Thanks, Hurricane Felicia, Route, Video

Firstly, I have a bunch of people to thank. To begin with... All those great people who sent through donations while I was sailing to Hawaii or sitting in port - You know who you are, but many people don't: Debbie, Deborah, Terri, Julio, Weide, James, Gillian, TV Navigation, Kevin, Bain... You guys (and girls) are awesome. You all made my life much easier in port - I could afford to provision with some decent food as opposed to junking it with Ramen noodles, which make me utterly miserable. They make Constellation miserable too, because I get cranky and yell into the wind more (like a crazy person). And speaking of nice food - Special thanks to Adam for the Trader Joe's care package, posted from San Francisco and full of tasty treats. After my cries at the cost of a new sail to replace my 20 year old UV destroyed genoa... Dave Benjamin of Island Planet Sails, out of Alameda, offered to help with a deep discount on a new cruising genoa. Still stuck for funds, but wanting to take up Dave's offer and sail off with a reliable sail, my good friends Mari and Paul came to the rescue (again...) with some extra funds. For those who follow regularly, Mari is the amazing person out of Greenport that fed me, lent a car, helped rebuild Constellation and even re-wire her for the Pacific, while I was on Long Island... Paul is my friend from Melbourne whom I had the first chance to talk about sailing many years ago, and who came to visit me in Southampton, and even organise accommodation for me in Melbourne when I visited over Christmas. Two great friends, and a nice sailmaker = Constellation gets a new Genoa... So, that's the story on why I was waiting around for a new sail. It arrived, and is fantastic... And somehow Dave rushed it through in two weeks. If you're buying new sails - Let Dave help you, he ships anywhere, makes nice sails, and is a really nice guy. Thanks also to Ken for being the postbox for the new sail, and hand-delivering it to the club.

So... The Hurricane. You can see what it's up to on my new tracking page. I left Waikiki Yacht Club, bound for Palmyra two days ago, and swiftly turned around. I was spooked, and rushing out because my Visa expired. I called the coastguard and discussed my problem, and then promptly returned to the Waikik Yacht Club - Who've been extraordinarily patient with me and my need to stay in port (either waiting for a new sail, or waiting for hurricanes). I erred on the side of caution with Hurricane Felicia, even though I did my fair share of research - Watching historical data, and current modeling. I think I would have been safe to continue my passage, but, it was a risk, and as someone else mentioned - Better to be sitting in port wishing you were sailing, than sailing and wishing you were in port... In a faster boat with crew, it would have not posed a problem. But in a slow boat with no crew, I think maybe it's nicer sitting at the yacht club, listening to old salts at the bar discuss high winds and surging seas, than have to experience them. As soon as the Pacific basin clears up, I'm outta here. As for my Visa... Customs and Immigration were completely understanding, and even came to my boat to fix up the paperwork and help me out. Nice.

For those curious on where I'm going, and what I'm doing, my route is fairly simple, and I'm looking forward to nice sailing with a perfect wind-angle for my next leg. As already noted, I plan to head for Palmyra first, the small Pacific atoll just over 900nm from Honolulu. Palmyra has a really interesting history, and is currently a Nature Conservancy, run by the US government - Read the Wikipedia page for better information. I've been given permission to visit, and can't wait to enter the reef-shark infested lagoon that has had its entrance blasted out by dynamite, and who's shores sparkle with blue crabs. Located 6degrees above the equator, the Atoll is 3ft above sea level, drenched in equatorial heat and haunted with ghosts and a curious past. Hiding (supposedly) Spanish bullion and the body parts of a double murder, Palmyra is the kind of island I've been waiting to visit since the inception of this voyage. Of all the oceans, (as with most people), the Pacific conjures up mystery, intrigue and a phenomenal sea-fairing history. I simply can't wait to explore these odd places that are virtually inaccessible except by private vessel. After Palmyra, I hope to visit Western Samoa, and then hop across to Fiji and then I don't know... Maybe the (also) strange Lord Howe Island before Sydney... But we'll take it one island at a time.

Since I'm land-bound again, here is a brief video of my first Pacific leg. It isn't really as comprehensive as my other videos, but you get the picture... And besides, there is only so much film one can make about bobbing around in the middle of nowhere!