Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Ohau wrap-up

s/v Pacifica, Nawiliwili on Kauai, Hawaii

Aloha, it's been awhile - I know. But my mind's been on other things and trying to enjoy ourselves. The big news is....as most of you know my mom has been a diabetic since she was 9 years old. For a number of years now her kidney's have been getting weaker and she has been on a waiting list for a new kidney and pancreas. She and my dad got THE CALL on Monday May 14th and in the wee hours of the 15th mom went in for a 7 hour surgery. It was a very long night filled with many phone calls with my dad on her progress (Pacifica didn't sleep that night). It was hard not being there, but at least I was glad to be somewhere that was so easily accessible with the cell phone. Fortunately, mom did great and I'm happy to say the Hayes family in Tucson is getting back to normal (well, as normal as can be expected). Personally, I would like to thank all of their wonderful Tucson neighbors who have rallied to take care of them and Cali by doing whatever was necessary. Mom is home and recovering - getting used to all her pills and bi-weekly lab visits as her body adjusts to the new organs. She hasn't had to take insulin since the surgery, so that's a fabulous bit of news. This is essentially a cure for her lifelong diabetes.

After our 2 week stay at the Kaneohe YC, we moved out to anchor just outside the reef.

We were just outside of the reef (the big greenish blob to the left of the photo). It was a longish dinghy ride into the club so we didn't travel around too much. We had also returned the car and since we had already been running around a lot over the past few weeks, we were enjoying the peace of being at anchor again. Bill and Colleen (s/v Cpt George Thomas out of Vallejo) did come over for a little visit one afternoon. This photo was taken by Greg from the top of our mast while we were still tied up at the Yacht Club.

On our first day out, Bruce from BYC came out with us for a day at the sand bar. This was a nice easy sail and anchor in the clear waters off the bar. Matey even had a chance to be dumped (carefully) over the side and swim to the beach. She loved it!!!

See how important it is to stay in the channels (unless you are meandering on purpose and it's daylight). The reefs sometimes are just on the outside of the channel markers.

Bruce enjoying the sights with a brewsky at the Sand Bar.

I don't remember the name, but this is the boat (a Nordic 40) that Bruce got us on as crew for the Thursday night races out of KYC. What a great time!!! It was a fantastic sailing boat and we had great wind. It started with a Spinnaker start out of the harbor, through the pass in the reefs - after a dousing, upwind leg, then an additional spinnaker run - we had a couple of squalls mixed in to finish off the experience. What fun!!!! The owner Dave is a great guy who is known to always bring a lot of people aboard (most newish sailors), how he remains calm and relaxed - I'll never know. They finish every race with rum and cokes for the crew out of the boat's rum tank. Yep - you heard that right, he bought the boat new, and had it built around his rum tank which was installed in the table area and down into the keel. Now that's a great idea for a sailing boat - Greg and I now dream of having a rum tank on our next boat.

Pacifica at anchor outside of KYC

After a couple of days, we moved closer to the small boat harbor in the Bay and relaxed a bit there - while also topping off our fuel tanks since this would be the last opportunity to pull Pacifica up to a fuel dock, it's jerry cans from here till Berkeley...

Coconut Island where the opening scene to Giligan's Island was filmed. We passed by here on the way to our next anchorage. We were going to try to anchor here, but there didn't seem to be a good spot out of the way of the passes through the reefs.

I just wanted to include this picture to show what it looks like when moving along the reefs. The shallow areas are sandy patches and very shallow - around them are brownish areas of rocks where the depth decreases. The dark blue places are areas which you can travel (around 40 feet deep).

Then it was off for a couple of days at the sand bar. We literally motored right up to the sand touching our bow on land, Greg jumped off and walked our anchor out on the beach. This was a fabulous place - clear water, a huge exposed mound of sand at low tide - Matey could run all she wanted and race around with the other doggies and we didn't have to worry about her. The weird thing here is while the bow is touching sand, the stern (back of the boat) is in about 30 feet of water - now that's a steep drop off. When it came time to leave, Greg picked up our anchor while I pulled in the chain, placed it on the bow and climbed over the bow pulpit to come aboard - then we were off to our next anchor spot.

Pacifica at anchor at the Sand Bar. It was fascinating for me to see the anchor at work - overnight as the tide came up, it was buried under about a foot of water. Then when morning came, the anchor was completely buried in the sand.

Beach run - Matey is the farthest speck. The other two specks (Buster and Duke) belong to the boat next to us. They enjoyed trying to keep up with Matey. She loves it when she's the fastest!!!!

Another picture of Pacifica at anchor. It's such a weird experience to have you bow actually hit sand and know that you are still okay.

Swimming pool or beach?

Hey, don't dig that up!!!! He was just trying to dig up some cool sand to take a nap on...

The next one was a spot a local at the YC told us about which wasn't in the guide books, but we had to wind ourselves through a pass in the coral reefs to an opening with flat protected water. Sea turtles were abundant and curiously checking us out. But when they saw us looking at them they would duck under the water and swim away. Matey did lots of romping on a beautiful beach while we did some walking and swimming.

