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5000nm of ocean and islands from Tahiti to San Francisco. That’s the short version.

The long version is that we are starting in Tahiti in the South Pacific. For those that don’t know exactly where that is, its almost directly south of Hawaii, and as far south as Australia. It closer to South America than it is to Australia though. Tahiti is part of French Polynesia, a massive group of islands, so massive that it takes up as much area as half the continental United States. 

We’ll spend 2-3 weeks in French Polynesia picking our way from island to island trying to make as much eastward progress as we can. Most of that time will likely be spent in the Tuamotu islands with the possibility of going all the way to the Marquesas, weather permitting. Google “Tuamotu Islands" if you don’t know what they are! Be prepared for the real possibility that you will go broke traveling there after.

After FP comes the first big jump. Between French Polynesia and Hawaii, there is nothing but 2200nm of warm blue ocean. Almost all of it more than 3 miles deep. This passage is going to be across the trade winds, a consistent system of moderate easterly winds at the equator. It will take about a week and a half to make the crossing.

At Hawaii, we’ll make landfall in Hilo on the east side of the big island. The stop in Hawaii will be a short one though because at the earliest opportunity, we will take off on the second big jump.

Similar to the first, there are no islands between Hawaii and the mainland. Just 2100-3200nm of 3 mile deep ocean. The navigation on this leg will be trickier due to the inconsistent weather patterns of the north pacific.  During the winter, low pressure systems roll in from Asia making large moving spirals of wind. A new system rolls in every few days. During the summer, a large clockwise system established itself between Hawaii, Alaska and the mainland. The right navigation strategy depends on which pattern is present. We will be sailing in the Spring so who knows what we are going to find. This passage will be longer at about 2 weeks, give or take 3 days. 

With a little luck this gets us back to the mainland by mid April.