_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Alaska bound

What we thought would be a quick month in Hawaii turned into two and a half months of boat work, marinas, seeing friends and a few spectacular anchorages. When we finally hauled anchor in Hanalei Bay on the north side of Kauai we felt ready to be at sea. We were rewarded with smooth seas and comfortable winds. We have been at sea 53 hours (it's Thursday afternoon now) and the routine here seems to be light winds at night, squalls and shifty wind in the morning to early afternoon and trade winds from 3P to 10P. We'll take it. Our course is due north and we have just crossed the 27th parallel North. We are well out of the tropics now but we can't tell that by the scorching temperatures during the day. Below decks the temperatures are in the high 80's, on deck it's closer to 100 in the sun. Peter has had to chase two boobies around the deck (the birds, of course) before they made a mess. We are into the watch routine and the wind has been cooperating - sail changes have been mostly only necessary when we've both been up. Speaking of sails, we have four sails (our whole inventory) on deck right now. Our storm stays'l is staged (hanked on the stay but not hoisted) for the higher winds we're sure are coming, the jib and main are up pulling and we used the spinnaker this afternoon for a few hours. We are enjoying our full radio capabilities (knock on wood) with email and voice check-in to the Seafarer's Net. With just over 2000 miles to go to Sitka we're enjoying the passage so far.


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hawaii, Land of Plenty

ahhh summer

A trip to Costco had us feeling spoiled for choice and yielded a bowl full of familiar summer flavors. It's amazing to taste a perfect raspberry after four years without. And finally, in Hawaii we found the answer to the question “Why do sailors go ashore?”

Maui beer

While Hawaii has been very handy for shopping we have also taken advantage of the quick service of the US Post office. What a relief to have such easy shipping and no worries about customs! We arrived in Lahaina with our chartplotter screen dark. We sent the chartplotter via USPS to Raymarine for repair with our fingers crossed for a speedy return. With our electronics pending we turned our attention to sailing. Our trip from the Big Island to Maui confirmed that we needed to replace our 25 year old back-up jib. We had been using our old jib since we dug it out of the locker on passage to Hawaii when our working headsail tore. We did a search on line and found that Second Wind Sails in Florida had the perfect used jib waiting for us. We contacted them and had our new-to-us sail on the boat in 5 days! Happily, the sail arrived as listed on the site, the measurements perfect and the shape good. We expect this jib to come in very handy for the close hauled sailing on our passage to Alaska.

hoisting new jib

Some mornings off Lahaina were almost calm. Especially when the current pointed the bow into the always present swell.

Marcy Lahaina

More often the ocean motion at the mooring made us especially appreciative of our time ashore with friends. We caught up with Deanna and Tim as they made numerous trips to Lahaina to visit and of course there was plenty of time to talk as Deanna took Ginger on extended shopping trips.

Dinner with Deanna and Tim Maui

We even improved our shore transportation situation when Tim found a folding bike in his shop for Marcy.

Peter with new pixie

visit South Maui Bicycles

We got an email that Sue and Fred (Peter's ex and her husband) would be vacationing on Maui from Seattle and happily we were able to meet up with them for lunch and a walk on the beach.

Peter Sue and Fred

Too soon it was time to say goodbye to our friends and goodbye to Lahaina. Peter said not soon enough to say goodbye to the rolly anchorage. The exhaust manifold job kept Peter upside down in the engine room for hours here.

Peter Lahaina

We unfurled the jib and headed for Molokai.

New jib

This was our opportunity to have a memorial for Peter's mom, a Hawaii native who died last year, by scattering her ashes with flowers from Deanna's tree.

Plumerias . scatter flowers

We used our low tech (no chartplotter) skills and charts to enter the reef at Kamalo Harbor on Molokai. We had a few nervous moments as we watched the depth sounder go from 30 feet to less than 10. Then, because the water was stirred up by the waves the depth read 0! Luckily we have lots of practice around reefs, and some good luck too, we were able to enter the harbor and drop our hook safely inside the reef.

Marcy Kamalo Molokai

We went ashore to meet our radio friend Jaime and Kim.

Jaime and Kim Molokai

They took us on a tour of most of the island showing us their favorite beaches and the view of Kalaupapa the leper colony.

Kalaupapa Molokai

Back at Marcy we found that Kamalo Harbor is a very windy place. The anchorage is on the channel between Maui and Molokai, where the wind accelerates as it comes through between the islands.

Peter bailing Hootie

Unfortunately we were plagued by outboard problems here and rowing was almost dangerous. On our return to the boat from our shore visit (rowing with the outboard tipped up because it wouldn't start) we were almost blown past Marcy. We tried a couple of times to row out our light Danforth to keep Marcy's head to wind. Each time the anchor dragged in the soft mud, so eventually Peter just fastened a line to a nearby mooring.

setting spare line

Jaime and Kim offered a second day tour of the east side of the island. Though we wanted to spend more time with them we had to decline for lack of safe transportation to shore. We said goodbye over the phone and sailed out into the channel. It was a beautiful spot and we were sad to leave so soon after arriving.


We found our quiet anchorage on the west end of Molokai at Hale o Lono. We left Marcy at anchor and hiked up the back side of the cliffs over the bay. We even got to borrow a dog for the complete walk experience.

Hale o Lono

The marine supply stores of Honolulu were close and it was time to sail on. Our trip to Oahu was noteworthy for comfortable winds and seas. It was so calm Canadian warships in the area were practicing personnel transfers at sea.

CAN coast guard personnel transfer HI

Finally, the landmark Diamond Head was near.

Diamond HEAD

Our time in Honolulu was a blur of big city, visiting with sailing friends and getting ready for our passage to Alaska. We met Mike and Mon, fellow cruising sailors on "Windy City" homeported in Tacoma, who are “stationed” in Honolulu for a few months. They helped us with many errands, showed us their local hangouts and took us on an island tour.

Koko Head park with Mike and Mon

The chartplotter was returned in working order and is back in service, the outboard is reportedly running well again and numerous other jobs are done. It was hard to leave our front row seats for the Friday night fireworks.

Waikiki fireworks from Marcy

But, with the gift of a "Bon Voyage" cake from Mike and Mon it was time once again for the hardest part of cruising - saying goodbye to friends.

b v cake

We're going to miss the tropics, but Alaska calls. Now if we can only figure out where we stowed the poly-pro!

P n G Lahaina