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Expert Level Sailing


The SV Solstice is built and equipped to handle every ocean-sailing condition to be expected, including extreme sailing. She’s expertly designed, maintained, and sailed by Paul Exner, her builder/skipper. The Solstice/Exner combo is forever at home when immersed under sail, whether it be calm-water or managing 40+ knot gusts and heavy seas.

The SV Solstice is built and equipped to handle every ocean-sailing condition to be expected, including extreme sailing. She’s expertly designed, maintained, and sailed by Paul Exner, her builder/skipper. The Solstice/Exner combo is forever at home when immersed under sail, whether it be calm-water or managing 40+ knot gusts and heavy seas.

Paul Exner teams-up with two experienced sailors who’ll join him to practice the Technical Art of Ocean Sailing aboard the Sailing Vessel Solstice, ready and equipped to handle the ocean waters of Hawaii—this will prove to be a fun and rewarding challenge for expert-level sailors seeking to roll-up-their-sleeves and do what they do best—sail.

In any sport or endeavor worth pursuing, we must perform along-side other expert-level practitioners and embrace the immediacy of the tasks at hand … this Expert Level Sailing expedition does just that—it puts you in the drivers seat alongside expert sailor Paul Exner who will give you the tiller and coach you through the intense seamanship scenarios we’ll encounter along the way … this expedition gives you a good reason to get off the couch, and do something meaningful for yourself.

The Hawaiian Islands lay in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and south of the Tropic of Cancer. Despite a common perception that Hawaii is a warm paradise, Hawaiian climate is subject to “tropical,” “mountain,” AND “frontal” weather. It’s common to experience a wide variety of weather including a mix of dry-air, rain-squalls, and warm/cold temperatures—that’s the truth about Hawaii, and it’s still considered a raw and pure tropical destination with remote anchorages only accessible by boat.

Sail with Paul Exner and practice at the expert level.

Easterly Trade Winds of 12-18 knots generally flow across Hawaii in winter, and 20+ knots in early summer. Northerly winds occasionally impact the islands too when fronts descend from the northwest. Hawaiian sailing conditions offer great variety—winds between 5-35 knots are commonly experienced during a week of sailing depending on regional barometric conditions and whether we’re sailing in the lee of a volcanic mountain, or experiencing accelerated winds within inter-island channels where Trades Winds are propelled between cold mountain-air and warm coasts. Sailing in the lee of high volcanoes sometimes offers protection from the Trades where light-and-variable winds prevail. Inter-island channels can produce winds that exceed 35+ knots under the “right” conditions when land/sea temperatures have a relatively high difference and the barometric gradient is also steep; sometimes channel winds will average 10 knots higher than the Trades on the same day and are known to “wrap” around the tips of islands and rip along a leeward coast.

Some leeward-coast cities like Kailua-Kona (west coast, big island) are exceptionally dry and report monthly rainfall of 2” while eastern facing Hilo (big island, windward-coast) reports 14+ inches of rain per month, and 30+ inches at higher elevations monthly.

Some leeward-coast cities like Kailua-Kona (west coast, big island) are exceptionally dry and report monthly rainfall of 2” while eastern facing Hilo (big island, windward-coast) reports 14+ inches of rain per month, and 30+ inches at higher elevations monthly.

Coastal air-temperatures on leeward coasts fluctuate daily as warm sea breezes blow during the day between 75-85ºF, and cold land breezes descend from volcanic mountains to chill the coast to 58-72ºF at night. Leeward coasts are also generally drier than windward, but squally weather can be expected year-round anywhere in the Hawaiian Islands due to frontal passages, upper-level troughs, or low pressure systems that bring blankets of moist-air to the region or cause Trade Winds to bend around the islands to produce accelerated-winds that disturb an otherwise idyllic shore. Windward coasts are continually bombarded by moist easterly Trade Winds and typically receive a barrage of wind and rain as moist air rushes up windward facing volcanic mountains (Mauna Kea at 13,803’).

Hawaii is renown for epic surf—swells come to Hawaii from every corner of the Pacific Ocean including the Tasman and Bering Seas. During winter months, coastlines will experience ground swells 50% of the time, meaning that wave periods of 12-14 seconds with Significant Wave Heights of 6-12+ feet are common. Along the western shores of Hawaii in winter, ground swells invade the typical “calm” shores and juxtapose an undulating sea against light-and-variable winds. Winter swells become visible on the sea’s surface in 30’ of water-depth but are of no concern (barely recognizable) in deep water. When higher winds blow, a short-period heavy wind-wave of 6-8’ is produced offshore along leeward coasts and everywhere that’s not protected by land. Summer swell conditions are relatively flat unless a Central Pacific Hurricane is grinding along.

PRICE … $3,650/person, 7-Day Expedition

ONE BERTH AVAILABLE … Jan. 11-18, 2020

DEPART and RETURN … Kona, Hawaii (KOA)

FINE PRINT: Reschedule / Cancellation / Credit Policy

Later Event: February 15
Hawaii Offshore Expedition