Counting down to a Trans-Pacific Journey

After a couple of years of work and practice, the date loometh. June 12-14 has been the target window for a departure for my San Francisco to Hawaii trip for many months. The family is flying over to meet me in early July, tickets purchased and hotel room reserved, extortionately.

Covid finally came for my family two weeks ago. I did not test positive at any point, but felt bad and am vaccinated and I suspect I never reached the viral load sufficient to test postively. I really hope I don’t come down with a case at the last moment.

The reliability of the weather forecast improves as a given date approaches. At present it looks like Sunday the 12th will welcome a blob of ugly wind off the coast of the San Francisco Bay, with winds gusting to 50kts. Unkind to an earnest novice, at the very least.

I’ve signed up for the seemingly ubiquitous PredictWind + Iridium Go service that many YouTubers and bloggers use. I have the separate Offshore app they offer on my iPhone, iPad, and Macbook for redundancy. I have tested the downloads via satellite and it works well, though slowly by today’s instant data standards. Here’s a snapshot of how the wind mapping looks:

There is a departure planning feature as well. One sets parameters for how fast his/her boat is and what conditions one wants to avoid. Then multiple scenarios can be tested against the projected weather data.

In this case, the data is most useful (to me, anyway) presented as a table:

The key take-away here is that if I leave on Friday (instead of Saturday/Sunday) I can hopefully avoid some nasty gusts bordering 40kts. I have done that before and think it would be a less than totally-cool way to start my trip.

The model has my boat moving faster than it will in real life. I set my max speed to 6 kts in the model, but it still thinks I will reach Hawaii in two weeks. I’m expecting 19-22 days instead.