The Longest Way to Get from Honolulu to Newport

I met Mary Grace and Frank in June of 2020 while admiring their beautiful HH55 Ticket to Ride. Actually when I first met them, they were anchored next to a Gunboat 48.

Having no idea what a HH catamaran was, I was drawn to the Gunboat. The only reason we motored by Ticket to Ride was because of the beautiful blue color… After getting to know them very well, I started to dive into both the mechanical and electrical systems on this state-of-the-art boat and realized that this is what I want to do with my career. Following my acceptance into IYRS, I thought to myself, “What is the slowest way to get from Hawaii to Newport?” Naturally, Alaska’s on the way, right? Ticket to Ride was leaving Hawaii to go to Alaska in June, making it the perfect time for me to work as crew without missing the beginning of school. After 16 days of travel to go from one side of the US to the other, here’s the story.

We left Hanalei, Hawaii on June 14 with our eyes set on Sitka, Alaska. The first two days were hard upwind sailing, but soon we got the southerly winds that were forecasted and we could start the sleigh ride downwind. Ticket to Ride is a full-carbon, cruising catamaran with racing tendencies, so we had both the luxury of speed and comfort.

 

Ticket to Ride in Kaneohe Bay

 

On our fourth day at sea, we experienced the best sailing I’ve ever done. Under a cloudless sky, we comfortably surfed to 21+ knots with reacher and one reef in the main. Day quickly turned to night, and we continued to see boat speeds upwards of 18 knots. On day six, we sailed into some of the heaviest fog I’d ever seen, although it was still blowing 25+ knots. It’s a little unnerving doing 18 knots of boat speed relying solely on radar and AIS. After six days of not being able to see past the bowsprit, the fog lifted and we got our first glimpse of land. On day twelve after 2473 nM, we tied up at the local dock in Sitka, Alaska.

After a much needed stop at a restaurant, we restocked our supplies and cast off lines to explore the wilderness called Alaska. My last three days flew by; next thing I knew, I was on a plane to New England.

Hanalei, Hawaii to Sitka, Alaska trip numbers.

 

As a student coming from Hawaii to Rhode Island, it was a bit of a change, to say the least. I spend the majority of my days in the ocean, and I found myself putting on a wetsuit each time I wanted to hop in. When I met the New England foilers group, they were amused that I thought it was cold in August when they willingly foil through the winter. Getting into water that was below my regular 75 degrees was unheard of. Also, no one told me that it got cold here. Let’s just say I arrived with one pair of pants and no socks but I will save that for different post!