Bits and Bobs from sunny Waikiki!Sorry it’s been so long between blogs but time to mourn poor Caesar’s passing was required. It’s funny to think that Caesar had so many folks out there following him as much as Pendana and I must say that all of the comments via Facebook while he was unwell and after, were truly appreciated, read and re-read several times and all we can say is a heart-felt thank you.
Facebook (“FB”) friend, Amanda Roberts LaRosa posted above and while gut wrenching at the time was truly thoughtful and most appreciated, as were all the comments.
Anyway thank you to everyone who emailed us privately, who messaged us via FB or posted comments direct to the FB time line. 186 comments received in all and every one of them cherished by all those on board Pendana, so thank you. I will try not to mention Caesar anymore but know that not a day passes without all of us thinking of how lucky we were to have such a special animal in our lives.
Fifi, patiently waiting for Caesar to return, too sad!
Oscar again, dreaming of giving Caesar a big bear hug!
Oscar, very sad on hearing the news about Caesar.
So we have been in Hawaii now for some seven weeks and I must confess Waikiki Yacht Club (“WYC”) is truly a sensational place to be based. What do they say, location, location, location! WYC commands the best location in Hawaii and we are all very grateful to be guests of the Members and Management of this fine club. In fact, these folks are so thoughtful that when they heard the news of Caesar they bought us some flowers just to say, “We are thinking of you”. How kind is that?
Flowers above from WYC Management & Members.
Life in Hawaii so far has been incredible (putting aside the issue with Caesar) and we are all enjoying our time here enormously. I have heard some say they prefer Maui or Kona or anywhere other than Honolulu due to the traffic and the hustle and bustle of the place but for us, we love the convenience, the buzz, the sirens, ok, so maybe not the sirens, but we do love the place and plan to explore the island to the fullest extent with road trips all planned and ready to execute.
Pendana at rest.
Now here is a toy!
This mini three person submarine above, came cruising on past us the other day and to say it had me searching the net and thinking..emmmmm…would that fit on the foredeck within seconds would be an understatement. That said, at two tonne I reckon poor old Pendana would not welcome the addition. But how cool are these things? Link here for those who want to read more on these amazing little subs! Click here if you want to learn more about these subs!
Our Australian friends aboard the Chasse Spleen, from Hobart have now arrived safely in Vancouver Island but not after coping 36 hours of 50kts winds and 5mtr/17ft seas – ouch! As mentioned in an earlier blog this family have been travelling on and off for about 20years. Martin and his wife are truly a charming couple and much Mount Gay (rum) was consumed as Martin would sneak around each night for a few drinks and some sneaky cigarettes prior to their departure. Once they had departed WYC, I raced out in the tender to take a few shots.
The Chasse Spleen above motoring out past Diamond Head on its way to Canada!
Speaking of interesting folks, we got to meet a couple by the name of Tom and Vicky Jackson aboard their vessel Sunstone. Sunstone is a fifty year old wooden yacht that’s approx. 40ft long. These folks have been living on this boat since 1981 (or in other words 34 years) and they left the UK for their world trip in 1991, 24 years ago and have around 200,000nms under their belt. WOW!
Sunstone looking majestic!
Sunstone features on the cover of July’s edition of Cruising World.
For more info on Sunstone and their adventures their website can be found here. (http://sunstonesailing.com/)
Other than meeting lots of interesting folks, life aboard over the past few weeks has consisted of using lots of Spotless Stainless to clean all stainless aboard Pendana. Watch out, this stuff is addictive and so easy to use it’s insane. I spoke of this product in an earlier blog click here if interested.
I have been busy doing all manner of small jobs and have replaced all Freeman hatch seals and the lazarette seal. Claire and I have replaced all scupper tensioning lines and the odd screw and missing bolt which hold the scuppers in place. The washing machine which was causing no end of trouble has been ordered as has the replacement cruise air handler unit in the master cabin which decided to stop working in Samoa. All seals on all Grocco strainers have been replaced with spares now in stock and I have just taken delivery of a new Teel (now Dayton) fresh water pump as the old one was starting to make a strange noise. I also replaced our old deck lights with brand new ones as the ones I had were looked a little worse for wear and I personally rebuilt the tender driver’s seat as the plastic bar inside the foam padding had broken. Claire and I also added cleats to the rear deck to make tying the tender easier. Why we didn’t do that job year ago is beyond me! Pendana is certainly now, in better condition now than when she left Australia. Nothing like time on one’s hands to focus the mind and sort out all those pesky little jobs.
Stainless now gleaming!
Amazing stuff this Spotless Stainless
New Freeman hatch seal installed
New deck lights installed.
Out with the old Grocco seal and in with the new!
Seat on Caribe DL15 repaired!
New seal on lazarette installed.
Two foredeck Freeman hatch seals replaced.
And…. Finally I have been through every space underfloor checking all nuts, bolts and screws are tight and in the process went through a few cans of corrosion buster in the process.