This is the little lagoon area on the Northwest side of Kaneohe. It's not really a lagoon, but an area surrounded by reef with a pass in from the main channel.

Some of the scenery around...

More scenery

Pacifica in Paradise - It took her 30 years for a big adventure (she's a 1976 boat) - but even at her age, it still looks good on her!!!!!

Matey lounging.

Turtlescape - I've been trying since Mexico for that great turtle shot - but this is the closest I've come so far.

After a couple of days it was finally time to say goodbye to Kaneohe Bay. We made our way on a flat windless sea (using precious fuel) to the North Shore to anchor in Waimea Bay.

Anchored in Waimea Bay

Since the sea was flat this was a very comfortable night. The next day (our anniversary) was perfect. After a quick trip up the mast to tighten some furler foil screws, we set out to find some breakfast and discovered a yummy grill truck.

So, chickens run around Hawaii at will (they're wild) - this beauty was walking around our feet as we ate breakfast.

Then after more meandering we found ourselves in a bird sanctuary/botanical gardens which had a main walk up to a waterfall with some little walks off along the sides along the way.

At the botanical gardens, this peacock jumped off the railing and preened around just for us to take this photo, then jumped back on his resting spot. I felt like I should look around for his tip jar....

Beautiful flowers...

This is one tree I wouldn't want to bump into - those are little barnacle like spikes coming out of it --OUCH - it hurts me just thinking about it.

Mr. Big Ears

Mrs. Big Ears

After returning to the boat, we decided to do some swimming and had some of the best snorkeling of the trip which included a Giant sea turtle swimming by us. And if this wasn't enough, just about late afternoon we decided to up anchor and check out Hale'iwa Harbor which was about 3 miles away. We ended up anchoring just inside the harbor in flat water and went into town for a yummy Thai Anniversary dinner. Since this town is a little Artsy we were excited about the exploring to come on the following day.

The town was great - we stumbled upon the home of Ron Artis who is a musician/artist who locally is known for his paintings on old retired surfboards. They are beautifully on display in his yard. I do have a picture, but he does wish that we not take photos (I discovered after taking the pic) so I'm going to do as he wishes and not put the picture on the website - but if any of you are ever in Hale'iwa on Ohau - walk/drive down the main street and stop at the house with the painted surfboards - you will be happy you did. So, as we started to wander up the walk (it's very inviting) his wife came out and talked to us a bit about him and what he does and gave us a tour of her yard. It turns out his family (as well as himself) is quite the musical force. He has spontaneous concerts with his kids and wife throughout the day - if you wander by, there is a good chance you will be invited in for a concert - which we were. His living room/performance space has 3 grand pianos, numerous keyboards/percussion stations, bass and basically is a musical mecca. They literally had me to tears - it was such a special moment.

After visiting with them and leaving we found ourselves at a local gallery where we splurged on a beautiful print of a turtle framed in Koa wood for Pacifica as our Hawaii memento.

Happily we retuned to Pacifica, took a little river tour in 'Matey's Ride' while seeing a couple of turtles on the shallow sand bar swimming alongside our dinghy. Then we returned to the boat for happy hour and to watch the outrigger canoes practice using Pacifica as a turning buoy. We also prepared ourselves to leave at dark for our overnight 75 mile passage to Kauai (the wind was finally picking up so we were to have a wonderful sail in about 15 kts of wind). Oh, and I can't forget to mention how we started our day by rescuing a trimaran off the rocks near our boat. 'Matey's ride' (the name for our dinghy - they all have names, you know) came to the rescue and we safely towed them into the harbor.

Under the bridge and up the river...

The exit from the river - over the bar to the left of the picture. It's very shallow with turtles swimming around.

After our first passage since getting to Hawaii, we pulled into Nawiliwili Harbor around 7:30am and tied up at the launch ramp. It's very relaxed here - we haven't seen the harbormaster yet - but someone called for us and knew of a vacant slip to put Pacifica. We've been here 3 days and have rented a car to get a bunch of heavy jobs done (topping off fuel, Costco, drinks, shopping). You see after here, whatever else we need done, we will be schleping out in our dinghy. Greg also went up the mast again to do a few other things for the crossing in July. We also gave 'Matey's ride' a nice fresh water rinse.

Pacifica tied up at Nawiliwili Harbor.

Mango anchored at Nawiliwili about 9 years ago after Greg's arrival from Berkeley.

Hula performance at the local shopping center.

So, right when we got here, we stopped by the Nawiliwili YC to introduce ourselves, coincidentally they have a race this weekend (tomorrow - Sat) to Hanalei Bay and invited us to join them. So that's why we have been focusing on getting jobs done since we are leaving tomorrow for Hanalei Bay with about 10 other boats. This is again a very social harbor - everyone is very friendly, if you have a question, just step off your boat as ask the first person you see, I guarantee they will have the answer, or find it out and come back to tell you. We've done some visiting with other club members - Greg even met a guy who has the same type of boat as his previous one that he sailed to Hawaii about 7 years ago (Mango - a Morgan 32).

Well, it's off to Hanalei Bay tomorrow morning - it should be a beautiful sail followed up with a potluck with some new friends. We'll get an update with photos out to you soon.