The Galen Diana

Day 45: Hawaii is under the Rainbow blocked by Hurricane Darby

7-20 rainbowWednesday, 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.
FTK 7-16a GD
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…
rods mahi 32 inch 7-18
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!
7-6 sunset GD at UN
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.UN 7-6 GD

Our welcome home from our exceptional Yacht Consultant/Broker John Kuony…

Thank You John…..


Thank you John for this…



August 5th, 2014 chasing down rowers prior to Hurricane Iselle

Near Lat 21.42 N / Long 156.37 W we got the call to assist and tow in one of the rowboats and crew. During the transfer one of the swimmers was struggling to make it to The Galen Diana. The Captain jumped in to assist…

This is related to the August 13 post…

300 nautical miles from San Francisco near Lat 39 / Long 127

Home Sweet Home…

Lots of encounters with  Dolphin playing off the bow...

Lots of encounters with Dolphin playing off the bow…

At 0740 on September 5, 2014 after eighteen days after leaving Honolulu I have returned to the San Francisco Bay and am reunited with my lovely wife who had to endure the three month expedition that began on May 31 in support of The Great Pacific Race which included a total of 75 days on the water between San Francisco-Monterey-Hawaiian Islands and back to San Francisco racking up 8,945 nautical miles (9,840 statute miles) between three crews facing heavy weather conditions each leg. It has been an adventure of a lifetime but I’m so happy to be home…

One of hundreds of 20'+ swells chasing us home

One of hundreds of 20’+ swells chasing us home

Lots of fishing-Mahi Bull #4

Lots of fishing-Mahi Bull #4

Countless spectacular sunsets

Countless spectacular sunsets

Sea birds checking us out

Sea birds checking us out

Our chart showing our  18 day return route and daily position

Our chart showing our 18 day return route and daily position

~Captain Rod Mayer.

August 18 the Voyage home to San Francisco from Honolulu begins.

As we cast off and set sail for San Francisco we get an Aloha from Mother Nature as she casts a rainbow as good luck to the four of us as we begin our sailing voyage returning to California from O’ahu.
It is 17:30 as we make way up the Alamoana harbor channel to the open ocean. Our course is westerly so we can round up to the north west side of the island to avoid the nasty Molokai channel. We hope to make it home within 15 days. That is 25 days less than my trip over so I am already excited to see my wife and dogs who I have missed since leaving home To begin this adventure three months ago. Today was a long day that began at 05:30 prepping, provisioning, loose ends to tie and meeting with one of the scientists at the University of Hawaii to deliver the water samples I extracted over a longitude span of over 600 nautical miles. It was a good feeling to contribute to such a study of the radioactivity levels and micro plastics and their pattern spreading from their source and all that we gain from that knowledge. So as we leave the Hawaiian islands, a new adventure begins. Three new crew for me and all competent sailors and friends of mine. This will be a great experience!
Stay tuned…
~Captain Rod Mayer – out.



Aloha Honolulu

August 18 lines off at 17:30 and headed back to California. Mother Nature bids us an aloha with a beautiful rainbow over Waikiki for good luck on our sailing voyage home. Another adventure begins however not one lasting 40 says at sea but hopes of only 15. Nonetheless my new crew and I will have lots to talk about when we arrive in Oakland via the Golden Gate…
Stay tuned.
~Captain Rod Mayer- out.



