Monthly Archives: January 2011

Honokohau and Homeward Bound!

If the mountain weren’t there, you might wonder if you would see any evidence of the sun this morning. It’s after sunrise, but a low thick layer of clouds covers the bay and our little boat in this wide open stretch of water on the shores of Hilo. But the mountain, Maua Kea, IS there, and it’s famous peak glitters brightly as direct sunlight reflects off the large white domes of the observatory buildings, as well as the large patches of snow on the mountaintop. It’s an impressive sight – on a tropical island or anywhere – and the observatories must be massive to appear so clearly, just a hair below 14,000 feet. Nico was saying something to us yesterday, that they have 364 nights of clear visibility up there, no matter what the weather on the rest of the island might be like.

Anyway, my coffee is good today, a bit of Kona Coast grind mixed in with the Tahitian coffee that we are close to finishing. The bay is quiet if a tad rolly and Lara sleeps peacefully in our cabin. On shore some early morning traffic takes the locals wherever it is they are going, perhaps to church or the market. The nearby Hilo airport remains busy with an interesting mix of commercial and military traffic. Yesterday we watched enormous cargo planes – jets, not the prop-driven C-130’s – make repeated approaches for landing, only to touch down briefly, take off again and repeat the whole exercise. The planes are so large they seem to fly and maneuver in slow motion.

So today is moving day. In a few short hours we’ll have the boat cleaned up and everything stored so we can raise the raise the sails and make way out of the breakwater. We’ll be heading south and around the bottom tip of Big Island before turning north again and arriving eventually at our destination: Honokohau Harbor. Located on the leeward, or West side of the island, this is kinda smack in the middle of the bustling and touristy Kona Coast. I expect an experience altogether different from the quiet and quaint Hilo town and surroundings. For Walk On, the harbor will be home until mid-March, as we hop flights to the US and Brazil for family visits.

It’s a little sad to leave Hilo, I must say. Thanks in large part to Nico and husband Charuto (Renato), Hilo has been the perfect place to rest, relax, and decompress after the passage from the Marquesas. In addition to playing tour guide all last weekend, Nico went out of her way all last week to help us out – most days this meant leaving her truck with us while she was at work. We got a lot done thanks to her – loads and loads of laundry for the cheap, a propane tank fill and several runs with jerry cans to gas station for diesel. Then there were pharmacy and supermarket visits – all of these things that would have been slow and much more difficult were we to do it all on foot, as cruisers normally do. We also spent copious amounts of time at Starbucks, sipping coffee and taking full advantage of the free wi-fi connection. Skype put us in touch with Switzerland, San Blas Islands in Panama, and Rio.

Charuto came back from a visit to Guam on Thursday night and so Friday we had the chance to get all four of us together, finally! They took us to a family stye Mexican restaurant known for their Margaritas (they even have an electronic counter for how many had been served, like McDonalds used to do years and years ago, and I think the number may have been like 35,000… But after the Margaritas we had, no one could be completely sure). Yesterday we left Radio Bay and anchored over in Hilo Harbor. It was time for a day sail with friends and a barbeque to finnish off the afternoon. We picked up Nico and Charuto just after noon and eventually headed out of the breakwater, into the swell and breeze for a quick sail. Almost immediately we got exactly what we were looking for: an easy beam reach and a repeated visits and near-encounters with Humpback whales! The first and the closest were a mother-infant pair, just cruising across our bow and enjoying what must be warm waters for them. The young one was really quite small for a whale and behaved just like a kid – breaching (jumping) and splashing like crazy, stretching his/her muscles and obviously having a good time showing off. Lucky us! We got some photos and enjoyed our friend’s reaction to the whole thing – though they live here, it’s a rare event to get out on a boat and see whales. I love when we can share experiences like that with friends.

Later we tacked back and beam reached again back into the protected waters of the bay, where we anchored and got ready for our sunset barbeque. Lara and Nico had done the shopping and we simply had a feast: steaks and teriyaki Kalbi beef ribs, potatoes baked on the grill, salad, garlic bread, and even farofa with authentic Bahia flour that we still have on the boat! It was delicious. Another new culinary treat for us was the Poke that Nico insisted we try. Clearly from the strong Asian influence in Hawaii, Poke is raw ahi tuna, cubed and marinated in a special flavored mixes, with different kinds of exotic powders, spicy chilies, green onions and other yummy flavors. You put some on a little sheet of seaweed and make your own rolls – it was soooo good I couldn’t stop! We had a great time with Nico and Charuto, and look forward to seeing them again – be it in the Islands or on the coast once we’re settled there. Thanks guys – valeu, por tudo mesmo!

