April 2005

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3 April - The sail across, or the first stay in a marina since February (Among other things)

A lot of things have happened in the last few days. Right now we are on Oahu. The sail over from Kauai was well planned but it didn't go as well as we had hoped. We knew when we left that the sail over would last around twelve hours so we left around 1900 , and get there around 0700. This was sound reasoning, and it was actually true, but the night was horrible. We were bouncing across at an average of 7 knots, and we were shaking so violently that I couldn't sleep. During the night, momma threw up, and the sound made Nikki throw up. If it was that bad, I'm glad I was not awake to hear it. Around the worst of the bouncing and rattling, we figured out the hard way that one of the top hatches was still a bit open. We got a huge wave, and about half of it came through the open window. I was asleep when it happened, but papa was on watch and got the full blast. I got woken up by his exclamation : “ Oh F**k!”. The next day there was salt on almost every imaginable surface, and then some. Around 0300, We came into the shadow of Oahu, and the sailing became a lot nicer. At 0345, I was rudely awakened by mamma, who told me I had to steer the boat for a half hour. Papa had been up for most of the night and was finally asleep. She didn't want to wake him up, but she was really tired and needed to close her eyes for a little while. It actually wasn't that horrible, but the wind was like 1 knots, and the boat took close to a minute to respond to a turning of the wheel. What made it harder was that I had to stay around 90 on the compass heading. I would turn to the right, then wait till the boat responded, and then I would turn hard a starboard, because I had figured out that in the time it would take for the bout to respond to that order, it would have turned 10 degrees to the left. When I was done, I fell asleep immediately, only to be awakened, yet again, 3 hours later.

We weren't going to Honolulu this time, as one of the marinas is undergoing a remodel, so some of the boat owners were asked to find a spot at one of the other marinas. Because of this it would be unrealistic for us to hope to find a spot there. Instead we are at Ko'olina, a secluded spot 20 or so miles from Honolulu, along the West Coast. The second day we were there, we went on a 2 hour bus ride to go to Ala Moana and to the Ward Warehouse. Ala Moana is a gigantic shopping mall filled to the brim with the blasphemous hordes of tourist shopping in Sears for “authentic” Hawaiian shirts and eating “authentic” Hawaiian food in the gigantic underground warren that is the food court. I am sorry to say that we actually ate lunch in the food court. After we were done, Nikki and I ran to the Ward Warehouse to get some new Warhammer. I had saved 120 dollars in Kauai, and I spent it all, and some extra that I loaned. I got ten from momma for Nikki's birthday in advance, and got next weeks allowance in advance too, and I even managed to borrow another 20 from Nikki. I had decided a while back on Kauai that I didn't like the race I originally collected (Space Marines), as they were very expensive points-wise, they got you outnumbered, and each man was just too good so I couldn't get them to die if I wanted to end the game. I decided to start an Eldar army. Eldar are very fast, and have many specialized units. I also choose them because Space Marines are all painted in the same color, and I was sick of painting them all dark green. All of the Eldars' specialized units (called Aspect Warriors) have their own unique color scheme, and they are all very detailed, so they offer lots of painting opportunities. The 160 dollars that were burning a hole in my pocket made it possible for me to buy 750 points worth of units. Even if this sounds like babble to you non-Warhammer players, I can't resist listing what I bought.

1 pack of Guardians, $30, 16 guardians 1 pack of Dire Avengers (Aspect Warriors), $30 8 Dire Avengers 1 Wraithlord, very powerful, heavy support $35 1 Farseer, HQ, can cast spells, blister pack, $10 2 Swooping Hawks, Fast attack, Aspect Warrior, single Blister pack, $10 6 paints, 2.50 each, $15 Codex: Eldar, $15 For Nikki's birthday I got her a Swooping Hawk Exarch (or leader) for $10. (I don't need to worry about her finding this out, because she already knows.)

I have played a game with them against Nikki, who was commanding my Space Marines. When the game was done, I decided that I really like the Eldar's style of play much more than the Space Marine's.

In the near future -this is not a plan, sailors don't make plans, remember?- we might anchor off Waikiki or Kane'ohe to get a better angle for sailing to Moloka'i or Mau'i. Note the extensive use of might's and or's. That is what sailing is all about. Uncertanties. I think. Hmmm, maybe not?

Random Thought

If one lives in the tropics, one gets so used to the heat that 80 degrees Fahrenheit feels a bit cool.

