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.