So, that’s about it. Time to put away the barbeque paraphernalia, take the trash ashore, and get this boat ship-shape for a quick round-the-island passage to the Kona Coast. In terms of sea miles, it’s something like 160 or 170 nautical miles, so it will be an overnight. We’ll get plenty of pictures and do some posting from Honokohau. I know everyone prefers the pics, but today that’s not possible… No wi-fi out here in the Bay, so today we’re coming to you via satellite, so to speak. 🙂

Have a great Sunday gang. More from Kona. MM


Big Island Plans….

The map below shows our short term plans… move from Radio Bay, in Hilo, over to the West side of Big Island.

If all goes as planned, we’ll be tied up at Honokohau Harbor on Monday . 🙂

A few pics that I grabbed off the net…

This is Radio Bay, where we are tied up near this Coast Guard Cutter, the Kiska:

And this is Honokohau Barbor, where we’re headed on Sunday!

More soon!

headed to the mainland, and tupiniquim land too!

all booked!

more soon


HAPPY 2ND!!!!!!!

To my Godson Kian, HAPPY BIRTHDAY & AUGURISSIMI Caro Mio, see you soon!



slow pics

Ok – I suppose I should explain the pics from yesterday a little bit, what do you think?  Since I’m sipping coffee and have free internet (yep, I’m at Starbucks), I might as well add a few photos too!

This is the scene – just before we ate – at the New Year’s party we were invited to.  Laurent, a visiting French tourist from Paris, had come out to the boat by Kayak, in Anaho Bay, to invite us ashore for the party.  It was great, with an eclectic mix of Marquesans, French, and us!

On the left is Laurent, and on the right is the guy who owns the guesthouse and lives in Anaho Bay.

These ladies were very nice!  Mother, from France, and Daughters (the one in the middle, Tatiana, is Laurent’s girlfriend, on the right is sister Anna) – the interesting thing being that the girls are half Rapa Nui (their father is from Easter Island!).  We’d never met anyone half Rapa Nui before.

On passage, a rare photo of the two of us.  This was minutes before crossing the equator – the third time for us!

Whenever we cross the equator, Neptune gets his, FIRST!  This time he got French White Wine.

Jennifer the Gennaker makes her appearance during the passage…

We also did a spot of Wing & Wing sailing

It wasn’t all clear skies though – this is the cloud that brought 47 knots of wind, incredible rains, and an enduring gale of nearly four hours.

Lara stayed inside, out of the rain, and watched the radar.

This was not the same gale, but a squall that Lara had on one of her watches.  Everyone on our boat gets the chance to handle Walk On in a squall.  🙂 and Lara gets better at it every time.  She’s watching the wind instrument, to see how high the wind will go….

Storms blow over though, and prettier skies can be found on most days. . .

And the fishing gets good too…. this is the first of the two Mahi Mahi (Dourado) that we caught on the hand line.

Yummy!  We ate this guy for three days.

Sailing along….

This is the fresh Mahi Mahi sandwhich I made during the passage.  Actually, I caught the fish and cleaned it, and Lara made the homemade bread.  YUMMY!

Same sandwhich, with two little details:

1) the large scale Pacific Ocean chart on the table.  We have the salon table covered with plastic anyway, and so when you stick a large planning chart underneath it, it becomes a secondary chart table.  On this one, we’d plot our noon position every day… watching the line creep north and then west to Hawaii.

2) I’m finally getting around to reading a book my good friend Eduardo (S/Y Anima Mare) lent me a year ago… it’s the “Storia Generale dei Pirati” (General History of Pirates) by possibly mythical author Captain Johnson.  The rumor is that this guy, who wrote so intimately about pirates and their pilaging, may have actually been a pirate himself.  This very nice version of the book is in Italian – which I needed to brush up on a bit anyway.  Thanks Edu!

Our first view of the Big Island, this from the SE, just after dawn.  You can’t see a whole lot of the island, but it’s big enough allright.  The highest peak, an extinct volcano, Mauna Kea, is actaully near 14,000 feet high (+/- 4,260m).  So high in fact, that there is lots of snow up there right now and the temps are normally near or below freezing.  Brrrrrr – crazy for a tropical paradise!

This a picture the morning after our arrival – taken from the anchorage in Reed’s Bay.  The photo correction bleached out the snow on the top of the mountain, but there it is, Mauna Kea (‘white mountain’).

There you can see a bit of the moon, setting over Mauna Kea.  It was a lovely sunrise sight after 15 days of ‘water only’ sunrises.

Lara and Nico give the Hawaiian salute with Rainbow falls as a background.  Nico was GREAT, taking us all over the place on the weekend – we couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide.  Thanks Nico!!!!

Baby Cakes and I up the road at another spot called “Boiling Pots”.

