Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW LEADERBOARD

Blind sailor teams up with OCC member to cross the Pacific

by Daria Blackwell 6 Jan 2019 06:02 UTC
Hiro Iwamoto © Daria Blackwell

OCC Associate Member and Skipper Doug Smith and his good friend Hiro Iwamoto are scheduled to sail across the Pacific non-stop from San Diego to Fukushima, Japan with a departure date scheduled for February 24th in Dream Weaver, a 41 foot Island Packet. The interesting component here is that Doug is the novice sailor and Hiro is the experienced skipper, but one who happens to be completely blind. This will be Doug's qualifying ocean voyage for Full Membership in the Ocean Cruising Club. This is not Hiro's first attempt.

Back in 2013, he and another crewmate sailed out of Japan-bound for San Diego, California. Unfortunately, six days into the voyage their 6-ton yacht was taking on water in really rough seas due to unscheduled tussle with a blue whale and an unexpected typhoon 700 nautical miles from land! After radioing in a distress call, the two crewmen were forced to abandon ship into their covered rubber raft where they endured 15 foot waves and 30 knot winds. Sea conditions were so fierce amphibious aircraft were unable to rescue them for eleven hours. Despite this experience, Hiro remains determined to inspire others to overcome adversity and work to achieve their dreams.

Doug, who resided in Japan where he first met Hiro, feels strongly about the power of the organizations the team is supporting to make a real difference in the world. Not surprisingly, the charities they support involve helping those with curable blindness. For more details on how you can contribute, visit their website voyageofinspiration.com.

And on Saturday, January 19th from 4-5 p.m. the Voyage of Inspiration team will be meeting supporters and fellow sailors to offer details about their voyage followed by appetizers and drinks at the Boathouse Restaurant next to the marina.

"But, I will challenge again with my friend, Doug," says Hiro Iwamoto. "We undertake this voyage not only for personal accomplishment, but to send a message that anything is possible when people come together. In this case, a blind (but experienced) sailor and a novice (but sighted) sailor, will each compensate for the other's weaknesses to complete a non¬stop trip across the Pacific that is expected to take 60 days. This Voyage of Inspiration is about taking action and making a difference, the same theme connecting the causes we wish to support including preventable and curable blindness."

Dream Weaver Yacht Showcase Time January 19, 2019 4:00~5:00PM Location Harbour Island West Marina, slip 210, 2040 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92101 Tel: 619-291-6440 - www.harborislandwest.com

Bon Voyage Party Time January 19, 2019 5:00~8:00PM Location Boathouse Restaurant 2040 Harbor Island Drive, San Diego, California 92101 - www.boathouserestaurant.com

We need to know how many people are attending, so please send your RSVP to . Thank you for your cooperation. Details here.

Related Articles

Seismic activity pattern at La Soufriere changed
The Seismic Research Centre has released their 6pm 15th April Scientific Update. The Seismic Research Centre has released their 6pm 15th April Scientific Update. NEMO's Soufriere Bulletin 64, containing similar information, has also just been made available. Posted on 17 Apr
Immediate needs list - St Vincent & the Grenadines
Caribbean island of St Vincent was rocked by multiple explosive eruptions of La Soufrière volcano The Caribbean island of St Vincent was rocked by multiple explosive eruptions of La Soufrière volcano. National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) posted an immediate needs list. Posted on 15 Apr
Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season Forecast published
Above-normal activity anticipated "We anticipate that the 2021 Atlantic basin hurricane season will have above-normal activity." Colorado State University (CSU) released its first formal forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season on Thursday, 8 April. Posted on 12 Apr
Best practices in Jordan Series Drogue deployment
Experienced blue water sailors share their knowledge Experienced blue water sailors share their knowledge of how and when to deploy the drogue to ensure the safety of vessel and crew under challenging conditions. Posted on 1 Apr
US National Data Buoy Center shut down its servers
Since March 9th, the NDBC servers have been down Since March 9th, the NDBC servers have been down, so all systems that were tracking weather and/or sea state or otherwise dependant on the NDBC buoys have had no inputs. Posted on 16 Mar
OCC announces cooperation with GOES
GOES enables mariners to collect water samples and analyse them for microplastics GOES is a citizen science project that enables mariners to collect water samples and analyse them for microplastics and plankton. It is coordinated by OCC member Dr Howard Dryden. Posted on 11 Mar
What we mean when we say: Microplastics
We've all heard of them, but what do they mean for us and the waters we sail? 'Microplastics'. We've all heard of them, but what do they mean for us and the waters we sail? Sailors, forget the saying out of sight, out of mind, just because we cannot see them, doesn't mean they aren't there... Posted on 3 Mar
OCC POR for Puerto Williams assists solo sailor
Whitall Strokes departed San Francisco in November 2020 Sparrow departed San Francisco 8 November 2020 to attempt a solo nonstop unassisted voyage around the world. Posted on 14 Feb
Ocean Cruising Club Charitable Trust formed
The Charity Commission for England and Wales has approved the OCC Charitable Trust The Charity Commission for England and Wales has approved the OCC Charitable Trust. After all of the challenges of 2020, we finally have some good news. Posted on 8 Feb
Additional 2020 OCC Award Recipients
Ocean Cruising Club awards are normally presented at our Annual Dinner Ocean Cruising Club awards are normally presented at our Annual Dinner but, for the second year in a row, we have been forced to cancel this event. Posted on 25 Jan
Sea Sure 2021 - Blakes Toilets - FOOTERStoneways Marine 2021 - FOOTERSelden 2020 - FOOTER