16 April - The Past Week of Fun

A lot of exiting things have happened in this past week. On Papa's birthday, we went on the two hour bus ride to Waikiki. We went to Borders for a while, had a Jamba Juice, and then went to Todai for Dinner. I would have preferred something a bit more cozy, but it was Papa's birthday, and he wanted all you can eat Sushi. The food was really good. The restaurant was extremely crowded, however. I was begging Momma and Papa not to tell the restaurant that it was Papa's birthday. If it was your birthday you got a free meal, so we had to tell them. Luckily there were a lot of other birthdays in the same room, so they sang the song for everyone at once. Because “Happy Birthday” was copyrighted by the creator, the restaurants have to make up their own versions or get permission to use it. Todai's song is not that much different than the original, but it was still korny. I hope never to go through that sort of humility again. They had the greatest selection of desserts, and the were all in little bits so you could have one of each. When we were done with dinner we saw a movie, “Hitch”. I thought it was really funny. I recommend it. When we got back to the boat after standing up on the bus for an hour and a half, it was a quarter past midnight.

A few days later we left the Marina and went to an anchorage off of a power plant. The water was really warm, and it was also amazingly clear. It was 30 feet deep, and you could still see the ripples on the sand. I figured that the real visibility was nearing 100 feet. I also broke my record for diving. I can now dive 30 feet. The view from the bottom looking up at that depth is really cool. I used to think that if I swam faster I would be able to get there quicker and go deeper. I realized that the opposite was true. If I go a bit slower, I save my energy and can go deeper. Also if I cruised up instead of kicking I found that it also save a lot of breath. When we got there we saw a big pod of dolphins. Nikki and I quickly jumped in, followed by momma. We finally swam with dolphins without paying 60 bucks. We got really close to them. We never did get to touch them because momma said we had to give them space. While we were swimming with the dolphins, a big green turtle came as well. This had to be the clearest, deepest, and most animal filled anchorage we have been to.

After a few days there, we went to another anchorage 5 miles south. This was behind a little breakwater in front of a town. Nikki and I promptly went into the water and started jumping off the boat. Soon we were approached by two kids on a kayak. The wanted to know if they could jump off the boat with us. Of course we said yes. Then they asked us where we lived, and we said we lived on the boat, their eyes became as big as kiwis. Later we were joined by three teenagers who started doing backflips. We thought it was a lot like PNG. The next morning Papa and I went surfing at the local break. The waves were crumbly and small, but they were still fun. My best ride was when I was crouched with one hand dragging on the wave and going really fast with the curl. It ended in a really fun wipeout. After an hour and a half, papa returned to the boat while I continued. He was lucky, because when he left, the surf really crapped out. Nikki came with momma on the dingy a bit later. Nikki had one ride on her knees and freaked out because of the reef, which was about 2 feet from the surface of the water. She returned right away, and I decided that it was better to stop now and catch the dingy back than surf a little bit longer and paddle back. I really miss Kalapaki and Hanalei on Kauai. My best wave ever was in Kalapaki. It was 3 feet tall and really powerful. I must have hit 10 mph. Hanalei was also really fun, but a hard crowd rated it lower than Kalapaki. After these two places everything else seems pale by comparison.

28 April - The Trip to the Big Island

Our trip to the Big Island was the most exhausting bit of sailing we have done in a long time. It took up 4 days of boring, tiring, and unchanging monotony to get to Hilo. We started in Kone'ohe bay, the location of Chinamans Hat, a spot we had stopped at 5 years ago. The top of the Chinamans Hat is accessible by a steep trail up the side, through bushes and up short but steep cliffs The next day we began are trip to the big island left to a small anchorage on Molokai called Lono harbor. We swam and spent a night here. From there it was another full days sail to the biggest harbor on Lanai'i. Lanai'i's coastline is really neat, because the ground suddenly stops 100 feet above the water making huge cliffs. What makes these different than other cliffs was that I could see the shape of the hills in them. We snorkeled here, and we saw some bright coral, along with some really cool fish and some Moray Eels. These first two days were the bounciest, windiest, and wettest of the four. From Lanai'i we had to motor on really flat water to Mauai on Momma's birthday. Nikki and I swam for the fourth day straight. Next in line was Molokini, a little atoll 2.5 miles from Mauai. The water was amazingly clear here. We couldn't anchor here, so we had to pick up a submerged Buoy, and I got to do that. When we spotted one I jumped off the bow in full snorkelling gear, and swam down 10 feet to get the rope. This was done without much screaming and panicing. Nikki had a problem some grumpy looking and fearless fish. She called them “Evil Fish of Eternal Dissatisfaction”. She made me jump of the boat before her to scare them away. When we left later in the day I had no idea that I was about to experience the best overnight ever. The trip to Hilo was flat, calm and slow. So slow, that at times we had to turn on the motors. When we got to Hilo in the morning I was really surprised to see that there were no buildings that showed over the trees, save for one Hotel that papa said the locals were proud of. The biggest let down was that I found out the the only store on the Big Island that sold Warhammer had gone out of business.