Mist arrives in Hawaii
04 July 2010 | Radio Bay, Hilo Hawaii
Happy Independence Day to our U.S. friends and family (and Canada Day a few days ago to our Canadian friends). We are happy to announce that we made it across the Pacific Ocean and are now resting at anchor in Radio Bay, Hilo, Hawaii - better known as 'The Big Island'! Our passage from Seattle to Hilo was 22 days and was mostly a good one, that is, once we finally left the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was extremely hard getting out of the Pacific NW due to the low pressure systems that kept slamming most of the West coast during our intended month of departure in May/June. We finally untied the dock lines in Port Angeles on June 12, 2010 and headed out to sea. We did not stop in Neah Bay although we checked in using it as our position for the beginning of our trip, mainly for the radio net. We used a weather router for reassurance that our weather predicting was as accurate as possible for this leg of the trip (for more info on weather routing see www.commadersweather.com).
The first window we chose ended up being a 'false start' due, ironically, to the failing of our engine 'starter'. We crossed the Pacific Ocean once without an engine (2007) and that was enough. Fortunately, the 'starter 'problem delayed us for only one more week. Bad turned into good in this case for we ended up having the best weather window of the season. Sailing steadily down the coast, we had consistent 20-25 knots of wind, reasonable sea swells and mild Pacific Northwest weather.
The first half of our trip we steered a few hundred miles off the West coast of Washington, Oregon and California. We wanted to avoid the turbulent winds off of Cape Mendocino (40+ knots).
The middle portion, passing Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and San Diego was the most fun for us. We will remember this portion of the trip, as being the 'de-fleecing of Mist'. The sun came out and the outside temps started to rise...65, then to 74, then 81F. At this point life was good...REALLY good! The foulies, rain boots, wool hats, sleeping bags and wool blankets were put away for the rest of this sailing adventure.
The final portion of this Seattle - Hawaii trip was probably the most challenging. The trades were fluky. One day we would have 10 knots from the E, the next day 0 wind with 4' swells...FORTUNATLY we had a functioning marine diesel engine to power through these 'dead calm' areas. Once reaching the latitude of about 27 degrees N and longitude of 140 degrees W, we had more steady winds taking us the rest of the way to the islands. The last few days upon our arrival were TRUE TRADE winds...constant and bumpy with gorgeous blue water, rather LARGE swells, and several squalls every day. Temps were mostly in the 80's. The last week out was a challenging as the first week we left with the motion and seas.
Sitting in the Radio Bay, Hawaii reflecting and appreciating the joy of having the Pacific NW-Hawaii leg behind us. Sipping guava juice, showering on shore, touring the island, meeting new friends is all we could ask for. Photos and video footage coming soon. We are enjoying this moment before thinking too much about our next destination.... We hope you too are enjoy July 4th wherever you maybe. Anyone willing to make the journey is welcome to join us at some distant anchorage. Thank you for your many thoughts, emails and support!
S & E