Please select your home edition
Edition
GJW 2018 728x90

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

The BBC REEL spotlights Peter Café Sport in Horta
A delightful interview with OCC Honorary Member José Henrique Azevedo "The post office 930 miles from the mainland" features a delightful interview with OCC Honorary Member José Henrique Azevedo, PO for Horta since 2007. Posted on 17 Aug
OCC Challenge now accepting applications
A Challenge Grant to encourage ambitious expeditions for environmental conservation The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC) has established a Challenge Grant to encourage ambitious expeditions for environmental conservation or challenging oceangoing adventures and is now accepting applications for the 2020 season! Posted on 13 Aug
OCC RoRC report from Mexico
Suzanne and David Chappell head north to Mexico and the US The Suzie Too Rally is over, I'm sad and happy at the same time, sad because I've loved visiting all the fabulous places, experiencing all the vibrant cultures and meeting happy people en route, and making good friends with my fellow sailing buddies. Posted on 30 Jul
OCC RoRC report from the Atlantic Islands
Final report for Roving Rear Commodores Jonathan and Anne Lloyd At the start of April, Sofia was safely tucked up in the snug anchorage of Royal Island at the northern end of Eleuthera waiting out yet another significant cold front. Posted on 29 Jul
OCC RoRC report from beautiful British Columbia
Gulf Islands are fashionable not only due to proximity but also sandy beaches & recreational trails In broad terms, the Gulf Islands, closer to urban populations in the south, are fashionable not only due to proximity but also sandy beaches, recreational trails and some tourist facilities. Posted on 28 Jul
OCC Southern New England Cruise in Bristol Harbour
Thousands of people attended the 234th annual Independence Day Parade in Bristol Members enjoyed a BBQ at the lovely home of Jill Westcott and John Bell followed by a parade and fireworks in the historic town. Posted on 7 Jul
OCC Lifetime Cruising Award for Pardeys
Lin and Larry are legendary North American sailors Past Commodore Anne Hammick arranged for Lin to accept the award on behalf of herself and Larry Pardey while on a visit to the UK. Posted on 5 Jul
Circumnavigating the Americas on Novara
Steve Brown set off from Camden, Maine and returned 5 years later Rambler Award-winning adventure sailor Steve Brown departed Camden in the summer of 2014, sailed around the Americas via the Northwest Passage and Antarctica, climbed a few mountains along the way, and returned to Camden 5 years later. Posted on 28 Jun
Announcing the OCC Challenge Grant
A Challenge Grant to encourage challenging oceangoing adventures The OCC has established a Challenge Grant to encourage ambitious expeditions for environmental conservation or challenging oceangoing adventures. Posted on 22 Jun
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
Vaikobi 2019 - Footer 2Sailing Holidays 2019 - BOTTOMGJW Direct - Yacht 2019 - Footer