Palmyra Explorer I | Hawaii – Palmyra – Hawaii
August 1 – August 21 | $5300
This trip is a blast – we’ll leave from Oahu for a few days of power reaching in the trades before negotiating the ITCZ, also known as the Doldrums! Squalls and unsettled weather abound, but the rewards for careful boat handling are beautiful sunsets, rainbows, and the satisfaction of sailing fast in tough conditions. We’re planning to then stop at Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which lies within the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. This visit is dependent upon a permit which won’t be issued until the day we depart Hawaii, however we expect to be able to obtain it. Staff from Fish & Wildlife must also be on island during our visit, and are currently scheduled to be arriving in July. We’ll keep you informed if anything changes. At the request of the refuge, we are limiting our group size for this trip, so it will really be an intimate experience.
In 2019 we were the first ecotourism visit to Palmyra since it became a National Wildlife Refuge, and it was extraordinary! We have never been on such a beautiful and healthy reef. Almost anywhere else you go will be spoiled for you after this visit. This is really something special, and the only way to visit is by sea. Palmyra was a US naval base in World War II, the sight of several failed copra plantations, and and the destination of many adventurers and dreamers up through the 90s. Since then, Palmyra has been jointly managed by the Nature Conservancy and US Fish & Wildlife service, who are doing an amazing job maintaining it as a research station and restoring native Pacific atoll ecosystems to the island. This is the trip we are most excited about this year.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by FWS & TNC, we will likely not be allowed ashore, but we’ll snorkel, swim, paddle board, and explore the waters of the atoll. There’s so much to see and do you’ll be desperate for more time in the water when we pull anchor to sail back home to Hawaii!
This trip is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and IYT MOY Unlimited qualifying voyage – contact us to discuss!
- Cost: $5300
- Date: August 1 – August 21, 2021
- Start: Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii
- End: Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii
- Length: 21 days, 20 nights
- Focus: Offshore Passagemaking | Swimming & Snorkeling | Tropical Island Exploration
Day of Arrival at boat: We will take your temperature and administer a rapid antigen test to you before you come in close contact with the rest of the crew. With proof of a negative PCR result, a temperature of under 100.4 F, and a negative rapid test, you will be able to board Sea Dragon. Once everyone is on board, we will fall into the normal routine for trip operations. We’ll become a “bubble” with no masks required on board. You’ll choose your bunk, we’ll have a group dinner on board and go through safety briefings for departure.
We will retest everyone on board with rapid tests before departing from Hawaii for sea. If anyone tests positive, the trip will be cancelled.
In the event that you test positive on either the PCR test or your pre-boarding rapid test, you will not be allowed aboard the vessel, and we will be happy to transfer your payment to a trip of your choosing at a later date.
If the trip is cancelled due to a crew member testing positive on the rapid test in Hawaii before departure to sea, we will be happy to transfer your payment to a trip of your choosing at a later date or refund your money.
Reserve your spot now with only a $500 deposit! This deposit is non-refundable per our crew contract. However, it is transferable or refundable in the event that we are forced to cancel this voyage due to COVID-19.
Call Us: +1 (305) 330-4212 (Pacific Time)
“This was one of the best vacations I have ever had. I learned a lot about plastics, coral, and the environment from skipper, first mate, and knowledgeable crew … Eric and Shanley were professional and super fun! The boat was perfectly set up and maintained for our trip. I look forward to more adventures with Eric and Shanley.”
Day 1: Arrival On Board Sea Dragon
You’ll join us at Ko Olina Marina in Oahu between 1500 and 1700 to move on board. You’ll have the opportunity to find your bunk and get settled in. We’ll all gather together for our first dinner on board. Afterwards your professional crew will take you through general life on board and safety procedures. You’ll be fitted for your lifejacket, and if you didn’t bring any with you, foul weather gear. You’ll have the rest of the evening free to do what you please, whether reading a book or taking a walk along the shore to give your legs a nice stretch before going to sea.
Day 2: Safety Training & Officialdom
We’ll spend the day learning how to safely handle Sea Dragon and deal with any situations that may arise. We’ll also have a visit from the Palmyra Station Fish and Wildlife representative on Oahu to discuss the rules and conditions of our visit, as well as to give us a quick orientation to the island we’ll be visiting. Depending on time and weather, we’ll probably go for a quick day sail to practice what we’ve learned, or maybe even go snorkeling with turtles and dolphins at a nearby beach.
Day 3: Departure from Green to Big Blue
After breakfast, we’ll drop lines and head out to sea. As we set our sails and point south, the backdrop of green mountainsides will slowly fade and give way to a 360-degree endless horizon. We’ll settle into our watch schedule and routine for our 1000NM sail.
Day 4 – 7: Underway Offshore
We’ll have some nice fast sailing on our way to the Central Pacific atoll of Palmyra. Fingers crossed we’ll be visited by dolphins, whales and endless sea birds. The warm tropical sailing will be quite the treat!
