Pacific Explorer | Hawaii – Kiritimati
Feb 20 – March 7 | TRIP IS NOW COMPLETE
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. After over 1000nm of tropical sailing, we’ll arrive at Kiritimati (Christmas) Island, the largest atoll by land mass in the world. We’ll drop anchor off the cargo pier where manta rays often circle the boat, and we’ll have a few days to explore Kiritimati before you board the weekly flight back to Hawaii.
Right now, it looks as if Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which lies within the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, will not be open. If it is open, we won’t find out until late December or early January, but if possible we will stop there en route to Kiritimati.
All meals on board Sea Dragon are delicious and vegetarian, with the addition of fish if we catch any along the way.
This is not a trip for the infirm or physically unfit – you MUST be able to climb a 20′ steel ladder up the Cargo Pier in Kiritimati, have good balance, and be in reasonably good health. Please contact us with any health questions or if you answer “YES” to any of the questions on our health questionnaire prior to signing up for the trip!
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 and we can give you the discount code!
- Cost: $4450
- Date: February 20- March 7, 2023
- Start: Ko Olina Marina, Hawaii
- End: Cargo Pier Anchorage, Kiritimati, Kiribati
- Length: 16 days, 15 nights
- Focus: Offshore Passagemaking | Swimming & Snorkeling | Tropical Island Exploration
Please explore the drop down menus at the bottom of the page for more details about this voyage.
Everyone on board the vessel must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, including a booster shot if it has been more than 6 months since the final dose of your initial course of vaccination on the date you board the vessel.
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 or Rapid Antigen covid test at my own expense. This test must be administered or proctored by a medical professional, and the result must be on official letterhead. 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 pre-trip test result, a temperature of under 100.4 F, and a negative rapid test on the dock, 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 have a fever over 100.4F, test positive on either the pre-trip 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.
***The Fiji Airways flight that this trip connects with is sold out. If you want to sail this trip, you either need to continue on to Tahiti with us ($500 discount off second leg), find another way home (charter flight to Tarawa?) or stay on Kiritimati until there is a flight with space on it (possibly May) ***** Please contact us (email@example.com) if you are interested and want to discuss.
Sign up Now with only a $500 deposit! It’s non refundable if you back out, but if we cancel or modify the trip we are happy to return your money or apply it to a different voyage. Please review the Crew Contract for full details. The remaining balance will be due December 22.
Call Us: +1 (305) 330-4212 (Pacific Time) If we don’t pick up, leave a message and we’ll get back to you ASAP.
“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 – 11: Underway Offshore
We’ll have some nice fast sailing on our way to the Central Pacific atoll of Kiritimati. Fingers crossed we’ll be visited by dolphins, whales and endless sea birds. The warm tropical sailing will be quite the treat!
Day 12: Arrival in Kiritimati
This will be a relatively slow day – after a morning arrival we’ll clear customs & immigration and deal with paperwork. With any luck it won’t take too long, so we can get a chance to explore the island and go swimming in the afternoon.
Day 12-15: Explore Kiritimati
We’ll spend a few days exploring the largest atoll on the world before everyone moves ashore to spend the final night in a hotel before an early morning flight
Day 16: Departure
You’ll get a ride to the airport early in the morning to catch the weekly plane back to Honolulu.
– 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
You will join the boat in Ko Olina between 1500-1700 on the first day. You will depart Sea Dragon in Kiritimati on the final day of the trip. Depending on available accommodations, you will either spend the last night of the trip on board Sea Dragon, or on shore in a hotel. If it’s on shore, this will be included n the cost of the voyage. We will arrange transportation to the airport to meet the Fiji Airways flight back to Hawaii, but you will need to buy your own plane ticket.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is about a 30 minute drive from Ko Olina. Cassidy International (CXI) is about a 15 minute drive from where Sea Dragon will be anchored. There is one flight a week from Kiritimati to Hawaii, FJ 822 on Fiji Airways. It departs Kiritimati on Wednesday, March 8 and arrives in Honolulu on Tuesday March 7 due to the international date line.
Captain Holly Vint: I first started sailing when I was 19 on what I had thought was a “once-in-a-lifetime” passage from Plymouth, UK, to La Coruna, Spain, but during this voyage I became totally invested in a life at sea. The trip had been with a British youth sail training organisation and I became a volunteer for that charity throughout university before leaving in 2015, gaining my yachting qualifications and becoming a full-time sailor. During my career I have worked for various charities around the UK, all of which specialise in providing valuable experiences for vulnerable or disadvantaged young people through the medium of sailing. I also instruct adults on adventurous coastal and offshore trips across the Atlantic, from arctic Norway to Cuba and many places in between, with some of the ocean crossings being undertaken by celestial navigation only. I have been lucky enough to work on Sea Dragon a few times throughout my career so far, on eXXpedition voyages researching the prevalence of oceanic plastic pollution from Senegal to Brazil to Guyana, in the Caribbean, and around Britain – and I’m super excited to get back on board once more. I am a Yachtmaster Instructor and hold my Yachtmaster Ocean with commercial endorsement and Proficiency in Medical Care certificates. I have sailed 55,000+nm.
First Mate Tom Newsom: I grew up in Lymington, a town rich in sailing culture, sailing dinghies with my dad. When I was 16, I got my Day Skipper license and did a delivery in Norway, which was stunning. I was awed by the luminescent water, and the deep, quiet, and vast fjords. After that experience, I decided I wanted to make a career out of the sea. After university I worked at a chandlery for a while, and then began sailing with Clipper, doing training for their guests. I’ve recently returned from East Greenland, where we dealt with fog, ice, and gales, and I’m excited to head to warmer weather this winter to pick up some vitamin D. I hold a commercially endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore, and have sailed more than 10,000nm.