In 2002 I went to the Explore weekend seminar at London’s distinguished Royal Geographical Society. I was to be the sponsorship organizer for an archaeological expedition to Peru, going in search of Inca ruins in the cloudforest near Machu Picchu, and the expedition leader had recommended Explore as a great opportunity to learn about the nuts and bolts of planning an expedition.

At the end of the seminar a man came on stage to demonstrate the “Buff” – a tube of thin fabric that could be twisted into all kinds of headgear (beanie, balaclava, skullcap, snood), tied around a ponytail, used as a tourniquet, whatever. And we were all given a free sample.

My faithful Buff then traveled with me the length and breadth of Peru, up mountains and down gorges. It came with me across the Atlantic, holding my baseball hat on my head on the windier days. And now it is here with me on the Pacific, still going strong.

But I’d never really LOOKED at it until the other day. It was just a garment, not something to be examined. But it caught my eye, dangling from a line in the roof of my cabin, while I was eating my dinner. And what did I see when I looked at the grey repeat pattern of the fabric?

Waikiki Beach.

Yes, the design on my well-worn Buff shows an illustrated map of my present destination. As well as the beach, it shows the Outrigger Canoe Club, Moana Hotel, Waikiki Tavern (sounds promising!), Kalakaua Avenue and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

It seems just a little bit spooky.

And this seems like a good opportunity to say Aloha to Bobbie Jennings and the other wonderful people at the Waikiki Yacht Club. I was introduced to them by my friend Adrian Flanagan, who had to pull in there for impromptu repairs during his solo vertical circumnavigation of the world a couple of years ago. I gave a presentation there last November, and was given the warmest of welcomes. I know they have been working with my weatherguy, Rick Shema, in preparation for my arrival, and I’d like to say a big thank you, and that I can’t wait to be back at the WYC.

And the Peruvian expedition? Yes, we did find our Inca ruins!

Other stuff:

Position at 2030 25th August HST, 0730 26th August UTC: 21 57.569’N, 154 14.907’W.

Today I crossed another line of longitude – and one of latitude. The Waikiki Yacht Club lies at 21 17.250’N, 157 50.550’W, so I am gradually homing in. Michael has kindly plotted my position, plus that of the JUNK and the WYC. Looks like I am following exactly in their wake! Very exciting to see how close I am to Hawaii. I am still using my Tomtom for navigation, but it hasn’t yet found a road for me to follow to the Waikiki Yacht Club.

Meanwhile, my mother is homing in on Hawaii too. Today she flew from the UK to San Francisco. She spends a couple of days there before flying to Honolulu on the 28th to await my arrival.

More birds, more tweeting today. They seem to like traveling in groups of 5, and they circle vertically, as if they were on an invisible ferris wheel – very entertaining. I’ve been getting a crick in my neck, trying to watch them while not letting up at the oars!

Thank you to all the people who have written in, especially: Mikala – afraid I won’t be in Hawaii for the Molokai race at the end of September – duty calls on the mainland – but I will be back January-March next year. I hope to see you very soon! John H – waves up to 25 feet in the Molokai Channel? Not sure I wanted to know that! Hi also to Milly, Ami, Margo and Greg., Sandy, Nancy and Cathy.

And if you haven’t yet voted in the Amex Members’ Project – please, please, please do so. You don’t have to be an Amex cardholder – you can register as a guest. It won’t cost you a penny, and could seriously help me out – and help me spread the message about the oceans. Thank you!

Click here to view Day 93 of the Atlantic Crossing 3 March 2006: Whether the weather helps or not.

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