With the cancellation of the Tahiti trip due to engine issues I still had time (and desire!) to make a long crossing. The problem with Hawaii, however, is there’s no where to go but short hops or 2000 mile trips. I didn’t have time to make a round trip and I was unwilling to leave my boat away from Hawaii while I went off to work, so what to do?
Hop on someone else’s boat, one way!
I heard from one of the bottom cleaners at Keehi of a guy who needed crew to San Francisco on his Nordic 44. I called him up, we met for beer and voila! Let’s go next week!
Fred was the captain, 72 years old and had made 2 circumnavigations. This was a new boat for him and he sailed it to Hawaii right after he bought it about 6 months ago, so it’s been tested on big water and in any case, the Nordic 44 is known for her circumnavigation abilities. His plan was to continue to California for a bit, then hop down to Mexico for a major refit where everything is cheaper. He was going to solo, but likes the company on long transits, plus it would also be nice to have a second hand to help work the boat as well. So we fit perfectly. I know boats and needed crossing experience and he needed company and help with the crossing. Perfect!
So we worked on the boat a bit to finish up last minute projects, filled the tanks, shopped for food, squared the dinghy away, bent on the newly patched jib and furled it up, changed some zincs had the bottom cleaned and drank beer every night. We did have one snafu when the fridge compressor broke and had to delay a couple days to try and fix it. Of course it broke the same day we bought $500 worth of food including steaks, chicken and hamburger. We never got it fixed, so we froze everything solid at my old room mate’s house, bought block ice and filled the fridge right before departure.
Let the adventure begin!