A Honolulu District employee recently completed the adventure of a lifetime when he sailed his boat from Alameda, CA, to the Hawaii capital.
“I’m sure a lot of people would say I wasn’t ready for this journey,” said Steve Russell, a maintenance mechanic at the Honolulu Processing and Distribution Center.
The journey began when Russell departed Alameda on his 20-foot boat, the Dream Catcher.
His ambitious plan was to take his trusty first mate Olly, a fox terrier, and sail 2,400 miles in 26 days to Honolulu. It would be the longest solo sailing voyage of his life.
“Truth be told, I wasn’t sure up until the last minute whether or not I would actually go through with it,” said Russell, a 24-year postal employee.
Days into the adventure, Russell injured his head against a porthole when a storm battered his boat with 10-foot high waves.
Later, a GPS-based system that kept Russell in contact with co-workers, family and friends conked out. Fearing the Dream Catcher was lost, anxious co-workers contacted the Coast Guard.
Russell soon got the system working again.
After almost a month at sea, Russell reached Honolulu, where he received a hero’s welcome from his co-workers.
“When he showed up at work, he was greeted with smiles and hugs from us all,” said Maintenance Operations Manager Sue Golbricht.
Russell credits his maintenance experience for his successful voyage.
“I’m used to working long hours at all times of the day,” he said.