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Day 19 from Tahiti to Hawaii - Approach to Hawaii - landfall in Kona after midni

Thursday 5th July

Grey sky, rainy, cooler air ... Bands of rainshowers and gusty clouds with patchy blue sky from time to time in between. Wind stronger....

Email from Raymarine Hawaiian agent in Honolulu didn't make me happy this morning - but after an email from me in reply, he's making a big effort - and coming to fix the replacment pump on Sunday...!

2pm - Certainly knew we were getting near high land even though I couldn't see it for cloud - wind well over 30knots and rough seas..!! Tied in 3rd reef and reduced genoa - a lot!! Wind direction changed by the land rather, so now from E which makes it more of a following wind so feels more comfortable - until a big wave catches us on the beam and tosses us on our ears...!. We're approaching the S.Cape (Ka Lae) of Hawai'i - 'the Big Island' they call it, to distinguish it from the other smaller Hawaiian islands nearby.

By 5pm we were rounding the SW of Hawaii and getting into the lee of the land slowly - seas down to 2m from the oough 3.5-4m seas of just before and wind down to 25 from 30+ kt. Still making good speed but very little seen of the land - too much grey cloud, with a long plume of cloud downwind from the high mountain (volcano) in the middle of the island.

3 hrs later, as we passed Puu Nahaha (!!), the wind dropped quickly - from 13 to 11 ...to 7 .. and not long after that - to 3knots -which it remained at for the duration. A bright moon finally made it out from behind the clouds. I tried motor-sailing but that didn't work so regretfully furled away headsails, centred the main - and turned on the 'iron sail'

During the Pacific Seafarers Net, Randy (KH6RC), who lives on the island, went over the mooring options and the entry into Kona Hbr, and Howard, on 'Holy Grail', also gave me some useful tips. The hope was that someone would already be tied to the fuel dock and all I'd have to do would be to raft up to him, rather than having to pick up a flimsy mooring buoy. The method here is a 'Med-moor' i.e. pick up a stern buoy & tie off to it and then head for shore and tie off the bow with lines there as well (or bow to buoy and stern to shore - is more usual) Since I was expecting to arrive after midnight, when everyone would be fast asleep, so no helping hands available, the rafting-up option sounded far preferable - only problem was not being sure if a boat would be there - and which side I'd be able to tie up to.

In the event, after a highly cautious approach to the narrow entry channel, not finding the lights quite as expected, I found a boat at the fuel dock - so rafted up. (I had lines and fenders on both side ready.... having heard a comment about 'not much space inside' I'd done that out in deep water!)

So here we are - ready for sleep at the end of our passage from Tahiti - just under 19 days in all and over 2560 n.ml... It's 2.30 am and Customs are due first thing to do paperwork... Good night!

PS We made DMG of 169 n.ml. up to 2pm today!! Not bad, eh?

Written by : Mike

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