Friday, August 31, 2012

This week in Reed's Bay

For the past week, we've seen groups of 5-10 people standing quite still and fishing for most of the day. I finally had to ask someone on the beach what was going on. They are fishing for halulu, a small fish, maybe 4-6" long, delicious when deep fried. This fishing will go on for several months. When the fish grow bigger, they head out to sea and the season is over.
Karen is rowing to her boat, Mokulani, a swimmer follows behind.  I heard Karen call to her partner on the boat, "I'm bringing a porpoise."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Thais' family in August

This week in Reed's Bay

Quotidian rain:
Laundry day:
Cute little boat, sometimes with 4 people in it. They have no trouble catching fish it seems. You can hear them laughing and cheering whenever they hook one.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A new toy

Dave towed out a kayak he was willing to part with since he rarely uses it anymore.
The Lipstik is a surfing kayak - Dick can’t wait to try that.
First time boarding. Later Dick was able to get on/off at the swim ladder which was much easier.
Leaving the crowded parking lot.
Fun! I tried it also, but started and ended at the beach. The Lipstik is a lot more work than the SUP. When Dick and I went out today to go around Coconut Island, he said he had a hard time keeping up. He took a short cut between some rock outcroppings and got to rest as I took a wide arc to go around. There’s less surge and chop the farther out you go.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Dick goes fishing

A while back, you saw Dick trolling in the dinghy with no luck. He thought he needed a different lure, which he bought. In the evenings and mornings, fish continued to roll around the boat, mocking him, they would not be caught by him. Since fish are allowed to do that, it just made him want to go out and get one.

The next attempt was fishing off the stern. He called it jigging: move the pole slowly side to side, bouncing the lure. The fish were not impressed and completely ignored him.
The Micronesian lady at the Give and Take Market told me the only way to catch fish is to use the meat from the belly (at least that’s where she was pointing on her own body) because it smells the strongest. And it’s cheap.  Called "fish collars," it’s available at Safeway (and won’t show up as a coupon on the computer either). Squid is also popular but only comes in 2-pound packages. With no refrigeration on the boat … well, you can imagine what happens in a very short time here in the tropics.

He bought a small package of fish collars and tried again. Very quickly, he hooked a fish, but it was too big for his gear. It broke the line, and “ran away,” the hook and the bait in its mouth, towing a $4 weight. You know how losing the weight would bother him. Dick now understands why local people use spark plugs or pieces of lava with a hole drilled through as weights. For the next hour, Dick fretted about the poor fish that jumped around for an hour trying to get the hook out of his mouth.

The next day, he bought heavier line and a net, but hasn’t attempted to fish again. Good thing, his bait had already disappeared (I wonder who threw it away), a gift of food for all who remained in the waters beneath our boat.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The romance is gone + Spam

That would be Dick’s romance with Safeway. Every time, after buying his purchases, he would have to ask for an adjustment and refund because the price charged did not match the printout he’d gotten from the computer. One day a couple of weeks ago, the clerks at Safeway finally got tired of dealing with Dick and his magic card, they put him on the phone with someone at the head office. Because Dick’s card was originally created in California and because Safeway’s computer system was not designed to coordinate different locations, he was getting cheaper California prices in much more expensive Hilo. The head office person decided to deactivate Dick’s card. He responded, “No problem, my wife has a card.“ THAT was a mistake. Program not giving discount, showed up on compute, not at register, no one could identify the problem and they would adjust price to printout (CA price). They were so tired of dealing with him and his magic card, they called the head office in Pleasanton CA, that was the end of that card, they deactivated it, NO problem my wife has a card, oops, now they wanted to link both cards to one email address. So sad, “I’ve haven’t enjoyed shopping at Safeway ever since.”
Spam! Way popular in Hawaii. You see it as an option to many dishes on restaurant menus: sandwiches, eggs, loco moco, and many more. Dick and I both grew up eating Spam and loved it, but American culture put it in the unacceptable-to-eat category. We bought some in Mexico before leaving because Spam and tuna would be the only meats onboard due to no refrigeration. If you chop it small and fry it well, and use it sparingly. It’s almost like bacon, the less-sodium type is still very salty. According to one of the food magazines I read, 2012 is the 75th anniversary of Spam and two new varieties will be available for a limited time - jalapeƱo and black pepper - but it hasn’t shown up in Hawaii yet.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Out of touch

I know when I start getting emails from friends and faithful blog followers saying “Why aren’t you blogging? Is everything ok?” that I’ve been neglectful about keeping in touch. What have I been doing? Staying on the boat and sewing - which I didn’t think was very interesting to blog readers.
Nevertheless here’s a look at what has kept me away from the blog.

Just had to make a patchwork purse to match the top:

The purse construction didn’t go very well - my mother would say I had to “schnitzel” to make it come out right (I’m not sure what that actually means in German slang) - I tried again:

Then I found a cute Hawaiian print and made a few coin purses, sometimes called “wristlets” in the purse world, and embroidered names on the loops.

Here’s one for Cindy. She and Roie have been so friendly and kind whenever we go to shore. For granddaughter Sophia, age 3, adding handles to make a mini-purse seemed like a better idea. (Cindy, if you see this post before I actually give the wristlet to you … surprise!)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Haari Boat Festival

The annual festival, held since 1990, was August 16-18 in Wailoa Park.  This is traditional Okinawan boat racing.  The guy at the far left holds the boat in position until the "Go" signal is sounded.

