ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The hull of Tracy Hollister’s boat, Ingrid Princess, appeared around the breakwater at the West End Mooring Basin just before 2 p.m. Oct. 16. A friend and fellow sailor, Brian Thom, waited on a paddleboard to greet him, while Hollister’s wife, Michelle, whooped and waved her hands on the docks, eager to see her husband for the first time in nearly three months.
Hollister’s arrival in Astoria marked the end of 49 days sailing alone across the Pacific Ocean from Japan, and the culmination of a two-year, on-and-off journey around much of the Pacific Rim.
Hollister, 42, a carpenter and homebuilder from Hood River, left Chichijima, Japan, a small island about 600 miles south of Tokyo, Aug. 29 and headed east-northeast, following the clockwise winds and currents on the north Pacific toward the West Coast.
Hollister said he took a two-month supply of water and food, since the usual trip takes 36 to 40 days in fair weather. But Hollister found himself skirting about five different storm systems along the way, amid a record storm season driven by El Niño.
Hollister is the fifth owner of Ingrid Princess. Flanking him during his return at the West End Mooring Basin were Skip Masters and David Rankin, two previous owners of the boat. Rankin, who exchanged a duplex for the vessel in 1984, had already sailed the boat around the world with his wife, Diane, by the time they sold it to Masters, who had owned the vessel eight years and sailed it between Oregon and Alaska. Masters ran into Hollister at a hops fest in Hood River in 2008.
The owners all lauded the Ingrid 38 model, which was built by Blue Water Boats in Seattle in the 1970s and based on a Norwegian lifeboat. The boat is designed to ride well on the ocean, they said, while its steering system allows a single person to control the vessel over long distances.