Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Moloka'I Time

We sailed to Moloka'i Saturday before Thanksgiving and spent two weeks before coming back this past Sunday. We watched the weather going and coming and took advantage of light winds and smaller swells.

Departed just before 1800 Saturday, November 22 and arrived at Kaunakai Wharf just before 1100, with some early morning tacks thrown in to delay our arrival. We had to motor the trip over, since winds were straight on our nose, coming from South of East all night, although very light.

My battery went out as we were getting near the harbor entrance. I put the dinghy in the water and mounted the motor, to have it ready, just in case. Then I was able to cross connect my house batteries and fire up the engine. After arriving in port, I took the maintenance-free battery to the shop and tester showed it to be bad.

I tested the alternator and it appears the voltage regulator is sketchy. I was getting 15.4 volts out of alternator and at the battery.

I'll probably swap out the alternator in the next week or so.

Okay, enough of the techy stuff. Moloka'i was sublime. The trip across was easy, some rocking and rolling on the O'ahu side of Kaiwi Channel, but smoothed out once across the deep part and onto the bank in the lee of the island.

We had another couple along for the ride and they slept most of it, both a little seasick. I think seasick happens the more one concentrates on the idea of it. I've only had one episode and it snuck up on me out of nowhere, while salmon fishing off the Columbia River Bar. I had overindulged the night before with my fishing mates, and was a bit dehydrated, so probably earned that one.

I've had a moment or two, here and there where I feel it, but it's usually standard motion-sickness triggers that cause my problem. As soon as I shift my vision off the thing in my hands, or get out of the cabin and up in the fresh air, it dissipates. I also find I can sleep great in rocking rolling seas. I hit the sack about 2100 and slept until 2315. I took over the watch from Kris and she crashed on the saloon couch until I woke her at 0330 to give myself a break.

It was interesting to me that we could see both islands the whole way. And the sun rising behind Haleakala as we made way up the Kalohi Channel, was spectacular.

And a couple of sunsets were okay, too.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Poor Neglected Blog

We've been doing the thing much more lately and I've not been blogging about it. Mostly just Waikiki trips, outta the harbor, over to Waiks, drop the hook and have some fun.

Going again this Sunday.

My great plan this time is to paddle into Duke's at 4p catch a couple of songs at the regular Sunday afternoon Henry Kapono show.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Maui by Plane

We flew over yesterday and found our way to Castaway Cafe, just up from Black Rock in Kaanapali. With wifi, a quiet little bar, and spectacular views of Lanai and Molokai, couldn't ask for a much better spot to spend a work day.

This trip is a little Labor Day holoholo with workdays in Maui as bookends. This morning we are waking up in Makawao, where it's a very cool upcountry 70f, a nice break from Late summer heat in Honolulu.

Anyone who's traveled to Hawaii and spent time on more than one island, knows there's some big differences between town and country. However, having lived on O'ahu for a couple of years, and in Honolulu most recently, it's a very welcome contrast here on the slopes of Haleakala. Cooler temps, life passing slowly and quietly, and a lack of locals with aggressive elbows, reminds us why we love Hawaii. Sure, we can get it on O'ahu, if we try, but traveling to outer islands immerses us in our aloha.

A secondary activity on this trip is to check out boating facilities. We knew things were tight over here, but it turns out that Lahaina harbor has a thirty-year waiting list for a slip. The guy on the top of the list applied for a slip in 1981. They think he will get one this year.


Maalaea is not much better, if not worse, and Lanai is very limited as well.

The one glimmer of hope may be Kaunakakai, on Molokai. We may try and take a ferry over and check things out on Molokai tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

KiKi Kane Illustration

Kris has been on a creative jag since we broke free of the mainland and she's been working her watercolor style to the point she's getting happier with the colors and designs. Some very-much island-themed fun here: KiKi Kane Illustration

Sunday, August 10, 2014

I Believe in You

I don't know if you know, but I'm the proud papa of three beautiful Irish princesses. And this past month, I got to spend some time with them. The eldest, Caeley, is on staff at Cloud and Kelly's, a cute little pub in Corvallis, Oregon. the younger two live in Beaverton, Oregon, and I get as much time as I can with them. 
Somehow this visit this past month afforded me the chance to go to Falls City, Oregon, and jump off the falls and into the Luckiamute River.

