Well it's coming close to the time when we'll be heading home to Spirit. Over the last six months I've been thinking of what to do when we return. There seems to be so many questions and it's only time that seems to answer most of them. It's hard to stop planning everything, to let go and let time decide plans as it passes and like most people I do a lot of daydreaming, which doesn't help.
Daydreaming of the places we could visit of the places I've always dreamed about visiting since I was sailing as a child with my mother and father, those distant places you read about in magazines while a kid are always the first on my list as they seem so exotic and far away. One thing were learnt when we crossed the Pacific in 2011-2012 was how vast and huge this body of water is. There is so many small Island chains both north and south of the equator and they all seem to have there different qualities. With all this in mind we have made a rough plan for the next few years. and that's to sail back out into the Pacific. But with the trade winds mostly from the north east to the south east how is one to do this comfortably on a little trimaran that get's incredibly wet once you have more than 15kts of wind forward of the beam?
The last few weeks have been spent studying the weather patterns for the different times of year. And one of the benefits of Spirit is that she loves the light airs. So the plan is simple..... find the lightest airs from any direction preferably forward of the beam to increase our apparent and head east!! So far it seems the most enjoyable way to do this would be to head north from Australia through to Indonesia. Maybe taking part in the Darwin to Ambon yacht race next year and sailing up to Ambon. We always love a little race along the way as well and that's one race where the winds are normally on the quarter making for some seriously enjoyable sailing.
From there we would head up to Raja Ampat and then onto Palau for December when it's cyclone season in the southern hemisphere. We'd pick our way east along the Pacific Island chains starting with the Caroline Islands, which is all part of Micronesia then onto the Marshall Islands and down into the Kiribati's and Samoa for the southern hemispheres winter season. During that time we'd do Tonga again as last time we left most of it out due to time restraints and it was one place we promised ourselves to go back to. We hang out around that area until the cyclone season again in November/December and head north again to Samoa.
From Samoa it would be north to the Line Islands and Kiribati. Then down to the Marquases Islands and back down to Tahiti for the start of winter again.
It's way to hard to plan something like this and what will decide our final arrival point is always the weather. Before we make for another Island we will watch the weather intently and depart with light winds from a favourable direction. Should things change on passage we will adapt to them as they happen. But one thing is we will always have plenty of other options with so many islands there will always be one that is in the correct direction for the weather we have.
So in the end this is all a dream. It's a dream of places we'd love to go to and a direction we'd like to head. In the end it will be mother nature that decides where we visit and when. So in a few years it'll be great to look back and to see where that is compared to where we were aiming today.