Re: The maintenance fuel bladders
Scott SV Tengah
Can't help ya on maintaining the fuel bladder, but I can give you our experience on the Hawaii-Tahiti passage.
Our 31 day 4848 nm passage from Panama to Hawaii was much much easier. And this one was only a bit more than half the distance.
More detail: We left from Maui and went leeward of Big Island. Alenuihaha channel delivered on its threats and we got 40+ knots right when we hit the wind line. Leeward of B.I. is a confused swelly mess with little wind. We stayed close to shore to take advantage of the little sea/land breeze, but we motored a good 8 hours on that side, I think. Friends who went further offshore in the lee hated life even more.
As you know, Mie had some visa extension uncertainty so we had to leave Hawaii by a certain date. First tip is time departure for a northerly and shoot east. Try to go windward of all the islands. When they say you should focus on making easting, you should really take it to heart, especially early in the passage. As you know, current and wind are kind of against you and only gets worse. Second tip: download the RTOFS models in the highest resolution possible, for the entire passage, before you leave. You can get updates via satellite/ssb along the way for smaller areas, but the overall pattern didn't change too much during our passage. There are a few eddies as you near the ITCZ that will help you immensely if you can get to them. Speaking of which, once we passed the ICTZ, we got winds from due south, so we shot straight east.
We crossed the equator at 144W. That makes life easier once you hit the South Pacific trades.
We used around 200 liters fuel total, I think. We only run our genset for an hour every 2.5-3 days or so while sailing, but I think with your wind gen and prevailing winds forward of the beam, you'll be using your genset as little or even less than we did. Do what makes you feel comfortable re: carrying fuel but I think you'll be using less fuel than you think.
Good luck and aside from the less than pleasant sail down, FP is definitely worth the effort and IMO is better than Hawaii in many ways. We are at the Papeete airport on the way out now, but will be back in 3 months. Hope to see you guys then!
Sorry for the thread drift, but hope this info makes your passage a little easier than ours.
2007 A54 #69