More From Micronesia - West Wind Hardwood

In our last issue (Volume 41) and post we had written about Noel Lynam and Kathy Hayes; currently living in Kolonia, Pohnpei, Micronesia. Who are in the process of making repairs to their sailboat. We asked to know more about them and their story, so here it is:

* photos taken in Canada, Hawaii, Marshall Islands, and working on the boat in Pohnpei.

Kathy and I worked for the British Antarctic Survey for 6 years, Kathy as a research scientist and myself as a navigation officer on the research ship RRS Ernest Shackleton. We met on this ship on our way to Antarctica for our first season south. We quickly discovered that we both had an interest in boats and after a number of years of saving decided to buy a yacht and go sailing.
We started looking and narrowing down what we wanted from the vast number of yachts available to the first time buyer. With my experiences on my family’s wooden boat, wood quickly became our preference. To this day we still believe this was the best thing we did despite the number of people who thought we were crazy! We found 2 custom build Masan yachts to look at, one in Seattle and the other in Nanaimo, British Columbia. We chose the latter, SV/Integrity II and officially moved onto her in July 2007. We remained in Nanaimo for the winter getting the boat ready for blue water cruising and finally left the marina in January 2008. We cruised around British Columbia visiting placed like Princess Lousia, Silva Bay, Montague Harbour and Secret Cove. This was a time of learning the intricacies of Integrity II and finally cutting “land-ties”. Princess Lousia still remains our favorite cruising location to this day. Somewhere we both look forward to re-visiting.

Integrity II is a custom built Mason 38 ketch. She is very heavily built, with strip plank construction of 1.5 inch cypress with Keyaki frames.

Keyaki is a Japanese hardwood which is used for building temples in Japan.

Integrity II was built in Taiwan in 1965 and upon completion shipped to California where she  was sold . The couple that built the Integrity II founded the company  Transpacific  Marine which is still in operation, but now based in China.

We finally left Canada in May 2008 and sailed to Hilo, Hawaii. This took us 5 weeks, a long first passage where we both learnt a lot. Frustrating at the time, but upon reflection a very enjoyable passage.

After 4 months in Hawaii both on the Big Island and our favorite in Molokai we left for Marjuro, marshall Islands. This time it was the perfect passage of trade winds, fishing, starry night’s and deep clue seas. We remained in Majuro for 4 months and debated our next move – Fiji or the more unknown Federated States of Micronesia.

We chose Micronesia and after a beautiful 10 day sail from Majuro we arrived in Kosrae, the eastern most island of Micronesia. Kosrae is a small, mountainous and very green island also known as “The Sleeping Lady” due to a mountain formation. Kosrae soon became our home for 15 months with Kathy getting a job teaching at the high school and the College of Micronesia. We enjoyed our time in Kosrae, but the need to haulout was pressing and so we left in June 2010 for the short 300 mile sail to Pohnpei, the capital island of Micronesia.

Pohnpei  has been very good to us these past 2 years, Kathy got a job teaching again at the college, we hauled the boat and embarked on a major re-fit. We stripped the boat back to bare wood, replaced al thru hulls, replaced 101 floor bolts and 48 of the chain plate bolts, made repairs on the hull and varnished above the water line, replaced all our rigging and stepped both masts where we discovered some sections that need replacing resulting in the discovery of Westwind Hardwoods.

We’re currently just waiting to go back in the water and completing the work on the masts.

After Pohnpei, we will head back to the Marshall Islands. Kathy has been offered a job there teaching and we are both looking forward to returning to place we enjoyed and being able to see far more of it this time round.

After that who knows,  the thought of the north coast of  BC is very alluring, we will just have to wait and see………

– By Noel Lynam


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