After a delivery from the Seawind factory in Ho Chi Minh city and via stops at Philippines, Taiwan and Japan, we are now prepared to do a crossing, big circle navigation from mid Japan to Vancouver in Canada.
Straight line it’s an ~ 5000 NM trip, big circle 4200. We think it will be a max of 5000 NM including tacking, avoiding a depression etc. With an average of 132 NM a day it will be a maximum of 37 days crossing without any landfall.
The preparation is not much different then any, except you need to think harder about food supply, fresh, frozen etc. The freezer and fridge are full with fresh produce, yogurt, cheese etc. We were very pleased with frozen vegetables in addition to fresh. Fresh water is never an issue thanks to the water maker and the big tank on Kiskadee. Our Solar panels keep filling up our batteries to 100% even on a rainy day.
The usual stocking of diesel (light oil in Japan), we added 4 jerrycans of 20 liters. We calculate the amount of hours you can run your engine. With a 1600 rpm on one engine we use 1,6 liters an hour, and do about 3,5 knots of boat speed. Our Webasto heater uses 0.6 liter an hour. So there isn’t enough diesel to do long mothering, 2 * 125 hours or 875 NM. That is 17,5% of the distance. It is called a sailing vessel. 🙂
The first step is to look at the historical data when to cross. Luckily all that hard work is done by Jimmy Cornell with Pilot Charts and his well know book World Cruising Routes.
So crossing toward Japan is preferably done in March and April, latest in May, because the Typhoon season starts. And this year, perhaps of the really hot weather, they are early and powerful. The crossing of the North Pacific, Japan – Canada / US, is always a sailing trip between lows and highs with either a lot or no wind. Depressions are getting in from the Russian mainland, coming from (North) West going North East. The other path are the remainders of Typhoons, storms coming from the middle Pacific, going to Philippines or Taiwan and then up North East to Japan, Mid Japan. They tent to go East (or North East). The water around the Kuril and Aleutian Islands is still to cold to feed these systems.
The passage from Mid / North Japan – Middle Aleutian Islands is a nice one because their is a strong global current pushing you in the right direction. It is an alley between the most depressions and it avoids the big summer high pressure area between Midway / Hawaii and the east coast of the US. Its a great circle navigation and shorter than a direct straight line.
We had an option to leave Choshi, Mid Japan to have a favorable wind direction for almost a week. Combined with the strong Kushiro current. The down side, within 7 days the leftover of the Typhoon Mawar, a deep storm depression was going to pass us at 400 NM.
So on day five the storm took a path more North than the previous forecast. We adjusted our course to straight north, getting closer to Hokkaido and put an extra 100 NM between us and the outside of this depression. Winds at one time up to 30 knots, but current, waves and wind in the same direction. Big waves 3-4 meter but with more than a boat length between them, not uncomfortable. Its was a night with tension, the passing of the center and the turning and lowering of the wind took a long time.
Current we are motor-sailing with 6 knots of wind and the forecast is that will be the case for the next 2 days. Progress is good, we past the first 1200 NM.