One of Nico’s two wonderful dogs – this is Tiger Lily (tai tai).  She is a sweetheart (and she runs the roost, over her little brother, Kingston)!

This is Kingston.  He’s a big, loving creampuff!

Isn’t he cute?

This a local weekend hangout, with boatramp, a bit of black sand beach, and a surf spot – it’s a state park really (can’t recall the name).  This is SE of Hilo, on the SE coast.

The girls in the Jungle

One of these days I’m going to invest more time in B&W photography and filters and all that.

Cuties on the beach.  🙂

We’re doing the Hawaii Salute (Hang Ten!)

Another beach (state park).  Big Island is BEAUTIFUL

Heading out on a ‘recent’ lava flow to see the sea.  This one happened in the late 80’s, covering some old beloved beaches and creating a new coastline in this area.  Incredible.  Big Island is still growing, and may be one of the only ones in the world like that (I don’t recall).

Black beach – Pele’s Art.

On Sunday, touring with Nico, we came across a group of classy classic cars out for a Sunday drive.  This is a ‘Vette,  Others below….


It was cool to see these old cars.  I know my buddies Edu & Pedrocka like this kind of stuff too.  Anyway, that’s about it for today.  My coffee is done.  🙂

More soon, perhaps from the Kona Coast, perhaps before.

Fair winds gang.



quick pics

Guys – PLENTY to write about, but not enough time at the moment!  So, a few pics…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sorry to be so short… battery running low at Starbucks!

More soon, I promise!


porto seguro / one particular harbor


MORE SOON – TIME TO SLEEP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



110119 – Noonsight Wednesday – looking to raise Big Island today, arrival tmorrow a.m.

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011: underway from Nuku Hiva (Marquesas) to Hawaii

22.00 UTC (Zulu), Noon by HAWAII ALOHA Time!!!!!
Position / Posicao: 18.51.65 NORTH (norte), 153.45.20 W (oeste) Course / Rumo (COG): 303 degrees magnetic (303 graus)
Speed e/ Velocidade (SOG, GPS): 5.5 knots
Wind: mostly ENE to NE, varying from 8-12 without squalls and rain, 15-20 with squalls and rain, take your pick. Swell: lumpier and a bit more confused today
Temp: Around 27 C / 80 F, completely overcast, with vasious squall and storm-like clouds on the horizon in all directions – lots of shades of gray you might say, from the lightest to the darkest Water temp: 28,2 C
Barometric Pressure (BP): 1010 mb

– – – –
Noon to Noon: 137 nm.
Nautical Miles remaining to Hawaii Landfall: 77
– – – –

The power of a noonsight…. I don’t get it exactly, but it seems that as soon as I wrote yesterday’s post, about us motoring and all of that, it was as if the wind God, Eolo, was listening – and so he cranked up the wind for us! At noon we were motoring along at 4.5 knots… by 13.00 we were rocking and rolling on a beam reach again, at 7.5 knots! And so at this rate, we had a new issue… we could indeed make Hawaii this time on Wednesday again (Rather than Thursday), but unless we were able to step it up to 10 or 11 knots, we wouldn’t actually do that during DAYLIGHT hours on Wednesday. Bummer. So, we decided to take what would could get while we could get it – making way towards Hawaii at a good clip. This because the weather forecast left us guessing totally – it was such an odd mix of wind arrows and barbs (ever seen a GRIB file?) that we couldn’t really depend on it. It felt a bit like reading braile without training. As it turns out the wind didn’t die down or even change direction all that much and so we continued on with the main twice reefed, the staysail out fully and about half the genoa (wind permitting). That put us on a decent clip that we could guestimate would put us into Hilo on Thursday at first light. Now we’re keeping our eyes glued to the horizon, anxious to see the giant mass of Big Island rising out of the sea. Landfall. Coming up! Kona burgers & Kona beers on the way. Yummy. Just have to dodge some squalls today and hang in there one more night…

More from HAWAII, Literally, tomorrow.

110118 – Noonsight Tuesday… Hawaii playing hard to get (to)

Turesday, January 18th, 2011: underway from Nuku Hiva (Marquesas) to Hawaii

22.00 UTC (Zulu), Noon by HAWAII ALOHA Time!!!!!
Position / Posicao: 17.28.92 NORTH (norte), 151.52.29 W (oeste) Course / Rumo (COG): 303 degrees magnetic (303 graus)
Speed e/ Velocidade (SOG, GPS): 4 knots
Wind: no wind. actually, there are little puffs here and there of 2 knots, sometimes W, E, no – wait – N!, ok, now SE… it just keeps spinning without actually firming up
Swell: seas very calm, long quiet swell continues to roll through, hardly noticeable Temp: Around 28 C / 82 F, mixed cloudiness
Water temp: 29,7 C
Barometric Pressure (BP): 1012 mb