Claire and I had recently heard that the boat Nathalie Wood disappeared from back in 1981 while she was married to Robert Wagner while off the coast of southern California, “Splendour” was in the marina opposite. So with this news in hand Claire and I set off in the tender to see if we could find it.
Nathalie Wood and Robert Wagner above.
Within fifteen minutes or so we were successful. Splendour is indeed sitting right here in the marina opposite looking pretty much the same as she did all those years ago.
Splendour above. All very sad.
Above photo is of the famous Friday night sailing race here at WYC. While this photo does not do the spectacle justice you can get a feel for it as fifty or so boats in close quarters make their way out of the harbour under sail. It’s great to see sailing boats being actually sailed!
Our plans from here and timing re crossing the final leg of the Pacific ocean to mainland USA or Canada have somewhat been thrown a curve ball. The original plan was to depart Hawaii in January/February but on discussing this with a few, far more experience folks than I, it would appear that this is not an overly smart move due to massive storms that come down from the Bering Sea and the Pacific North West (“PNW”), south along the Canadian and then hitting the west coast of America. I have spoken to three weather forecasters and a number of other people and while the planned January / February departure is totally do-able, there is a risk, 10% (or 3 days in 30) of hitting one of these monster storms. Boat, ocean, monster storm …..not for me thanks!
As it stands right now, we are looking to depart Hawaii no later than end of May 2016 which will see us set a direct course for ……drum roll please….. KODIAK, Alaska. One thing this trip has taught me and that is NOT to fight the weather and only travel in the right season. After all this is supposed to be about pleasure, not pain!
As you can see from below image I have pondered many different routes and been through the pros and cons of each. For us, Kodiak makes total sense as it will allow us to work our way down through Alaska and into Canada going with the weather and more importantly it will give us the opportunity to visit Prince William Sound which, from all accounts, is a remote Glacial paradise without compare!
Above: A bit of early planning, looking for the most appropriate route! Dutch Harbour, Kodiak, Sitka, Vancouver and San Francisco all considered.
Kodiak Harbour above – Can’t wait!
One thing I need to come to terms with is the BEARS! Being from Australia the only bears we have are Koala Bears and it’s not like they are going to do any damage as they are so laid back that they seem permanently asleep – BUT – Alaskan BEARS, now these things are more than capable of causing real issues, as such, I must read up a little more on how to avoid them altogether if we plan to stay out of the news. I can see it now… “Australian Family Killed While Trying to Cuddle a Kodiak Bear!!!” As we have zero, nada, nil experience with killer bears, on early research it would appear we need to be very, very careful.
What I still fail to understand is, if these bears are as smart as I am told that they are, and they can swim, then what’s stopping them swimming out to the boat? Wouldn’t be hard for them to swim out, climb aboard and give us all a nasty surprise!
Prince William Sound, yes please!
So, the rough plan as it currently stands:
Hawaii – current
Kodiak Alaska and the PNW – June – Sept 2016
Hard Stand Seattle or Bellingham October 2016
San Francisco – Dec 2016
San Diego – May 2016
Mexico – November 2016
We will take Pendana to a few of the islands while we are here but for now it’s time to simply sit back, relax and have another Mai Tai all while enjoying all that the Hawaii Islands have to offer. Honestly there is no hardship being here in Hawaii!
School for Abi and Bianca has started and for Abi this meant two weeks in San Francisco meeting new friends and old while going through the summer school program.
Abi with Adam and Eve of former “Eden” N47 fame!
Since being in San Francisco Abi is now resolute in wanting to live in Palo Alto when she is all grown up! Abi is doing an online high school program which involves about four, face-to-face lesson a day with approx. twelve students on average per class. The software used to drive these lessons is amazing with the children being able to chat together while in class and the teacher being able to call on students to answer questions via a live video feed.
Adam showing Abi around his old hunting grounds!
For Bianca, it’s a more traditional text based course and she too went through a summer school program. Bianca is enjoying the freedom the school program offers and is ploughing through the work load. She did in fact do a six week intensive course over summer which now sees her having completed many of the math and English units required for her year so she has a great head start. Funnily enough Bianca has met another girl her age who is also travelling around the world on a boat, so lots in common and a friendship quickly forming due to shared experiences.
Final summer school assignment submitted! Hoooooray!!
Both girls have enrolled in tennis, Abi wants to learn to sail and Bianca wants to learn to act which we are in the process of facilitating as we speak. Hollywood watch out!
Claire loves Hawaii too but with all the good food around has decided a gym membership was at last necessary. Enjoy Claire!
Brandon, the Port Captain at Waikiki Yacht Club (“WYC”) swang past the other night with a fresh Tuna he had just caught. He is still trying to encourage me back into the dark art you see. Geeeeeeze, now what? Am I supposed to filet this thing on my own? Remembering back to my YouTube videos on how to fillet a Tuna I got started right away, much to the disgust of Abi and Bianca!
Perfect, one side done! Look at that precision.
Brandon swang past to see how I was going and couldn’t stop laughing! He quickly took over and showed me how it was done.
