Excitement and anxiety are churning away at the late supper I hastily consumed, as I have been preoccupied with checking and securing all the gear and provisions needed for this next Journey. It’s the evening before I once again cast off those lines and point Cascadia west, towards an unfamiliar land. I would like to think I thought of everything, but to do so is nearly impossible, and I will only discover what I am so desperately in need of when the all too familiar murphy’s law makes its presence known on this next voyage. Nevertheless, Cascadia is better outfitted than her last passage and has twice the provisions, as we will be venturing into a land void of all the creature comforts of western society. Furthermore, the AIS (automated identification system) and additional 200 watts of solar panels will greatly improve the safety and sustainability of Cascadia. It has been over three months since plugging Cascadia into shore power, yet with a combined solar array of 300 watts and a 400ah battery bank, Cascadia has been living completely self-sustainable, able to power whatever electronics, appliances and refrigeration.
This next passage from Honolulu, Hawaii to Majuro in the Marshall Islands will be 2000 nautical miles, or approximately 20 days at sea. That’s almost the exact distance of my previous passage from San Francisco to Hilo, Hawaii. I am not looking forward to this, as I remember how much I loathed some parts of that last passage. The lack of control of your environment can cause great frustrations. When the sailing is good…it’s great, with the sea’s and swells both coming from astern and a nice trade wind that wraps around you like a warm blanket. However, this environment can change quickly for the worse. Confused seas, squalls, and strong winds can last for days and the only thing you can do is accept the situation you are in and remember there will be better days to come. Even with the good weather, there is still that time between sunset and sunrise that puts me on edge, as sailing alone at night is still something I have yet to become comfortable with, nor do I think I ever will. The way a cloudy night cloaks the boat in darkness allows my mind to race with fears whether they be justified or not. Nevertheless, this will be my last long passage for quite some time, and I am looking forward to crossing the rest of the Pacific one tropical island at a time as there are numerous atolls all throughout Micronesia where Cascadia and I will be able to visit, explore and surf. I’m quite excited to break free from the clutches of the Western World and truly become entrenched in a far off land.
My intentions will be to cruise Micronesia until early spring, (although I have no official itinerary, and that’s what I have really come to enjoy about this life…the freedom to go anywhere and do anything) and then decide as to where I should go next. There are three different options; I can head into the South Pacific and then on to New Zealand, I can go north towards Japan and then across the Aleutians back to North America, or I can continue west towards SE Asia. All three of these option sound like an exciting new adventure to me, so we will see what I choose when the time comes.Before I bid farewell to Hawaii and everyone for the foreseeable future, I would like to thank all of those who have supported me this far, whether it was your words of encouragement, financial contributions via Patreon, or your assistance in preparing Cascadia for her next voyage! It’s only been 3 months, and 3000 miles, yet knowing I have so many people not only rooting for my success but also enjoying the stories I have to share along the way makes every minute out at sea worth it.
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.