TV Ocean Crossing Blog #1: Thank you Parties, Clorox, and Weathering the Elements in Preparation for Departure

The New TV (T5) in St. Croix ready to depart back to Maui.

The New TV (T5) in St. Croix ready to depart back to Maui.

It’s hard to believe that the time has already come to wish the new TRILOGY V (T5) crew bon voyage! To say it’s been an exciting, busy year of ocean crossings at Trilogy would admittedly be an understatement. Only a few short months ago at the end of May, we were excited to welcome the new TRILOGY I to Lahaina Harbor. As we publish this post, Trilogy V’s crew is already en route for our FOURTH and final ocean crossing journey since 2018. Like our previous crossings, this year, our T5 crew will set sail from St. Croix, through the Panama Canal, finally arriving safely in Lahaina Harbor on Maui. Let’s take a moment to meet our amazing crew who will be navigating the journey:


Captain Emily Johnston (top left)

Captain Emily is a world traveler, having traveled to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and to Cuba and to Peru. Captain Emily has worked on charter boats on Maui for over 9 years: 5 of which she’s spent with Trilogy, working as Captain for the last 3 years. Prior to joining the TRILOGY V delivery team, the longest delivery she’d experienced was for 9 days from Malaga, Spain to the Canary Islands. 

Captain Michael Snow (top right)

Captain Michael Snow has worked for Trilogy for over 18 years. After moving to Maui from Oregon in 2001, he started with Trilogy at our beach activity desk as a sales agent, Scuba instructor and manager. In 2004 Captain Michael began working on the boats as a diver. In his spare time he enjoys beach volleyball, diving and SUP.  

Gabriel Garcia (bottom right)

For crew member Gabriel Garcia, being on the water has always been part of his identity: from swimming and fishing to surfing and playing water polo. Prior to working for Trilogy, Gabriel worked in California as a kayak, snorkel and SCUBA guide until eventually his love of the ocean led him to Maui where he continued to operate as a dive instructor for many years. Gabe began working in fleet maintenance with Trilogy in 2012 and enjoys being on the water daily. This trip will be his first open ocean voyage and Gabriel looks forward to sharing an incredible experience with the rest of the crossing crew.

Captain Jenny Erickson (botton left)

Meet Captain Jenny, our junior Trilogy boat captain! Captain Jenny has worked for the Trilogy for three and a half years, earning her captain’s license a little over a year ago. Prior to joining the Trilogy Ohana Jenny worked on vessels in Alaska, Australia, and Florida. This will also be Jenny's first delivery of this kind and she is greatly looking forward to the adventure!

Now that you’ve met the crew, continue below for even more insight into the crews upcoming crossing, and what they have planned for their journey.


Data collected from Trilogy’s Manta Trawl on T1 in May.

Data collected from Trilogy’s Manta Trawl on T1 in May.

If you followed along our most recent crossing journey, you may recall reading about the Trilogy manta trawl’s maiden voyage from St. Croix to Maui this past spring. Spearheaded by our Conservation Director, Magen, Trilogy’s very own manta trawl, allowed the crossing crew to conduct trawls in the middle of the Pacific, gathering data to add to the Global Plastic Pollution Database. (See here for details on just how a sample is collected.)

One sample from the crew’s May crossing found 108 pieces of microplastic! These 108 pieces were short pieces of polypropylene line. (Contrary to this sample, a different sample contained NO plastic; so you just don’t know what you are going to find out there. ) The results found at sea were submitted to the 5 Gyres Global Estimate of Marine Plastic Pollution. 5 Gyres, is a non-profit organization with the mission to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, education, and adventure. The Trilogy manta trawl is once again ready to make the voyage from St. Croix back to Maui on Trilogy V, taking on another round of sampling. Our team is eager to see what this next set of manta trawl samples find. Once back on Maui, our manta trawl will be used for regular sampling in Maui County waters and the results will be displayed on our own Trilogy Plastic Database. 


A Timeline from Captain Michael Snow

8/21: Gabe Garcia and I arrived at St Croix.  We were picked up by Jim Whipple at the airport who took us to the house where we were to stay. Trilogy President Gabe Lucy was waiting for us there, and later that day, Captain Emily flew in. 

