3. San Francisco to Hawaii

Friday, July 10,2009

Before going off watch this afternoon, Steve put out our fishing lure. While he slept, we hooked a mahi mahi, and by the time Steve had finished his nap, Shaun and I had subdued the fish, filleted it, iced it down, and cleaned the blood from the stern steps. We won’t be having chicken for dinner tonight or tomorrow as planned.

We continue to make good progress towards Oahu. The trade winds have filled in, and the seas have come down. As I write this, we are 404 nautical miles from our destination. Winds are 18 to 22 knots and boat speed is 9 to 13 knots. We have been sailing under our large reacher most of the time plus full main or main with first reef.

Occasional showers rinse the salt water from the decks, and a full moon casts a silver pathway for us to follow.

Here are some excerpts from our navigation log:

July 7, 2009

2048 Small squall passed thru – max wind about 23-24kn but also veered to TWD 69mg or 20deg veer.

2325 One very heavy rainshower with wind to 22KN. A second squall to 21 KN without rain.

July 8, 2009

0014 Mostly cloudy with moon peeking out occasionally, rain cells here and there on the radar. We are making good time. A little bumpy. No ships on AIS. A rollicking good ride under full main and reacher. I am ready to furl the reacher if a squall comes through.

0536 In the light phases of wind cycle need to hot up the angle to 130 or 125. Then down to 140-150 when wind gets back up in the 16-20 range.

0837 Mostly moderate wind with 130 W/A but last 20 mins 20-23KN and steering 150 off wind.

1143 Wind speed has leveled off to 18 to 22 kts Boat speed is 9 to 11 kts, with surfs to 13 kts. Squalls cross our wake, and cross ahead of us, so none are threatening. Seas are more boisterous. Cumulus clouds are growing as the day goes on. Still some patches of blue, and occasional sunshine. Model shows us arriving in Oahu on July 11. But things can change to put is in on July 12. It is lovely out here on the ocean.

1403 Gybed the boat onto port – maybe the last gybe before Hawaii. at TWS 20kn we’re needing about 3-4° of rudder to offset weather helm from the main. Wind is on a backing trend – 30° over the last 2 hours.

1729 Wind variable 17-22KN. Steering angle 140. 150 with stronger wind. Batteries charged.

1847 Sea temp is 75 deg F. Beautiful sailing under fair weather cumulus and blue skies. Boat speeds 9 – 10 kts. Seas a bit confused. Full main and reacher.

2102 622nm to Diamond Head. Coming on watch I set pilot down another 5deg to 150 AWA while wind is up in the 18+ range. We are really rockin ‘n rolling close to rhumb, with a fair bit of surfing in the 12 – 14 kn range when wind gets to 19+. Sitting in cockpit reading Beth Leonard’s new edition before my watch was most pleasant, with the sounds of surfing much more fun than piloting from the nav station!

2113 Our new Garmin GPS log just turned over 3000nm. These Garmin’s only have 4 digits so we have to keep track of the 10,000s. And also the unrecorded miles when we have forgotten to reset the GPS on rollover, or when GPS has failed.

2159 MacENC shows AIS is not working. Reboot MacPro – nojoy. Reboot AIS.

July 9, 2009

0232 Wind increases every 1/2 hr or so. Boat speed up to 17.3 KN on one surf.

0334 Seas really rolly and wind speed is down so we started the port engine, furled the reacher, set the jib and hauled the boom down to prevent slatting. Hopefully the seas will settle down soon. The past 3-4 hours have been quite rambunctious. 618 nautical miles to Oahu.

0631 Beautiful nearly full moon ahead. Seas are still confused.

0830 Pilot 2 to NORM. We are rockin ‘n rolling close to rhumb again. I struck jib, set reacher and full main for about 130 AWA. Still steering compass 220 until it’s clear what AWA is doing at higher boat speeds. Wind has veered to 78T / 66 mg offering hotter angles on rhumbline.

1456 We furled the reacher and turned dead downwind to quiet the motion of the boat while Steve went into the engine room to replace a filter. Even so we continued to make 7 kts boat speed. Now with the reacher set, we are making 9 to 10 kts, depending on the wind speed. I am making bread again.

1559 Wind is up, boat speed is up, occasional surfing to 11 kts. Small rainshower ahead to port.

1925 First reef started in 22kn at 20” pilot AWA 150 (should have tried 165)- first batten was pressing hard forcing track to rotate way around to stbd. Increased boom to 24” went smoothly then. Traveler up to center, couldn’t bankwind with jib – had reacher up. To start put mainsheet on traveler winch – made it much easier to raise boom another 4″. Also engaged pawl at start so at reef mark just released furling line and tensioned luff via halyard. Shaun was disappointed because he had been having great fun surfing ADAGIO at 14 and 15 kts.

