Monthly Archives: March 2011

Reunions & mid-week status report…

Well, I found the camera!  And so now I can post a couple of quick pics of our special visitor yesterday!  Kirsten and I attended two grade schools together, and then 4 years of high school as well – so a visit with her is special and rare occasion, as I don’t have many (ok, any) connections with old friends from that far back.  I do need to look up Brad, David S, David W, Brian and a few others from way back in the day, and perhaps I’ll have that chance once we’re relocated back on the mainland.  Until then, I’m lucky to have a classmate from those glory days who lives right here in Oahu!  Kirsten came over yesterday morning, bearing gifts from a local bakery (yummy!), some tiare flowers from her tree, and her great smile.  It was really nice to catch up and now we’re planning more get togethers with her husband and son.  More on that when it happens.  So, here’s the quick pics:

Classmates from the late 70’s/early 80’s… She hasn’t changed!

Lara and Kirsten hit it off very well – though K and I agreed that Lara’s ‘being born in the 80’s’ thing sounded, well, far too young!  🙂

Some more random pics from there and there:

Surf-signpost at the Poor Boyz Yacht Club.  This all-in-one shop occupies the very end of one of the nearby piers.  They are side-tie fuel spot for your boat, have food (breakfast and lunch), free wi-fi, laundry-mat and general store.  And the people are nice too!

Some news from last year foresees a questioinable future for them ( so we’re glad they’re still here and that said development hasn’t yet begun…

There we are: temporary slip 835.  Beyond us is the rock seawall and the Pacific Ocean.  Nice view from the bow for sunsets…

Admittedly not a great photo… but it serves two purposes.  The first is that I like the wood finish sterns of some of the fishing boats.  I should have taken better photos in Honokohau, where there were lots of them.  The second is that I plan to do a special post dedicated to this harbor and the incredibly variety of boats here – this is just a reminder to myself I guess.  I’m going to dinghy around and get photos and names of some boats and write about it.  A pet project if you will, but not on THE LIST.

Who’s that babe???? 🙂  Actually, there’s a funny little reason I took this pic.  If you have Lara’s email, write and ask her about her high tech special wardrobe fix.  he he he

Anytime I see fire trucks I think of my niece’s husband, Bran the Man with the Plan (LAFD!).  They’ve got some nice yellow ones here.

Mom & Dad, is THIS where you stayed some 30 or 35 years ago????  You wouldn’t recognize the neighborhood any longer I bet, but I did think of you both as we walked by.

Look familiar Mom?

We went to the UPS Store to take care of some business and on the way back… hit the gym!  Well, we visited a gym that Lara plans to join for a short time, making the most of our time here.   She’s my hero!  The place is only a mile from our slip and Jayson gave us a great tour.  We also met one of the trainers, a girl from Recife, Brazil.  Small planet.

Even touring the gym made me hungry, and whaddya know… right next to the gym is a Papa John’s Pizza.  Makes sense, right?  Anyway, the small lunch special pizza was perfect for 2 and cheap!  Oh, and YUMMY

Waiting for our little pie, Lara does the double self portrait arm stretch.  🙂

Lara pauses by the lagoon, watching infants and remembering Belinha’s recent antics in the water.

It IS a nice lagoon, isn’t it?

That’s it for now.  More news on Thursday, perhaps, as we plan to bus it up to the North Shore to see the big swell rolling through and the surfers who brave it.  Time to break out the real camera and lenses for some shots!




Belinha’s been gone nearly a week… so whaddya gonna do?

Tomorrow marks a week that little Belinha got off the boat.  😦  We miss her presence and energy here, as well as her parents, naturally.  🙂  Seems quite a few folks enjoyed the video so I’m pleased that we posted it.  Have to start making a better habit of that….

Anyway, in the meantime, we’re counting the days and hours until my two older sisters (I have three) and my bro-in-law arrive (4 days, 23 hours, 17 minutes and 49 seconds, from right now!), and so what are you going to do?  Like we’ve said before: THE LIST.  It’s a long one and I am trying to leave some items for my friend DuDu (more on that later), but we still have a bit to do before we can consider heading offshore again.