Ok, ok so there was more left on the fish than I had thought!
Being in Hawaii means our Cruisair system is getting a jolly good work out. That being said, however, the other day the unit started to not work properly so I shut it down much to the moans from the crew. I called Anne’s Yachting Service and, Anne, God bless her, said she would be right over. I suspected (that for the first time ever) I had picked something up in the water that was blocking the through-hull fitting which provides water to the aircon control unit. Sure enough Anne arrived on time and as promised and got straight to work.
Anne preparing to dive!
Within a few minutes Anne emerged from the water with a large black plastic bag which was fouling our through hull. Job done and aircon back online much to the delight of all aboard!
Plastic bag in question!
Anne also looks after Pendana’s hull while here in Waikiki and gives her bottom a clean every four weeks. Crazy right? I thought so as well, but there is something in the water here that makes growth thrive at an alarming rate. In fact, I have never ever seen growth build so fast on a hull as here in Hawaii! For those around these parts who need someone they can trust I can highly recommend Anne Bayly. Her contact details are: ph 808 783 8391 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View from Pendana’s foredeck!
Hawaii and all its islands really are a feast for one’s eyes. A little like gorging on Thanksgiving dinner (see, I am becoming localised!!) viewing the scenery in these parts is more than feast, it’s a …… well, there is no one word that encapsulates the magnificence of the place. As such, I will let the following four photos do the talking!
Coral Island, I think!
Ka’a’awa Valley, Kualoa Ranch – set for many a movie!
I have to say that the weather in these parts is very foreign to what we are all used to. For example it’s not like there is just one hurricane there are 100s of these things forming. Claire says, “it’s like a tennis ball machine, one after another after another – relentless”. She is 100% right! These hurricanes are relentless and there has been one or two about ever since we arrived in Hilo. Weather chart below gives you a sense of what I am referring to.
Three hurricanes in the Pacific Ocean all at the same time. Ouch!
In closing, I relented the other day and went to McDonalds drive through as I was starving and needed something – anything. As I approached the drive through speaker I ordered a chocolate thick shake and quarter pounder. Simple, right? Here is how the conversation went…..
“Hello, may I take your order”
“I would like one quarter pounder and one choc shake please”. The reply was …..
“Was that just the sandwich?” Sandwich? What is this girl talking about – I didn’t order a sandwich so I said….
“Sorry I didn’t order sandwich”
“Oh, so that’s just the shake then?”
“No, I would also like a quarter pounder as well please?
“Sorry can you repeat that”
“Sure, I would like one shake and one quarter pounder please”
“So that’s two shakes and one quarter pounder?”
“Almost, one shake and one quarter pounder please”
“Would you like a meal with you sandwich?”
“Sure why not…..!”
Forty two hours later……. I finally received my order. As I drove away, I realised that burgers are called sandwiches. Why is beyond me, and the shakes come with a mountain of whipped cream and a cherry. What is with the whipped cream? Is it not enough that I am consuming three days calories in a single meal that McDonalds wants to stack on a few hundred more?
Above is not a whinge, just a funny little tit bit as to the struggles an Australian accent and unfamiliar terminology can cause. A little like the bears swimming (or not) to the boat, a burger being called a sandwich is very odd. Isn’t a sandwich two pieces of bread with a filling in between? Surely a quarter pounder does not qualify and if it does then why are they not called sandwiches in restaurants/diners? Ahhhhhhh the problems travellers face!
Hang on a minute; isn’t a Cheeseburger called a CheeseBURGER? Yes, it is….it’s not called a CheeseSANDWICH…. Simply too confusing!
Not to be outdone I went on to the McDonalds’s website to see, if in fact, there was a definition of sandwich v’s burger…..(I know, way too much time on my hands right!). Anyway there wasn’t. There was however a menu which only confused me more.
All look like burgers to me, except the last one which is a wrap!
With even more time on my hands I went to Mr Google and asked the question the answer provided to my obvious conundrum below ……
…. “A hamburger is a type of sandwich made with two pieces of bread and ground-beef. As far as comparing it to the way you refer to it back home, don’t even try – You. Will. Drive. Yourself. Insane! We may both speak English, but we don’t always speak the same language. If you ask a waitress for a “biscuit” you’re not gonna get the same thing in Los Angeles that you would in London. Not to mention, things like trunks, trucks, thongs, apartments, elevators and fanny packs”.
I am happy to accept this explanation… I guess things are different the world over…This chap’s answer did throw up a few more questions… Fanny Pack… What’s a Fanny Pack? What’s a biscuit if not a biscuit? Will leave that for another time. The fact is, if the folks at McDonalds, call a quarter pounder a sandwich, then so will I! I guess one never stops learning!
In closing, Pendana and her crew are settling into a well-deserved break, the girls are into the swing of things with school and life here in Hawaii is pretty darn good. The weather has been perfect with temps around 30C/86F ~ 35C/96F day in, day out and we look forward to exploring more of what these islands have to offer in the weeks and months ahead.