Saturday, September 29, 2012

Greg and Nicole: day 2

A long drive to the west side of the island and up, up, up to about 3400 feet to the Waimea Canyon lookout.  This area is often called the Grand Canyon of Hawaii.
Next, a hike down, down about 2.5 miles to the Wiliwili Camp before climbing 2300 feet back UP!  You all just go on ahead, I'll go as slowly as I need to and turn around when I've gone far enough. 
We took the the Kukui Trail.  Wiliwili Camp is at the Waimea River.
Only a slight downward slope here, but it kept getting steeper.
Beautiful views along the way.
I looked at the trail leading steeply down from a hairpin turn at about 0.4 mile and decided that was enough for me.  Back to the car to read and wait. 
Nicole, Greg and Dick turned around at the 1.5 mile point and trudged back up.  They hiked for about 3 hours - ugh!  Now, time for a reward for all our effort:  a Puka Dog. 
Polish sausage (of course), secret sauce, and your of fruit relish all wrapped in a very fresh bun that was more like a pig-in-a-blanket.
Surprisingly delicious!
 Next reward, just next door. 
 Excellent gelato, all made on the premises including the best waffle cone I've ever tasted.
Both Puka Dog and Papalani are located in Poi'pu Shopping Village. 

Greg and Nicole: day 1

Greg and Nicole arrived today. We have rented a house in Kapa'a about 10 miles from where our boat is at anchor.
At Hanama'ulu Bay:

It looked like a road that went along the east shore.  This was the good part, it got much worse.  We had to lean in from the open windows to avoid being swiped by sugar cane fronds (leaves?) and Dick had to drive slowly over a very deeply rutted road.  Shhh, don't tell the rental car company.
Up the Hule'ia Stream from our anchorage is Menehune Fishpond.   According to legend, it was built in one night as a gift to a princess and her brother by the Menehune, a race of mythical people who preceded the Polynesians to Hawaii.  A 900-yard stone wall cuts off a bend in the stream with three fenced openings which allow water to flow and smaller fish to go in and out while larger fish can not pass through. 

New Giants fan coming in March 2013

Dick is going to be a grandpa for the first time. Yay! He's very excited about the arrival of Greg and Nicole's first child.
I couldn't resist making do a bit of embroidery.
He or she is as big as an avocado this week, although much smaller than an avocado in this picture taken on 6 September:

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The path to KAC

Seems simple, but on a boat this can be a challenge. My boat choices are no shower at all until I can't stand myselft or a solar shower in the cockpit if I remember to fill the bag and let it sit in the sun for a few hours.  And wait until after dark so as not to shock and dismay kayakers, fishermen, and anyone else passing by.  I have also "showered" by heating water on the stove and pouring it into bicycle-type water bottles.  In Lihue, this was the only onshore choice in the marina:  outdoors, no curtain, cold water only.  Yuck.  In Hilo, we were lucky because we could ride to a nearby public pool and shower in the locker rooms. 
On one of our first bike rides into town, I spied Kauai Athletic Club, less than one flat mile from the dinghy dock and decided to check it out.  They had a senior membership plan and no long-term contract. 
 This shower was sooo much more appealing and there were some extras that made the decision to join easy.
 A beautiful facility with a friendly staff.
 Free wifi.  The seating isn't always the best, although I have settled on working at a table in the women's locker room.
 Senior fitness classes.  Today was Hularobics.  It was so much fun!  This is the movement called "the ocean."  L-R: Hua, Eleanor, Alma, and instructor Terri.  Hua goes to about 3 classes/day and is encouraging me to go to zumba also. 
 New friends.  L-R: Michiko, Eleanor, me, Alma.  After Hularobics, we went to lunch at Taco Bell.  Alma drove me so I didn't have to ride my bike and bought me lunch.  They wanted to hear about life on a boat. 
I feel so lucky to have discovered so many good things in one place and all because I wanted a decent place to shower.  Dick?  He's happy with the marina shower and takes a curtain with him to hang up for privacy. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A look around the anchorage

This morning I walked around the deck and took pictures of what will surround us while at anchor. We are in Nawiliwili Harbor, about 2 miles from Lihu’e.

