Schooner Seawanhaka

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Itinerary for SEAWANHAKA

The Big Plan - Updated June - 2007

Updated Map under construction!

SEAWANHAKA is headed on an extended cruise around the world. She left Oregon in the summer of 2002, wintered in Victoria, B.C. then headed up to Alaska for the summer of '03. She then spent the fall and winter cruising down the West Coast of the US. 

After wintering in California, SEAWANHAKA headed southwest from San Diego in April 2004 bound for the South Pacific Islands. She spent April through November island hopping through the Pacific: Kiribati, American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. In December she sailed into New Zealand. In May, 2005, SEAWANHAKA sailed back up to Fiji and spent the season exploring the rest of the Fiji Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, ending the year in Australia.

SEAWANHAKA spent the '05-06 summer along the New South Wales coast and Tasmania, then sailed north to Cairns. She spent the '06 tropical cruising season along the Great Barrier Reef and up to Papua New Guinea and back to Cairns. The summer '06-07 was spent in Cairns, which fortunately did not see a tropical cyclone this season.

For the '07 cruising season April to October we have a circumnavigation of the Coral Sea planned.

Alaska and British Columbia, Canada

SEAWANHAKA wintered 2002-03 in Victoria, Canada. She left in May, 2003 and headed north up the Inside Passage through British Columbia and Alaska. She arrived back in Victoria on Labor Day, and sailed out a few days later southbound for San Francisco.

The British Columbia/Alaska journey covered approximately 4,000 miles, reaching as far north as 59 degrees, 14 minutes. It was a spectacular summer of whales, eagles, salmon, bears, sea otters, glaciers, huge tides and currents, and days with almost endless light.

West Coast of USA

SEAWANHAKA sailed from Victoria, BC to Neah Bay and Port Angeles, Washington, then down the coast to Newport, Oregon and San Francisco. She was in San Francisco Bay for 5 months before sailing south again to Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands, Catalina Island, and San Diego.

Pacific Ocean and the South Pacific Islands

SEAWANHAKA left from San Diego in April 2004 for Fanning Island, which is part of a group of islands called the Line Islands in the island country of Kiribati (pronounced "Kee-ree-bas"). It was a 23-day, 3128 mile trip best described as inconsistent, uncharacteristic for what should have been a fairly predictable trade-wind journey. It's been that kind of weather year.

After a very pleasant 4 days for rest and relaxation, including drift snorkels and crab hunting, SEAWANHAKA was off again for a 10-day 1,325 mile trip to Pago Pago, American Samoa. Captain Bill flew to San Francisco for son Walker's graduation from Stanford, and SEAWANHAKA spent a month in American Samoa.

An overnight sail to the west brought us to the very clean and efficient country of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa. Three weeks in Samoa, including paying our respects to the estate and gravesight of Robert Louis Stevenson, and a wonderful bike ("push bike") ride around the Big Island of Savai'i, and we were off to the Kingdom of Tonga.

Our landfall in Tonga was the remote island of Niuatoputapu, across a 6 mile channel from the beautiful volcano of Tafahi. Lots of swimming, diving, hiking and even a visit to the local Tongan church service. We spent a month and a half in the Tongan island groups of Vava'u, Ha'apai anad Nomuka.

A 5-day passage brought us to Suva, Fiji Islands, the bustling seaport and capital city. SEAWANHAKA spent 2 months in Fiji, including a 21 day haulout for repairs and maintenance.

New Zealand

I debated spending the South Pacific cyclone season (December to March) in Fiji, but it has been such an unusual weather year, with Florida being blasted, and the South Atlantic experiencing the first hurricane in recorded history there, that I respect the motto: "Never mess with cyclone season" and turned south to New Zealand.

After a challenging trip to New Zealand, the December weather made me wonder if I had made the right decision. A regular onslaught of gales blasted the Bay of Islands for the first month SEAWANHAKA was here. Fortunately as the new year arrived so did summer. The past 3 weeks have seen sunshine, warm weather, fair winds, and the water has even warmed up for swimming off of the boat!


This is the first of what will be my annual cruising report.

We started the year in Sausalito, California and ended it in Whangaroa, New Zealand. Sailed 8,697 nautical miles, 137 days of sailing, 6 new countries: Kiribati, American Samoa, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and NZ, and innumerable islands.

My '04 Hood River Yacht Club card was well used. I called on the following Yacht Clubs and was extended reciprocal privileges:

California: Sausalito, Richmond, Golden Gate, Horseshoe Bay, Santa Barbara, Kona Kai (San Diego) and Coronado.
American Samoa: PagoPago.
Samoa: Samoan(Apia).
Tonga: Vavau (Nieafu).
Fiji: Royal Suva, Musket Cove (MaloloLailai).
New Zealand: Opua, Russell, and Kerikeri.

Raced the HRYC flag in the America's Schooner Cup in San Diego, which we won on both line honors and corrected time! and the Russell Tall Ships and Classic Boat Festival. We had a good finish in the latter, unfortunately had scared the hello out of the handicapper. They had us so poorly rated that we would have had to beat the late Peter Blake's maxi LION OF NEW ZEALAND by 7 minutes to win our division!

Total mileage sailed for 2003-2004 is 12,725 miles. Those geographers of you might note that is greater than half the distance around the world at the equator. Yet SEAWANHAKA has only made it 4 time zones from the West Coast. Still 20 to go. I did spend a lot of north-south mileage on the Alaska trip. What is becoming clear is that my original estimate of 3-4 years is looking way short. What I now say when people ask me "how long" is "5 years plus or minus a decade".