Caeley and Aoibhinn (pronounced even), were quick, albeit cautious, to make the leap and climb back up the rocks. As Aoibhinn was working up the courage to make the eight-foot jump, Medbh (rhymes with gave), was very supportive and shouted out to her sister, "I believe in you!" 

It was a beautiful moment, made even more special by Medbh's intensity. She's a passionate, insightful, and amazing little kid. 

My ginger. 

She fought her own battle to get to the point where she was able to make the leap. Later, she told me, "I counted to ten, Dad...ten times...at least." 

Thank you for this gift of this time with these lovely women. And thank you for this gift of their fierce spirits. 

I believe in you!

Koko Raindrop Chaser

This is Koko the kitty learning about raindrops during Iselle the hurricane's passing...

Saturday, August 9, 2014

350 lb blue marlin

 This is how much truck it takes to get a big fish off a boat in Hawaii...

Next up: Julio!

So far, looking like he will shear off to the northeast of us and track along toward the north of O'ahu. Of course, Iniki, in 1992, was a Central Pacific hurricane way south of Kauai that was tracking due west and took a 90-degree turn and ran right over Kauai. 

However, the Pacific high pressure that guides these things, like a steering oar, is moving east, which is what creates this track. 

So, a couple of days to watch and wait. And maybe get some fun surf at Makapu'u...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Sun Break

A break in the rain and clouds. I can even see some people out on the beach at Ala Moana Beach Park. 

32 knots plus one

Starting to see some uptick in the wind and rain. Sustained fifteen mins of 25+ knots and this little 32 kt long gust that I captured on the nav instruments. 

Snapped my long starboard bowline, but not sure I can blame it Iselle. She's been blowing us gently.  I think this line was about due to be replaced anyway. I squared-her back together and walked her around the pier. 

 You can see the whole line in the second picture. She had a previous snap and lots of dipping in the water, owing to length and surges.

 These are the NBC guys, out shooting shots of a reporter standing in the rain. That has to be a stupid job.

Aloha kakahiaka, Iselle!

So far Iselle has only brought O'ahu some gusty trades and a little rain. Nothing too sketchy. The biggest hassle I've experienced is the massive lights pointed right at my boat, from the NBC weather truck that's parked fifty feet away. 

Of course, that didn't stop me from going out in the middle of the night and pee'ing off the back like I always do. So, if you think that super moon came early to Hawaii, check the broadcast network you're watching; it might be a false image. 

Sleep was okay, could have been better. Still fighting off the horrible hay fever from my two weeks in Oregon. Woke up a few times and checked the decks and had a look around. Had to shut a couple of hatches to keep the blowing wind out. 

When I awoke this morning, I took the ladies to the Harbor Pub where I could get breakfast and the dogs are welcomed. 

We were first in the door and the ladies earned some bacon from the wait staff for being polite and 'cute.' Frankly, I don't see it. 

I learned that we are all waiting for the mayor to let us know the status of everything at 2p today. In the meantime, my internet is still up and I'm off into my virtual work day. 

Waiting for 2p and #2 hurricane. 


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Iselle y Julio

After nearly three weeks in Oregon, I had to cut it short and come home to L & C to face down TWO hurricanes.

I was able to book an early return flight, by paying Hawaiian Air $200. They were offering free changes to folks who were affected by the hurricane, but I was told that since I was moving my date from the 12th to the 7th, instead of other way around, I had to pay. Which is weird, if you think about the fact they need people to give up later dates and take this date. But not weird if you think about the fact that they are trying to shake money out of my pockets any way they can.

Anyway. I'm here. Tied most stuff down and put most stuff away. Filled up with water and bought some canned food. Fingers crossed and hoping for the best.

Much aloha!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Aloha Oe, Rick and Brenda

Greg looking for Kris's favorite visor, lost at sea going on three days now

Kris helming us past Waikiki

Checking the surf at Kewalos on the way out

Double-rainbow for our lucky friends. Pomaikai!
Rick, sailing off into the sunset...wait! Denver is the other way, braddah!
Nani wahine! Aloha oe!

Things that Break

Oh, poor neglected sailing blog!

