To Japan, again! 2023 Starr Voyage

To Japan, again! 2023 Starr Voyage

We are preparing to take Starr on what will most likely be our last significant passage.

I’m turning 80 next month and Sharry is three years into being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.  Sharry and I have been holding hands for 60 years.

Sharry paddling her OC-1 off Diamond Head over the summer

While we are both grieving the loss of her memory, we also want to keep living our lives the best that we can.

We are told that the best thing for Sharry is to get vigorous exercise and have social contact and cognitive stimulation.

Sharry is most at peace when the boat is on extended voyages. She loves being on night watch looking at the stars. To top that off, Japan is her favorite cruising ground.

We plan on departing Honolulu tomorrow for the 3300nm run to Guam and then another 1200nm to Okinawa. The last few months have been filled with testing and maintenance!

Testing the diesel-powered emergency pump

Why might a nearly-new watermaker membrane produce bad water? A crack…better to find out in Honolulu than half-way across the Pacific.

The plan is to cruise up the west coast of Japan and be in Hokkaido by the end of May.  Once in Hokkaido we will look for a weather window to run to Attu in the Aleutians. From there we explore the Aleutian Islands and cruise Prince William Sound., South East Alaska down through BC to Seattle.

Crewing with us will be Celeste Mausolf, Sam Landsman as co-captain , and Clay Hutchinson from the Kaneohe Yacht Club here on Oahu.  Clay crewed in 2019 on the Hawaii to Unalaska island run and again on the 2019 Seattle to Hawaii voyage.

Clay on the 2019 Seattle to Honolulu run. We hope not to repeat the flooded-swimstep experience!

Advantech/Freeman never could make our hatches waterproof, so we modified them with inflatable gaskets. They will get a good test on the coming trip.

We expect to cover about 14,000nm and plan on Starr being back in Hawaii late October.

This passage will be significantly different because we have Starlink satellite system and we hope to be on line through most of the voyage.

Out with the old (Seatel satellite TV) and in with the new (Starlink)! One of the Starlink antennas is hidden in the old Seatel dome, the other is on the aft deck.

This is a first for me to share the captains’ duties. Sam has been on Starr for the past 9 months and is a great addition to the crew, he is really fun to work with and a whiz in dealing with the ever challenging  electronics.

Sam working on replacing a failed seawater fitting

Sam doing some boat yoga

Sam hopes to get some good drone pictures along the way

Celeste has been with us for almost a year and is a great pal for Sharry and has been a nurse for 35 years . She lives on a boat with Joe, her significant other. This will be Celeste’s first ocean passage and I know she will do just fine.

Celeste traveled with us to Seattle.

She learned to drive the dinghy in Hanalei Bay

Celeste and Sharry working out on Starr

We head out tomorrow, Wednesday the 8th, and expect  robust easterlies with gusts in the 30’s. You can track our progress by clicking here.

  • Joseph Alan Wertz
    Posted at 18:54h, 07 February Reply

    Have FUN Youse kids! TYVM for sharing.

  • Atle Moe
    Posted at 20:28h, 07 February Reply

    Safe travels and here is to a “boring crossing” which is what we pray for every time we cast off. All the best, Atle from Florida.

  • Cindy and Dick Metler
    Posted at 20:52h, 07 February Reply

    Have a wonderful voyage!!! We’ll be following along so keep the blog up to date. And speaking of dates, we’ll hold our breakfast at the Bay rendezvous until you return. We are off to Baja by van on the 20th.
    Safe travels
    Cindy and Dick

  • Ginger Marshall
    Posted at 21:46h, 07 February Reply

    How exciting, Don & Sharry! Good for you to take life as you get it and continue to make it a thrill! We will be watching you and hold you in our thoughts for a safe journey 🙂

    Ginger & Gary, LivLife

  • michael s. castleton
    Posted at 21:54h, 07 February Reply

    Starr is a beautiful Vessel. Wish you a safe voyage and Godspeed.

  • Doug Cole
    Posted at 22:43h, 07 February Reply


    Will be eager to follow your progress. Have a wonderful trip.


  • Donna J Lee
    Posted at 22:57h, 07 February Reply

    Bon voyage! Thanks for the great post and update.

  • Joe and Elayne Golberg
    Posted at 01:02h, 08 February Reply

    Bob Voyage Don, Sherri and the Starr crew. We send our love and wishes for a pleasant and safe passage.

  • Joe and Elayne Golberg
    Posted at 01:02h, 08 February Reply

    Oops, Bon Voyage!

  • Mike Gaylord
    Posted at 01:11h, 08 February Reply

    Smooth seas…

  • Judy Vandever
    Posted at 01:15h, 08 February Reply

    Have a great journey! You deserve it.

  • Duke
    Posted at 03:48h, 08 February Reply

    Truly the best news! Fair winds and following please! We will watch. We have good ideas for Hokkaido. Luv ya, Duke

  • mike harrington
    Posted at 04:27h, 08 February Reply

    Have a great trip!

  • Lori Lloyd
    Posted at 05:27h, 08 February Reply

    Aloha ’oe Don and Sharry, until we meet again have a safe and happy voyage! XXOO Lori

  • Jan and Tom White
    Posted at 16:46h, 08 February Reply

    Cheers to both of you and your crew. We wish Sharry a wonderful trip.

  • Dave Heaps
    Posted at 21:59h, 08 February Reply

    Mayfair skies and smooth seas be the major part of your voyage. It is great to see you continue for the time being the many great passages of star. Bon voyage. Dave and Sharon Heaps.

  • Paul Fredrickson
    Posted at 22:00h, 08 February Reply

    Safe passage, go with God and thank you for your friendship

  • John Douglas
    Posted at 22:18h, 08 February Reply

    Hi Don Hi Sharry!
    Hurrah and Bon Voyage!
    Rendezvous in Southeast Alaska!
    All the best my friends.

  • Hal Wyman
    Posted at 01:36h, 09 February Reply

    Bon Voyage, you all.

  • Douglas MacQuarrie
    Posted at 03:39h, 09 February Reply

    Putting the intention out there that, That this trip, is beyond your expectations… 🙏

  • Steve James
    Posted at 13:31h, 09 February Reply

    Don and Sharry, have a great cruise and know you remain an inspiration.

  • Peter Powell
    Posted at 16:57h, 09 February Reply

    Once again, I’m living vicariously thru you and Sherry!! Love your stories and pictures! Let me know how the StarLink does!

  • Don
    Posted at 19:52h, 09 February Reply

    We are 204 nm out and just completed a 1/2 hr FaceTime with Sharry’s doctor. we were dropped once but back on in seconds.
    Where is your big cat at this time?.


  • Bev Desmarais
    Posted at 21:27h, 12 February Reply

    Wow! I didn’t know I had such adventurous cousins! Bev from Vancouver; daughter of Walt Johnson, Son of Anna Alfredia Johnson ,Sister of Olga. We were boaters too but never ocean voyage like this. Just local waters Seattle up to Desolation Sound. I was actually at your wedding and happy you have had a long and wonderful life and here’s to many more!. I will be looking forward to following your Journey. Have a safe and wonderful trip!

  • Victor Hernandez
    Posted at 21:48h, 17 February Reply

    Wishing you and interesting and no excitement passage. My biggest lesson in life:
    Normal Excellent.
    Boring Good.
    Excitement BAD!

  • Dean
    Posted at 02:07h, 18 February Reply

    Thanks for taking us along with you

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