It’s been a rough few days due to my Covid-19 shot. But, after a lot of shuffling around, looks like the crew for the Hawaii to SF trip has been selected!
Ed - He was a paramedic and is now an epidemiologist. He the only brave soul who sailed from San Francisco to Hawaii and is willing to take the return trip. He has been staying on Jane’O in Hawaii. He’s been a life saver! He’ll function as the chief medical officer. We might nickname him Dr. McCoy.
Alan - He owns and teaches as Delta Sailing School. He hasn’t done a pacific crossing but has a lot of coastal experience. He also has a captains license. We might nickname name him Mr. Klee(n).
Erik - He is a war vet who also happens to be my son. He hasn’t done much sailing except for a few short day trips. But he’s very excited to join us! We haven’t spent a lot of time together in a while so this will be a great opportunity for us to catch up and come up with a nickname.
The return trip with be with 4 people instead of 5. I’m debating 2 1⁄2 hour shifts, because if we do that, then there are 7 1⁄2 hours between shifts instead of 6, which is enough to get nearly a full night sleep. We’ll talk with the crew and see what they think.
Our expected departure date is June 18th. We might leave on the 17th or the 19th, depending on weather. The plan is to head north out of the trades (as close hauled as we care to handle) for the first day, then turn east to cross through the Pacific High. We’ll be doing a lot of motoring and motorsailing, making this a much easier passage than the other direction, except for the last few days.
I haven’t yet spent enough time studying the typical weather patterns on this departure day, and could certainly use some extra eyes from you weather-savvy sailing people out there. The archive for the past several years is available here. Use the surface ones unless you know what you’re doing.
Here are some departure day images.
Click on these to zoom in. These show the conditions in 2020, 2019, and 2018 on June 18th as late as possible. In table form:
|2020||136W,40N 600mi W of Eureka, CA||1028|
|2019||140W,43N 700mi W of OR/CA border||1034|
|2018||134W,35N 600mi W of Ft Bragg, CA||1023|
2018 weather looks best for this trip, but remember the high moves daily. While 2020 looks worse on this specific day, the very next day the high moves very far west and south, leading to perhaps the best departure day of the set.
The other thing to consider is that the great circle route will head us a bit north anyway. But based on these three charts, we’ll be doing considerable motoring through relatively light winds near the high. The hard part of this trip, as shown from previous experience, is the last two days, where the California coast will kick those winds up pretty strong along the coast. If we were leaving today, fastseas currently recommends waiting based on expected high winds near the coast on arrival, but it’s ability to forecast that far out isn’t very good. We will still need to plan to head southeast during this portion of the trip.
With our chief fisherman Dave off the trip, we’re going to have to show him how it’s done. We need to start trolling on departure day to catch some of the local Hawaiian fish, and we really need that “big one” out in the Pacific High. Just think, we’ll be saving them from the great Pacific Garbage Patch AKA the Pacific High. Plus sushi.