I wish I had had a digital camera back in 1963, but alas I have very few pictures of my trip across the Pacific Ocean from San Diego to Hilo, Hawai’i. So, I will try and paint a picture with my words…
My family had never even been on a boat before selling our beautiful home, which we had lived in for only two years, and purchasing a 40 ft. Newporter ketch sailboat. Before taking off, my Dad thought maybe it would be a good idea to take a course given by the local Coast Guard in rules of the road, sailing courtesy and a few sailing tips like TWA–true west add. I have no idea what that means today, but at that time I aced the course! I still remember things like “red right returning” which helps you remember on what side the buoy should be when going into port. But, that little information wasn’t needed until we put 2500 miles behind us. We did a little shake-down cruise to the Baja Peninsula which wasn’t terribly challenging.
Stocking the boat for such a long trip WAS challenging. There were four of us aboard and we had to have enough food to last a month, just in case. So, we entered the local Piggly Wiggly with a long long list. We started out with four wagons and ended up standing in line with nine! We had other customers in the store taking bets on how much it would all cost–cheering us on (I’m from a small town and we take our entertainment where we can find it).
Now the boat was packed to the gills. We had to give up a lot of our own personal things to make room for sustainability, but I gladly gave up things like my Martin guitar, which in hindsight I probably should’ve hung on to. My mom gave up her collection of beautiful antique American cut glass. We had to sell a couple of our prized horses. However, my sister was a championship gymkhana rider so her horse was to join us in Hawai’i via Matson. So, with the boat stocked, we stood on the dock waiting to push off while my Dad took an impromptu lesson is how to use a sextant. Next thing we knew we were waving to friends on the pier while we navigated out of the harbor on our way.