Getting there is not as simple as pointing the boat at Hawaii. As it turns out, the Pacific ocean is huge and there is a lot of weather happening between here and there. What follows is a taste of what a navigator must face when trying to pick out the best course to Hawaii. I do not have insight into what Warren and crew are planning, nor do I know anything other than what Windy (https://www.windy.com) is reporting. This is my own armchair-ensconced opinion based on that forecast.
There is little debate that there was a tropical storm directly between San Francisco and Hawaii. It is also uncontroversial to state that it is dying. This is both good and bad. The good is that there is no storm to sail through. The bad is that the storm is leaving behind a huge area with little or no wind. Watch for that effect as I progress through these screens. Note the color-coding bar at the bottom. Preferably, you want to stay in a deep yellow or light orange zone for the best winds. Blue is too light and Red gets too strong.
Mon 7/9 1200
At the start, we see a normal Eastern Pacific pattern and coastal influence, generating a good south westerly wind right off the coast. This should help get Eliana away from the coast and quickly into the deeper water where the land doesn't influence the wind any longer.
Tues 7/10 1200
Here begins the magic and art of navigating - you trace a semi-circle on the map for how far you think you might go in 24 hours and pick a dot on that circle to sail towards. If you do this right, you hit that dot on the 24-hour mark. The direction you choose could be anything. The choice is influenced by the long term goal, the predicted conditions and the current weather pattern. This peg is placed where I am guessing the boat might be after 24 hours of sailing. I've chosen south, with a little bit of West. Hopefully you will see why as you follow along.
Wed 7/11 1200
As we look into the future further and further, the chance that we are working with good a good weather model becomes more tenuous. Wednesday is about as far as we can reliably go before these predictions become really dicey. While it looks great for boats that have chosen a northerly course, I am sticking to my southerly plan. We have good wind here and a nice long straight shot to the islands right now. I think this is a pretty decent position. Take a look at the Bay Area. It's tough to see behind the position flag I've placed, but there is a hole around the area with no wind. Wednesday is when the next wave of boats is due to start, but they may not have much wind to sail in. We have a chance!
Thurs 7/12 1200
Okay, we've lost most of our wind. The northern route is looking really good right now. The rest of the crew are glaring at me and wondering why we didn't go that way - but consoling themselves by sunning and napping on deck. Once again, this forecast is a long ways out and many different things can happen. For that matter, I'm only using one computer forecasting system (ECMWF 9km) of many to choose from and compare. There are rules for which forecasting system you can and cannot use during the race, but the system I'm using in this example is perfectly OK. Oh, and the next wave of starters have just left the Bay, that is if they can get away from the light winds and reverse flow (they have to go upwind). Tee hee!
Fri 7/13 1200
If we're still on track - I've gotten deep into voo-doo country with my predictions now - we should be leaving this light patch by the end of the day. The blue zone is stretching north, forcing anyone who went that way to take a much longer route. Here (and tomorrow's screen) are why I chose a southerly route. We would have to punch through this high pressure zone no matter what, I simply chose this path.
Sat 7/14 1200
Back in the flow, now we can try and get as far west as possible. The halfway party should have happened, the foul weather gear should have been stowed (but kept handy in case of squalls) and sun hats become required equipment. By this model, it looks like our wind will hold out like this all the way to Kaneohe Bay.
We are predicting so far out now, it is anybody's guess. North looks good again, so we're heading that way. But this is as far as the forecasting system will take me. Aboard the boat the navigator would get updates several times a day on the current forecast and adjust the course appropriately. They would also look at how other boats are doing (everyone checks in publicly) as a comparison, but not much more than that.
I've taken a very high-level view of how a navigator works. As you can tell, there are a lot of influencing factors here. For example, if a storm has come through, are the wave patterns going to slow you down or speed you up? Is the boat actually performing to your expectations? Even if it is going faster than you expect, it will throw your predictions off and you'll have to do a bunch of recalculations. And the navigator manages communications with the rest of the fleet. And the navigator has to help with regular crew duties.