– – – –
Noon to Noon: 118 nm.
Nautical Miles remaining to Hawaii Landfall: 212
– – – –

You thought we were slow yesterday? Ha! That was before noon, even after a few hours with the Gennaker. Slow? That really started in earnest AFTER noon yesterday… .the winds continued to weaken, clocking further E and then even ESE and SE. Strange for these here parts. 🙂 That put us on a broad reach, then a run, and still making an ever more northward course… sort of for the Aleutian islands, not the Hawaiian islands. To get back on course, we set the sails wing and wing, mainsail to starboard, genoa to port. This worked well for about 90 minutes, and then the wind just died.

We were more or less forced to turn on the engine at about 18.00 and now, just past noon on Tuesday, we’re still using it. It’s in low revs (1,500) to save fuel – I doubt we have enough to make it the rest of the way, so we’re counting on some wind filling in. Either that, or we’ll float around until some wind does fill in. ALl morning we’ve had a huge rain cloud on the horizon… but it seems we’re tavelling in the same direction, at the same very slow speed. There it sits, black and big and slow and full of falling rain – and it’s just 2 miles off the bow – our radar tells us. But for us? Not a drop of rain, not a breath of air. Strange weather this, I gotta say. And looking at the forecast, it’s impossible to say if we will have regular wind the rest of the way – at least for the next two days. Friday the wind starts to fill back in nicely. Ha!

The highlights yesterday were talking to Mom & Dad & Aunt Doreen, and then the DELICIOUS Mahi Mahi Sammies… fresh grilled Mahi Mahi filets on fresh home-made bread, with mayo & a touch of Dijon and a squirt of Marquesan lime juice and black pepper. WOW. The line is back in the water as we want more MAHI!

Arrival? Anyone’s guess, but our hopes are currently pinned on Thursday. You’ll know when we do. 🙂

Happy Tuesday y’all.

110117 – Noonsight Monday – Jennifer come out to play for a while…

Monday, January 17th, 2011: underway from Nuku Hiva (Marquesas) to Hawaii

22.00 UTC (Zulu), Noon by HAWAII ALOHA Time!!!!!
Position / Posicao: 16.09.92 NORTH (norte), 150.22.19 W (oeste) Course / Rumo (COG): 315 degrees magnetic (315 graus)
Speed e/ Velocidade (SOG, GPS): 5 knots
Wind: NE and ENE, interrupted trades, 8-11 kts
Swell: long and slow, around 2m
Temp: Around 29 C / 84 F, with sunny skies & trade wind puffy whites Water temp: 30,2 C
Barometric Pressure (BP): 1011 mb

– – – –
Noon to Noon: 136 nm.
Nautical Miles remaining to Hawaii Landfall: 330
– – – –

We’ve slowed a bit – as the wind has taken a bit of a break. Actually, the weather reports show some larger disturbances here and there, and so these systems, fronts, gales and other anomalies have weakened the trade winds in our area. Overnight the wind died to around 7 knots and we made very slow progress indeed. At dawn, things looked like they’d stay about the same. Looking for a bit of a speed boost, Danny and I took Jennifer (the Gennaker!) out of her hiding place and got her hoisted. Our speed went from 3.5 to 6.5 almost instantly, and for a few hours it was quite nice. That’s why we were able to make up for lost time and still post a 136 nm day rather than 110 or some other number like that. Then a few whitecaps started to appear, and one gust fairly laid us over on the port side – when noone was looking of course! Jennifer is just one BIG BIG BIG sail and when the wind gets over 15 or 17 knots, our Autopilot doesn’t seem to be able to handle it. I hand steered for a little while and then at about 9 we put Jennifer away and opened up the Genoa again. The wind hasn’t decided whether it will fill in or weaken yet again. Until it does, we’ve got sunny enough skies and are under full main and full genoa, rolling along pretty comfortably. With Jennifer’s appearance today, we’ve completed our sail arsenal on this trip: we’ve used the mainsail in every possible position (full, 1st reef, 2nd reef, 3rd reef), both headsails (staysail and genoa) both full and/or partially furled, and now Jennifer the Gennaker too. What a gorgeous sail she is! Oh, we DO have two more sails, that we hope to never have to use… as they are STORM sails.

We were looking at a good chance for Wednesday arrival – but with these lighter winds, that is starting to look highly unlikely. That’s ok, we’ll take Thursday. 🙂 Right now we’re going to make some fresh bread, so we can make Mahi Mahi filet sandwiches this afternoon! Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy!

Happy Monday gang – Aloha!