Turn around to Pacific Warriors in threat of hurricane Iselle

24 hours after reaching our destination (Honolulu) we were asked to head 150nm back out to check in on team Pacific Warriors. In the event the hurricane changed direction and their progress dictated a tow to safety. I found crew in Maui thru a friend and flew them over to O’ahu. We sailed across to Lanai and up to Lahaina, Maui. The winds in “the chute” between Maui and Molokai were blowing 35-40kts with moderate swells. We turned back to Lahaina to wait for the winds to die however they continued on. After discussion with our race director the team Pacific Warriors were inclined to take the tow as the weather became progressively heavier. We decided to attempt a passage up the channel with intention of turning back if the conditions became uncomfortably unsafe. We beat the wind and swells for three and one half hours in the dark with wind gusts up to 45kts and swells 6 feet plus crashing over the bow and rails in to the self bailing cockpit. Once outside the chute the winds backed down to 28-30kts and the seas lightened up for only the occasional rouge wave to drench us without warning. We reached the pacific Warriors by daylight as they were still on the fence to receive the tow. Thirty minutes later the radio cuts in “Galen Diana, we have decided to take the tow and come aboard”. To sum it up, we transferred their dry gear first, had them rig a towline, then began the wet person transfer from their boat “Limited Intelligence” to The Galen Diana. The wind was still blowing in the upper 20’s and the seas 4-6′ making it challenging to execute a safe ocean boarding. My past life as an Ocean Lifeguard lent to the success in that we had extensive training with boat rescues in my Jr Lifeguard days in San Clemente, Ca. Then graduating to a seven year paid professional Ocean Rescue Lifeguard in South Orange County, California. Timing is everything to avoid the stern of the boat to crash down on top of someone if they are off sync. Also swimming over to TGD on my command was critical due to the wind and current. I had to jump in to assist a struggling swimmer due to the hesitation after I yelled “GO”. All was good and we nailed it the second attempt. We got everyone on board, secured the towline, I fed them fresh fruit, bean burritos and cold beer. They were happy and we set sail back to Honolulu to beat Iselle.

You can view the videos of the ocean boarding on the “Galen Diana Sailing” Facebook Page

The Galen Diana at sea with Limited Intelligence

The Galen Diana at sea with Limited Intelligence

gd crew 7-30-14b

Chunky style Mai Tai

Chunky style Mai Tai

Galen Diana Hawaii crew with Pacific Warriors safe in Honolulu

Galen Diana Hawaii crew with Pacific Warriors safe in Honolulu

Monterey to Hawaii in 40 days sailing 4,960 nautical miles.

40 days and we arrive in Waikiki on August 2nd as an escort to team Fat Chance as they cross the line at Diamond head approx 0633 local time. 24 hours to clean, provision, good nights sleep. Say farewell to British Dave and Bristol Billy, it was amazing and wonderful to have you aboard. Good times and great guys and new friends. We picked up two locals from Maui my bud Jason hooked up. Sonja and Kabu. Real cool people and happy to have them with us. Sailing off from Waikiki to find Pacific Warriors and Boatylicious. Winds over 30kts right out of Oahu. We plan to navigate between Lanai, Molokai up past Kapalua, Maui then out 100nm from there. This leg will take us about a week then back in Waikiki on Friday, 8/8. My wife will be in around noon and I cant wait to see her. My 24 hours in Waikiki on land felt like an eternity as I was wanting to get back out on the seas. Noise, crowds, and stillness made me dizzy. So looking forward to the constant rocking and rolling, sounds of water running and splashing along the hull and quiet star lit nights. 

Crossing the finish line

Crossing the finish line

Aloha O'ahu

Aloha O’ahu

30kts and building

30kts and building

One of dozens of sunset shots this voyage.

One of dozens of sunset shots this voyage.

Day 36 at sea sailing over 4,259 nautical miles…

July29, 2014
We are on week six on this expedition and have seemed to adjust to this way of life in a short period of time.

The endless rocking and sway that never goes away is somehow mute aside from the occasional unexpected wave that broadsides and throws us off balance below deck. Topside it is if we are still and unaffected by the continuous motion. I sleep in the V-berth and love the motion of the ocean until we are beating the wind and seas and I
find myself bouncing from top to bottom and side to side.

That’s when I retire to the main salon of aft cabins. Provisions are holding strong due to my amazing wife who managed that program. Outside of being out of snacks and cereals due to a select few who don’t realize that on long voyages one does not consume like it is a Las Vegas buffet, we still have plenty to keep us eating without much compromise. Pizza, Pastas, fresh fish catch, steaks, chops and breakfast meats and hash brown potatoes. Don’t forget that I taught Billy and British Dave the art of preparing American pancakes which are now a morning ritual between the two. (Goodbye maple syrup)…

We have our eyes on the charts for Hawaii but have several obligations left prior to the Great Pacific Race. The other day we came across these two boys rowing looking so French, then later we came across four lasses taking on the high seas. We gave our hellos and snapped some shots and video then left them to continue their quest. Looking back I never realized when I began preparation for this role that I would become not only a Captain of the vessel, but a cook, professional photographer, videographer, aid to a University study and coach.

I love this job, but miss my wife…
~Captain Rod Mayer, Out.


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