So I have been on Oahu for the last two weeks, originally sailing here with the intention of merely avoiding the two hurricanes that were forecasted to hit the islands; both of which turned out to be more a minor nuisance than any kind of major threat. Nevertheless, I am still docked in Waikiki unable to leave the country until I receive my vessel documentation certificate from the Coast Guard. I originally applied for documentation back in June, knowing that it would take some time, and I finally received notice from the Coast Guard this week, a full 3 months later stating that my vessel was denied. Upon, closer inspection I found that I had made a clerical error in the original application and listed Cascadia’s draft instead of its overall “depth”, which caused it to fall under the 5 net ton requirement. So this week, I re-submitted all the paperwork along with a letter of urgency so that I am not waiting here for another 3 months just so they can change one numerical digit on my application.
Asides from that road block, island life has been great! I’ve been able to do a little bit of surfing and have met some really great people in the sailing community who have shown me all over the island and taken me to several local events. The first week here I was invited to partake in one of the local regatta’s they have every Friday. Although, the quantity of boats is far less than the local Seattle racing scene, the environment is far more dynamic as the trade winds and ocean swell combine to provide the racers with quite an exhilarating experience.
The following week, Christin, a fellow sailor here on Oahu invited me to a friend’s Luau to celebrate the kid’s first birthday. I was told that a child’s first birthday is a huge event in Hawaii, but when we pulled up to this beautiful house and the valet whisked our car away, I knew then that this would be a party like no other I had experienced. The party was unimaginable, they served exquisite traditional Hawaiian fare such as squid luau and pork laulau, and the party supplied everything that you could think of for both children and adults to ensure everyone had the greatest time such as a bouncy house, temporary tattoo and balloon artists for the kids, and an open bar the adults…but by far the greatest event of the evening were the dancers that put on a traditional Polynesian exhibition for everyone.
During the week, while most people are at work I spend my time servicing and restocking Cascadia. Without a car, trips to the local chandlery or grocery store, coupled with this latest round of heat and humidity have turned these trips turn into all day endeavors. Nevertheless, they keep me busy as the work seems to be endless as things constantly seem to be breaking. The latest things on the “to do” list is to fix my battery charger, having not plugged into shore power since leaving Seattle, I had no idea that the charger quit working until I tried plugging it in when I landed in Oahu. Because of this, I have been relying solely on my panels to keep the batteries topped off, and with 100w of solar panels, the batteries weren’t up to the task of keeping my refrigerator going. With the help of Christin who is actually quite handy on the boat, I have since installed an additional 100w of panels which seems to do the job.
Going forward, it looks like I will have to stay in the northern hemisphere as the hurricane season is quickly approaching the South Pacific. Because of this, I will likely be setting a course to the Marshall Islands as soon as I receive my vessel documentation from the coast guard. After that, I can choose to lazily sail to each atoll in Micronesia and then dip down to Fuji in the spring or continue on to South East Asia.
In addition, I would like to introduce you to my Patreon site, it’s a site where you can make a monetary pledge for every YouTube video I have create. I found that many people have taken an interest in my adventures so I plan on improving the video and editing to provide those who are interested with a much better experience. I already have five supporters and a waterproof camera donated to me, which is so awesome! I can’t wait to utilize it on my next passage. Anyways, I didn’t set out on this journey to become rich and everyone’s support has been more than enough to keep me going, but if you would like to donate, you can here: patreon.com/SailingWithAndy
Author: Andrew Stephens
A Pacific Northwest native and recent graduate from Seattle University, Andy is currently sailing his 30′ Cape Dory sailboat around the world. You can find more information him by visiting his website SailingWithAndy.com or on his YouTube channel.