First was to backtrack and take care of some more of the S word issues… specifically the ones the Coast Guard gigged us on – extinguishers.

This is a bit curious, as the regulations can bewilder you if you’re not familiar with them.  We were told at the time of our warning (for not having up to date extinguishers… our CO2 and drychems were, ahem, expired) that we needed to have either three type B1 extinguishers, or one B1 and one B2.  Sounds like code, doesn’t it?  Well, I went armed with these options to West Marine and had an interesting experience.  The gentleman who waited on me was very nice indeed.  We pulled in minutes before closing time (long story) and he patiently took care of all of the items on our list… toilet service kit, this and that.  In any case, he took particular interest in the Extinguisher story as he used to do CG inspections of boats, as some sort of auxiliary.  Anyway, I told him what the Coasties had told me and he had some doubts.  The minutes were ticking away, past his closing time, but he wanted to do the right thing, vs. selling me the quantities I ‘thought’ I needed and be done with it.  But to him? No way.  He called a Coastie friend and they discussed my case on the phone for about 15 mintues… “Customer Service” in the dictionary might have his picture by the definition, I’m not sure.  In the end, we figured out what I really needed (it was indeed 3 B1 extinguishers, backed up by the regs-checking of 2 CG related inspectors!) and he even calculated the prices so that we might save money: one 2 pack and one extra, or two 2 packs.  We actually bought four for less than the price of the 2+1 option and I left the store impressed, happy, and having saved a few bucks.

Then I installed them: one by the companionway door, one by the electrical panel (also close to the engine), and one in the foreward cabins (imagine you wake up in your berth, and a fire is burning up the rest of the inside of your boat…

this one is tucked in there next to the electrical panel, beneath the radios..

and there’s one now installed by the companionway door – above it is the air horn.  we already had an old one, but decided the rusty thing probably should have a replacement, and I used the mounting bracked from the fourth extinguisher (not required) to put it in a safe, out of the way but easy to access place.

and the third, just behind the door of the foreward cabin.

Life doesn’t stop with these silly white cylinders, luckily, and so we’ve managed to do a few other things too….  a Racor fuel filter change, a lot of ‘spring cleaning’ that we haven’t in neptune-knows-how-long, some adjustments to the alternator setup (the belt was loosening far too often), the whole head (toilet) job, adding to “The List,” seeing a holywood movie (the Lincoln Lawyer), back to running everyday (Larissa), working on immigrant visa details for Lara with the Consulate in Rio and Immigration in Hawaii, IRS stuff, working out Yanmar registration issues with Yanmar (the guys in Tahiti did NOT complete our registration, so many dollars later), refilling supplies for engine parts like filters and impellers, ordering some LED lamps to test on the boat (thanks to Tim’s suggestion from S/Y Friendship), catching up on Sporanos Season 3 (thanks JP), checking out other beach areaas, dreaming of having children, and making vague but pleasing plans for our upcoming visits….

Today we had a special visit – I can’t comment on it yet becuase I want to post a pic or two, and I can’t find the camera that we took the pictures with!!!! Sorry K, I know it’s here somewhere, and the visit was GREAT.  More on that in the near future (after I find the damn camera).

Anyway, a couple of quick shots from today so that this post isn’t limited to extinguishers only (that would be sad!):

Walk On is actually in this picture  – can you see where?  This is the channel between piers where we are at the moment.

Look the other way and what do you see?  The mini-beach where surfers take to the water in search of the near-reef waves, and of course Waikiki and Diamond Head in the background.  Not bad, for a cell phone photo.  🙂

Then we went to the market for some fresh veggies.  Here’s Baby Cakes on the way home, this after a run and going right to the grocery store… nevermind the expression.. I must have said something not so funny. I have a way of doing that sometimes.  😉

More soon!  Definitely, more soon.



