Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This week in Reed's Bay

I was in the cabin when I heard people yelling, a woman swearing.
By the time I got on deck with my camera, it was obvious the inflatable kayak was deflating, the woman was swimming toward the boat with one hand in the air holding items that, apparently, should not get wet. (They need a dry sack.) A couple of hours later, I heard very loud grunting. By the time I got on deck with my camera, I could see the woman rowing their dinghy, grunting like Monica Seles with every pull of the oars (I hope she’s the loudest grunter in tennis), and TOWING the boat to a different mooring ball. Her husband stood on the foredeck shouting encouragement and giving directions.

Uh-oh! This is exactly what you don’t want to happen. The mooring gave way or the boat came untied from it.

By the time we got to a better vantage point on land, the boat had been successfully moved to deeper water. Two men were on board, another in the water. Scrapes on the hull were visible, but the boat continued to float.
On board, we discovered the delicious-ness of long beans. The other amazing thing: at the Farmer’s Market they cost less than 1/5 what Safeway charges.

This guy fishes with two poles on a very long and wide surf board WITH an engine.

Goodbye to Suzanne and Joachim - they stayed in Hilo longer than they’d planned, they needed new batteries and new propane tanks - the tanks they had were illegal in the USA.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Boat life: rain, daily life, electricity

My cousin Carol sent me an email the other day saying it looks like it rains a lot in Hilo. Oh my, does it ever! Some days, it’s just too much work to go to shore. A few days of that and I’m ready to do whatever is necessary to get off the boat. It’s never cold, we don’t have umbrellas (just another thing to carry around), and rain jackets keep you dry but they’re also too hot and sweaty. So we just deal with it: get wet, dry out … repeated endlessly on some days.
When we leave the boat, we try to remember everything we might need to complete our errands. We have a checklist taped near the doorway to help us remember:
---Do we have $$$, the shopping list, bicycle helmet/lock/key, the computer, cell phones, sunglasses, hat, shoes? (Yes, we’ve forgotten to wear shoes once or twice.)
---Is there a bag of garbage for the trash can? Empty water jugs that need filling?
---Is the propane valve turned off? Hatches closed and locked? Anchor light off?
You always plan on getting soaked - what you take either goes in a dry sack (computer, cell phones) or it gets wet. While my bike is always onshore locked to a chain link fence, Dick’s bike is loaded into the dinghy. Once ashore, what we’ve brought either gets thrown away, strapped onto a bike, or put into a pull-cart if it’s a day for walking. Laundry day makes for an even bigger load - so big that I’ve decided I’d rather go more often and do one load at a time.
The rain has another consequence for boat life: less sun = less electricity generated. We have two 65-watt solar panels which gather enough power for our daily needs, whether sailing (autopilot, chartplotter, navigation lights, etc.) When not sailing, Dick might use power tools, I might have my sewing machine humming.
But on cloudy days, we do watch the battery monitor. 14.00 is the high number we like to see and it shouldn’t go below 12.00.
I’ve learned to minimize electrical usage and unplug anything not being directly used at the moment. Battery charging is a big deal on our boat - computer, iPad, Kindle, rechargeable batteries, toothbrush.  If the sun’s out, I’ve got things plugged in. An inverter changes the 12-volt power to 115 volt which is needed for the items listed above. The cell phones are charged with 12-volt charger (like the cigarette lighter-type chargers in cars). 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sightseeing: Lili'uokalani Gardens

This park was built in the early 1900s on about 30 acres of land donated by Queen Lili’uokalani and dedicated to the many Japanese immigrants living in Hilo.

The garden is planned around Waihonu Pond.

It’s said to be the largest Edo-style garden outside of Japan.

To see its exact location, look at the map in the blog post dated 10 June

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

This week in Reed's Bay

Older and not-so-buff paddlers work out in here about once/week:

We watched these two guys for about 20 minutes trying to land a fish.

Almost in the kayak … and then it got away.
These ladies go out once/week after work.  "It's such a nice way to decompress" once of them told me.

 Early morning:
 Pink outrigger, the ladies in pink t-shirts - all in the 60s (more or less):

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day in Hilo

Sunday, 17 June
My first solo row to shore. Climbing over the stern and lowering myself into the dinghy caused a few rapid heartbeats - it was a LONG step. The row itself was great, even easy with just me in the dinghy, no bicycle, no Dick, no bags of stuff.
Getting back out was another story. Dick had to MacGyver an intermediate step between the dinghy seat and the deck so I could get back onboard.

Lot of family celebrations on the beach

and on the water.  This little girl was so excited, "Grandma, this is sooo much fun."

