April 07, 2013
DUE TO TECHNICALDIFFICULTIES, WE’VE PERMANENTLYMOVEDOURBLOG TO: www.sanddollarN4KS.blogspot.com
June 28, 2008
We arrived Friday 9 PM Hawaii time, 6/27/08. It was a 20.5 day passage. We’re very satisfied with Sand Dollar’s performance. Another 32 footer here took 26 days.
The first five days were hell. Strong gale conditions, 35-45 kt wind with big confused seas (18 to 21 ft). Katie and I were both seasick for three days. After five days, conditions improved somewhat, but were never, repeat never, comfortable. The wind was fair, but the seas continued to roll and cork screw SD. Sleep was a challenge. Once we got below 25 degress north, it got a little warmer, but then the squalls began! Always at night. The best day of the passage was the last. The sea state subsided along with the trade wind, and we sailed into Hilo under our spinnaker. It was a night time arrival, which makes for high tension, but we braved it and had no problem entering the well lighted and marked harbor. The radar proved very helpful.
The hero of the passage was our trusty NAVIK wind vane self steering device – Horatio. Even though he was damaged early on in the trip, he worked bravely on with hose clamp band aids. Without him, we would be totally exhausted. Don’t want to leave Bob out. Our trusty electric wheel pilot – he filled in when necessary under the lighter conditions.
Sand Dollar arrived without a single problem – nothing to fix. She’s a great boat. We hardly used her motor – around 15 hours total, which calculates to around 5 gallons of diesel fuel. Wow!
We were all alone out there, saw only two ships, hardly any sea life – one pod of dolphins and a couple of birds. We caught two fish – released a small skip jack tuna and ate the 30" Mahi-Mahi (Yum!).
We rationed about one gallon of fresh water per day between the two of us. We had an additonal 5 gallons in solar showers. We ended up using about 25 gallons total and ended up with 35 gallons left in the tanks.
We both agree that we never want to make the same passage again (been there, done that, hated it). On a comfort scale of 10 – we rate it at a 4.
We’re really enjoying Hilo. It is a non touristy City. We plan on being here for at least the next two weeks. Then we’ll work our way north up the island chain and expect to be in Hawaii until October.
June 27, 2008
No wind in the early morning hours. Engine on from 0500-1130. Flying spinnaker. Great sailing. 1900 (7 PM) land ho! Arrived Hilo 2100 (9 PM)!
Motored quietly in tiny Radio Bay. Anchor down at 2300 (11 PM). It took us about 20 minutes to secure the boat. When we were settled we poured a celebratory glass of wine and – miracles of miracles – when we sat our glasses down they didn’t move an inch.
June 26, 2008
157 miles to go. Last night pretty much sucked. We took turn standing watches to hand steer. Saw a big ship’s light on the horizon headed our way. Ken hailed him on the VHF radio and happily he had seen us too. So he changed course to avoid running over us. After day light we were briefly blessed with an escort of about eight dolphin. They only stayed for around 15 minutes playing in our bow wave, but they were magnificent. By noon, seas were calm enough for Bob (the wheel pilot) to steer. There are tiny little flying fish all over our deck.
June 25, 2008
269 miles to go. We’re still rolling around, can’t wait for the day we can walk through the cabin without ricocheting off the bulk heads. Sad note, Horatio our windvane, bless his valiant little soul fell apart tonight. The fracture in his casing that Ken patched on day 4 finally gave up the ghost. Happily nothing fell in the drink. We hope we can get him properly repaired when we reach port. It’s too rolly for our wheel pilot (Bob) to steer, because he gets confused in lumpy seas. So we’ll be hand steering all night.
June 24, 2008
372 miles to go. Blustery, big seas. 2nd reef in main sail and genoa reefed accordingly. Squally. Sand Dollar continues to roll and cork screw through the sloppy seas – boy is this getting old – with the windvane Horatio valiantly steering our course. We weren’t looking forward to tackling galley duty with all the boat motion, but Ken was really hungry and dove right in and fixed a great lunch. The Mahi was awesome – we had it hot for lunch and cold for dinner. A grey morning turned into a sunny afternoon, but more squals gathered on the horizon in the evening.
June 23, 2008
489 miles to go. Sqaully conditions continue. Confused seas. Still sailing wing and wing. We continue to rock and roll and it’s too much trouble to attempt much more than reading and napping. We caught a 30" Mahi-Mahi on our trolling line. Ken filet-ed it in the cockpit and we wedged it up against the cold plate in the frig. Too rough now to do anything with the stove and although we’re not seasick, the constant motion of the boat does not make sashimi appealing. Maybe tomorrow.
June 22, 2008
612 miles to go. Squally conditions. Sailing wing and wing with a reefed main sail. Good tradewind sailing continues. Very bumpy last night, so sleep was fragmented. Too sloppy to do much today, so we spent the day reading, napping and listening to our ham radio buddies.
June 21, 2008
724 miles to go. Jibed to port tack. Wing and wing. Nice conditions. Wind NE 15 kts, seas NE 4 feet. Sunny with some interesting cloud formations. Good sailing continues. Bunce of birds today. Four white winds began circling the boat in the morning. We got nervous that one would strike the lure (we’re still trolling, still no joy) so we hauled in the line. All four departed soon after, but in the evening a different bird showed up and spent at least 15 minutes doing his best to land on the mast. The wind indicator up there made this a no-go, so he finally gave up and just sat down on the water. Hot solar showers in the cockpit were very refreshing.
June 20, 2008
836 miles to go. Had spinnaker up, got a wrap in it, but cleared it OK. Now reefed main sail and genoa sail. Weather; sunny, warm, nice. By afternoon we were back to a full main and genoa – great tradewind sailing. First day of bathing suits and sun block. Kind of a bumpy ride, but it’s so pretty we don’t care. 74 degrees in the cabin. Saw a squall behind us, so we shortened sail and got ready for some action. It fizzled out as it past east of us and moved on south to die without any drama.