Bela & Jack

Ok gang – here it is… the “Isabela visits O’ahu” video!  🙂

Something important that I neglected to mention in the video itself is that all or nearly all of these photos are from Pedro’s camera… a sleek new Canon G12.  Dream machine.

Oh, and if you want to watch it in HD, go to this link on YouTube:

And… as Jack is accompanying her, turn up the volume!

Enjoy, and have a great weekend.


the S word

When a long distance cruise takes a relatively long stop in a harbor, sometimes you can become all too relaxed about the S word… Safety. Reminders that this topic should be priority number one aboard can come in many forms: from a Tsunami to a more mundane ‘poof’. Proof of the poof happened to me the other day….

We have these self-inflating harness life jacket thingy’s called “SOSPenders”. They are comfortable enough, let’s say, to wear without being a nuisance while sailing and lounging, like a full blown foam life vest would be. When we’re offshore, and always at night, we clip one end of a safety strap to these harnesses and the other end to a firm, solid spot on the boat – normally in the cockpit. Jacklines run fore and aft on each side deck so that if you do have to go foreward for any reason, you can do so while clipped to your harness and to the boat, by way of the jackline. Anyway, we have two of these harnesses so we can both be out and about should the occasion arise… it hasn’t yet, but you never know. But one thing about safety gear is that you have to keep it up to date… we’ve had these since 2004 (I picked them up at a boatshow in Seattle), and – shame on me – I’ve never serviced them. Servicing them requires, at the very least, to change the compressed air cylinders that are contained inside. After being boarded by the Coast Guard on the way into the Harbor (nearly two weeks ago) I’ve been going over and through our safety stuff to see if it’s all working and serviceable. I’ve also been keeping one of these vests in the dinghy just in case some kind of local authority decided to check if I’ve got safety gear onboard when I head 100 yards down the causeway to get ice. What I didn’t expect was just how one of these SOSPenders would actually be tested…..

I was lowering the dinghy in the water, but I’d forgotten to put in the drain plug. Naturally, the dinghy started to fill with water. I didn’t think a whole lot of it until I heard a very quick and fairly loud “Poooooooooooofffffffffffffff”. The life vest was sitting on the bottom of the dinghy and when it became submersed in the water that was filling the dinghy floor, the automatic switch went off and it filled in something like micro-seconds. I was impressed that I still worked, being seven years old – and with the original compressed air canister! Now I’ll be replacing both of them just to be sure. Another item on the West Marine shopping list, and another item on the “prep for the crossing to California list”.

This is what the other one looks like, just so can see how they are before ‘activated’.  In the lower left hand corner is the plastic window, where you can see the inflate mechanism… it works when it goes under water, or if it doesn’t work, you can ‘yank on the cord!’.  Remember “Eject Eject Eject” from Top Gun?

Baby Cakes shows them both… wearing the one that inflated with a Poooooffff in the dinghy the other day, and in her left hand, the uninflated one – just so you can see the difference.  The orange tube on her left side is for topping it off with air if it loses pressure for some reason.  Isn’t she cute?

Detail of the inflation mechanism and old, but functional!, CO2 cylinder.  Hats off to the manufacturers, it poofed even after 7 years, two boats, and thousands and thousands of ocean miles!  Time to get new cylinders…

Next on the S list will be the fire extinguishers.  When the CG boarded us, the only ‘gigged’ us on one item: old fire extinguishers (less than 12 months past refill date, but still, old).  So we picked up some new ones at West Marine the other day and today I’ll be installing the new ones on their handy mounts.

The Isabela video upload got stuck at 97% (ARRRRRRRRRRRRGH!) – so I’ve got to start that one over.  We’ll see if we can get it up today.

Happy Friday crew!




the Tsunami video is UP and the toilet job is DOWN (err… DONE!)

It’s been a busy day! To fill the emptiness left by Belinha, Pedro & Veronica, we hit the boat list today.

