Goodbye Hawaii – Hello Pacific Northwest Day #1

Air temp: 81 degrees
Humidity: 75% Barometer: 1016 mb and steady
Speed: 4-5 knots Course: North 0 degrees magnetic
Distance: 50 miles due north of Maui
Point of Sail: Close reach with double reefed main and 60% furled jib
Wind speed: Northeast at 15-25 knots
Swells: East at 6 ft.
Camanoe’s fish count since Maui: Flying fish – 0 Squid – 0

What? I know,I know, the plan was to stay in Hawaii for a year and cruise. These plans were made before I arrived in Hawaii. After two short, wonderful months I came to the realization that Hawaii isn’t an ideal place to winter over. Hawaii is beautiful and the locals are friendly, but everything is EXPENSIVE.  The winters are very hard on boats, the available long term amenities for boats are few and expensive (if I had to fly home), and mostly, I would probably wind up bored after four months. It was a tough decision, but money, available cruising time and the above have forced me to head for the Pacific Northwest. Where exactly this will be, I don’t know. It will depend on the weather and my morale as I head north to get over the Pacific High.

For those of you non-sailors, the Pacific High is a large, clockwise-rotating high pressure system that resides in the North Pacific. This time of year it generally sits about 1200 miles above Hawaii but can move several hundred miles in a few days. Since it rotates clockwise, the wind rotates clockwise. So, in order to go east from Hawaii, I have to go clockwise above and around it with the wind. I also have to keep track of where it is to make the most of it. This being said, I can’t realistically guess when I will make landfall. Most boats ride the high up to the prevailing westerly winds at 50 degrees north and run into Vancouver Island. When I’m farther north I will decide how far I want to push on. Until then, I will be right here holding on, as I beat into the tradewinds.