Voyage 6

Honolulu, Hawaii to
Hilo, Hawaii
August 22-24, 2017

Day 1 – Tuesday, August 22, 2017

At about 12:45 PM, I raised anchor and set sail for Hilo.  I spent nearly a week in Honolulu.  It was a nice stay, but Honolulu is too congested for me.  I made some repairs and bought some provisions that would be more difficult to get in Hilo.  Once I arrive at Hilo, I will decide what I need for my next voyage.

I’d like to set out for the Marquesas Islands at some point.  Unfortunately, the wind forecast is not good for doing that right now.  There is a tropical storm, Kenneth, to the east of Hawaii, about halfway to Mexico.  It is forecast to move to the north and weaken, so it’s not a factor.  The problem is the inter-tropical convergence zone.  Right now, it is in a pattern that resembles a lightning bolt.  In order to get to the Marquesas from Hawaii, the recommended route is to sail southeast until reaching 140ºW, then to turn south.  I’d be fine until I reach about the area of 11ºN, then I would reach a band of calm air, followed by a direct headwind all the way to the equator.  That won’t work with my boat since the simulator doesn’t provide me with a motor.

So, with my IRL trip in 2 weeks and questionable wind conditions headed to the Marquesas, I may just have to hang around Hawaii for about 4 weeks.  September is toward the end of the recommended season for making this voyage, so I should be able to make it to the South Pacific by the first week of October.

The winds had not changed much around the Hawaiian Islands in the past week.  I was still dealing with 10-15 knot winds coming from the NE to E.  This wind makes it very difficult to sail eastward in the Hawaiian Islands.

With the wind shifting frequently from the east, I set the helm to follow the wind.  That’s the way I sailed for the rest of the day.  The seas were calm and I was going a steady 6-7 knots.

When I turned in for the night at about 8:00 PM, I was about 70 nm from my turn to the north, just off the west coast of Hawaii.  I set the auto-pilot to alarm if anything unusual occurred.

Day 2 – Wednesday, August 23, 2017

I was up at a little after 5:00 AM.  I made good progress during the night.  I was about 10 nm south of my intended track, but that wasn’t a problem.  I was headed direct toward Kona.  Once I got to within about 20 nm of the coast, I would turn NNE and sail up the west coast.  With the light winds, it looks like it will take me the better part of today to sail up around the north side of Hawaii to Hilo.

I made the turn north from Kona before noon and sailed toward Maui.  I continued sailing with the helm set to follow the wind.  When I was about abeam with Waikaloa, the wind speed dropped below 10 knots.  It was a relaxing sail because the seas were so calm.

At about 6:00 PM, I turned away from Maui and headed for the north coast of Hawaii.  I decided to set the helm to follow a course instead of the wind during this next leg.  Overnight, I would be approaching the coast and I wouldn’t want to run aground while I was sleeping.  I headed below at about 8:00 PM.

Day 3 – Thursday, August 24, 2017

I awoke at about 4:30 AM.  The GPS said I was about 20 nm from my turn south to Hilo.  I decided to adjust my course more south because I had passed a point where the coastline turned more south and I could start following the coastline.  This would also give me a better wind angle.

At 5:35 AM, I made my final turn toward my anchorage at Hilo.  Only 7 nm to go.  I was finally in a broad reach with the wind coming out of the port stern.  I have been close reaching for so long, it really feels good to have the wind at my back for a change.

At 6:37 AM, I turned to windward, dropped the sails and dropped anchor, just off of Alealea Point.  I secured the boats systems and then enjoyed the sunrise before my trip into town.  Now I can start planning my next big voyage, to the Marquesas!