As promised the tsunami video has been posted. Just a warning, it’s LONG for a typical YouTube video. On the one hand, my account now allows long videos – good for me, bad for our video viewers (I’m not so good yet at cutting things down to a reasonable size, ignoring probably all of the rules about how to get the most views from you videos…). On the other, it’s just the way it came out and YES, there was considerable editing. In any case, it’s only meant to be a glimpse of what it was like to live through something like that while living on a boat. I hope we never have to again! True, we had good warning, plenty of time to react and take steps necessary to weather the ‘storm’ without a scratch – but still, it was a bit terrifying and now that we’ve checked it off the list, we don’t need to go through that again. There were a lot of lessons there – the first of which is: respect and fear mother nature, of she’ll kick your butt. If friends don’t end up watching it, we won’t be sad – I know both of our mothers will watch it start to finish. 🙂 As always, if you want to see a larger version, go to YouTube. I keep it small here because of the layout of the blog. Anyway, here it is:

So what else did we accomplish while the 7 hour upload of the video was taking place? We topped off the battery water in the Trojans (our house battery bank), filled all the available drinking water bottles (about 140 liters) with filtered water and then filled the freezer (more on that), washed and dried two loads of laundry, vacuumed here and there (and lots of hidden places), and – yes – MJ tackled the head job. I took on the toilet, and won. Well, at least for now. We don’t use the toilet here in the Marina (a no-no!), but we’ve had a nagging and nasty leak problem since the Marquesas. I won’t go into too many details, but suffice it to say that we found a service kit at West Marine, that has some o-rings, a large seal, a shaft seal (methinks that was the problem), and a joker valve. This would have solved the problem in the Marquesas too… except that we didn’t have a service kit then. Going cruising? Get service kits for all your pumps… especially the macerator variety! Duh. Good thing they’re 20 bucks at WM! It’s a nasty job, surely the worst on the boat, but it does have to be done at some point. I feel like I’ve slain an evil dragon or something, and so am having a cold one as I write to celebrate. he he he. Lara was so thrilled that she offered me any dinner that I can dream up (provided we have the ingredients on board).

The freezer? Too big for the compressor and plate we have. i.e. NEVER use it. But now that we’re plugged into the power system, we can leave it on and see if it’ll actually be a freezer or just another fridge (less cold, I might add). The secret of course is to keep it as FULL as posible. So I’ve got about 100 liters of water jammed in there in various size water bottles. We’ll give it a few days on full blast, add a bag or two of ice every now and then, and then we’ll know. With the next three guests we’ve got coming, it’d be very useful to have a ready supply of ice cubes for the mai-tai demand. 🙂

I’ve promised the ‘Bela’ video of Isabela and so I’ll now set about finalizing that one, exporting it and then uploading it. With any luck it’ll be up sometime tonight. That should give me time to put the tools away from today’s job…

Just to see if she’s watching: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY DEAR SISTER JER! It was great to speak to you on the phone, and we are REALLY looking forward to your fast-approaching visit with Judy and Michael. Can’t wait! We Love you!

More to come.


memories from the empty nest, videos, and the list…

Up early today for a bit of coffee & blogging, I can’t help but feel a bit of empty nest syndrome, “Uncle Style”.  We’ve had friends come and go from the boat before, but the visit by Pedro & Veronica was unique in that it brought a darling little girl into our aquatic lifestyle for a short time – and I realize now as the Oahu sun rises, she left a big impact.  If Isabela (and her parents) were still here, she’d be up, playing in the forward berth with Mom, making adorable little noises and getting her day, everyone’s day, started early.  But she’s not, I’m sorry to say.  Now she’s on a plane back to Rio and so the only thing happening in the forward berth is a lot of dreamy shuteye for my lovely wife.  The ‘nest’ feels a bit empty, and we miss our friends already, looking forward to the next get-together.  We were, however, greatly encouraged by how well small children take to life afloat and so we have much to look forward to.  🙂   The Ipanema visit, so long anticipated, came and went all too fast – that’s they way it is with the best of times, isn’t it?  We are delighted they made the LONG trip to get here and we hope they had as much fun as we did.

