November 04, 2008
Position Day 1 started out a little hectic. We discovered a problem with the prop shaft rubbing against a bilge pump hose – after the usual contortions and sweat, it was fixed. Then after leaving the dock, we discovered there wasn’t any engine cooling water coming out of the exhaust. We drifted to a vacate side tie and again fixed the problem fairly quickly. In hind sight, sea trials would have been a good idea. At last we were underway and moderate wind and seas were waiting for us outside. It was nice to ease back into it after being harbor bound for the last two months. USN Warship 90 cruised passed closed by doing 27 knots. They were on their way home to Bellingham – wow, what a sight. In the wee hours of day 2, we were hailed on the vhf radio to alter course away from a "sensitive" vessel on the horizon. We did as requested, but wonder what it was all about – some kind of spook ship perhaps. We caught a nice size mahi mahi today. The wind and seas have picked up considerably and we’re rocking and rolling. Days 3,4,5 and 6 were uneventful. We lost a couple of fishing lures and caught another mahi mahi on day 6. The seas continued to push us around, but the wind was fair and Sand Dollar was in her element. Our trusty NAVIK windvane steered an excellent downwind course with our reefed wing and wing sail rig. We hardly made any sail adjustments and occasionally would alter our course a few degrees to get us back on track. All in all, it was a good fast passage. The morning of Day 7 found us at the channel entrance of Johnston Atoll. We were tied to a dock in the small boat harbor by 1000. It’s wonderful to be in sheltered waters and not rock and roll for a change. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast and completed a few boat chores, then went for a refreshing swim. Johnston Atoll is off the beaten path, 700 miles WSW of Hawaii, and about a third of the way to the Marshall Islands. It was a U.S. military installation until 2004. Now it is deserted, but still off limits to the public. We plan on spending a few days here. We will post some photos when we get to Majuro.