Preparing for Departure…if the Weather Allows

John, Brian, and Dean have moved the boat from Hebe Haven to Stanley and are anchored off of Stanley.

The only direct communication from the boat is by satellite phone. Occasionally, their cell phones are able to send and receive calls and text messages. I have received the following today:

2:32 p.m. Leaving a.m. February 2 (February 1 in Hawaii) if weather good enough. Will go ashore to check the wifi.

5:18 p.m. Port clearance done. Now to immigration. Captain carries all documents for crew. Brian and Dean in Stanley with boat. Still need to find wifi for weather.

6:05 p.m. Waiting until Wednesday now. Will send message of departure.
All cleared out of hk now. Anchored in Stanley.

9:20 p.m. I am sitting on a bench outside library with good wifi
Read my emails and copied ricks forecast
All here say go in the morning
Boat needs windows and tie down today
Brian and Dean bought more food
They are hungrier than me
Trip to town reminded me of our summer here
Temp is much nicer now and a few people are swimming.

Weather router report:

2/1200-3/0600: NE-ENE 10-15k
3/0600-3/1800: NE-ENE 15-20k
3/1800-5/0300: NE 20-25k
5/0300-5/0900: NE 15-20k
5/0900-5/1800: NE-ENE 10-15k
5/1800-arrival: ENE 10 or less

2/1200-3/0600: ENE 3-6ft
3/0600-3/1800: ENE 5-6ft
3/1800-5/0300: ENE 6-9ft
5/0300-5/0900: ENE 5-7ft
5/0900-5/1800: ENE 4-6ft
5/1800-arrival: ENE 2-4ft

On a related note, one piece of interesting advice sent to the Laysan concerns the departure from Hong Kong, in particular the first 100 miles. The sometimes harrowing description is below:

“Assuming you leave in the AM, your first night out will be into the oil platforms, barge and storage parking areas (big mooring floats) etc — there has been a lot of development and not all of this will be on your paper or electronic chart. So stay awake

Up to 100 miles out of HK and a similar distance off of Luzon, you’ll have tiny 1-2 man fishing dories or bankas some with a little light, some a strobe, some who only turn on the light as you approach and some who may only wave a lit cigarette to say “we are here”. They’re fishing over seamounts or deep reefs. The HK side boats usually have mother ship in the area; the PI bankas do not. If you see one or more of these boat lights, there are likely many more around you; they just haven’t lit up cause they weren’t in your path. If your response to seeing the lights is to adjust your course to avoid, you may find yourself going round the compass as each new course puts new boats in your path which light up only then. Eventually, we just slowed down through these areas, being well lit, and depended on them to get out of our way — cautiously of course. Sometimes though there may be a net involved and these will not get out of your way

Route: we made our route for just to the south of Pratas Reef in the NE monsoon. I always, both eastbound (especially eastbound) and westbound angled towards Bolinao (top of Luzon west coast). This is the hurricane hole Don Mac and I used during Typhoon Fengshen. By setting your course for Bolinao, rather than direct to Subic, you have protected shelter in reach one day sooner than a direct route to Subic. If as you approach the PI coast 100-50 miles out (on course to Bolinao) and the weather is holding, you can adjust to the south, direct to Subic without actually making landfall at Bolinao. In the NE you should be in the lee for the rest of the trip down the coast to Subic.

Fair winds & smooth seas.”

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