Underway – Sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver – Sailing Illusion

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Route sailed from Hawaii to Vancouver

We did it! Finally! Illusion made it to Vancouver, Canada on the 24th of June, after almost three weeks at sea. The three of us (John, friend of a friend in New York, Ivan, good friend of Sara’s from Spain, and I) had an undramatic and enjoyable passage, with a bit more motoring than hoped for (definitely worth fixing the engine!), decent conditions overall and no major storms.

Departure: Saturday 4th June – approx 9.30pm local time. See previous post for pictures of our final days in Hawaii.

Landfall: Anchored at Neah Bay, USA, just at entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Wednesday 22nd (18 days at sea). Checked in to Canada at Pender Island on Friday 24th, then arrived in False Creek, Vancouver, that evening. Met by Sara and Toby who missed out on the passage, but had a great trip to England, while we were underway, to meet our new niece.


Fastest speed reached: 16.8 knots

Food eaten: Lots of canned food, pasta, rice, beans, numerous granola bars, never-ending supply of cookies, nuts, crackers, chips, not enough chocolate. Meals expertly prepared by John and dishes expertly washed by Ivan.

Beverages enjoyed: Mugs of tea. Water with lemon juice. Beer on arrival in Vancouver!

Entertainment on board: Backgammon, origami, flute playing from Ivan, Don Quijote and Marco Polo, checking in on radio nets, occasional emails and endless weather faxes.

Best bits: Dolphins! Jelly fish! Fast sailing on flat seas as we approached the North Pacific High. Great crew, with lots of camaraderie and support of each other. Albatrosses! Whales! Eerie fog day! Having two working heads. Auto-pilot working! Wind generator! Finally moving North…..

Worst bits: Not enough wind for sailing on quite a few days – rocking around with the sails flapping about and trying to decide whether it was worth leaving them up for the next 20-minute-long puff. Discovering some extremely leaky hatches. Not catching any fish. Windlass not working on arrival for anchoring! Food poisoning for the captain!

General info: Used all three sails at different times. Autopilot did most of the steering. No major gear failures or problems. Decent energy supply combining wind generator and solar panels. Checked in using Pacific Seafarers’ Net and also a net organized by a group of boats all traveling from Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest at more or less the same time. Things worked pretty well overall!

What next?! Spent a few great days socializing with the crew. Anchored in False Creek. Starting to think about exploring the BC coast.

See the next blog post for some of the wildlife we saw underway!

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