Thanks to those who asked asking about the trip across the Pond, and thanks for everyone's interest in the adventure!
We sailed up the channel and furled the sails outside the jetties at Haleiwa, Hawaii, 14 days and 10 hours after leaving Sand Point, Shumagin Islands, Alaska, after some 2,200 miles of sailing.
I think this photo sort of sums it up- trimming sails, reading, standing watches, eating lots of fish, you know how it goes...
Tor (trimming), and Tracy (learning)
With 4 solid crew members, we were able to stand 3 hour watches each, leaving 9 hours to sleep. That's quite a luxury at sea, and although I was up at all hours as skipper, I slept more than on any other past crossing, thanks to a reliable crew.
Tor driving in the moonlight, Eli chillin'
Taku "Iron Chef" Yamanaka cooked incredible Japanese fish dishes for us daily, and as a veteran sailor and windsurfer was great with sailing as well. Eli "The Grom" Knoke, a 21 year old carpenter whom we met in Kodiak had the least experience and the best attitude among all of us. He may actually have saved the entire crew when he spotted a ship in the fog during the first few days out of Alaska. Tracy Dixon, Navy Senior Chief in EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal- bombs and nasty stuff) was so happy NOT to be in Iraq that he seemed to welcome every day and even every wave that broke on him. Together they were the best crew I've ever been fortunate to sail with.
We rented a satellite phone, and used it to get weather reports, which my wonderful girl Kyoko sent us daily, using info she gleaned from NOAA and NWS on the web. This gave us a safety net, and valuable weather knowledge, as well as the assurance that we weren't sailing into any hurricanes or any such disaster. Kyoko began her sailing career with us in Kodiak and had great adventures with us on her first sailing voyage. She's a sailor at heart; she tells me she truly enjoyed learning about the weather, and wants to make the next crossing.
We had Westerlies for the first third of the trip across, which made for a close reach, and moderately rough motion as we drove into and across the seas at 7 to 8 knots. Eli was painfully ill, but still game, and Tracy made the vaguely biblical sacrifice of his own his breakfast attempting to make us lunch. But we made good time, and avoided some pesky low pressure systems that raced across our path just to the north of us, as we entered the Pacific High. After the first 4 days, things began to really warm up, and we shed layers daily with great gratitude. From here it was light winds, and we motored for nearly 4 days, with a few welcome swimming breaks in the afternoons.
Frolicking in the Pacific High. Taku swinging from the spinnaker halyard, Eli watching
A plastic 55 gallon drum (complements of the Sand Point Harbor Master) full of extra diesel strapped to the mast gave us extra range under power, so that we still had 1/2 of our tank capacity when we arrived in Haleiwa. We motored for about 4 days in beautiful calms, keeping well to the East of Hawaii, so that when we finally sailed into the NE trades, we rolled down to Hawaii, at 170 to 180 miles a day for the last 4 days.
Eli driving in the trade winds. The record was 14 knots.
Kahea is now at Kaneohe Yacht Club, where she is temporarily but happily moored and awaiting further voyages. It is so great to be home. Eli is enjoying Hawaii like only those who have just discovered it really can, and I am just delighted to be with my girl, and back working on my photography here in Waialua. Taku flew back to Japan today, and Tracy is getting ready for another deployment, out of harms way but still within the "Great Debacle".
Aloha to one and all,
The Dread Captain Tor
Tracy (with a beer), Eli (with his first ever coconuts), Tor (with a monster smile), and Taku, all of us happy to finally be in Paradise