Palmyra Explorer | Hawaii – Hawaii

Palmyra Explorer | Hawaii – Hawaii

March 15 – April 2 | 

Limited Availability
TRIP HAS NOW FINISHED

Palmyra is a spectacular place.  Sea Dragon has visited in 2019 and 2021, and on both visits the general consensus among everyone on board was that we could never go snorkeling anywhere else again, as anything would pale in comparison.

In 2021 we were the first yacht to visit Palmyra since COVID closed the refuge in 2019, 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 site 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.

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 as of now it sounds as if they’ll be there.  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.  This trip will not include any diving, as the refuge doesn’t allow it, but to be honest we found that all of the sites were just as good or better without all the extra gear.

This trip is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean and IYT MOY Unlimited qualifying voyage – contact us to discuss!

Ardent Training is offering a significant discount on the RYA Day Skipper Theory online course to anyone signed up for this trip. If you’re interested in taking the course, let us know when you sign up!

  • Cost: Trip is Finished
  • Date: March 15 – April 2, 2022
  • Start: Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii
  • End: Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii
  • Length: 19 days, 18 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 infection far from advanced medical care. 
 
COVID Protocol:
 
Everyone on board the vessel must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, with the final dose completed at least 15 days prior to the voyage.
 
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 vaccination, 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 vaccination, 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.                    

Contact Us

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.”

-Shana B.

 

Click on a heading below to learn more!

Tentative Itinerary

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 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 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 11-15:   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 16:  Arrival in Hawaii

We’ll arrive in the afternoon back to Ko’Olina where we started our voyage.

Day 17:  Paperwork Again & Departure

We’ll deal with all the joys of international travel – clearing the boat and crew through Customs and Immigration.  Once we’re done, you’ll be free to depart Sea Dragon.  Thanks for sailing with us!

 
What's Included

Contribution Includes:
– 16 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

 
Packing List  
Travel Details

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.

 
Boat Tour

 
Your Crew

ERIC LOSS – Captain  

Eric, born in 1985, grew up in Laguna Beach, California. During his youth, he sailed dinghies, raced CFJ’s, Larks, and C420’s, and taught sailing to children in Dana Point, California. As a member of the Sea Scouts, Eric gained experience sailing and repairing cruising sailboats, 80’ to 130’ schooners, ketches, and brigs, locally and on several ocean crossings. He also earned the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.

After graduating from Bowdoin College, Eric became a PADI Divemaster while working for ActionQuest and Sea|Mester, developing his teaching skills as he progressed from running summer programs on 50’ yachts to skippering 88’ and 113’ schooners throughout the Eastern Caribbean and across the Atlantic. In 2011, Eric took a break from professional sailing to buy and refit Odyssey, an Islander 36, to attempt a non-stop solo circumnavigation. Eight months later, he returned to Los Angeles, having sailed past the Great Capes of the Southern Oceans and back up the Pacific to his home port.

When not aboard Sea Dragon, Eric and Shanley have sailed throughout the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, and to the Arctic Circle aboard their own Pouvreau 42 Cutter, Fleur Australe.

Qualifications:
Eric is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, USCG 100 ton master, PADI Divemaster, and holds his MCA Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. He has sailed over 100,000nm worldwide.
Shanley is an Ocean Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement, PADI Rescue Diver, and holds her MCA Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea. She has sailed over 70,000nm worldwide.

 

ALESSANDRA PEPARINI – First Mate

My passion for the ocean started very early… when I was a kid I spent all summers in the water! My activities were from fishing to swimming, from snorkeling to the first freediving, from kayaking to simply playing with the waves.  My confidence with the water and my sensitivity towards the ocean and all kinds of creatures in and outside the water started growing during these early years and is what has drove me to my working choices and lifestyle.

I start sailing late, when I was 18yo and I have immediately felt in love with it. At 20yo, together with a friend, I owned a 7m boat which we totally rebuild inside. After some time working at a sail loft specializing in canvas work, I started doing charters and deliveries in the Med as a deckhand, cook, and mate while during the winter I continued working full time as swimming instructor, specializing in working with people affected by disabilities (physical and mental). After several years of doing this and working on custom composites with Carboway I decided something was missing in my life.

So, when my second and last dog had died for old age I have decided to leave for an Atlantic crossing in 2016. Even though I had a ticket back to Europe, I never used it and I kept on sailing until I arrived in the Pacific, where I worked freelance on superyachts and doing deliveries.

I really enjoy long passages and being in remote places, I feel 100% part of the nature around me. And when I am not on a boat I love going up the mountains hiking or climbing, otherwise freediving. I am excited to be working on board Sea Dragon because I enjoy heaps teaching how to swim and be in the water to people, transmitting my passion, I would like to give back to the ocean,  which is in need, using Sea Dragon as a way for teaching people how to be respectful and minimize their impact on nature around them.

Alessandra holds her Yachtmaster Offshore with Commercial Endorsement, a CMAS Advanced Diver, an AIDA Advanced Freediver, and holds her STCW endorsed Proficiency in Medical Care at Sea.