Sailnews Arrived Hawaii

24 June 2016

Dulcinea, Jan, & Dave left Nuku Hiva 13th June planning to sail due north up longitude 140W until we were through the Inter-Tropical-Convergence-Zone (ITCZ), then sail straight for Hawaii in the NE Trade winds.

The ITCZ is now about 6 to 8 degrees north - a zone of squalls & thunderstorms as the earth's great convection system recirculates warm moist air into the upper atmosphere. Being N of the equator, at this time of year, these storms could support circulation and rotating tropical storms, so we were bringing in multiple weather bulletins each day and taking advice too from a meteorologist in New Zealand.

Just north of the equator we took a dog-leg west to try to miss some thundery, squally activity on the ITCZ, then dodged N again hoping to find a hole. On the night 19th we past a big black cloud to starboard then had bright lightening overhead for an hour. The thunder clouds make excellent radar targets and we tried to dodge them when we could. 20th was squally but gradually settled into NE Trade winds.

Passage Notes:

Third day out on our 2067NM passage from The Marquesas to Hawaii. Jan found water getting in through the window of her clothes cupboard.

Dave accidentally knocks the full coffee pot into the open chest style fridge....what a grounds everywhere. Then discover we had already crossed the equator three hours earlier than we had thought.....too many zeros to watch for on the GPS.

Clear up including various blood stains round the cockpit where Dave grazed his knee while scrambling to reef the main sail, and fish scales everywhere from the flying fish that come on board each night.

Just the life of a cruiser!

Dolphins, sea birds & flying fish. Seen one other vessel on the AIS. A commercial boat heading for Panama.

Checking into the Pacific Seafarers net & the Poly Mag net each day on the SSB radio. Dave doing an inreach position report every morning, & bringing in email each afternoon.

Moonlit nights... moon waxing.

5th day passed old Chinese fishing boat 5:30am

We see birds every day. If they can glide over the water a 1000 miles from land then so can we.

We are using a much respected paid weather guru, Bob Mcdavitt from New Zealand. Dave listened to him talk when were there in 2006. We have not followed his recommended route faithfully. We are passing through the ITCZ now (day 8). Picking our way round rain showers (black blobs on the radar).

Eighth night out. Saw a comet. Bright iridescent green with a red tail heading for earth. Just after, sitting in the back of the cockpit zipped up in my jacket a flying fish banged into me and managed to get inside at the top of my jacket flapping around on my chest as I frantically tried to get unzipped and get it out. Poor thing lay gazing up at me.....

Just another night in the life of a cruiser.

11th & last night out. On my watch we caught a 1" polypropylene line on a rudder. Boat turning off course & practically stopped. Auto pilot scrambled. Dave was able to lean down & cut it off with our fishing knife.

Rain showers. Oh for a whole night in bed. Midnight we had done 204NM in 24 hrs. We are usually just short of the 200. Something Dave has been waiting for.

In 15 to 20 knot winds, Dulcinea enjoyed the reach NW. We realised we could just make Hawaii before Customs closed on Friday afternoon, so we sailed a little harder through Wednesday night and Thursday.

Dulcinea arrived at Hilo in fine trim about lunch time on Friday 24th. Got all the help we could need. While several miles out, we put Canadian SIM cards into our phones and they burbled into action. A HAM radio operator had given us his local phone number in case we needed help; but we called Coast Guard, Hilo harbour master, and Customs/Immigration and got welcomes from all 3.

By mid-afternoon Jan, Dave, and Dulcinea were all checked into the USA. By Saturday morning we also had done our laundry, changed Jan's Wednesday flight out to Canada, rented a car, and lunched at McDonalds in Walmart. Now completed a drive round the island with stops including the Volcano National Park.

This is not quite the stunning beauty of the Marquesas, we haven't yet seen the 60 ft clear water of the Tua Motus, our lunch was fine but not haute cuisine French of F Polynesia, but this is certainly a place where things get done quickly & efficiently, and, so far, with big friendly smiles too. Well, here on the Island of Hawaii, they say Honolulu on Oahu is the big city.

Dave spent an evening at 9,200ft at the info centre on Moana Kea, 1 of the 4,000 metre volcanoes with some of the worlds biggest telescopes. We had the use of 5 or 6 refracting & reflecting telescopes up to 16" diameter, which were bigger & more powerful than anything I had used before. It was fun to see the rings of Saturn, and several moons of Jupiter and its big storm vortex. We are spoiled being used to very clear skies over the ocean, but it was a luxury having the big telescopes & people to tell us what we were looking at.

Jan is in Canada. Dave is about to sail to Oahu and try to get some sail repair and boat jobs done. We'll meet again in Honolulu in a month to sail back to Canada.

Jan Dave & Dulcinea