The crossing from Honolulu to San Francisco was luckily uneventful in terms of weather stories. We did as one should, go straight north for the first 5 days. We had set a waypoint at 38 degrees north and starting at 21 it means just over 1000 NM. We ended up with beginning to turn to east already at 34 N. We thought at that point that we had been really lucky with the timing of our departure as we only had used the engine for 24 hours before we got in to westerly wind. We had this for 3 days but then the challenges started. Two high-pressure ridges were between us and the mainland. They stretched up to about 50 degrees north so sailing around them was not an option. Since it was no race we of course started the engine and powered through the first one in 19 hours. Then we had 30 hours of sailing, upwind, reaching and downwind before the next ridge was around. This time we had to go for 27 hours before we found some wind to use. The next no wind area was even bigger and to be able to move in the right direction we had to go 45 hours to get out on the other side. Now we should be good to go the last bit in to the coast, but no. A low-pressure system was in front. Should we pass to north or south of it was the question. Passing north would mean more upwind, and to the south a longer distance. We ended up with south but it was very light here too and another 27 hours by engine was the answer. We found light but sailable winds just in time as we by this point had only 25 l left of fuel. In total we have used the engine for 142 hours at about 5 knots of speed, meaning we have capacity for approximately 700 NM without any jerry cans.
Even though we used the engine for a lot of the distance we still sailed most of the distance, 1900 NM of the 2600 our route ended with being. We used all the sails except trysail and storm jib. Especially the Code 0 and A5 was worth everything in the light conditions we did sail in. A lot of the sailing was in winds between 5 and 10 knots of breeze which on the ocean with a lot of swell and waves can be tricky to sail in if you haven`t got the right gear.
Animals we have seen on the crossing; flying fish on the first half, Maren stepped on a squid in the dark who had jumped on board just off the coast of Oahu. We have observed birds all days, one hitch hiked with us for a night, but the most spectacular was of course the Albatross flybys that we had 3 days. When we were about 400 miles off the coast the first dolphins met us and outside the Farallon Islands it was a lot of whales which was spectacular to see.
On the trip we saw 5 boats in total (including those on AIS that we actually could not see). It is an area that you have to help yourself in if something should happen. Maren had birthday 1250NM away from closest land.
We have looked for garbage, plastic on the way over. The great Pacific garbage patch lies in and around the Pacific high-pressure system and it does not look good. We have sent in what we have seen and hopefully it helps the researchers on their job.
It was a great moment to pass under the Golden Gate after 17 days and 15 hours. We were greeted by our followers Bob and Torill who had made slip available for us at San Francisco Yacht club. A great place and great people that we are very happy to have met.
On Sunday, we went over to Alameda and Encinal Yacht club where we met Rodney from Azure, the ones who beat us by minutes on the Transpac. We have been here since then, going through the “to-do” list on the boat, but we have also been looking a little bit around and Wolfgang from Sao Nicolau (Our Panama-canal rescuers) took us for a quick sightseeing in San Francisco and even let us borrow his car so now we can get around. We are so lucky with having good friends around us!