June 18, 2018
Noon Position: 21 27N 158 14W
Cabin Temperature: 84
Water Temperature: 82
Sail: All plain sail
For procrastinators, “departing is such sweet sorrow” would be better rendered as “departing will be better tomorrow.” In any case, that’s my relationship to making a timely exit from most any port.
I did exit the Waikiki Yacht Club more or less on schedule. On the Saturday, Mo and I motored 20 miles to the NW to Ko’OIina Marina, for that was the only spot on the whole island that sold fuel on a weekend. I had intended to put to sea immediately thereafter, but once Mo’s tanks were filled, the palm trees and the beech called, and besides, I knew the dismal state of the wind to the north where a big tongue of calm would be met just above Kauai. So I got a slip for the night … and then the next.
The disadvantage of the delay was offset by the reward of meeting my dock mates, John and Amanda Neal of MAHINA TIARRE III. We have crossed paths several times over the years but have never exchanged greetings until today. Very nice to have finally had a chat and to see the immaculate state of MTIII.
North Pacific weather has not improved. The tongue of calm remains, but by now I am tired of waiting. And as one cannot take a step without allowing his feet let go of the ground, so I have cut the dock lines and am back at sea.
As I type we are nearing the top of Kauai, some 40 miles to the west. Winds are light from the NE; the sky is clear, and the sea’s ocean blue is as stunning as ever. Maybe more so. How do people live without experiencing this blue? I breath it in as if it were super-charged with oxygen.
This is my fourth passage from Hawaii to the mainland, and while each passage has had its peculiarities, the strategy has always been the same; that is, sail due north, sometimes as far north as Seattle, and make a slow turn to the east as one rounds the top of the North Pacific High.
Departures for the three preceding jaunts have been August (2005), July (2012) and September (2016), and passage times have been 23, 26 and 20 days, respectively. In each case, the High has been well established. Not so this trip. Lows continue to sweep down from Alaska and leave great airless prairies in their wake.
Without a high to go around, I’m not at all sure of the strategy.