Hawaii and some pics (click pics to enlarge)
It is so long since we have posted a blog that I am not sure where to begin. It seems that every waking minute is accounted for by some task that needs attention. Some wise person defined the cruising-lifestyle as “boat maintenance in exotic places”. Too true! Too true!
We changed our landfall in the Hawaii Islands to Hilo on Hawaii Big Island. Necessity dictated that we do that. Many almost windless days resulted in Mayaluga consuming more diesel than we had anticipated. Weather predictions showed further windless conditions south of the Hawaii islands, Honolulu being another 200 plus nautical miles to the west beyond Hilo. We were down to our last few gallons of diesel, so,Hilo it was. The ONLY slip available for cruisers was in Radio Bay, so we had to inflate the dinghy to get ashore. Would you believe that the entire dock was fenced off and so the only access to shore was a row of a couple hundred yards? After catching up on some much needed uninterrupted sleep we cleared customs into the USA the next day, and caught up with news from “Southern Light”, a beautiful ferro-cement schooner with Jim and Kuber on-board who we had previously met in Tahiti. We paid the Harbourmaster for moorage with a postal order because they did not take credit cards, cheques or even cash! Unbelievable that we would have to schlep miles to go buy a $20 postal order! Ah well, living the dream! I did an engine oil change which was due. A messy job – living the dream! And did I mention that we had no power from our alternator for the last 12 days of our passage? We had a brand new alternator installed in Pape’ete! Fortunately enough sunlight hours kept our batteries charged by the solar panels. No mechanical or electrical expertise at Hilo meant attention to charging had to be postponed to Honolulu.
Refueling with diesel was not easy. NO fuel dock! We had to schlep jerrycans in the dinghy around to the village and then walk about 500 yards to the local gas-station. We figured that 8 jerrycans x 5 gallons each would power us to Honolulu if there was no wind. Carrying two jerrycans each on several occasions for 500 yards back to the dinghy was no mean feat! Exhausting work in this tropical heat!
After a couple a days we saw the wind fill in enough that we figured we could sail a northerly route around the top of the island group to Honolulu on the south side of Oahu. Weather forecasts once again proved useless!
The wind howled from the NW at well over 30 knots most of the way, frequently maintaining 40 + for an hour at a time! What a sleigh-ride! We figured that we would deke down the channel separating Big Island and Maui and take shelter sailing on the south leeward side of the islands. In theory anyway! The wind whistled down each channel and proved to make the passage “interesting” to say the least! Instead of arriving in Honolulu at daybreak as planned, we arrived at 2:00am in absolute darkness. Fortunately the beacon and entrance markers were lit and it proved pretty easy to negotiate the narrow channel to Ali Wai Harbour. Jim and Caroline, on board Blessing, were on our dock with flashlights to guide us in. What a blessing to have good friends indeed!
So here we are “downtown” Honolulu and a short 10 minute walk to Waikiki Beach. They have given us temporary membership at the Hawaii Yacht Club which has all the amenities one could possibly want.
We have taken care of most of the maintenance issues while here. The alternator issue was traced to a broken mounting bracket resulting in a belt slippage. New bracket, new belts and we are away to the races!
We are planning on leaving here Wednesday 16th weather dependant. We once again will sail alone without additional crew. We have found that we can regiment ourselves to rest adequately and we can handle Mayaluga on our own, even in really ugly weather. It looks as if we will have a clear run sailing directly north to latitude 40′ N without any huge concerns for hurricanes. From there we will pick our way around the low pressure storm systems and head eastward and back home to Juan de Fuca Strait!