In the meantime, a bit of reminiscing is in order I suppose, as it also has a lot to do with the couple that just left…. Below is a video that a I put together as an homage to our previous boat, Grunau Baby.  This is a long clip of photos mostly, and if you never sailed and gunk holed with us aboard GB, you may not get a whole lot from the video, but so be it.  It was a way of putting together a good size collection of photos from our 4 wonderful years with that boat – so many good times, so many great memories.  We were lucky to have a boat in Angra and luckier still to have many great friends to visit her, enjoy her, help me fix her, and adventure out into the waters of Ilha Grande, Paraty, Angra dos Reis, Rio, and even Ilhabela. If our current cruise on Walk On is in some way successful, it was for us in large part due to our experiences onboard this magical 345. 🙂 So here goes a tiny video to celebrate a chapter in our sailing lives, a special boat, and a lot of special weekends with so many good friends and family members.  For a larger version, click around and watch it on YouTube. Enjoy!

There is some more video in the works for your media-hungry types. The first will be a video about our tsunami experience on the Big Island… not as dramatic perhaps as all the footage the world has already seen about this tragedy, but it is a personal point of view as it attempts to show how we lived through the affair (without a scratch, lucky for us!). That video is currently being uploaded… given the ‘speed’ of the free wi-fi around here, it may take all day, but that’s ok. The second video, still in the editing phase, is a video commemorating the “Belinha Visit”. 🙂 Hopefully I can get that one online before the Ipanemas get back to Rio. 🙂

And THE LIST? Well, you know what that is… the list of boat chores and projects we have to do. Today will be laundry, cleanup, a run for Lara, a toilet to fix for me (justice), and in the coming days a series of other bigger and smaller items that involve trips to West Marine via “TheBus”, and getting geared up for my Sister’s visit (with MCN, of course!) – they are going to have a BLAST!

Any-hoo, more soon gang, there’s always more. Time to get the tools out now. 😦 At least the weather is nice! 🙂


I think it’s been a tedious visit for the Ipanema gang… after the windsurf board and the surfboard, today they did the paddleboard and so have been more or less completely bored, or boarded… anyway, they are leaving today.  😦  The truth of the matter is that they had a great time, and so did we!  Having them both, with Isabela as the star of the show and the undisputed special guest on board, has been very very special indeed, for all of us.  We’ll have pics & so forth coming up soon.  Tune in later, same board time, same board channel.


Surfer Girls….

I tried to post this earlier to WordPress, but the servers were down or something, so I ended up posting in on Facebook…For those readers who are not Facebook users or FB friends, here’s a link to see the pics of the Waikiki Surfer girls, Larissa and Veronica!

Check it out, and have fun!

More news soon.

More Ipanema Family photos, from Oahu!

🙂  Just a sample… we’ve still got video to go through (Pedro windsurfing, Bela playing, the girls surfing, etc), but that will take some time.  For the moment, just a few ‘shots of life’ from Oahu.  enjoy!

Belinha on Oahu, days 3 and 4

We’ve been running around Oahu by rental car for the last two days.  On Thursday, we visited Kailua Beach (NE, or windward side) and then came back to Waikiki and the harbor by way of the E and SE coastal route – very nice!  We stopped at several places, including Hanuama Bay Nature Preserve and Park.

On Friday, we went back to Kailua where Pedro did some windsurfing Aloha style.  Then we headed up-coast by way of the Kamehameha Hightway and later stopped at Waimea and Haleiwa.  I won’t hide our disappointment… the waters were FLAT.  It seems the last big swell to roll through was several days ago – on Tuesday it was bombing 25 footers.  But by Friday the waters were as calm as a bathtub.  Still, the beach at Waimea is very pretty indeed.

Today we’re deciding the order of things: Outlet Mall, Zoo, Pearl Harbor memorial sites, and more beach time… so much to do, so little time.  Isabela continues to be the focus of the holidays and Pedro and Veronica are having a great time on Oahu.  We’re glad they’re here!

More pics and perhaps some windsurfing video soon.

Ciao!  The “Belinha Crew”