HAWAII TO KIRITIMATI

Last night was the Waikiki Yacht Club party.  Another great party and I am partied out and ready for sea.

Richard departed early this morning, back to the mainland.  Now its just Jessica and myself to undertake the final preparations for the voyage.  First was the US Immigration and Boarder Protection at Pier 1.  The clearing out formalities were straight forward and the cost reasonable at nineteen dollars.  We then bought the fresh provisions, fruit and vegetables.

Once back at the marina I topped off the fresh water tanks before we let go around one in the afternoon.  As we exited the entrance channel to Ala Wai marina the gentle lift of the swell under the keel felt good.   A stiff breeze was blowing and soon we had staysail and reefed jib up doing six plus knots in the right direction, south.

I expect the first couple of days out will be a bit frustrating until we clear the wind shadow of the big island.  Then we should have clear wind until we reach the doldrums before Kiritimati.  Only another eleven hundred miles to go.

MORE MAINTENANCE IN HONOLULU

Today I really got into the cleaning and maintenance spirit.  One thing led to another and before I knew it lunchtime had arrived.  Today it was bilge cleaning, inside deck scrubbing, carpet washing and overhauling the Whale Gusher 25 bilge pump.  Doesn’t sound too much but it kept me occupied most of the day.

First 3 Transpac Finishers. Photo Ray Penson
First 3 Transpac Finishers. Photo Ray Penson

I didn’t get out and about today, all day confined in Waikiki Yacht Club marina.  Tomorrow I need to explore a bit more.  I also need to get some fresh fruit and veg – fresh papaya for breakfast is essential.  My hunt for Nido milk powder continues – all I can find is fat free milk powder and it tastes like cardboard.  What is it with the USA – everything seems to be fat free.

Whale Gusher 25 Bilge PumpThe three leading Transpac trimarans have now all arrived in Ala Wai.  The first boat was Mighty Merloe with a time of 4 days 6 hours and 33 minutes.  They broke the 20-year-old Transpac trimaran record that was held by a French boat.  Maserati (the favourite) came in third after hitting something at sea and damaging one of her rudders. 

The second boat, Phfedo is moored on the same dock as Truce and I watched their arrival last night.  They have actually done the route in 3 days 16 hours but not in the Transpac race.  What strikes me about these boats is how light they are and how simple the rig seems to be.  Phfedo has a six-man crew, I don’t expect they get much luxury in the tight confines of a slender centre hull.

MAINTENANCE DAYS IN HONOLULU

This stop in Honolulu is providing an excellent opportunity to catch up with some maintenance that I have been unable to attend to whilst moving around.  In fact, it’s the only period of downtime alongside I have had since departing from Canoe Cove in BC.  In Canoe Cove my focus was on getting everything working after winter lay-up.  Now my focus is on maintaining all the working equipment and systems needing some care after sailing to Hawaii.

Winch Servicing on Truce. PHOTO Ray Penson
Winch Servicing on Truce. PHOTO Ray Penson

Today was winch servicing day.  A full day working on the boats winches.  By the end of the day I had services all six cockpit winches and the Maxwell anchor windlass.  The Lewmar winches are a delight to service, so simple to strip down, just a Philips screwdriver needed.  It seems that the secret of good design is always simplicity.  The winches on the mast are next in line when I get the time.

Today saw the first two boats of the Transpac arrive in the Ala Wai boat Harbour.  Both are trimarans of the foiling type.  The speeds these boats get up to is fantastic, both came from Los Angeles in four days something.

The pace of sailing development is incredible.  We see monohulls averaging twenty knot runs over twenty-four hours.  Americas Cup boats that seem to defy the laws of physics.  Single handed round the world sailors achieving speeds that were unthinkable just a few years ago.  I wonder how long it will be before one of the big production boatbuilders, French probably, launches a foiling cruising boat operated by computers.

This afternoon I rigged the canvas awning over the boat.  I should have done it earlier!  The cabin is now shaded and much cooler.  The aft end of the shade I pull forward otherwise it covers the solar panels that I rely on for electrical power.  Only three more days before the first of my guests arrives.  It will be good to have company again.

WANDERING WAIKIKI

I had a nice relaxing evening in the Waikiki Yacht Club bar last night.  Just gossiping and catching up with some other people’s perspective on the world.  Then I retired to Truce and had a good night’s rest. 

Waikiki Beach. Photo Ray Penson
Waikiki Beach. Photo Ray Penson

This morning I was up early out of habit and did a few small jobs around the boat.  Then I did the laundry run.  In the afternoon, I trekked up to West Marine for a couple of bit I need to do some maintenance.  It was a long hot walk, I came back via the beach and had a little paddle to cool the feet off.  The water is quite warm, almost warm enough for swimming I think.

