NO MORE BACK TO WALL

Strong winds and rain in the early hours is becoming a tiresome habit.  This morning at one the rain squalls came through the harbour and the anchor must have dragged through the soft mud, leaving Truce far too close for comfort off the harbour wall.  Fortunately, the wind decreased and everything remained safe until daylight.  Now I know how it feels to have your back to the wall.

After suffering interrupted sleep two nights in a row I decided that I had enough of Radio Bay and Hilo.  In the early morning I made preparations to leave.  The forecast is for strong North Westerly winds, twenty-five to thirty knots.  They will be aft of the beam so nothing too strenuous.

I have decided to make the jump across from the Big Island to Maui.  It’s one hundred miles to Maui and entails crossing the Alinuihaha Channel, a notoriously windy place where the trade wins are funnelled between ten thousand foot mountains on one side and five thousand foot mountains on the other.

By eight I was clear of Hilo harbour and motoring up the north coast of the Big Island, no wind but a lumpy sea and big swell.  By eleven the wind had set in and we were sailing in beautiful conditions along the coast.  What a lovely coastline, the vegetation is vivid green, houses dotted on the hillsides, some large houses with well-manicured gardens and lawns.  As the land rises back from the coast it is covered by clouds, nothing can be seen of the mountains beyond.  Further up the coast we passed the Waipio Valley, a spectacular stretch of high rugged coastline.

We are aiming for La Perouse Bay on the south side of Maui.  This is the first sheltered anchorage after crossing the Alinuihaha Channel from the Big Island.   All being well we should be there in the early hours of Saturday morning, safely anchored.  I am looking forward to Maui, everyone says it’s a beautiful place.

MORE WANDERING IN HILO

My wish for an uninterrupted sleep didn’t materialise.  In the early hours of the morning the wind woke me and I found the yacht alongside was coming a bit close.  I checked the moorings and all was OK and an hour later the wind had subsided.

Hanging out in Reeds Bay, Hilo Photo Ray Penson
Hanging out in Reeds Bay, Hilo Photo Ray Penson

Later in the morning I finished the mast work and headed ashore in the Rubber Duck.  I caught the local bus into town and had a good scout around.  The market had shrunk in size from yesterday – they have big market days and small market days, today was a small market day.  I bought some nice Papaya and some veggies.

The town is quite run down.  A few tourist shops along the front street and then a lot of vacant buildings in the streets behind.  A couple of miles up the road is a big shopping centre with Sears, Macey’s, Walmart, Safeway, Target – all the big brand stores.  The shops in the town obviously can’t compete and are closing.  Sad because the old town has a nice quirky feel to it.

I didn’t get my Hawaiian shirt today – just didn’t see the killer design I am after.  No hurry.  Lunch of spicy fish curry was taken at Pineapple restaurant.  Nice fresh food washed down with draft Castaway IPA.

This evening the American couple Nick and Taylor came over for sundowners.  Then a British guy, Ben, turned up from nowhere on a paddle board.  He has a boat anchored out in the bay.  All up I had a nice relaxing day.

Thoughts are turning to moving on towards Honolulu.  The winds around Hawaii are notoriously strong. Particularly in the channels between the islands so good planning is needed for an easy passage.  Saturday seems like a good time to head off towards Maui according to the local forecast.  I must leave Radio Bay tomorrow as my mooring runs out.  I will probably anchor around the corner in Reeds Bay which is closer to town – and free.