WANDERING IN HILO

Last night I had a beautiful sleep.  The sleep you get when you are tired and the job has been done.  No interruptions, no wind shifts and secure in the knowledge that Truce was securely moored fore and aft.

I got off to a late start this morning, I must have switched to Island time during the night.  Anyway, I got the rig tensioned up properly as far as I can tell.  The mast wedges are also looking good but I want to put a bit more pressure on the starboard side.  As it was lunchtime I decided to go ashore and finish the mast off tomorrow. Besides a job like this always benefits from some more thinking time.

I caught the local bus, that rattled and shook its way into town.  One of the things I had to do was get a money order to pay for mooring.  The port does not accept cash or credit card, they only accept cheque or bank draft / money order thing.  I finally got what I needed from Pay Day Loans for a cost of eighty-eight cents.  With money order in hand in made it back to the port before they closed and handed my paper over to the clerk.  What a performance and waste of precious time to explore Hilo.

Hilo town is an interesting place and there is a great open-air market that I will explore further tomorrow and stock up on fresh fruit and veg.  The variety of colourful shirts on offer is almost too much to take in.  Real loud Hawaiian shirts in the worst possible taste – I want to buy them all.  Spoilt for choice, I ended up buying nothing.  Tomorrow is another day.

Just outside the port gate I found a bar having the vital combination of cold beer and Wi-Fi.  The local brew, Castaway IPA, is to be recommended.  So, after a day doing a lot but not seeming to achieve much I returned to Truce for sundowners and a chat with my French neighbours.  Early in the evening we had a rain shower, cooled things down nicely.  I am listening to Norah Jones greatest hits on the Bose, nice mood music that fits the night well.  Now I am looking forward to another peaceful night’s sleep.

ARRIVED IN HILO

Since yesterday we have had very little wind.  At noon yesterday we had 77 miles to go and at midnight thirty three remained.  By five thirty in the morning in had managed to reduce that to seventeen miles.  The small breeze we did get was from the passing rain clouds.  So, an executive decision was made to call on Mr. Yanmar to get us home.

I was hoping to see the Big Island appear on the horizon at daybreak, much as Captain Cook must have seen it.  It was no to be, the rain showers and low cloud meant that we didn’t see the land until a couple of miles distant.  At nine in the morning we rounded Hilo Breakwater.  By ten thirty Truce was Mediterranean Moored in Radio Bay and all secure.

In the Tropics, Hilo, Hawaii. Photo Ray Penson
In the Tropics, Hilo, Hawaii. Photo Ray Penson

The couple from the boat next door helped me tie up and then brought over a beautiful Papaya.  Very welcome and disappeared down the hatch in no time.  I then checked in with Boarder protection, an easy process here and it was time to relax.

In the afternoon I went for a walk. The road into town is busy with trucks, noisy, hot and dusty.  It’s also a long way into town and I didn’t make it. I got distracted by an area just past Reeds Bay, Liliuokalani Gardens, and the walk along Banyan Drive.  Nicely laid out parks and people making good use of them in a relaxed manner.  It’s hard to think this is America.

All the walking in the hot weather was taking its toll, but fortunately I found some place where I could refresh myself.  What I have seen so far of Hilo is good, the people are very friendly and relaxed, reminds me a bit of NZ.

The plan tonight is to have a couple of sundowners on the boat, go ashore for an open-air shower and then have a good sleep without interruptions.  Tomorrow I want to get the rig tensioned up evenly and fix the mast wedges.  Once that is done I will feel happy to put on a bit more sail.  Then I want to have a tourist experience of Hilo and visit a Volcano, as recommended by a local.  Voyage distance 2,114 miles.

STILL ON EASY STREET TO HILO

I don’t want to jinx my good fortune but we are still running with Jib poled out to port directly down the track to Hilo.  If the wind holds true we will be arriving early on Tuesday morning.

This morning I turned again to bread making.  I used a new method I thought up that’s easier when we are rocking and rolling at sea.  Turned out wonderful, nice fluffy bread with a crisp crust.  The galley gets pretty hot with the oven on, not a place to hang around in.

I had the first sign of outside human life for over week this morning.  On the VHF radio channel 16 part of a broadcast from US Coastguard in Honolulu came in.  Must be a rebroadcast from Hawaii I guess.  There are a few more seabirds around today but still no other ships to be seen, either visually or on AIS.

I checked out the local VHF radio and AM radio but stations coming in yet.  Maybe later I will pick up something after sunset.   Everybody on board Truce is willing Team NZ on in the Americas Cup, I would love to wake up and hear the news we had won on the radio from Hawaii.

When searching around for food at lunchtime I came across a tin of spam.  It looked alluring at me from the corner of the cupboard – it was saying ‘go on you know you want me’.  Yes! I want you and am going to have you I thought.  As soon as I stripped off the top of the tin I knew I had fallen into the spam trap again.  The sickening pale pink colour and the slight whiff of Pedigree Chum dog food reaffirmed my mistake.  I will split it 50:50 with the fishes.  Voyage distance 1,929 miles.