I went sailing on a friend's boat to the island just south of Saipan, Tinian. This was a trip I've done on my boat so I thought it would be good to head over with Dr. Ron as he didn't want to sail alone. We had an uneventful start leaving the marina, where he switched off the diesel engine right out of the Marina's channel. The wind was fairly non-existent so I asked if he would motor a little more until we at least exited the harbor. Ron stated there was a small oil leak so he wanted to use the engine as little as possible. It took us around 45 minutes to leave Saipan harbor in the light wind conditions (which felt like ages) and the wind did pick up as we got further from shore. This could have easily been accomplished in 15 minutes if he would have kept the engine going. As we were about to reach the channel between Tinian a squal was coming up from behind. So basically we went from too little wind to too much wind. Both of us are beginner sailors at this point, although Dr. Ron seemed a lot less concerned about the conditions than me. We dropped some canvas as the wind kept picking up and the swells grew considerably in the channel. After the squal passed, the conditions were great with sunny weather and about 10 knot winds. We had been pushed far into the inside of the channel and didn't seem to be making much progress of rounding the northern tip of Tinian. After some debate how we could actually be moving, but not overtaking the current (which is notoriously strong in the channel) Dr. Ron reluctantly fired up the engine and we motor sailed to round the northern tip of Tinian and down towards Tinian harbor on the Southwest part of the island. I hooked a nice Mahi which unfortuately got off the hook as I was trying to lift it into the boat without a gaff... lesson learned. We finally made it to Tinian harbor and anchored near the same spot as we do for Tinian's Pika festival, not far from the mouth of the harbor. This is a nice protected spot with easy access to the shore by dingy or even swimming. The trip had taken around 9 hours so we were mutually exhausted. We had some dinner and crashed out, deciding to make an early exit to sail back to Saipan the following day. It was a nice shakedown cruise and great way to spend the weekend. Ron found a few more issues with the sailboat and also needed to get the engine sorted. We were trolling the whole way back to Saipan, but no luck with the fishing now that we had the gaff ready. Just like my boat, his was made in Japan as well. I found the Yamaha 26 he bought needed winds of at least 12-15 knots to really get moving. Overall, this seemed like a well built boat with a spacious interior for the size. I was already planning my next sail to Tinian as soon as we got back.
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