In our defense, you've been neglected because we have been doing the thing, rather than talking (writing) about the thing. And, as every sailor knows, or learns very quickly, when you do the thing, you end up breaking a lot of things and spending time fixing them so you can go break other things and/or the same things again, and again.

So, what's broken in our first two months of sailing? Well, sounds like the starboard head macerator motor is about to eat itself. The TV and the convection oven made it less than two months and blinked out. The starboard bilge cover collapsed and I rebuilt the floor, creating new support underneath. A ten-foot fiberglass sail-batten released itself to the depths of Mamala Bay and it's replacement went in search of the prior resident three days later.

And, best of all, the anchor windlass blew up, scattering parts all over the foredeck and requiring us to haul in 250' of 1/4" anchor chain by hand, in about 16' of depth, off Waikiki on the Fourth of July. God bless America!

Still loving it.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Doing What She's Meant to Do

It's nice to have a floating condo, but it's best to do what she's made for and go sailing!

Our friends Jared and Nathalie sent a note that Jared's brother Scott relocated here in April for his Navy job. Scott sailed with the University of Washington's sailing Navy sailing team and that's all I needed to know that I'd have another hand to help me get her docked. 

Our slip gets a pretty steady tradewind exposure, pushing away from the pier. So, it helps to have a second hand to get her back in the lines on the return. 

We went straight out of the harbor entrance and set up the sails and away we went on port tack, beam reaching toward the SE. Maybe with a little more effort than that, as this was the first time I sailed her by myself, which required some time to learn how it all works. And, apparently, the main halyard was finished off, not on the mainsail, but on the starboard safety lines. I finished it there again at the end of the day when I heard it banging steadily in the evening trades. 

Anyway, three hours of tacking, gybing, and sailing around Mamala Bay was a great way to spend the afternoon. three plus hours and back at the pier without incident. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mahina Nani Nui!

A big beautiful full moon rising over Waiks last night. Nani nui!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Walking back from surfing this morning and I saw a puhi hunting in the low-tide rocks, along the quay wall. I went back to get my camera and in less than two minutes, the wind had picked up, rippling the surface, and Mr. Puhi moved to deeper water. Bummer. He was a beauty, too. Over three-feet long with big brown and small white stripes. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shine On, Waxing Gibbous Moon

Aw, poor neglected blog. I've been a bad blogger. Life has swept us up and pushed us along at a steady clip for two months now. We are adjusting to life on the boat. Kris had it alone for a while last month when I had to travel, and now I'm running things while she galavants for work. We'd both rather spend our time here, but life calls you out sometimes.

We have our insurance now, so expect to be sailing much more now. It's summer so surf is bigger on our side of island, and will have to be factored into our decisions. Also, I understand that our harbor entrance can get closed when surf gets too big.

I regularly surf the break right at the harbor mouth and I have seen a couple of the swells get bigger and make the ride in a little more thrilling for some of the small boats. From watching and reasoning it out, I think you'd wait and watch the sets roll through and time your run to move through that part of the channel nearest to breaking waves on a lull. There are some pretty regular lulls in the South Shore swells. The surf on this side is typically long-period ground swells that come from way down in the Southern hemisphere. So, the quiet spots in between sets is not too crazy with shorter period, wind-driven local swell.

Maybe sail this weekend.

Here are some shots of the waxing gibbous moon, from last night. Shot from our berth.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Meanwhile, back at the beach...

KikiO keeping me focused on what matters in life...

Snow Cows

The cows mentioned in my previous post...

Sailing Across America

Coming to you from Indiana, this morning; just now crossing the Big Bayou River in Southern Indiana, bound for Saint Louis. You're right, not a lot of sailing around here. So what is this sailing blogger up to? I just delivered an RV from Portland, Oregon, to Georgetown, Kentucky.

We had originally bought that 2012 RV with an eye toward living in it. (Just crossed the Wabash River into Illinois; also remarkable because I served in the USS Wabash AOR-5 for five years.) When our plans changed and we set course for Hawaii, we no longer had a need for an RV of any sort. So, after a year of storage, found a buyer and just delivered it to him in Kentucky.

We had a great beer in Georgetown with some friendly locals and we stopped for supper in Louisville, the self-described 'weird little town,' where our self-described redneck Jew host was quite friendly, rednecky, and a little jewy, but in a pakalolo-friendly way.

