Heading to Palmyra

Yesterday we got our first ever outbound clearance paper, or Zarpe, leaving Honolulu bound for Fanning Island, Kiribati via Palmyra Atoll. While we’ve left the US before, so far it’s only been to Canada, where a Zarpe is not required to enter the country. But Kiribati, and most other countries we will visit over the next few months, require a Zarpe from the previous country entered.

Our first leg will be 960 miles south to Palmyra Atoll, a US national marine monument in the Northern Line Islands. The Nature Convervancy owns Palmyra Atoll, and jointly manages the island with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Access to Palmyra requires a permit for a maximum seven day stay, and only two boats can visit at a time. The island recently went through a major de-ratting–the FV Aquila that we visited in Bell Harbor was part of that operation. As a result, any boat visiting must have a rat inspection. We passed ours. Palmyra also is famous as the site of the Sea Wind murders, documented in the book and TV miniseries The Sea Will Tell.

From Palmyra we’ll travel to another atoll in the Northern Line Islands: Fanning Island in the Republic of Kiribati. And we’re finally actually leaving the US. We’ve travelled nearly 10,000 miles in Dirona, to Prince William Sound, up the Columbia and Snake Rivers to Idaho and across to Hawaii. But other than a couple of quick trips to Canada, we’ve never actually left the US.

We fueled up this morning and set off with 2,350 gallons of diesel, including all tankage. Our next fuel stop will be in Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands. That will be 2,550 miles, plus two to three weeks of generator time. We took on fuel from Mike Rossman’s Marine Petroleum Corporation–great service, good fuel, and excellent pricing. If you’re fueling in Hawaii, there’s nobody else to call.

We’ll be posting our route and other updates on the site (http://www.mvdirona.com/maps/locationcurrent.html). But for most of the trip through the South Pacific we will be out of range of our KVH V7 and will have to use the more expensive BGAN at a memorable $8,000 per gig. So our updates may be less frequent.

Don Stabbert was taking Starr into fuel with Mike after us, and took the picture above as we set off for Palmyra.

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25 comments on “Heading to Palmyra
  1. Nadine says:

    It amazes me how many Mormons are mfmeniorsid and ignorant of the true facts surrounding the origins of their religion and the supposed golden plates. It does not matter if J Smith was or wasn’t convicted. What is clear is that even before he supposedly met Moroni, he was a person who was inclined towards fanciful & magical notions. He was a early new-ager . He was into treasure hunting and claimed to be able to divine the location of buried treasure by peering at a magical stone in the bottom of his hat. Other persons did not view and certainly touch the golden plates at all. Smith expressly said that this was not possible because anyone without the Urrim & Thumin stones would be destroyed by the plates. Smith was a clever con man who always came up with an answer for everything. Conveniently, Moroni wanted the plates back when he was finished. The Mormons at my door love pointing out to me how reminiscent of the Bible the book of Mormon sounds. By this they mean that it sounds like the King James translation of the Bible. Plenty of and it came unto pass that etc. That is in fact a strong pointer to the fact that it is a fraud. The KJV sounds like it does because of the time and place in which it was translated. There was no good reason why Smith, a 19th Century East Coast American, should translate to that sound unless he was deliberately trying to create a holy book that would appear to the gullible to be a sequel to the Bible. Additionally, to accept the book of Mormon as scripture, one has to have complete and utter faith in its miraculous origins. One has to believe that in a singular time and place Smith came upon a volume, containing books by various authors, for which he was by the use of magical stones of which he was conveniently possessed the sole interpreter. By contrast whilst Christians and Jews believe that the content of the Bible is inspired by God, they do not believe that it came to us by miraculous or magical means. They accept that the Bible is in fact not a book but a collection of 66 books scribed at various times and places by various human writers in the same way as books in general are normally written. Biblical scholars can point to manuscripts and to a history of scholarship and translation that delivered these books to us. Inspiration aside, the story of the bible is a mundane a non miraculous story. The translation was a collaborative work of many, not explainable by the claimed supernatural experience of one. Indian Vedic scriptures have a corresponding scholarly history, but the Islamic Koran suffers from the same disability as to origins as the book of Mormon. It was all said to have been supernaturally conveyed to the prophet Mahommed. There is a good adage. Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence . The explanations for the advent of the Koran and the book of Mormon are extraordinary claim completely devoid of extraordinary evidence . -3Was this answer helpful?

  2. Thanks for the weather report Jacques. On current plan, we stay in Palmyra for a week and then take the short hop over to Fanning Island before starting out on the longer run to Nuka Hiva.

  3. It’s great hearing from you Tim. It’s been a lot of years. I hope all is well back in Toronto. I’m guessing our weather here is better than yours :-).

    The boat is running well and we’re having a ball.


  4. Good hearing from you Keith. We just dropped hook in Palmyra yesterday afternoon. We haven’t yet got used to being in the middle of the central pacific anchored off inside a atoll only 6 degrees north of the equator.


  5. Jacques Vuye says:

    Only 300 Nm left before meeting King Neptune!!
    Good job, what an adventure!