The entrance to the harbor, usually the winds blow from this direction kicking up little waves, although not this morning.  The view from the stern:
 To starboard:  Dawn Princess was here when we got up.  I learned later in the day this ship is from Sydney Australia.  It's a 75-day cruise.  From Sydney they sailed north through Asia to Japan then across the North Pacific to Alaska, Vancouver, and south to San Diego, then across to Hawaii.  From here, they head for French Polynesia and other South Pacific islands before returning to Sydney in about 20 days.  Whew!  That's one long cruise.

The small boat harbor. This is where we’ll land the dinghy. No beach landings J , there’s a small finger dock between the Coast Guard station and the boat launch ramp. We will also be able to lock up both bikes to a lamppost, double J .  (If you're reading this on an iPad device, "J" has replaced a happy face icon.)

At the bow:  Hule’ia Stream flows into Nawiliwili Harbor. We will go exploring upstream in the near future.

Poor catamaran on the rocks.

To port:  we are anchored in the lee of 779-foot tall Kalanipu’u (“royal hill”) where Pele’s older sister planted kava and bananas. In a later era, it was a “calling hill” where a lookout would watch the movements of fish and call out directions to the fishermen with net below.

And back to the stern:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Dick's exhuberance

I was surprised when Dick told me he wanted to do a blog post about the passage. Yay!-this is a first. Here goes:

“This is for our sailing friends who will understand the jargon better than those of you who don‘t sail. I apologize in advance for my irrational exuberance, but this is the most fun I’ve ever had on a boat. (Well … there was a canoe trip long ago on San Pablo Bay.)

“We left Hilo going due north to escape the influence of the Big Island volcanoes which create light winds on the windward side, close in to the island and to avoid the ugly Alenuihaha Channel which has a 1.7 knot east-setting current. That would be 1.7 knots against the prevailing easterly trade winds that typically accelerate 30% through the channel. Instead, we had moderate trade winds on the starboard quarter with a northwest-setting current of about 1 knot. Boat speed jumped up to double digits with apparent wind at 15 knots on the beam. Magic happened. Our boat does not roll much being a catamaran, but at lower speeds, we do pitch throwing up spray from the bows and we do get wave slaps against the bridge deck. Once we got to a boat speed of 10-15 knots, the pitching diminished to a very comfortable ride, wave slapping was reduced and there was no spray off the bows. The only spray came from a rooster tail off both transoms. Seriously, I’m not kidding or exaggerating. Both hulls carved a v-shape groove through the water that closed several feet behind the boat in a rooster tail. [Sheesh, why didn’t you tell me? I would have taken a picture. Oh, Dick said I was asleep on the settee.] As waves approached from the stern, water would rise gradually, maybe 12 inches, but so gradually there was no apparent pitch. I could only perceive the motion by watching the spreaders against the stars. The rooster tail would collapse as the crest moved forward, the transoms would be out of the water 8-12 inches and only gradually settle back. Then the v-groove would again start to form and the rooster tail would appear. Pretty flippin’ cool. This started in the afternoon and went on most of the night.

“You may remember from earlier posts we tore the clew out of our genoa coming from Mexico, so the passage to Kauai was under main and staysail only in very moderate trade wind conditions. We expect to get a new genoa delivered in a few days. The first time we tack downwind I’ll post again to the blog. I can’t wait to see what my 825-square-foot #1 genoa will do compared to the 425-square-foot staysail we used on this magic carpet ride to Kauai.

“That’s it. I just wanted to describe how our boat behaved on this broad reach passage.”

Hilo to Lihue, Kaua'i

13 Sept. We will miss Hilo very much. We’ve made some good friends and met so many friendly people. This afternoon, walking back from Verna’s, after enjoying our final Hilo ice cream treat, a young man was loading his family’s belongings into the back of his vehicle after spending time at the beach. “Would you like some sweet potatoes? I grew them myself.” Such a simple act of kindness, so typical of what we’ve come to enjoy about this town. We know we already want to come back here.
One final rainbow over Coconut Island.

