07/20/2014 – 21°16′N 157°55′W
We’re off! Dock lines off from Ala Wai Harbor, Honolulu at 0400Z July 20 San Francisco bound. The sun is setting, throwing up a rainbow over Honolulu off the transom.
Float plan: West-about Oahu, north until the westerlies, guessing latitude 42N, then a hard right to the east to follow the curve around the North Pacific High until landfall. Depending on time, we may stop at Seattle, but hoping all the way to San Francisco for an Aug 10, 2014 arrival. Nordic 44 is the boat, Serafina’s her name, Cap’n Fred and myself for a total of two souls on board. Here we go!
We started off after giving up on the broken refrigerator with 10 blocks of ice and frozen meat at 5 pm, July 19, 2014 local. Tropical Storm Wali was on its way, so “Gogogo!” was the word to get off-shore before the winds hit. We rounded Barber’s Point and were headed north with all sail averaging 7 knots making great time. Halfway up the West Shore of Oahu around 11 pm the first lightning started flashing, the wind completely died, and we were ghosting along in a steady rain. The lightning was as close as half a mile (2 seconds from flash to bang) at one point, but the winds didn’t really pick up until after midnight. The lightning quit about the same time we hit the NE trades while passing Kaena Point and those trades were strong! We double reefed the main and rolled up the jib as the winds picked up and they kept getting stronger and the swell continued to rise as we left the lee of the island. We were burying the nose on every wave and decided to fall off a bit more towards the NW for a better ride, but we were still creaming along at 6 knots with just that scrap of main sail. We were guessing the winds to be between 20 and 30, but I’m a bad judge of wind when it’s greater than Force 4. As the night continued, the winds increased a bit more, we were heeling a bit more and really should have put that third reef in the main, but it was bumpy, it was dark, and neither of us really felt like going up on the foredeck at that point. With the pounding of the waves and the heeling, we were now moving about 3 knots. Everything was stable and Fred had the watch, so I went to bed.