Team Trimoron Heads West

Captain Vlad

“We should do the race to Alaska.”

It didn’t sound like a big deal. Particularly after we’d just completed the Everglades Challenge (my second time, Vlad’s… ninth? We think.)

Still. 750 miles in the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest is very different from 300 miles in the warm sunshine of the Gulf of Florida. 10-kt currents? 30-foot-wide whirlpools? Two Coast Guard planes covering 700 miles of coastland?

There’s a fantastic documentary that describes the R2Ak, as aficionados call it. We watched it, and it went into my mental file for “maybe someday”.

“Someday” turned out to be June 5, 2023.

Not for me–I’ll get into that later. But earlier this year at the Everglades Challenge, Vlad and I connected with old friend Jeff Williams and new friend Chris Forrest. Vlad and I got to know Jeff as a fellow catamaran sailor in 2020 who gave us a literal helping hand when we had to get Vlad’s inflatable catamaran, 007, to the starting line in a hurry. A Canadian, Jeff is unflappably cheerful. I can’t picture him without a smile on his face.

Jeff Williams

Chris and I spent a couple of nights on the beach at Checkpoint 2 (which sounds way more risqué than it was). As we chatted, we discovered that neither of us were fazed by sleeplessness, barking dogs, or marauding hordes of mosquitos. A Brit, Chris had several solo ECs under his belt already.

Chris Forrest

Chris also turned out to be a world class cyclist (who completed a 700-mile race in under a week). That complemented Jeff’s marathon experience (including the Boston Marathon), both of which are likely to come in handy when the wind dies, as it inevitably will, and they’ll need to pedal their way north.

But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Long story short, Vlad, Chris, and Jeff decided to become Team Trimoron, so named because they plan to sail Vlad’s Corsair F-27 trimaran (not coincidentally the same one that Vlad and I escaped from New York on).

The F-27 Trimaran (at sunset near Solomon’s Island)

The scheme came together over a couple of months, and Team Trimoron hammered out the logistics. First was the challenge of getting the F-27 from Solomons, Maryland to Port Townsend, Washington. (That’s 2,877 miles, thank you Google maps!). Then there was getting her crew members from Maryland, Canada, and the UK to the US Pacific Northwest (PNW).

Then there was all the usual stuff–food, supplies, safety gear. Checking the stove and heater. Making sure the compostable head was fully stocked with cedar chips. Checking the boat for all-around seaworthiness.

That was the easy part.

The tricky part was figuring out some means of propulsion for the boat, other than sails.

The R2AK rule is simple: No motors. When the wind is blowing, a sailboat can sail. But in a dead calm (which happens frequently in the PNW), there has to be some way to move forward. Oars can work, but the F-27 is too big for them to be effective. The clear solution is a pedal drive. Vlad bought two, and mounted them on the F-27s’s amas (the arms that connect the outriggers to the hull).

Pedal drive (child model not included)

With that modification, the F-27 is ready to make the trip (or as ready as she’ll ever be). Vlad and Jeff leave for Port Townsend on Sunday, and if all goes well, they arrive June 1 or 2, and Chris will join them there.

My plan is to monitor the race from afar, and keep everyone apprised of team Trimoron’s efforts. Stay tuned!

Go team Trimoron!


A note to readers: If you’re a regular reader of this blog and have gotten this far, you’re probably wondering a few things. Like maybe: “Who is this Vlad? What is Johna doing in Maryland? Where are the kayaks, and what’s up with the sailboat?”

I started a sort-of answer back in 2021, before getting sidetracked by life.

I still plan to finish that story

10 responses to “Team Trimoron Heads West

  1. Wonderful to see you pop up in my Reader this morning! It has been too long and I hope you are keeping well, Johna!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is lovely to hear from you again, Johna. Sounds like you have a few helpful folk in Jeff and Chris. Looking forward to reading what’s next. Hope you are doing well and best wishes to you 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      This particular adventure is just beginning… I’ll keep everyone posted. Thank you for commenting, and best wishes to you, too!


  3. Keep up your amazing life, Johna
    New York and Yonkers’ loss is the ocean’s gain.
    Be well
    P & V

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Johna Till Johnson

    Thanks, Peter. It really feels good to be “back”. But I have to tell you, I miss Yonkers!! I was back up in New York for our niece’s Bat Mitzvah… her people are all from Yonkers back in the day, and they were telling stories. I thought about how much I missed it… thank you and Valerie SO SO MUCH for getting me hooked into YPRC! It’s the best!


  5. Catherine Gibson

    So delighted for the return of Wind Against Current, Johna, and look forward to the next chapter about Team Trimoron!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Was thinking about you lately and wondering if you’d made it through everything. so am delighted to read your latest adventure, and eager for that catch-up post! (BTW, I’m now in Rochester NY area.) del

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Johna Till Johnson

    Woah! It’s pretty there, but COLD…. although from the photos on your blog, it looks like the greenery is in full bloom!

    Thanks for reading and posting!


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