There were just three boats, but over 30 races on Saturday.

Crews rotated in and out of the boats

It was a short course on the flat protected Wailoa River.  The boat circled and crossed the finish line at the green flag.

In the bow of the boat, someone bangs a gong to set the rhythm.
The history of how the boats came to Hawaii from Okinawa was interesting to me and can be found at

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

This week in Reed's Bay

Balquhidder anchored near us for a few days. The crew of three started in New Zealand,  They're delivering the boat to the owner in Seattle. The owner had been on a circumnavigation but was diagnosed with cancer and went home for treatment.

I am coming in for a landing after a morning paddle. I feel like I’m trying to land on an aircraft carrier. I start my approach from far far away, heading into the wind, and constantly adjust my course to parallel the hull - I am laser-focused.

It’s late afternoon and the trade winds are strong. The man felt safer in the kneeling position, woman was really leaning into each stroke, and their forward progress was minimal. I do not paddle in these conditions. Waves and wind have occasionally picked up after I’ve started, not a good thing for a big chicken like me.

Finally, thank you to Lavonne who towed our dinghy back to the boat after it came untied from the stern on a rather windy day. 
The tie-er of the knot won't make that mistake again, will he?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Eating Ice cream = 3

The following three places we tried are ranked from least desirable to best.

Uncle Billy’s General Store. Although wifi is available IF you make a purchase, that doesn’t mean you can get online and there’s no one available to reset the router if that’s the problem. The ice cream? Once was enough. The brand, Meadow Gold, is available in local grocery stores. One scoop on a waffle cone will set you back $4.57. It was a big scoop of ice cream, but … I had haupia (coconut) - coconut flavored, not one speck of real coconut. 

Verna’s. This corner fast food joint is very popular. The menu is huge and the food is pretty good (Dick ate there once), but if you want to eat on site, there are only 3 outdoor picnic tables (with too many flies to suit me). The brand is also Meadow Gold, $1.95 (plus tax) for one scoop in a bowl or on a regular cone, no sugar cones or waffle cones available. The flavor choice were fairly standard except for Hawaiian Mud Pie which was great.

Hilo Homemade Ice Cream. This is the BEST ice cream, all made on site. Popular flavors are rotated. For example, haupia (also just coconut-flavored) and toasted coconut (WITH toasted coconut shavings) change around every Wednesday. On one visit, I had banana macadamia fudge ripple - excellent. Another time, salted caramel with macadamias - excellent. There are also some delicious island-fruit flavors. Samples are freely given. $4.75 for two scoops in a waffle cone, although the scoop on top seems to be a lot smaller depending on who serves it up. Dick thinks I always get bigger-sized scoops than he does and wants me to do the ordering from now on.

On site is also a small convenience store, a campground, and “dorm rooms” (popular with younger frugal travelers).

Here’s a bonus, after you get your ice cream, go out the back door onto the patio and discover a tropical garden.

You’re invited to walk through the garden on small informal paths where you might pass a tent site along the way.

At $20/night for a tent, we thought the price was great and imagined what a find this would be if we were bicycle touring.

Tiny white pineapple, they only grow in the shade, therefore aren't good for commercial growers.  Roie and Cindy gave us one a few weeks ago.  I've never tasted such a delicious pineapple.  Try one if you ever get the chance. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Eating out = 4

Island Naturals.  A favorite of Dave and Susan, this is a natural foods store with a small buffet and deli in the back.

The buffet had a selection of hot healthy choices, you fill your eco-friendly cardboard container with as much as you want and pay $7.99/pound. While Dave and Dick chose the buffet, I had a very good roast beef sandwich from the deli.

Hilo Coffee Mill. 

Coming back to Hilo from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, this was the perfect place to stop for lunch. Tours of the small coffee-processing facility are available in one building, deli sandwiches and salads along with touristy-type gifts available in another building nearby.

The coffee trees grow on site.  Free-range chickens abound.

New Saigon.  Another of Dave and Susan’s favorite restaurants, they come here every Friday which is “date night.”

A very good choice, we really enjoyed the lunch we had. I had pad thai, Dick had Hong Kong noodles - both were excellent.

We got a wonderful table where we could look out at Ice Pond near Reed’s Bay.

Freddys.  Don’t let its strip mall location dissuade you, this was a very good restaurant with very reasonable prices. There are two entrances. To the right the “drive in” section with burgers, fries, etc. To the left, a very nice dining room.

Dave had soup/salad/tuna sandwich combo for about $6. Dick had Chinese ahi salad, a huge bowl of lettuce and goodies, it’s the “most popular item on the menu.” I had Portuguese sausage loco moco - the best loco I’ve had yet. I chose the smaller portion for $5, it was still a bit too big. Nevertheless, I ate it all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This week in Reed's Bay

(Hey look, Darren!) Dick went fishing at dusk one evening. We see lots of big fish feeding at the surface all the time, “mocking fish” Dick calls them.

No luck this evening. Probably that big ship scared them all away. The Pride of America comes to Hilo every Tuesday morning and promptly pulls away from the dock at 6 pm.

This girl’s laughter was infectious, her antics were hilarious. She was having such a good time with her dad.

He paddled from a kneeling position because when he was standing she was rocked the paddleboard trying to make him fall.

Four people and a dog on one paddleboard - oh my.

“Look lady, I caught some seaweed for you.” 
“That’s nice but you should put it back in the water.”