We did it! After 27 days at sea and over 3,000 miles under the keel, we sailed Sugata back under the Golden Gate on August 1. This closed the loop on the journey we started back in October 2007. We felt an interesting mixture of emotions: joy, relief, a sense of accomplishment, sadness that our trip had ended, and perhaps foremost, an intense desire for a shower!
The passage from Hawaii to San Francisco, while not without its challenges, was a cake walk compared to our passage to Hawaii. Our experience runs counter to what popular opinion would have you believe about the two passages; everyone says that the trip to Hawaii is easy, and coming back is hard. It does seem true that the weather on the trip back to the mainland can vary greatly from week to week, and boats separated by just 100 miles can have really different winds.
We had great weather leaving Hawaii, with moderate winds and seas. While it made the passage slower, we really enjoyed being becalmed near the Pacific High, with nothing but flat seas stretching as far as the eye could see. Things got a little challenging psychologically when the Pacific High jumped over us and left us beating into headwinds, but other than a period of about 6 hours of gale force winds (which we could thankfully ignore just by closing the companionway and hanging out below), it never got really rough. So luckily, seasickness wasn’t a problem this time! (more…)