14 Sept.  The weather looks good for the next several days … time to raise the anchor! The bucket is filled with seawater to wash down the anchor rode and deck which will be sooo muddy.
Goodbye, Reed’s Bay.
Goodbye, Hilo.
 15 Sept.  This captain smiles big when the boat is moving along fast. Note he’s wearing a harness with a 4-foot tether. We both wear this safety device unless we’re inside the cabin. Dick always installs jack lines from the stern to the mast when we’re on passage. When he has to go forward to the mast, he clips onto the jack line and can move freely along either side deck. If he has to go to the bow of the boat, he clips onto another longer tether that allows him access to the entire bow of the boat. Arlete tries to never leave the cockpit. (Question for the worriers out there: does this help you understand more about how safe we’re trying to be? Dick wants you to know that we‘re really “over the top” compared to what most other sailors do and have been criticized and/or laughed at for our efforts. Dick, “It‘s never convenient doing these precautions, but we do it for two reasons. 1-We‘re still novice sailors and expect unexpected surprises to happen and it‘s good to be tied to the boat when that happens. 2-We want to be sailing for many years to come and expect to be less quick, less agile, and probably not any smarter as time goes by and as we get older. We want to make good safety practices routine before we get complacent.”)
The highest number we saw on the GPS was 15 knots, not for long, but it was there. We were still clipping right along in the 9-12 knot range. If this kept up, we’d arrive in Lihue earlier than our prediction of two days.
16 Sept.  Alas, the wind did not hold up and we were slated to arrive after dark which is not recommended if you’re not completely familiar with the anchorage. Solution: heave-to for the night. Definition: set minimal sail to the wind, turn the rudders the opposite way. The boat is more stable and comfortable with a bit of sail up rather than just the bare mast. It doesn’t know what to do so it stays in place, except it still drifts with the wind and the current. We were 30 miles off the coast of Kauai and drifting toward the island at 2 knots. We continued our watch schedule all night, checking the horizon and the GPS miles-from-land reading every 15 minutes. This seagull spent the night with us:

  17 Sept.  At 4:30 am, having drifted to about 10 miles from the coast, Dick had a bowl of oatmeal then raised the staysail, and I went off watch and to sleep. The east coast of Kauai:
Entrance to Nawiliwili Harbor is to the left of the white tower. The airport runway is to the right of the tower.
We were almost to the first buoy at the end of the breakwater and had been passed by one fishing boat and one ocean kayaker. We would anchor to the left behind the breakwater. The fishing boat is headed for another breakwater protecting the small boat harbor with its 4 docks. We anchored outside but close to its entrance knowing we‘d be rowing to shore every day.
We had a great passage. Sunset the first night:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Avery's baptism

Thais is holding Avery.  Behind her is Godfather Uncle Jeff.  At right is Godmother Auntie Hollie.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mabel and Chance

The people of Hilo are so friendly. Mabel was watching her grandson play on the beach although her goal had been for Chance to gather seaweed. "I teach all my grandchildren how to gather seaweed.  Do you see at the edge of the rock, that light green color?  That's limu ele ele."
What do you do with it after it's gathered?

"I clean it and dry it.  We eat it.  I always give some to my pastor.  He asked me why I feed him.  I told him, 'You feed me spiritually, I feed you how I can.'  I'm religious but I'm also traditional.  I taught my kids and now my grandchildren about the limu and many other things.  When you are finished gathering limu, you turn to the ocean and say, 'Thank you for this gift.'  And you never shee-shee in the water.  It's disrespectful.  I pass on the things I learned when I was growing up.  Today I bring Chance to gather limu ele ele, but he just wants to play.  Oh well, maybe next time."

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Saturday.  Using new gear, except for the tank, Dick prepares to dive. 


Look, a floating rock!
This time it was clear enough to see what was going on.  The anchor rode was wrapped around an old mooring, with a mysterious half-hitch knot.  He was able to move it a bit, only another foot or so and it would be free.

Sunday.  It rained buckets all day long.  Dick had planned to dive again, he thought he'd be able to dig out the muck and pull the anchor rode from under the mooring.  Late in the afternoon, he looked sternward, "Isn't Mokulani closer than ever before?  Is it possible ..."  He went to the bow and pulled on the anchor rode until he saw where the nylon line was connected to the chain.  Precisely the part that was under the mooring.  Yay!  We are unstuck. 
With fingers crossed and hoping no to get tangled before we up-anchor, we are now waiting for the next weather window and we're off to Kauai.