2158 Beautiful, soft sunset. The seas are down, and the wind is down, so tonight will be better for sleeping than last night.

2324 The wind has piped up, so we are moving faster towards our destination. Oahu is 467 nautical miles ahead, ETA about 55 hours at this speed. The stars overhead are spectacular!

2355 Wind trend is up a bit, continuing to veer almost to east True.

July 10, 2009

0254 Stunning cloud formations backlighted by almost full moon.

0542 Suprising swings in wind speed and direction. One rain shower. 415NM to go to Kawi channel.

0604 Boat speed steady 9 to 13 knots. Wind 17 to 24 kts. Still sailing under reacher and first reef in main. Earlier today Shaun found a black plastic ring on the stbd trampoline. Tonight Steve determined that it had fallen off of the light on the front of our mast. Cloudy skies clearing ahead.with bright moon.

0822 Rainclouds ahead to port. Miles traveled past 24 hrs is 194. Sunrise astern and on the tops of the rainclouds ahead.

1501 Wind fairly steady. Caught a approx 8 lb Mahi Mahi. Cabin temp 81F

1617 Wind has eased and boat speed is down. We received instructions from Rick Shema regarding our approach to Diamond Head and on to Ko Olina. We are studying the charts now.

1955 Set full main & reacher

2322 Some lively surges with surfs up to 15 KN. Sea state much more kindly than two nights ago. Less cross sea.

We are certainly enjoying a fast downwind ride to Hawaii. Shaun is a pleasure to have aboard. He quickly picked up the sail handling and our navigation techniques, and is carrying more than his share of the work load. He also seems to be having a good time.

We can comfortably sit in the cockpit to read or socialize while sailing. We sail with the back door open, day and night. Cooking has been a bit of a challenge today, with the motion from the seas, but not really a problem.

We can’t hear the ukeleles yet, but I think I occasionally catch a whiff of tropical flowers. A gannet circled the boat today, so that’s a sure sign of land ahead.

Here are our daily runs:

Day 1 – 154 nautical miles

Day 2 – 222

Day 3 – 190

Day 4 – 157

Day 5 – 157

Day 6 – 151

Day 7 – 154

Day 8 – 205

Day 9 – 193

Day 10 – 194

9 thoughts on “3. San Francisco to Hawaii

  1. Steve and Dorothy:

    Glad to see you guys have a good trip over. Was fun getting the updates on my cell phone… Have a good time in Hawaii, I really miss it. My first big boat is working day charter in front of the Outrigger Hotel, 48ft Wind Warrior…. I raced it over in 1987 in about 7 odd days.. Bob King is current owner..




  2. Thanks so much for your great up dates.We love reading about your adventures and hope that one day our paths will cross.Kiella was launched 16 April … a power cat, yes no sails,but with our growing brood will suit our needs we hope. Heading north 2010. All well keep in touch Ianx


  3. We’re glad you had a good pasage to Honolulu. Again our phone #: 966-9679. We don’t have an answering machine but we are here most of the time.


    Bill and Maryann


  4. Hi Dorothy and Steve,
    Sounds like you are in Hawaii. Do you know that Eugene lives near Honolulu now? His email is Eugene.Harrell@aecom.com and his cell is 561-252-7911. He has been doing some sailing with his boss and landlord.
    Enjoy your time in Hawaii,


  5. I just loved reading your reports. As I read and imagined what you must be seeing and feeling I began to rock and roll as if I were on board. I still can feel the swells from behind and a slight p to s rock. I love it. Funny how your gift for word smithing can do this to me.

    Enjoy yourselves in Hawaii. We can’t wait to get back there someday.

    Love to you and yours,



  6. I’m enjoying reading of your adventures. 2,000 miles! That’s amazing. You need to write a book or several books by now.


  7. I see now that your adventures make good reading and will keep up more often. You missed another good time at lake LBJ and in the short time Kathy and I were there this year, I painted on my version of washers for Horseshoe washers. Hope all your sailing experiences are enjoyable and you return to the Northwest some day.
    Cuz’, Rich


  8. Dorothy & Steve
    Strange thing this sailing & adventures lifestyle we share. I have just returned from 2 months at sea up & down the BC / Alaska coast….long long days but great days! By the last few weeks was often thinking of home. Of course just as soon as I settled into the routine of life at home (well mostly in the office in busy downtown Victoria) a transition I know you can relate to, I missed being “out there” and so THANK YOU for the wonderful stories of your adventures; they help to get me thru the office days. BTW impressive average speed.

    Cheers! Kevin


  9. Dorthy & Steve,

    We are happy to read that your adventure to Oahu was a good one.
    We hope to continue to read about your travels, as well as take in some more great photos. (Would like to see how your installed the Power My Mac DC Power Adapter with the 16ft cable for your MacBook as well).

    Best of Luck,


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