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Saturday, 5 July 2014

Hawaii

Here we are in fabulous Hawaii … we would have loved to share with you earlier but we haven’t had hi-speed internet since we got here – also not during the 2 ½ week trip from Mexico. That’s about 4 weeks.

Hawaiian children learn to paddle outriggers
Since I’m in a complaining mood, I’ll also mention that the motion out here at anchor is unbelievable … you would NOT like it. We are rolling back and forth. I’ve been trying to edit some photos we’ve taken so I can integrate them into the blog once we have hi-speed … I’m wondering if it’s worth continuing.

This spasm of complaint would be incomplete without my apologies for letters we’ve not responded to … Matt wrote us weeks ago … since we don’t have gmail, we also don’t have the old messages or his address (or many others). So … sorry to those friends who have persisted in writing us. We do enjoy hearing from you and finding out how you are and how the summer is going. We can’t access your letters to check that we remember what you told us, and we often cannot even locate your address. So if it helps – just know that we are getting a bit ‘’dotty’’ trying to keep track of everything.

Kilauea Volcano caldera
Arriving in Hilo on a Saturday, the 2014 Customs agent we encountered by phone told us to ‘’go ahead ashore – see me on Monday’’.  In 1993 the Customs agent came to the boat with a bag of papaya – I had never had the fruit in its fresh form and actually bought a few cookbooks. I told Customs (2014) about it on Monday – he laughed and said – ‘’papaya comes self-contained, even in its own container. Just get rid of the seeds and start eating!’’

We didn’t take time to relax after our long offshore trip. On Sunday the 30th we rented a car and went to visit Volcanoes National Park and took a few of these photos. In January 2002 when we ascended Mauna Loa it took 4 days to accomplish. We encountered some snow and also experienced some psychedelic altitude-fuelled dreams. The new soles on Larry’s boots fell off on Day 1. He dug channels in the soles and implanted our spare laces to keep the sharp lava from cutting the laces and ruining his surgery.

Returning to Hilo reminds me of the weeks I spent there on my own in October 2001 … I received a visit from my good friend and colleague Patricia Jorgensen. Patricia was a fellow piano teacher and my black-belt mentor when I started karate in Bellingham at the mature age of 45. Her husband Jim is a retired High School teacher who fulfilled a dream to set aside a bird sanctuary in Blaine WA. Every year many bird watchers now come to see the flocks of birds on their migratory path.

Ponds Restaurant
We went for the customary meal at Pond’s. Larry was here in 1985 with his mother, Lily, niece Michelle and nephew Stephen and we enjoyed it both in 1993 and in 2001. The restaurant hovers on the edge of a freshwater lake and features huge koi fish swimming beneath its windows in a secluded pool. From the road bridge and the gates around, enterprising local youngsters dive into its waters and all this entertainment is included in the price of the reasonable drinks and meals.

We spent time comparing prices at various grocery stores until we discovered that simply by giving our Victoria phone number we could be part of the Ohana (family) and get Hawaiian prices. Fresh fruit and ahi poke (delicious Hawaiian-style raw fish) and other treats were purchased and we replenished our low stock of supplies.

Cleaning the stainless took a few hours. Although covered in heavy wax in the last stage of the process, yesterday after crossing the famously rough Alenuihaha Channel I looked and found it was re-coated with a heavy layer of salt. The sun will again wreck its worst on my gleaming steel rails.

On Tuesday the 1st (Canada Day) early in the morning we left Hilo, sailed along the north shore of Hawaii and anchored at Nishimura Bay on the NW corner. We managed to anchor securely in the sand. We dived on Wednesday … and noted that the state of the coral and the type/number of fish we saw were much as they had been in 2001 when we made several dives and took photos. The area had already been devastated of its coral by the crown-of-thorns sea star at that time. It takes a LONG time for coral to re-grow judging by what we saw this time.

Yesterday we again left early, crossed the Channel to Maui and tried to anchor at Olowalu but the sea was choppy. Olawalu has channels of coral and channels of sand. We were worried we couldn’t judge and plant the anchor properly. So now we’re on our way to Honalua on the NW tip of Maui and are hoping to have better success in the anchoring and diving departments.
Snowflake Eel

Later (July 5)… we’ve now been here at Honolua for 24 hours … when we first got here, we saw surfers against the far shore … also a great many tourists snorkelling and diving off the 3 huge catamarans anchored here. We anchored securely in sand … Larry checked the anchor and we waited until 3pm when everyone had left. We then dived and saw a large number of beautiful marine life including a turtle and this snowflake eel. We’ll wait here again and plan to go diving again later today.


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