The hustle and bustle of Honolulu is in contract to the other parts of Hawaii I have visited.  The cars here are shiny, they have stretch limo’s and four lane highways.  Then there are the police and ambulance sirens, all very noisy.  I didn’t see this level of wealth and affluence on the other islands.

This evening there was a great firework display.  Proper fireworks, big starbursts and loud bangs.  Tomorrow I will check out the tourist information place and see what activities are on offer.  I will wait for my daughter Jessica and my friend Richard to arrive next week before doing the tourist stuff.

In the meantime, I will chill out and write a log when anything interesting happens.  The next big event could be on Sunday when the first of the Transpac boats could arrive.  It’s a big trimaran and was doing thirty knots earlier today – insane speed, can’t be very comfortable.

SAILING MOLOKAI TO OAHU

Last night was a restless, the wind was blustery and fretful.  Nothing severe, but every so often a gust of wind to bring Truce hard up on the anchor chain and make the snubber complain.

At six the sum was starting to pop up and the anchor was up as well, we headed out of Lono Harbour.  Once outside we motored for thirty minutes and then picked up the breeze at Laau Point, at the west end of Molokai.  Once we picked up the wind it was a beautiful sail all the way across to Oahu, a broad reach in fifteen to twenty knots of wind.

By midday we were off Diamond Head (where the Transpac race finishes) with only had a couple of miles to run into the entrance channel to the marina.  At one we were all secure alongside the Waikiki Yacht Club marina in Honolulu.

The people at the Yacht Club were all very welcoming and friendly.  I have been enjoying the facilities, showers, cold beer, fresh salads and human company.

Truce is moored along side a gleaming Swan yacht and looks a little worn and faded in such company.  I will get to work getting her cleaned up and looking her best during the coming week.

Everyone here is getting geared up for the arrival of the Transpac race which is held every two years.  The first big boats are on the way from Los Angeles and expected to arrive in the next few days.  They will cover the two thousand plus miles much faster than I did.

A VISIT TO LONO HARBOUR

The fireworks display last night was quite monotonous, all the fireworks seemed the same roman candle type things.  No whiz bangs or bombs.  Maybe they are not allowed here.

Truce Anchored in Lono Harbour.PHOTO Ray Penson j
Truce Anchored in Lono Harbour.PHOTO Ray Penson j

I awoke this morning early, someone was launching a boat from the jetty and making a big noise about it.  Oh well, it was a nice cool morning and after a cup of tea and fresh Papaya taken in the cockpit I was ready to go.

My plan was to wait for the easterly trades to set in around ten.  But I was impatient this morning, the anchor was up just after eight and we motored out of Kaunakakai Harbour.  The wind outside was light from the west so we sailed back the way we had come for an hour.  Then the east wind kicked in and we were pushed down the coast towards Lono harbour.

Today was only a short hop, I only had the staysail up and we ran downwind at between three and four knots close along the coastline, just outside the reef line.  The land here is dry and brown coloured, no roads, houses or signs of habitation.

By one in the afternoon we were anchored in Lono Harbour along with one other boat.  Lono is a small sheltered harbour, not used by any commercial traffic.  There is nothing ashore here, just a dusty dry track to somewhere.

Thirst Bees in Lono Harbour. Photo Ray Penson jpg
Thirst Bees in Lono Harbour. Photo Ray Penson

Shortly after anchoring the boat was visited by numerous honey bees.  They were looking for water.  I put a bowl of water on the foredeck and put out some wet cloths.  Word got around quick and within an hour there were hundreds of bees at the water, which is kept topped up.  As the sun went down the bees disappeared ashore.

The wind blew quite hard in the afternoon then started to die off at six, when I launched the Kayak and went ashore for a walk.  I walked to the top of the hill overlooking the harbour.  A long dusty hot walk but the views from the top are worth it.  My major discomfort were prickly thorns that penetrated through the soles of my flip flops.

I have managed to secure a berth at the Waikiki yacht club for tomorrow night.  Berths in Honolulu are as rare as hen’s teeth now as the Trans Pac yacht race is headed this way. I think there are fifty plus boats that potentially need to be berthed this year.  Anyway, once in Honolulu I hope to be able to secure a berth somewhere / somehow so I can receive my visitors arriving next week.

The last time I had an alongside berth was over a month ago now.  I have a heap of laundry and things to get sorted and the boat to get cleaned up.  The sort of things you need to be alongside to do properly.

In the morning I will say goodbye to Molokai and set out across the Kaiwi Channel to Honolulu.  It should be a good sail; the forecast is for fifteen to twenty-five knots easterly wind.