What’s It Like to Sail Across the Pacific?

Note from editor: Today’s post was written by Jessica Hadden specially for Breaking Out

Before now, I was sceptical about sailing. While I love travelling, sailing wasn’t my thing at all. That changed when I met my husband five years ago. He is a natural-born sailor and he loves sailing and travelling. He and I began travelling (excluding sailing) until I summoned enough courage to give sailing a shot. I have not looked back ever since.  If you would like to sail across the pacific but do not know what it is like or what to expect, here are things to expect:

Windy Days and Nights

One of the things you should brace yourself for is the wind. On more than one occasion, the wind will be against you. When I first gave sailing a try, the wind did not come as a surprise to me because my husband talked to me about it. I felt the effect on a daily basis and most nights. When you sail across the pacific, you are literally going to sail into the wind. Every now and then, you will hear noise coming from the hull and rudder of your sailboat.


I was so excited about finally making a bold decision to go offshore. However, the intense excitement soon waned after a few days probably because I wasn’t particularly into it from the get go. These days I look forward to sailing and enjoy every bit of it. In the beginning you will be excited. That thrill and exhilaration will linger if sailing is something you enjoy. You will enjoy watching the coastline disappear when you first leave the seashore. 

Risky but amazing 

I imagined what would happen if any of us fell overboard. It was only an imagination! The biggest risk you would face is falling overboard. Nobody fell overboard fortunately. That said, we made provision for a two clip safety harness securely attached to a strong metal. We agreed that anyone leaving the cockpit or cabin to the deck must have it strapped on him.

On a lighter note, you would see lots of fish and whales. From time to time, some fish will be stranded in your cockpit. Generally, the feeling is fantastic. I enjoyed sailing from Hawaii to California. My second experience was sailing from LA to Hawaii which presented even more fun.

Prepare for the cold

It can get really cold out there. Make sure that you are prepared for that, although most sailboats have proper heating equipment. If you are one of those sailing the boat, be ready to experience a little bit of discomfort when it is your turn to sail the boat if your shift falls in the middle of a cold night. The implication is that you would have to leave your warmed up cabin for a cold cockpit. Apart from the little discomfort from time to time, it is just pure happiness.


If you are going to sail for two weeks or more, at some point boredom must set in, whether you are in the company of family members, friends or even your spouse. Sooner or later you would crave other activities that cannot be performed on a sailboat. I remember missing jogging every morning round my neighbourhood, and walking my dog. I thoroughly missed hanging out with my girlfriends. The books I packed came to my rescue; I had to read and reread them just to pass the time. I missed seeing roads, trees, cars, and other human beings.  After a few days, you will get used to seeing the planetarium sky.

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