Underway – Sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver

Route sailed from Hawaii to Vancouver
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.

DSC_0014Departure: 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.

DSC_0020
Flying the flag of Zamora, made by Mari, Ivan’s mother!

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!

DSCF2928Entertainment on board: Backgammon, origami, flute playing from Ivan, Don Quijote and Marco Polo, checking in on radio nets, occasional emails and endless weather faxes.

DSCF3026Best 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…..

DSCF3004Worst 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!

DSCF2996General 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.

DSCF3190DSCF2956DSCF2940DCIM100MEDIADSCF3327Link to DSC_0054DSCF3016DSCF3025DSC_0006DSCF304820160612_181457DSC_0001See the next blog post for some of the wildlife we saw underway!

5 thoughts on “Underway – Sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver”

  1. Doug, I found your posts wile looking for info on a Macgregor 65 I’m considering buying in Europe. I can’t believe how much you all went through with that engine. Your story made me wish I would have been able to help in some way. It also highlighted a consideration I have about having to pay the yard bills for a boat this size, but tens of thousands? Thats a horror story. I guess in retrospect, it would have been cheaper to let the yard do the work right away. I would have made the same choice, to do the work myself, but I think the engine itself let you down. I already have an opinion about that engine after reading your story but if you could, please, what do you think of the boat itself. Thank you for your story, and health and happiness to the whole family. Joseph

    1. Hi! Thanks for reading and your comments. I’m just catching up on website stuff and I’ll get Doug to reply in more detail- he’s actually been talking about doing a post about what he likes and doesn’t about the boat so maybe this will be a catalyst to get that written, finally! The main negative is the high price of being in marinas. Lots of positives for sure, but the price of marinas, for me, would make me consider carefully buying a boat of this length. On the other hand, for passages, it’s great! I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but I’ve grown to appreciate Illusion, for sure! Anyway, Doug can definitely give you a much more technical answer and more details, after 20 plus years of ownership. Thanks again for your comments! (p.s. this is Sara writing using Doug’s login, not sure if it’ll show up as being from him or me!)

  2. Hi
    Great . Well done . I’m planning on doing the exact route nxt year 2021 ! Although going through the canal first .

    Did i miss it or Do you perhaps have Tahiti to Hawaii?

    May I ask for
    Your god route and what winds plz – directions and speed along route

    Would seriously help me a solo lad a tad nervous at this stage 😉

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