Day 45: Hawaii is under the Rainbow blocked by Hurricane Darby
Wednesday, July 20 2016.
We are at Lat 23.30N Long 150.00W approximately 500nm NE of Hawaii. It has been a long road and all of us on board the Galen Diana are ready to make port. We hope to make port within the next eight days or so.
We have to hang back and stall our westerly progress to wait for Hurricane Darby to make up its mind to either pass in front of us or below Hawaii. We are on standby waiting for weather updates as our support team tracks the weather developments. We had just come off Hurricane Celia a few days back. 50mph winds and 30’ seas for a minimum of 30 hours.
We were able to snap a few shots of one of the rowboats we have been tracking for the Great Pacific Race. We are currently back with three crews (rowboats) 500 nautical miles from Honolulu. This is our last hurdle.
We are beginning to become inpatient with the weather delays(as are the rowers) and ready to pull in to Ala Moana Yacht Harbor and step off the boat for the stability of solid ground. I know five minutes on land in Honolulu with the noise, crowds and traffic congestion, I will want to get back out to sea as soon as possible or even escape and sail over to Maui for a few days on mooring in Lahaina.
The crew aboard GD have been so great and patient.It has been a great sailing adventure thus far. We have had a few things break down while on this voyage. Minor stuff mostly. However we did take a pretty good hit when the traveler car broke a couple of weeks ago. I managed to temporarily repair the traveler by lashing the car to the track. The side caps broke on my traveler releasing the non captive bearings. Luckily this happened at a time when it was daylight and we could bring in the main and restrain the traveler car and main sheet connection to the traveler track.
My first call was to my friend and yacht broker John Kuony (who was on vacation in Alaska). Within an hour he had notified Glenn Hansen (Hansen Rigging, Alameda, CA). I sent Glen pictures and a drawing of the parts I need to repair in Hawaii and he took care of it from there. But it didn’t start there… Our Auto Pilot went out on us 250 miles from San Diego as we were headed in to drop off a patient we MEDIVAC’d off one of the boats 400nm off shore. I’m not sure what happened since the auto pilot and linear drive for the AP were new just installed mid May but it would not engage. What we would find out in San Diego is that the pin that holds the linear drive to the tiller had sheared off and detached itself from the tiller.
Weather was rough and those 200 miles without auto pilot was doable but inconvenient. That’s sailing, shit happens. Deal with it, repair it if possible and move on. So on our way in to San Diego, we had a lot of water breaking over the boat at the bow. So much that it got in to the Navigation lights and shorted out the circuit. Luckily I was able to run up some emergency running lights for the time being. In San Diego we had a surprise visit from one of our crews husband Scott who knew every place in San Diego for parts and marine fabrication. After being shut down several times by other fabricators he found someone(Steve Harrison, Harrison Marine) that was willing to help us and make a new pin for our auto pilot. He could have it ready the next day which meant we had to stay in port for the night. We made the most of it. We repaired the Navigation Lights with new wiring and connections and packed the connections with silicon for extra protection. We met up for dinner at Miguel’s Mexican Food with my mom and dad, my daughters and their mom who live in San Diego joined us as well. It was so nice to see them while we were there less than 24 hours.
That was 34 days ago. Since then we have been bouncing around the Pacific in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands checking in with the rowing crews who really are the ones roughing it in comparison and taking a beating from the mighty Pacific. Oh, and our Nav Lights went out again during the last Hurricane. Another fix for Honolulu…
Now that the water has warmed up to 76 degrees the fish have been biting. We have caught nine fish so far. 1- Marlin, 8- Mahi Mahi. Only one keeper at 32 inches. It was delicious!
Sunrises and sunsets continue to amaze us. On clear nights the stars fill every inch of the sky. We have had a full moon cycle lighting up the sky at night providing enough light to actually see the ocean surface at night. Magical nights they are.
Since leaving Oakland on May 30th, we have sailed over 4,105 nautical miles (4,515 statute miles). It will be close to 5,000nm once we make port in HI.
Stay tuned for more news, stories and pictures to come.
Captain Rod Mayer.