Day 8: Atoll Arrival
Welcome to Palmyra! We’ll make our way through the reef and anchor in the lagoon on this gorgeous atoll. Keep an eye out for all types of life – manta rays, melon-headed whales, sharks, and dolphins! We’ll meet the refuge staff and get an orientation to this very special location. There’s nothing like dinner on deck at anchor in a remote location such as this.
Day 9-11: Another World Exploration
We’ll take full advantage of our surroundings over the three days on location. Exploration is the name of the game. We’ll work closely with the scientists and staff on Palmyra to minimize our impact on this special place as we explore ashore, paddle board in the lagoon, and get a chance to snorkel on some of the most spectacular reefs in the world. Nights at anchor. Depending on weather, we may leave depart on Day 10 or 11 to head back north, but if all is well we’ll stay and enjoy as long as we can.
Day 12: Back to Sea
After a visit to a place you can only get to by sea, we’ll pick anchor and head out of the lagoon when the light is favorable. We’ll set sail once again and point our bow north towards Hawaii and settle in for an upwind sail.
Day 13-18: Underway to Hawaii
We’ll sail upwind across the beautiful blue waters of the Central Pacific. You’ll get to put the skills you learned on the trip South to the test as we work our way to Hawaii.
Day 19: Arrival in Hawaii
We’ll arrive in the afternoon back to Ko’Olina where we started our voyage.
Day 20: Paperwork Again!
We’ll deal with all the joys of international travel – clearing the boat and crew through Customs and Immigration. Once we’re done, you’re welcome to stay aboard for one last night to enjoy the beautiful west side of Hawaii.
Day 21: Departure Day!
After breakfast, it will be time to disembark Sea Dragon. Thanks for sailing with us!
– 20 nights accommodation on Sea Dragon
– All meals (vegetarian), snacks, and drinks on board
– Sailing Instruction
– Safety equipment and foul weather gear
– Masks, fins, snorkels
– Use of inflatable paddle boards
Contribution does not include:
– Transportation to and from Hawaii
– Transportation to and from the boat
– Additional nights spent ashore
– Personal expenses while in port
You will join the boat in Ko Olina between 1500-1700 on the first day. You will depart the boat in Ko’Olina at 0900 on the last day. Because weather can be unsettled in the central pacific in August, we have built in some cushion in to the schedule – it is possible that Sea Dragon will be back in Hawaii several days earlier than this schedule, but if we are back early you are welcome to stay aboard until the 21st, or depart once the vessel has finished entrance formalities.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is about a 30 minute drive from Ko Olina.
All crew members will require a passport and visas from their home country that will allow them to travel to/ from the USA. If you are not a US, Canadian, or Bermudan citizen, you will need a B1/B2 visa in order to re-enter Hawaii by Sea – an ESTA will not work in Hawaii! Please ensure you have the appropriate paperwork completed before joining the vessel, or you will not be allowed to board. Please look into the specific type of visa you need for arriving at these destinations by sea, or contact us directly to discuss.
Anna and Maggie met as Skipper and First Mate on a 74ft science expedition yacht, sailing from the UK to Tahiti researching ocean plastic pollution.
Anna, born in 1990 was taught to sail in the Cadet fleet in Poole harbour, UK, by her grandfather at the age of 6. From a competitive dinghy racing background, she became an RYA Yachtmaster instructor and has worked full time in the industry for 14 years; teaching a range of ages in all aspects of watersports.
Alongside her professional sailing career, Anna also gained a BA in Architecture from Brighton University. However, having grown up on a farm in the south-west of England, living and working outdoors, she chose to pursue a passion for the outdoors and adventure.
Anna has worked in most areas of the industry from race Captain on luxury yachts in the Maxi Worlds, to teaching and managing an RYA Training Centre. She has sailed over 75,000nm in the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and Caribbean. She loves being offshore and has competed in many ocean crossing races with teams of novice crew which she thoroughly enjoys. She first sailed Seadragon in 2017 across the Atlantic and then again across the Pacific in 2018.
Maggie, born in 1992 grew up in Australia’s Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. She started racing sabots from the age of 5, then progressed to pacers and lasers later in her youth. She coached her school sailing team which is where she developed a passion for teaching sailing. Maggie completed a Bachelors degree in Business Public Relations but chose a career offshore with an undying passion for ocean sailing.
Maggie started her career as a teenager, working in her family business which ran adventure sailing charters. Every school break, when she wasn’t competing in dinghy regattas, she spent her time working on a traditional square rigger, classic schooner and ex americas racing cup racing yacht. In 2013 she sailed to Antarctica and rounded Cape horn and fell in love with ocean sailing.
In 2017 Maggie left Australia to travel and continue sailing. She worked in the Mediterranean on a range of luxury yachts between 28 and 92m. She has sailed over 30,000nm all over the world in the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic and Southern Oceans.
When they are not sailing, they enjoy travelling by land in their yellow camper-van which they converted themselves. They also love to dive and are currently learning to kite-surf.
Anna is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor, a PADI Open Water Diver, and holds her STCW endorsed Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. Maggie is an MCA Master of Yachts < 200 tons, MCA Officer of the Watch to 500 tons, Australian Master Class 5, and holds a certificate in Advanced First Aid & CPR.