Line Islands | Hawaii – Palmyra – Kiritimati
Feb 7 – Feb 22 | $4950
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. 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.
After Leaving Palmyra, we’ll sail the remaining 360 miles to Kiritimati, the largest atoll in the world. Upon arrival in Kiritimati, we hope to be greeted by the huge Manta Rays that cruise the anchorage off the Copra Pier. We should arrive in enough time to have some time to explore, either in the water or on shore. Fancy a trip to Banana or Paris, or perhaps going to visit the british nuclear bomb testing site at the far end of the island? You’ll spend your last night on shore at Timei’s Lagoon View Hotel with a wonderful local dinner, before getting up early the next morning to catch the flight back to Hawaii. The final night on shore and dinner is included in the cost of the voyage.
These islands are truly remote, and the best way to get to them is by sea. Come with us and explore some of the Central Pacific’s gems.
This trip is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and IYT MOY Unlimited qualifying voyage – contact us to discuss!
- Cost: $4950
- Date: Feb 7 – Feb 22, 2022 (Hawaii Time)
- Start: Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii
- End: At Anchor, Kiritimati Atoll, Kiribati
- Length: 15 days, 14 nights
- Focus: Offshore Passagemaking | Swimming & Snorkeling | Tropical Island Exploration
While we can’t guarantee that our protocol will 100% prevent a COVID infection onboard, we are hopeful that it will reduce the risk of a serious COVID-19 infection far from advanced medical care.
Everyone on board the vessel for this trip MUST provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose ocurring at least 15 days prior to boarding.
14 days before trip: I agree to take maximum precautions to minimize my risk of infection with COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines.
72 Hours Before Boarding: I agree to take a PCR covid test at my own expense. If a testing site is available that can provide results in less than 72 hours, I agree to get tested as close to the date and time of boarding as is consistent with receiving results before boarding.
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.
In the event that you do not provide proof of vaccine, test positive on either the PCR test or your pre-boarding rapid test, or have a fever, 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.
COVID NOTE: As of 9/24, The government of Kiribati has announced that it plans to open its border in January 2022, but has not yet announced the protocols. Our COVID protocols for this trip may change to reflect national requirements for entry to Kiribati. If the borders do not open, we will modify this itinerary, and will be happy to either fully refund you or transfer you to another trip if you do not want to sail the new itinerary.
“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 7: 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 8-9: 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 depart this afternoon to head to Kiritimati , but if all is well we’ll spend a final night in the lagoon.
Day 10: 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 11-12: Underway to Kiritimati
We’ll ply the waters of the tropical Pacific en route to Kiritimati.
Day 13: Arrival at Kiritimati
We’ll arrive at the largest atoll in the world and anchor off the Copra Pier. With any luck we’ll be visited by manta rays, and will clear in through Customs & Immigration.
Day 14: Island Exploration
Today is a day to explore the island – we can snorkel, swim, or go ashore on the largest atoll in the world, before disembarking Sea Dragon in the afternoon and having a final dinner ashore at the Lagoon View Motel.
Day 15: Departure
You’ll be up early to get a ride to the airport and catch a flight back to Hawaii.
– 13 nights accommodation on Sea Dragon, 1 night accommodation on shore
– All meals (vegetarian), snacks, and drinks on board + final dinner ashore
– 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 and Kiritimati
– 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 Kiritimati at 1200 on the last day. Kiritimati is on the same time zone as Hawaii, but 1 day ahead, so you will be departing the vessel on February 21 Hawaii time, but February 22 local time. You will spend the night of February 22/21 (local/Hawaii) ashore in Kiritimati at a hotel before flying out the next morning. The final night stay ashore, dinner, and airport transfer in the morning are included in the cost of the trip.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is about a 30 minute drive from Ko Olina. Fiji Airways has one flight a week (FJ822) from Kiritimati (CXI) to Honolulu (HNL) – it departs Kiritimati the morning of February 23 (local), February 22 (Hawaii).
All crew members will require a passport and visas from their home country that will allow them to travel to/ from Kiribati and the USA. Please ensure that you have any necessary visas for Kiribati before joining the vessel 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.