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(PHOTOS added 24 July)Thurs/Fri 9/10 July 2010: From Honolulu to Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii....

Left Honolulu at 6.30 a.m. local time (Hawaii time is 10 hrs behind GMT/UTC)..... on Thursday 8th July (local date) - I've finally accepted the consequences of crossing the Date Line just before midnight on Saturday 5th June (4 days out from N.Z.) so I'm having to repeat a day in my calendar to get into sync ...!!! As I left, I thoroughly enjoyed my first mug of freshly brewed coffee for a long time...with fresh milk bought in Honolulu ....!

Had to motor to get away from Honolulu and the wind-shadow of Oahu. Not until gone 1 p.m. local time did we get clean air and find the 20 knot NE Trades - 15 miles WSW of Kaena Pt -the extreme NW point of Oahu. After that, I had a fabulous sail all the way over over to Kauai, reaching Nawiliwili soon after sunset, with the intention of stopping just for a few hours to delay my arrival in Hanalei until daylight.

I wasn't keen to heave to for several hours on a lee shore, which I'd be on when sailing on around the north end of Kauai towards Hanalei, and by stopping in Nawiliwili, I'd be able to see something of the marina which I had been considering for leaving "Nereida" in for a short while. It also gave me the chance to meet up with Tom, K4XV, for a chat since he lives not too far away.

This was a very dark, night entry with the good-sized NE swell coming right into the small bay leading to the entrance near shore at the end of the long breakwater. The red lights of the transit were very useful for getting the entry right but once inside the harbour it was a bit difficult to see where I was going and got quite worrying at times when I spotted unlit large buoys close to my path. There was a big question mark over my proposed tying-up place - sure enough, Tom contacted me to change to coming in to an empty marina berth ... Being in an unfamiliar place, I had to go very slowly and be particularly careful to get that right - even more so when I saw the size of the space I was coming in to (a bit on the small side!!) and gathered that the docks and posts between the pairs of boats were concrete - not floating docks and not 'cushioned' with rubber along their edges in any way.... except for some tyres, nowhere near the sharp corner on the approach. One of the few times I was happy to use my bowthruster to help getting in to a difficult berth without too much damage!

Tom stayed to chat for a while and it turned out that he might be able to help me with the problem I'm having charging my laptop (the plug-in point is damaged) - he's a computer technician - useful! As an ex-cruiser himself, he was happy to stay and talk 'boat-talk' for quite a while....!!

I slept for a few hours and got up before dawn to leave for the sail around to Hanalei Bay. It got quite 'interesting' manoeuvring the boat away from the dock unaided, with the wind trying to blow the bow off so we kept touching this big square concrete post close by the stern on the one side... and an unprotected concrete jetty on the other side... and almost no space to spare...! Fortunately, just then, the wind was not too strong so, with a bit of 'manhandling' - quick hopping about from the stern to push us off the post, to the dockside to stop fenders getting caught on a couple of tyres, to the wheel for a touch of steering going very slightly astern... helped eventually by the wind continuing to blow the bow off so we finally turned gently in a direction I wanted to go (unusual that - Murphy was clearly asleep just then!!), we managed to leave the berth without adding any more scratches to the hull ....

As if that weren't enough, just as I was leaving the breakwater entrance, it started raining heavily - and that turned into a long squall accompanied by 25+ knot winds. Having raised the mains'l inside the breakwater, I now had to take in the third reef hurriedly! When the squall finally passed over, there was a most beautiful rainbow as compensation for the stress!

The grey clouds cleared away eventually and after a bit of initial motor-sailing, I was able to cut the engine and enjoy a leisurely sail around the NE end of Kauai, gradually easing the sheets to end up downwind on the final approach to Hanalei past the Kilauea lighthouse - first time downwind over the entire passage from New Zealand!!

I was confirmed by the SHTP Race Committee over the VHF to have crossed the Race Finish Line off Princeville Bluff around 2 p.m. local time and by 3 p.m. I was finally anchored (took a time because the pin was stuck fast with salt so I couldn't release the anchor from the bow roller - good to have people nearby come to my rescue!! I must have circled around my proposed anchoring spot at least half a dozen times...!). I then sat in the cockpit with my helpers, taking in the beautiful scenery around the bay and relaxing in the sun, enjoying the feeling of having finally arrived - I was in good time for the evening's Awards dinner .... It felt good... and even better later when I met up with so many friends I'd not seen for a time and I enjoyed meeting some of the Racers I'd talked to over the radio but had never met face to face.

I'll be pausing my reporting now until I start on my next passage to head north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and on to Puget Sound, after a short 'holiday' here in beautiful Hanalei Bay in between dealing with a few 'boat jobs' over the coming week or so (engine oil-change, generator seawater pump replacement & oil change, etc, etc)...... I feel like taking time out to relax for a change... although I also, unfortunately, have 'paperwork' to catch up on, having been at sea for such long periods since last September (and away from London all that time) !   There's so much to organize and think about by way of repairs etc if I'm to re-start my nonstop, solo RTW attempt in October....

Failed generator seawater pump to be replaced with new (and old one serviced with new seal etc as a spare)...

  ......  Alternator belt shredded by misalignment in system ....   

.........     Just a couple of the many jobs to be seen to before I'm ready to 'jump off' again in October!!!   Never say life on board is dull or boring....  There's always a challenge of some description!!  (And Murphy is never far away...)

Some more photos taken recently (click on any photo to enlarge it).   First one shows my dilemma in an 'oh-so-dark' anchorage shared with a fish farm off Port Underwood, New Zealand, when looking for shelter from a storm near Cook Strait at beginning of passage north to Hawaii...   Should I believe the chart plotter or radar? ....  I managed to split the difference!!  (Notice where the proposed anchoring spot lay... )   Looks as though radar needs calibrating - another job on the list...

4 June  : One of many magnificent albatross that kept "Nereida" company while heading north from New Zealand :

21 June :  SPCZ squall!


25 June:  A lovely flying fish was unlucky enough to land in the cockpit overnight :

Written by : Mike

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