On Thursday, my daughter Jessica arrived in Honolulu. On Friday, my friend Richard arrived. So good to have company after being solo since San Francisco. I haven’t seen Jessica since last December and Richard for a few years so we all have a lot of catching up to do.
On Sunday we did some boat maintenance in the morning and then set off to Hanauma Bay for some snorkelling. What a beautiful bay and the water over the shallow reef is teaming with tropical fish. The water was nice and warm – even I was happy to go in. Of course, the sun was hot and after a while we had to depart for some refreshments. We plan to do a trip to Pearl Harbour and hope to get out of town to see come of the north coast before Richard departs on Friday.
Yesterday we did a mixture of shopping, eating, drinking and just hanging around. We managed to find an acoustic guitar for Jessica to take on the trip. I am expecting to be entertained with some music and singing along the way now.
I have been getting a small amount of water in the bilge recently and was at a loss to where it was coming from. Finally, I found a pin prick hole in the bilge hose in the engine room. The hole was probably started when the dripless seal was being installed in Canoe Cove. Anyway, it was a relief to find the source of the water. With Richards help we have run a new hose from the pump to the over-side discharge and the bilge in dry again. So easy to do this kind of job with an extra pair of hands around.
Jessica and I plan to sail on Friday to Kiritimati, some twelve hundred miles south of Honolulu. The boat is ready, we just need to do some final provisioning and top up water, fuel and cooking gas before we set off. I am looking forward to the next leg south as Jessica will be on board to share the experience.
I feel exhausted, what a day – I am checked into the USA and have been granted a six month cruising visa. This morning I departed Canoe Cove at ten in brilliant sunshine and a cold crisp air. There was no wind as I motored out and across Haro Strait towards the US. At just after eleven I entered USA waters. An hour later I was visited by three US Coastguard guys in a flash rib, they had all the gear strapped on. They were doing a boating safety check, very courteous and polite but they were very business-like.
At three in the afternoon we arrived at Friday Harbour and I tied up at the customs dock to check in. After a call on the free phone on the dock I was invited to the Boarder Protection office in town. Off I trekked with my passport and ships papers. An hour later, after a bit of to and fro I was in possession of a cruising permit valid for six months.
At each place I stop in the US I have to call in my position by phone and provide my cruising permit number, this is a bit of a chore, I suppose I need to buy a USA sim so I can comply. The penalty for non-compliance is potentially life changing.
I need some refreshment and feed, this evening I will head up the road and find a suitable watering hole. After all I need to celebrate breaking free of Canoe Cove and starting my journey south.
Well, I am not really ready, I still have a heap of small jobs to complete before Truce fully is ready for sea. However, all the big jobs requiring shore support or access to chandlery are complete. The remaining small jobs I can complete as I head south.
The rig has been checked over by a rigger and some minor repairs made to the headsail furler. The new lifelines look good and strong with plain wire for both upper and lower lines. I have made up new halyards and sheets, fingers are a bit sore from splicing. Sails have been rigged and the outside of the boat is now looking good. I need to rig new reefing lines on the mainsail in the next few days then its all ready to go.
On Tuesday I picked up the Viking 4 man life raft. Its in a soft valise as I don’t have anywhere on deck to stow a hard case life raft. Really a bulky item, is living in the quarter berth at the moment as it won’t fit into a cockpit locker.
My other main works have been electrical. I have surprised myself with my success rate. The new solar panel is installed and works well. I now get double the power coming in to the batteries each day and so far have not needed any shore power at all. The Icom M324G VHF radio is fitted and working well. The Aussie Yakker Wi-Fi router is sending GPS and AIS data to my laptop to work with OpenCPN navigation software. Three maintenance free flooded batteries have been installed and after taking the greatest of care connecting them together it all works correctly.
This evening I have topped up with fresh water and done the laundry. A late morning departure should make for a good trip on the tide with an afternoon check into the USA in Friday Harbour. I am looking forward to being mobile again.