For Dick today, in addition to enjoying phone calls from both his sons,he also received the first loaf of wheat bread using Mike’s recipe,

and a batch of oatmeal cookies slightly burned around the edges due to the propane oven I use.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Big Island facts

One of the tourist guides has a page called “13 big island fast facts.” 

#5. The island of Hawaii is two-sided. The Kona side is drier and gets about 10 inches of rain/year. The Hilo side is wet and tropical with more than 150 inches of rain/year. Higher elevations get more.

#10 & #12. If measured from the sea floor, Mauna Kea is the tallest mountain on Earth at 33,476 feet. Measured from sea level, it’s 13,796 feet. It is the site of the Mauna Kea Observatory and the world’s largest telescope.

Most often the big mountains are shrouded in clouds. Just once in the last four weeks we got these views.

Mauna Kea

Conversation in Starbucks

How it began. “Do you live locally? You look so familiar.”

Favorite excerpt?
“I know who you look like, but I can’t remember her name. She lives on the Big Island, she’s a paddler, and was known for encouraging women to participate in outrigger competitions. Oh ... she must be 85 years old by now.”
Honestly, I don’t remember a single word he said after this moment. The only thought I was capable of:   I look like an 85-year-old woman?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Discount Fabric Warehouse

I love fabric stores and can spend a very long time discovering all the various sections: cottons: 100% or poly blends, bottom weights to make a pair of shorts (today‘s goal), patterns - any local designers? A yes to that today. Discount Fabric Warehouse was great.

An ugly building from the outside, but huge and filled with so many beautiful choices.

Hawaiian and tropical prints galore. Back in one corner, a huge section of fleece - why would anyone buy or wear fleece in Hawaii? It makes me hot just thinking about it. I was so glad Dick had lined up a bunch of alternate errands, I had plenty of time to find what I wanted and fantasize about what might be the next sewing project or two or three.
So many fabrics, so little time.  I am the woman-with-too-many-ideas-in-her-head.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Conversation: Sister Geraldine

How it began.  "You remind me of my friend from church. I haven’t seen her in several years. I thought maybe you were her.”

Favorite excerpts.  “My name is Sister Geraldine which means ‘fair of face’, I guess that’s why I’m so white… When I ask God to show me how I can serve him, I also say ‘but please don’t let me talk.’ I always say what’s not important at the beginning, and the thing I really want to say comes out last, but it should come out first… I was born a Catholic, became a Protestant, then I was baptized a Christian, and now I’m a Pentacostal… Aloha means hello, goodbye and love. But if you say ‘alohaaa’ with a longer breath at the end, you are sending the love inside you to the other person.”

Sister Geraldine’s husband said not a word but held the umbrella to shade us both. Alohaaa, Sister Geraldine.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Eating out = 3

1. Ken’s Pancake House
Excellent food, but a bit pricey for our tastes. Everyone we had talked to about where to eat named this restaurant first.  Everyone we had talked to about where to eat named this restaurant first. On the wall behind the cashier, there were lots of pictures of The Rock (of wrestling fame), he must come in here a lot, and his very buff grandfather.

2. New Star Restaurant
Recommended by Trail Angel Richard. 
While Dick enjoyed the buffet, I tried a traditional Hawaiian meal calledLoco Moco: a base of rice (I chose fried rice, but steamed rice is an alternate choice), topped with a hamburger patty, an egg, and gravy - I asked for the gravy on the side thinking it might be that thick gloppy stuff you see on biscuits and gravy, but this gravy was fairly runny and probably thickened with cornstarch. 

Dick thought all the choices from the buffet were great with delicious flavors different from other Chinese restaurants; he needed three platefuls to try all the choices. However, when the waitress asked me how mine was, I had to admit the hamburger patty was dry and overcooked and the sunny-side egg was hard cooked. Usually when I make comments like this, it seems to fall on deaf ears, but not this time. The owner came out and apologized profusely, asked me if I would like something else to eat from the buffet (not necessary, I still ate almost the whole thing), brought us “dessert” (a cold meat-filled fried wonton), and then a bowl of lychee nuts from her own backyard tree. 
Lychee nuts - another new experience, surprisingly sweet and delicious. You squeeze the shell until it bursts, sticky juice getting all over your fingers, eat the shiny white part, and discard the black seed.

3.  Puff City
While Dick and I sat in Subway having lunch and waiting for our laundry to complete its cycles in the nearby laundromat, I looked across the street

and noticed a banner which said

Oh good, a restaurant that might offer healthy-eating lower-calorie options.  But no, Puff City intends to take you off your diet and entice you to eat delicious cream puffs (their specialty), tarts, and cookies.

We tried a lemon meringue tart and a cream cheese and poha turnover. Poha is a local fruit much like a gooseberry. Yum!