Two 19-year-olds who just got accepted to the University of Hawaii completed a three-week sailing trip from San Diego to Honolulu today.
Tyler Savage, 19, and Bella Siegrist, 19, a couple who will be attending UH Manoa in the fall, landed at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor at around 9 a.m., where they were greeted by Savage’s parents and a few others who had heard about their voyage.
They left Mission Bay, San Diego, together on May 15 in a 29-foot sailboat.
At the Ala Wai Boat Harbor, they recalled the trip, describing the wildlife they encountered as the “most amazing” part of it.
“The first day, there was a herd of humpback whales. We must have saw like 50 of them that day,” Savage said.
“They kept on sneaking up on us,” Siegrist added.
The couple also described the ocean conditions as being rough near California but calmer as they got further from land.
“It was very peaceful,” Siegrist said. “Winds were blowing from San Francisco, so it was kind of colder, but the further we got out, it got warmer and warmer.
She added that “you could see everything,” referring to the stars at night.
Both have some sailing experience, although nothing compared to their three-week voyage across the Pacific Ocean.
“The first relief was for me, surprisingly, when they left,” said Vera Savage, Tyler Savage’s mother. “I was so nervous for this whole trip and was hoping it was never going to happen … When they left, you would expect me to be more nervous … but I was like I don’t have to worry about this. It’s out of my hands.”
She was excited to see the couple sailing into the harbor.
Glenn Savage, Tyler Savage’s father, said he had biked to Diamond Head to watch them sail into Honolulu.
He was only worried during the last few days of the voyage, and said he woke up in the middle of the night once. But as his son and Siergrist sailed into the boat harbor, he said he felt “neutral.”
“When they were coming in here, it literally felt like they were coming back from a sailing trip in San Diego,” Glenn Savage said.
Vera and Glenn flew to Hawaii to meet the couple coming into Honolulu.
Tyler Savage said that people had urged them not to make the trip, but they decided against it.
“All the people who have never done it before told us that it was impossible and that we shouldn’t do it and it’s too dangerous, and everyone who has done the trip told us it was a great trip and that we should do it, so we listened to the people that actually did it,” he said.
The first thing both Savage and Siegrist, who were both tired from the trip, wanted to do once on land again was to take a shower.