It’s official, this just in, I am now a commercially licensed yacht Captain! After a fairly grueling two week course and half a dozen written exams, culminating with a practical exam at sea, I can happily report that I passed! I obtained my MCA Master of Yachts 200 Gross Ton Limited Captains License through Professional Yachtmaster Training in Fort Lauderdale, FL. This is the UK ticket similar to the RYA Yachtmaster Offshore. I am still training this week to obtain an additional endorsement for Master of Yachts 200T Unlimited; an Ocean endorsement to allow navigation in all oceans of the world. I am deep into reducing celestial sights and playing with sextants. The class concludes after the 4 hour exam this Saturday. I am really looking forward to the finish line.
The beautiful Mermaid is out here in Fort Lauderdale visiting for the weekend and getting our name out there with the crew agencies. We still plan to go back to Fiji this season so we are just doing intros and making contacts. We are looking to run a boat up to about 70 feet or join as First Mate and Stew on a larger vessel. If you have any delivery or crew opportunities or know of any please pass along the below link to help us get started! I am available for deliveries or temp work this spring before we return to Fiji.
Hope everyone is having a great week. Cheers
All is well in the land of Aloha. We made landfall on the 1st in Hilo and I am now back reunited with Alyssa aboard Ellie on Oahu. Three guys are continuing on to San Francisco, the second leg of the voyage. They are currently 400nm north of Hawaii bashing into steep seas. I wish them the best of luck and the best conditions possible.
The voyage from Tahiti to Hawaii was an exciting one. We had great days with fair winds, hard days running from storms with heavy winds and steep seas, and everything in between. We sailed for Moorea (Societies) then Rangiroa (Tuamotus), Nuku Hiva (Marquesas) and then Hawaii. The passage from the Marquesas to Hawaii was 11 and 1/2 days, our best day covering 235 miles. We also had the opportunity to learn how to hand-sew a torn mainsail mid-ocean, 1,000 miles from land, in the rainy doldrums. A batten car screw came loose and half a night of luffing ripped the main fore to aft about 3/4 of the way up the sail. Took 2 and 1/2 days to sew it back up.
All hands got along well and we all had a great time in good company. We caught 8-9 fish, hooked a marlin, ate tons of sushi and mastered our individual strategy at the game of risk. I presided over the equator ceremony and initiated the three polywogs into Neptunes realm. I even did a fair share of the cooking; I wasn’t even aware I had it in me.
I’ll cut together a video of the voyage when I get some time. For now, here are some pictures.
On Saturday I fly down to Tahiti on a one-way ticket. I will be joining my friends Eric (the proud Captain who just bought the boat), Johnny, Jason & Emily on the beautiful Outremer 55 Light Catamaran, Zephyr. She is currently lying at anchor off Marina Taina, Papeete, Tahiti. We plan to provision her up, pull anchor and sail east to the Tuamotus. After a week or so in the Tuamotus we will either sail for the Marquesas or Hawaii; destination to be driven by the weather. The 2,500 nm passage to Hawaii should take about 10-12 days – the Zephyr can post 240+ nm days and can sustain speeds above 10 knots. It should be a very exciting and fast ride north.
We are going to be in the South Pacific during the tail end of cyclone season so we will be watching the weather forecasts very closely. Right now there are some nasty cyclones developing over Vanuatu and headed between New Caledonia and Fiji. There is another one developing and headed for Tonga. They usually track SE so should not become any concern to our planned routes. But watching a 105+ knot cyclone on the weather maps certainly encourages vigilance in our weather monitoring.
Weather-wise, barring any nasty tropical storms, it should be a pleasant sail north with the prevailing wind on or just forward of the beam. I’m really hoping the weather Gods smile on us upon approach to Hawaii because it has been just nasty here the past few weeks. Right now I am getting rocked around in our slip with 30 knot winds whipping through our rig. We do not want one of these strong northers to be blowing on approach. So everyone do the trade wind dance when we get close and wish us light easterlies for our landfall.
Wish us fair winds and calm seas and follow our voyage at the link below. Eric is bringing a quadcopter with GoPro so look forward to epic aerial video!