PN Routes from Hawaii

cally with the coming of peace. A good place to stop is Acajutla (13036'N, 89"J50'W), which is one of El Salvador's official ports of entry, the other being Cutuco (13°19'N, 87°49'W). On entering the Gulf of Fonseca, the Salvadorean Coast Guard should be contacted on VHF channel 16. TheHoriduran port of San Lorenzo (13°25'N, 87°27'W) has been recommended as an emergency stop, while in Nicaragua the ports of Corinto (12D28'N, 87°irW) and San Juan del Sur (iri5'N, 85°53'W) have attracted mixed comments. One of the most attractive stops on the Costa Rica coast is Golfito (8 °36'N, 83'12'W).

The alternative to the inshore route is to sail well off the coast thereby avoiding the effect of the local strong winds described earlier. This makes sense, especially if leaving from northern Mexico, so that the entire passage is made well off the coast and the Gulf of Tehuantepec is passed at some 400-500 miles offshore. The route then curves towards Cocos Island (5°33'N, 87°02'W), where a stop is recommended, before entering the Gulf of Panama at Cabo Mala. Directions for transiting the Panama Canal are given on page 489.

pn31 Hawaii to Alaska 218

pn32 Hawaii to the Pacific Northwest 219

pn33 Hawaii to California 220

pn34 Hawaii to Central America and Mexico 221

pn35 Hawaii to Line Islands 222

pn36 Hawaii to Marshall Islands 223

PN37 Hawaii to Japan 223

PN30 Routes from Hawaii

The main attraction of America's outpost in the North Pacific are the NE trade winds which ensure a fast downwind passage from ports on the west coast of America, especially from those in California. Hawaii's main disadvantage is the same trade winds, which make a return voyage to those ports a more difficult undertaking. The logical solution for a return passage with fair winds is to make a big sweep to northward hoping to find in higher latitudes the favourable winds needed for the passage home. The prevailing NE winds also make a return to Hawaii very difficult from any of the Micronesian islands to the west, and forward planning should be the main, concern for anyone planning a voyage to or from Hawaii. Most routes in or out of Hawaii are under the direct influence of the North Pacific high, which generates the NW winds that prevail along the Pacific coasts of Canada and the USA as well as the NE trade winds mentioned above. Boats returning to continental America are faced with a difficult obstacle by the same high which must be bypassed to avoid the calms and light winds associated with it. Although the Hawaiian islands are rarely affected by tropical storms, some have occurred there in recent years and this should be borne in mind by those who are there in summer.

The NE trade winds prevail around Hawaii for most of the year. The winds tend to be northerly in

March, becoming more easterly later on. The NE trade winds are stronger near these islands than anywhere else in the Pacific, Lighter winds and calms can be experienced in October, while in November and December southerly winds can interrupt the trades. The worst months are January and February, when S and SW gales called konas strike, lasting from a few hours to 2-3 days and bringing rain.

The high volcanic islands do affect winds locally and gentle land and sea breezes flow on and off the land. The trades also divide and flow around the coast to the north and south of Molokai and Maui especially. Because of the height of most islands, there is a considerable wind shadow in their lee and the trade winds are sometimes blocked altogether. On the other hand, in the channels between the islands the wind is accelerated, particularly strong gusts and rough seas being experienced in the Alenuihaha Channel separating Maui from the Big Island. Winds tend to be lighter in the morning before the trades strengthen for the day.

Of all the routes originating in Hawaii, only the route across the equator to Tahiti (PT25) offers a chance of good passages in both directions, although this is not the main reason for the popularity of this route. Ever since the South Pacific was put on the world cruising map in the early 30s, Hawaii has been used as a convenient stepping stone by boats on their way to other Polynesian destinations. Modern sailing boats have given back to Hawaii its important position at the apex of the triangle linking the far flung corners of Polynesia, from Aotearoa (New Zealand) in the west to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the east. For a foray into the South Seas, the islands of Hawaii offer an excellent starting point. For those who are not afraid of sailing a little farther in search of better winds, Hawaii is in just as convenient a position, whether the destination is in Japan, Alaska, or the Pacific Northwest.

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