This August, Brenda and I will be doing just that - crossing an ocean. Unfortunately, our Abreojos will be awaiting our return at the dock.
Our friends, Phil and Sara, have a Swann 44 over in Hawaii that they want brought home. Her name is Second Chance, for many good reasons.
In 2011, Second Chance raced from Long Beach, California to Hawaii in the Transpac. Here she is at the start of the race:
She completed the race. However, not long before crossing the finish line, she earned herself a bit of acclaim by rescuing a rather forlorn paddler who managed to get himself into something of a pinch quite a distance from the beach. Here is a link to an article that explains essentially what happened:
For the last 4 years since the race, Second Chance has called the island of Oahu home. Most recently, she has been berthed at the beautiful Ko' Olina Marina which lies on the south-west side of the island of Oahu near the town of Kapolei.
This year, Second Chance is coming home to Channel Islands Harbor in sunny Oxnard, California, and Brenda, my friends Robert and Lou, and I will be bringing her home.
We will be leaving for Hawaii on July 29 and plan to leave the marina on August 1. Although this is really not a "cruise" so to speak, the same adage as we apply to cruising applies; cruising plans are often written in the sand on a rising tide. As I write this, the National Whatever Service is keeping an eye on a tropical depression they are calling "Tropical Depression 18e". Here is what they say:
The National Hurricane Center in Miami Florida is issuing advisories on tropical depression Eight-E, located 1715 miles east-southeast of Hilo Hawaii, under AWIPS header tcpep3 and WMO header wtpz33 KNHC. Eight-e is expected to cross 140°W into the Central Pacific Hurricane Center area of responsibility Thursday morning.
This will probably turn out to be a fizzle and cause no more than a period of excessive heat and humidity. Moreover, we are heading north and it appears, based on the projected cone of influence, that the unstable weather will pass well to the south of the Hawaiian Islands. Nevertheless, it adds one more thing to the matrix of matters that form the myriad of considerations taken in planning this trip.
The trip is approximately 2600 nautical miles. It will take us somewhat north (probably to around the latitude of Oregon) before we start heading easterly and then south-easterly towards Channel Islands Harbor. This is primarily because of the belt in which the trades blow and the location of the center of the North Pacific High. The way things look now, we will almost always be sailing well off the wind on a variety of headings that make great points of sail for Second Chance. In that regard, we hope the trip will not take us more than 14-18 days. I have asked my crew to bring their passports with them, however. Granted, one would think navigating from Hawaii to California is easy - just head east. Well, it's not THAT simple. I mean, what if we get in close and tune the fm radio and hear Spanish music? Well, then we turn left. If we approach shore and are met by folks paddling skin covered canoes and offering us seal blubber to eat, well, then we turn right. Seriously, August is the best time of year to do this trip because the weather conditions are most apt to remind us of just why the Pacific is so called.
So, we head out tomorrow morning to catch an early flight to Honolulu. From there, we'll catch a shuttle to a friend's house where we will pick up his truck which he generously offered us for our use prior to shoving off. Then, we'll head down to Second Chance and begin the process of packing and unpacking and provisioning. It promises to be a big job. Although there will only be 4 of us aboard, and thus plenty of space, there will also be provisions for 4, all of which must be stowed appropriately. I'm glad we have a couple days to get it right before we head to the fuel dock. Yes, I said it, "fuel dock." While Second Chance is a first rate sailing vessel, she does have an auxiliary engine and a generator that need to be fed. We'll carry as much fuel as we can possibly stuff aboard so, if we have to, we will easily make it across the North Pacific High, although the goal will be to sail as much and as fast as possible recognizing, of course that we are only 4 and we are not in a race. Second Chance had a much larger crew when she sailed TO Hawaii.
So, for now, I'm going to close this out and hope that you will follow our progress. How is that possible, you ask? Easy! We will have a DeLorme In Reach device on the boat. This is a two way satellite communication device that relies on the Iridium system. It does many amazing things. Perhaps the most amazing is it will function as a tracker linked to a website so our friends and family can not only follow our progress, but send us text-like messages. The following link is the link to our page. Check it out. We will turn the tracker on and start "pinging" the website when we leave the harbor on August 1.....we hope. I'll also ping the link to my own timeline on Facebook.
I'll try to write more before we leave and let you know how the provisioning goes. So, for now, this is the crew of M/V Abreojos, on temporary assignment aboard S/V Second Chance, signing off.