Pan-Pacific Adventure 13

Well what can I say, we have to leave the islands today… It’s rather a
shocking concept that my next stop will be Victoria, but such is offshore
cruising I guess. This trip has been indescribably fantastic, which will, I
imagine, make re-entry into Vancouver life all the more difficult. But all
good things must come to an end I suppose, though if I had an american
passport I might just stay here on Kaua’i! Which brings me to the update…

We left Honolulu after I took one more cruise down Waikiki beach and saw the
3rd Transpac boat finish. Full up with water, fuel and voltage we set out
for Kaua’i channel, which, like all the others, gave us 15-20 knots abaft
the beam right across! This trade wind sailing is unreal. When we got to
Hanelei Bay though it was pitch black and though we had a bunch of
boat-lookin’ blobs on our radar, there were only 2 anchor lights to be seen.
I was on the bow with the windlass and a dying spot light trying to yell
distances like it was a bloody start line, but with the older crowd a little
hard of hearing, the scene must have looked rather comical. A light flashing
around in the middle of the night and a conversation something like “BOAT,
dead ahead, 2 boat-lengths!” “WHAT?” “BOAT ahead 2 boat-lengths, and, SHIT,
another right beside us!” “WHAT? Just drop the hook, I can’t see a bloody
thing!” and on and on like that for a while. We finally did get anchored and
woke up to about 30 boats of various description surrounding us! So much for courtesy and etiquette.

The island itself is rather beyond description. Just in this Bay, verdant
cliffs rise steeply out of the valleys and the sharp edges are just dripping
with velvety green jungle.. Deep canyons, meandering rivers, quaint little
rice paddies and taro patches… and the food is great.

What wasn’t great was our outboard engine. Since New Zealand we have been
having issues with this lemon engine, trying everything to get it to work.
Often it would die at the most inopportune moments, like when I was
exploring the far side of Rangiroa in the stupid dinghy 5 miles from ZULU in
3 knots of current in a channel. It was deduced that it was a fuel issue but
it took us seasoned mechanics until Kaua’i to realize it was just the bloody
hose itself! Engine works magically now just in time for us to pack it
away – there is so much irony in this lifestyle. Oh I didn’t mention that
the boys put a hole in the thing back in Kona and it has leaked STEADILY
ever since. A fine example of seamanship I was, pumping air and fuel
simultaneously while tweaking the choke and trying to see where I was going.
Ridiculous. Anyways the bugger will be packed away for good today and it is
one part of this journey I wont miss. Haha I forgot to mention that there is
no dock here so one has to try to land in the (albeit moderate) surf on the
beach, which has rolled us (and all our phones, wallets, ipods, etc.) into
the drink in front of a beach full of tourists.

Winds are looking a bit better for us today and at least we’ll have a few
days of trades before we have to start navigating around high pressure
cells. I am game, as long those hurricanes don’t decide to take a vacation in
the Northern latitudes…

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