Please select your home edition
Edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard

Blind sailor teams up with OCC member to cross the Pacific

by Daria Blackwell 6 Jan 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

OCC Regional Rear Commodores' report for GB
A busy season so far with visits from several members Bill and Laurie Balme did a great job of organising this fun event which was the first 'on the water' joint event with the RWYC since they offered us a reciprocity arrangement. Posted on 14 Jun
OCC report from NE USA
A number of exciting events scheduled for this sailing season Although it might say we have reached spring according to the calendar, the northern part of our region is still caught in winter's grip while the southern area is seeing temperatures in the 60s. Posted on 13 Jun
NOAA released for 2019 hurricane season
2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially gets under way today As the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially gets under way June 1, NOAA forecasters say that El Nino and a warmer-than-average Atlantic will shape this season's storm frequency and intensity. Posted on 1 Jun
The Western Caribbean Cookbook
What do you get when you mix a rally of Ocean Cruising Club members? What do you get when you mix a rally of Ocean Cruising Club members, their boats, and the waters of the Western Caribbean? Well, a cookbook of course! Posted on 28 May
Scottish Open House Weekend 2019
Boats from all directions converged with the Celtic Rally Boats from all directions, as well as members arriving by land, converged with the Celtic Rally at Commodore Simon & Sally Currin's home in Traighuain. Posted on 22 May
OCC RoRC report - West Coast of North America
Winter pause Our 2018 cruising season ended with the advent of November and arrival in Blaine. People have asked us "Why Blaine?" After our long haul across the North Pacific a goal was to park Spruce, travel east and visit family and friends in the UK. Posted on 29 Apr
OCC RoRC report from the Caribbean
Good fortune with an imminent good weather opportunity When we last reported shortly after Christmas we could not believe our good fortune with an imminent good weather opportunity... Posted on 28 Apr
OCC RoRC report from Scandinavia
Active planning the summer It's that time of year when, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are active planning the summer. We are no exception. Posted on 28 Apr
Blind sailor crosses the Pacific Ocean
The happiest person on earth Mitsuhiro Iwamoto, with the assistance of OCC member, Doug Smith, arrived in Japan on the 20th April after 55 days at sea. Posted on 25 Apr
First Regatta "Challenge of Cabo Horn", March 2019
Exploration of the fjords, glaciers, pinguineras and castoreiras Last February, I embarked in sail vessel 'Guga Buy' of Eduardo Zanella, which was in Ushuaia, for some exploration of the fjords, glaciers, pinguineras, castoreiras, among others, to acquire background with navigation in high latitudes. Posted on 16 Apr
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - FooterVaikobi 2019 - Footer 1Marine Resources 2019 - Footer