Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
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An exercise in mental masturbation....
The temperatures are dropping, the snow is starting to fly and I’ve got a bit of time to kill. So….
A few weeks ago my brothers and I got together for a once-every-few-years get together. The whisky was flowing as it is wont to do on these occasions.
After a few Lagavulins, and as we were reminiscing about old friends, it came to light that my older brother and his friend had always talked about sailing to Hawai’i. This would have been close to forty years ago and neither of them ever did it.
It must have been the Scotch talking because someone (probably me) piped up and suggested that we, my brothers and I, should fulfill that dream and make the crossing from Vancouver to Hawai’i. I even suggested that setting a goal of accomplishing this in five years. This seemed like a reasonable timeline.
Let me give you brief bios of the prospective crew:
We will all be in our mid-to-late 50’s by the time we plan to go (my younger brother would be 52 and my older brother would be 57. I would be in the middle at 55). We are all in pretty good to excellent health (my brothers are in much better shape than me. So far we have no serious health issues – except chronic baldness (except for my younger brother who must be adopted.)
My older brother is a PHD. He is a marine biologist and spends quite a bit of time on boats. His specialty is salmon, so he is usually on colder water in the Pacific Northwest as well as Chile and Scandinavia. He has been a certified scuba diver but hasn’t dived for 25+ years due to a ruptured eardrum that he suffered. He has also had a single-engine pilot license but hasn’t flown in a number of years. This provided him with some navigational training.
As far as I know he has no sailing experience. He has been out on my boat once.
He is very comfortable in and around water. He is very smart but, being an academic, quite anal retentive.
He doesn’t cook but is adventurous with his eating.
My younger brother is also a certified scuba diver but dives very infrequently. He has a little boating experience. He has sailed with me a few times.
He has a bachelor of science degree (in geology). He is very intelligent and is also a bit anal retentive.
He is very comfortable in and around water.
He loves to cook and is adventurous with his cooking and eating.
I have been a certified scuba diver for 30+ years. I dive frequently in many environments and conditions. I have been on many dive boats in many conditions and environments.
I have been aboard a destroyer as it conducted training exercises along the coast of California and worked on an LHA (Tarawa) as it transited from Hong Kong to Hawai’i.
I have owned my own 26’ sloop for the last four years and have sailed it alone and with a crew of one around the entire coast of Georgian Bay and into the North Channel.
I have completed the CPS basic boating course, the CPS Piloting course and the CYA Intermediate Cruising Skipper standard. I have only helmed my boat and spent four days at the helm of an O’Day 322.
I was asked to leave high school, but have a lot of street smarts. I am also pretty anal retentive (okay, let’s call that a ‘family trait’)
I am very comfortable in and around water.
I am a Chef and am adventurous with my cooking and eating.
All of us have spent plenty of time canoeing in rivers and lakes. I took a week-long course in white-water kayaking but never took up the sport.
So, being a blustery day, here is the exercise:
What boat would you recommend for this adventure – particular brand, configuration (sloop, ketch, yawl etc.), material etc?
How should the boat be equipped for a blue water crossing i.e. desalinator, EPIRB etc?
What specialized training should we get prior to leaving e.g. celestial navigation etc?
When would be the best window in which to make the crossing i.e. winds, currents etc?
How long would a crossing like this take?
How could we get the boat back to Vancouver (or should we?)?
Are we crazy?
This could either be a fun exercise or it could fall flat on its face.
What are your opinions?
1989 Hunter 30'
Southern Georgian Bay
Visualize the vastness of the oceans; the infinity of the heavens; the fickleness of the wind; the artistry of the craft and the frailty of the sailor. The oneness that may be achieved through the harmony of these things may lead one to enlightenment. - Flying Welshman