8/22:  We went to Gold Coast Yachts where we met most of the staff and began to line out our priorities, we were also able to take TV out for the first time for a short sail. Captain Jenny flew in and joined us that afternoon. That evening Trilogy President Gabe and Golden Coast arranged a party for the staff and crew as a thank you to their team for all their hard work building Trilogy’s new fleet this past year. The party and meet and greet was located and a small restaurant and bar next to the boat yard.

8/23: The next few days were filled with projects that included taking inventory of supplies stored at the boat yard that we need for the trip and building our temporary bunks. The big event for the day was a Coast Guard inspection that included another sail on TV. We also did some shopping for what was to be the first of several supply runs.  

8/25: More projects which included a rigging inspection by Gabe G and Emily, followed by more shopping. Later that afternoon we were treated to a sail on Larry Ketten’s (of Gold Coast Yachts) Trimaran!

8/26: Lots more sorting and loading the boat with items to bring back to Maui.  Later that day we took a tour of GC building 4  where they built the hulls. 

8/27: We took some free time in the morning to go for a dive. Gabe, Jenny and myself rented gear and did a shore dive off Cane Bay and since Emily was fighting a cold, she opted to snorkel.  We made it back to the boat to load more supplies as the GC staff worked on remaining touch ups;  Jeff from GC gave us a systems walk through. 

8/28: Hurricane day. Our team kept an eye on conditions and weather updates, tracking Hurricane Dorian’s path.

8/30: Move in Day! Time to set up our bunks and move all crossing supplies on board.

Installing bunks for the crossing.

Installing bunks for the crossing.

With Capt. Emily Johnston

Earlier this year, I was invited to be an industry professional at a USCG (United States Coast Guard) Marine Inspectors Rig Class. My role was to assist teaching the UCSG inspectors that do our annual safety inspections about T boat rigs (we drive T boats, if you’ve ever been out with Trilogy, you’ve been on a T boat, it’s just USCG speak).  The industry slang amongst the Coasties for modern T boats is “Clorox Bottles,” because in their eyes they are all the same, have no character or personality, and are just pumped out of some factory somewhere.

After personally spending over a week on the beautiful island of St. Croix with the talented employees of Gold Coast Yachts, the “Clorox Bottle” description couldn’t be farther from the truth. TRILOGY V is the culmination of the knowledge, vision, creativity, hard work, and dedication from so many people, and you can see that human factor in many details of the boat. (I won’t drag you into the details here, you’ll have to come out sailing and see for yourself!)

On one of our preparation days on St. Croix, Jeff Bisson (one of the head honchos at GCY), took us for a tour of “Building 4” where the first phase of construction takes place. He also brought one of his e-bikes for me to rip around the shipyard for a few laps! Seeing the molds for the different hull shapes and the variety of foam densities that go into the creation of the foundation of a new boat was really cool, however meeting the guys who do the work was the best. Throughout any part of the construction process, the pride the workers take in their craft is what stood out the most.

It was a hectic week for everyone trying to get T5 ready for the trip across the pond, and one of the highlights was taking her out for a quick sail with a lot of the guys who helped build her. Many of them had never been out sailing before, and GCY management wants to make sure they know all about what they are building, and get to experience how they perform out on the water. For me, that first sail will always stand out in my memory. 

We send a special Mahalo to our extended Gold Coast Yachts ‘Ohana and to everyone that has taken part of the last four builds. In true Trilogy fashion, we were excited to  host a big party that was followed by a boat party to thank the hardworking crew for their efforts.

GC crew Tshirts.jpeg

We were also grateful for the down time we had on St. Croix. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to enjoy the island, snorkel, explore some of the historic downtown areas, and generally be tourists. (If you want my advice, put St. Croix on your bucket list!)  A little fun and some quality downtime was the perfect prep before starting the long journey back to Maui. 


And with that, they’re off!  Our crew set sail at the end of last week on Friday, August 31st with supplies packed, spirits high, and good weather vibes on their minds as tropical storms still threatened the nearby area. Stay tuned for the next installment of our amazing crews’ sailing adventure across the ocean.

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Contributors: Emily Johnson & Michael Snow

Edited by Brittany Friskics

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