I can heartily recommend the brisket, pintos, rice, and greens at Smoketown USA.

Now, my little brother and I are driving back to Portland. Original plan was to stop by to see Kris's cousins at the ranch in Centennial Valley, Wyoming. However, looking at today's Wyo DOT map, you may note that the ranch is currently surrounded by red roads, which is the mapmaker's way of letting us know those roads are closed.

After swapping text msgs with Ed at the ranch, I found out that they have received 14" of snow in the last day and something like four inches in the past hour. The cows are mad and the local mothers will be enjoying the honored day tucked in the bosoms of their house-bound families, I guess. I don't get Bear Tree pizza, which I was greatly looking forward to, but I will get something good to eat in Colorado.

Changing plans on the fly, we will head through Denver, and over the Rockies on I-70. Aiming to head across Utah and half of Nevada, on US 50, which you may also know as The Loneliest Road in America

Some shots from the road this week:


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Too Many Books, a Guitar Player, a Girl Singer, Some Malted Milk Balls, and a Big Road Trip

Wow, crazy busy! We got out of the house last week; moving the final few pieces into a half-full 4x7 storage locker. We will be out of that by the end of this month and everything will be on the boat. 

The first week on the boat it was interesting to watch how low the port hull got, as it has the forward quarter-berth, where we were staging most of the stuff as we offloaded it from our lives. Probably the biggest single weight was the five rough-totes full of books that we ended up donating to Friends of the Kaneohe Library. 


Mostly mine. :(


Our first boat guests were my son Conner and his g/f Genevieve Bellemarre. Remember that name! She got an email while with us that contained her final mastered LP and it's terrific! She has a beautiful voice and a knack for songwriting. It was great to be able to listen to her stuff! 

Don't tell her, I don't want to spoil it, but I already world-premiered it at O'Toole's in DT Honolulu for the lunch crowd on Monday. :)

That kid's gonna go places! 

They left yesterday, as did I. I'm currently sitting in a little cafe in Canby, Oregon. This space used to be a variety store where my grandmother worked. I'm enjoying sitting on the couch here and imagining this must have been right about where the candy counter was and where grandma supported my malted-milk ball habit. 

This afternoon, I'm going to swap cars with my father; take his truck and pick up our fifth-wheel toyhauler, my little brother, and head off to deliver to the new owners in Kentucky. 

I expect it will take at least a week to get over and back. 

I got a brief visit with Queen Medbh and will spend a night with the younger of my offspring next week when I return. 

Nice to be here and enjoying some sunny spring weather in the Willamette Valley. 


Friday, April 25, 2014

Last of the stuff

The boat needs a good washdown, but will have to wait for that until Sunday. I'm at the house going through STUFF and trying to whittle it down.

I went through my clothes, which ended up being pretty easy to do. Down to two rough totes total of all of the clothes I will keep in the world.

I procrastinated by cleaning the refrigerator out and scrubbing a couple of shelves and the lower drawers.

Still stuff around and it's still slightly depressing to be amongst it. One guy came by looking for deals from garage sale Kris had posted. He rooted around in a bin of tools and then slipped out the door with something suspiciously droopy in his pants pocket. Do I care if something gets stolen? I guess not.

Ended up posting the table and desk for sale. Those are tough ones to part with. Kris's custom-made desk; designed and built for her by her friend John and given as a house-warming gift.

My 8x3 family table that Kris and I created so many good memories around.

Meanwhile, the boat stuff is probably too much. We are inches above the painted waterline. We will being the process of weeding things out and off from there, now.

Hana hou!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Line out!

Big week on the boat. Whuh? You say? Week One, big? Huh....

Yeah, smarty pants. We made it to the home moorage, moved ton'o'stuff onboard and sent momma off to the east coast of da mainland for worky-work.

Daddy got to catch up with his old irish rugby mates and meet their island friends at the Outrigger Canoe Club. And, whaddya know! Everything is the same. Maybe slight differences. Kids getting older. The nights ending sooner. Final final, actually much closer to Final than we'd ever imagined. But, spectacularly, Louise's abs look spectacular.

Aloha nui loa!