South Pacific....with many stops along the way. And now, perhaps finally for this chapter, British [...]
Emerald Sea's Photos - Main
Photos 1 to 10 of 10
Keeping our carbon footprint to a minimum! Solar array extending over cockpit.
Clean fuel is essential to a maintenance free engine. Racor Dual 500s with vacuum gauge. We use 5 and 10 micron filters.
Emerald from aft - offshore Singapore.
Axel with baracudda.
Axel installing the Ocean Safety life raft. This is an ISO Ocean series and one we hope never to use!
Axel underwater following turtles at Tioman.
Solar frame mount showing the upper supports.
Aft view during the solar system installation.
The storm jib being installed.  We will be seen!  Sail blogs took an upright photo and rotated it!
Hawaii was a stop over on our way to Canada however we were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed our 3 weeks in Big Hawaii.
13 Photos
Created 27 July 2017
No Photos
Created 27 July 2017
A selection from 1000's of photos from out 6 months in French Polynesia. But were missing the photos from Gambier, Makemo, Tahanea.....
17 Photos
Created 27 July 2017
We transited the Panama Canal on 30-31st December 2016.
20 Photos
Created 2 January 2017
5 Photos
Created 17 December 2016
Barbados, Martinique, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada. A few of our photos captured here.
10 Photos
Created 22 October 2016
Photo fun...
3 Photos
Created 1 May 2016
10-15 April 2016
5 Photos
Created 1 May 2016
What doesn't fit into the albums will be found here....
15 Photos
Created 20 December 2015
26 June to 13 July 2015
16 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
5 February to 13 May 2015
17 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
17 July to 12 October 2015
16 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
29 May to 25 June 2015
20 Photos
Created 28 July 2015
16 April to 20 May 2015
18 Photos
Created 31 May 2015
Photos from Singapore to Langkawi
7 Photos
Created 12 November 2014
Our first 2 weeks out in East Malaysia (Sept 14)
5 Photos
Created 18 September 2014
Our Bon voyage party with our yachtie neighbors.
3 Photos
Created 24 August 2014
In June 14 we sailed up to Pulau Tioman for our first journey of living on this new boat and trialing new equipment including the drogue system, storm jib, solar system and other vessel installations.
6 Photos
Created 17 July 2014