  6. Jacques Vuye says:

    Good to see you arrived at Palmyra!
    For the next week or so winds in your area will stay in the NE to E at 10 to 15 knots, with episodes up to 25 knots on Saturday and Sunday
    Waves could be up to 4 *meters* until Monday morning, then to 2 meters, in a SW direction as you head toward Kiribati and Nuku Hiva
    Enjoy your stay in Palmyra, but watch out for that old Japanese "hardware"!

  7. Jacques Vuye says:

    Well, finally something really exciting for Spitfire!
    BTW: Flying fish, with a light batter and fried, Tempura style….mmmh! mmmmh! Good!

  8. Tim Francis says:

    Hey guys,

    Thanks for letting me live vicariously through your blog … I hope the sea state is still good, the engine running smoothly, and that you’re surviving your new internet diet ok :)

    Sending greetings from a cold & snowy Toronto Lab

    Safe travels

  9. Keith Short says:

    All the best you guys! We are all with you back here in Seattle.

  10. Jacques Vuye says:

    James said "Man, I’m going to miss travelling with connectivity. Sigh"
    Well, look at it this way: take it as an opportunity to have more of your time time available to watch nature’s incredible diversity.
    There’s always a silver lining…

  11. Jacques Vuye says:

    Have a good watch!

  12. Jacques said "almost 1/2 way to Palmyra and the KVH is still tracking." Yeah, nobody is more amazed than I am. Man, I’m going to miss travelling with connectivity. Sigh.

  13. Jacques Vuye says:

    Almost halfway to Palmyra and KVH still tracking!

  14. Jacques Vuye says:

    Looks like you will a period of about 36 hors of higher winds , up to 40 knots fromNE.
    Swell will remain in the 3 to 4 feet, but you will see confused seas until Tuesday, the head seas for the rest of the way.
    Have a good watch!

  15. All the data posted is being pulled off the NMEA 2000 bus in real time and written to a database. What gets uploaded are samples from that real time feed. The last four course readings are: 204, 203, 206, and 196. The data si sourced from a Furuno SC-30 satellite lite compass system backed up by fluxgate compass and GPS. All this data is from the SC-30 and is just which way the bow was pointed when the data sample was taken.


  16. Jacques Vuye says:

    I see your heading "oscillating" between 185 and 210 deg, although it seems your overall tracking looks pretty straight.
    Is the heading data taken from another source than the GPS?
    Do you have a flux compass on board that provides that piece of data?
    Am I right to think that you have a "time stamp" program on your laptop that sends the data automatically at (more or less…) regular intervals?
    In any case, this is really cool stuff (only second to *actually* being there!)

  17. Jacques point out we are getting great weather. Very true. The wind was on our stbd side has veered around to the aft stbd quarter giving us a nice ride and a nice push. At the current speed we’ll arrive in 1/4 day early in the middle of the previous night. Statically the conditions are not likely to stay so favorable so we’ll just continue at this speed. But, if conditions do remain this good, we’ll slow down a bit to allow us to arrive during day light hours.


  18. Thanks for the hospitality at the Waikiki Yacht Club John. We had a great stay and are looking forward to returning again in the future.

    Hope to see Dirona and Laysan cross paths and hoist a glass of wine at some future date.


  19. Frank asked "How soon are you returning to the mainland?" Which mainland?:-)

    Right now, we’re really enjoying the trip and all the variation in life styles and freedom of location that comes with it. As long as we are enjoying the trip, it’ll be tough to stop. The next leg is bit more challenging going for folks like us that like to be connected. Our current sat solution doesn’t work in the south pacific so will soon be paying a ridiculous $8,000/GB. That’ll force some change that we may not like. I guess we’ll see how it works out.

    The current plan has us in Fiji in July and New Zealand in October and pretty much everything between is open to change. Love it!


  20. Jacques Vuye says:

    According to forecast, winds will pick up to 20 knots for about 24 hours as they will move to the NE.
    But swell should. stay in the 3 to 4 feet range.
    Looks like you picked the right passage window weatherwise, it seems!

  21. John Douglas says:

    It was nice to meet you both and have Dirona at our club these last few months. Your journey begins anew with good weather. Hope to cross paths again some day. Bon voyage.
    John Douglas
    M/Y Laysan

  22. Frank Ch. Eigler says:

    Wow, you guys are going farther and farther? How soon are you returning to the mainland?

  23. Jacques Vuye says:

    Good to see Spitfire still enjoys the ride!
    Based on the weather map, the wind will progressively move to your stern, then to your port quarter.
    But at 7.2 knots, you are flying! (-:
    Hope to keep the KVH covering as long as possible,
    Ku-band or C-Band?
    love to see you moving on the map :it’s (almost…) like being there!
    Thank you for taking the time to take us "along for the ride"

  24. Jacques Vuye says:

    Was just thinking: with your present wind conditions, running a N56 Motor sailer would be really cool!

  25. Jacques Vuye says:

    Have a safe passage!
    Don’t forget the Neptune offering when passing LAT N 0°00’00"!

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