It was a wonderful year of sailing, islands, cultures, and cruising friends. I had the pleasure of many great crew, and SEAWANHAKA proved that even though she is turning 80 in 2005, she still loves to sail, and is a very capable vessel. Capt'n Bill

New Zealand to Fiji

SEAWANHAKA will be leaving New Zealand April 20 for the sail back to Fiji. She plans to spend 3-4 months sailing Fiji, then west with the trade winds through Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, and into Australia for the next South Pacific cyclone season, December '05 - April '06.

The trip to Fiji should be 8-10 days. W have a great crew lined up for the passage. If the winds are favorable, possibilities of stopping off in the Kemadec Islands, 500 miles NE of New Zealand, and we've heard great things about the anchorage in the lagoon at Minerva Reef, another 300 miles to the north. Keep an eye on the Crew page and Ship's Log for the details.

South Pacific Cruising Season - 2005

SEAWANHAKA is back in Fiji after a great trip up from New Zealand, including a 4-day stop at Raoul Island.

She has spent 4 months exploring the islands of Fiji. I will be in the USA assisting my mother until October, then sail west with the trade winds to Vanuatu and into Australia November 1st to be south of the Tropic of Capricorn for the cyclone season.

After a month in the states, SEAWANHAKA had a great month of sailing from Fiji to Australia, with stops in Vanuatu and New Caledonia.


SEAWANHAKA had another great year of sailing and exploring in the South Pacific.

In August I realized that I had spent an entire year in the same time zone (Fiji-New Zealand-Fiji). Doing the quick math, at that rate it would take me 24 years to complete a circumnavigation! So after a month-long trip to the states to visit my Mother I put a new crew together and we sailed west through Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and made an awesome landfall on the continent of Australia.

Total mileage for the year was 5,189, visiting 5 countries, and sailing a total of 123 days. That's 34% of the year, and that includes a month away from the boat.

We continued to fly the Hood River Yacht Club flag and were afforded reciprocal privileges in Opua and Russell, New Zealand, Royal Suva Yacht Club and Savusavu Yacht Clubs in Fiji, Port Resolution (named for Capt. Cooks ship) in Vanuatu, Noumea Yacht Club in New Caledonia, and Coffs Harbor and Manly Yacht Clubs in Australia. On another recent trip to the states, I even had a great lunch at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club!

Milestones in the year were 10 years of ownership of SEAWANHAKA (36,000 miles and 19 countries) and 50,000 miles of sailing in my personal log over the past 25 years. We managed to conduct appropriate celebrations for each.


2006 started HOT! With the ultimate fireworks show over Sydney Harbor from a great anchorage in Rose Bay, with plenty of good cheer on board. And then New Year's Day sail - 45 Degrees C (that's 113 F!), with 25 knots of wind from the NE, like a blast furnace for the sail through the harbor back to Manly. Fortunately we were never far from a swim.

After a great trip to Tasmania in February and March, I left SEAWANHAKA in Sydney and traveled back to the USA for the month of May to help my mother with some things. On my return to the antipodes, SEAWANHAKA sailed out of Sydney, north up the coast.

My son Walker and his girlfriend Michaela joined SEAWANHAKA in Brisbane. We had 5 weeks of great sailing, diving, snorkeling and exploring the NE coast, including the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef.

SEAWANHAKA then spent a great 2 1/2 months cruising Papua New Guinea. I've sailed almost every island group in the south pacific, and rate PNG at the top of my list. See the great photos on the photo page.

I spent a month over November/December in Oregon and San Diego.

Total mileage for the year was 5,117, almost exactly the same as '05. A pattern developing here??? Only 2 countries, but I sailed the entire east coast of Australia, except the last 400 miles from Cairns to Torres Strait. I used to think that the West Coast of the US was a lot of coastline, but the east coast of Australia covers more than double the degrees of latitude, from Tasmania at 43 degrees south, to Torres Strait at 10 South. By comparison, San Diego to Seattle is only a 15 degree difference.The trip north from Hobart to Cairns was 2600 miles of sailing, and including the trip from Coffs Harbor to Hobart, by the end of '06 I've sailed 4,000 miles along the Australian east coast.

The year also saw the completion of my "Far Corners of the Pacific Cruise". Haines, Alaska to Hobart, Tasmania, as far apart as you can get in the Pacific Ocean. I've recently learned from my current read, an account of Magellan's historic circumnavigation, that the Pacific Ocean encompasses more area than all of the land masses of the earth combined.

Cruising Season - 2007

For 2007 SEAWANHAKA is on a circumnavigation of the Coral Sea. She departed Cairns in April, sailing down the coast inside the Great Barrier Reef. She will check out of Mackay in early June for the passage to the Solomon Islands. We're hoping the winds will cooperate with a stop or 2 at outlying reefs. We plan to spend June-October in the Solomons and Papua New Guinea, then sail back into Australia for the cyclone season.

My Father was one of the first US Marines to land on Guadacanal in the Solomon Islands in WWII. It was an instrumental battle, being the first time the Allied forces had ever stopped the Japanese and turned them back. It was the beginning of victory in the pacific war. One of my favorite quotes is a tribute to that effort by those young servicemen: "If you can read this thank a teacher, if it is printed in English thank a Marine". I consider it my pilgrimage to honor my late Father to sail into Guadacanal.

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