After a week filled with both adventure and a few trips to Costco to provision, we have now left Christine and picked up our new crew: Josh. Fenwick Light is sitting a little lower in the water and we are ready to go!
I have finally put together a little more about our passage here, for those who are interested in a more technical video:
We are now on the island of Oahu after a sleepless overnight passage from Lanai. We gave Christine a taste of offshore cruising and even had to call a tug boat to alter course sometime around midnight, as we were sandwiched between two. Sailing is much more stressful when close to land! 10 days left until we leave paradise and start our trip back to Vancouver Island! The to-do list has started now that we are recovered from our sleepless night passage.
Before leaving Lanai, we enjoyed what could be our last anchorage in Hawaii by snorkelling off the boat and kayaking around the bay. I dove on Fenwick Light to reattach the zincs that were almost completely gone after only a couple months and then got to check out the coral reef nearby with the leftover air.
We finally got our visit from some friendly dolphins, which I think was worth the whole 3000nm to get here for!
And now onto exploring Oahu! I am most excited for ridge hikes and sunrise explorations, while Farrell and Christine will be exploring Pearl Harbor and the local history. Happy (late) BC day to friends and family back home!
Storm Watch turned into Storm Warning and the crew of Fenwick Light quickly packed our bags as the warning to find shelter on land echoed over the VHF radio. It’s not often hurricane’s or tropical storms hit the islands, so it we were unlucky to time our visit with “Darby”! Fortunately Tropical storm “Darby” didn’t effect Maui and our spot in Maalaea harbor as much as expected, but we were glad to be onshore anyways. We even witnessed an amazing sunset the night the storm was supposed to be at it’s worst (above).
After “Darby” cleared up, we left our hotel in Kihea and cruised over to Molokini for a snorkel before heading to the island of Lanai. Here are a few videos that sum up our last week!
Snorkelling outside the Manele Harbor on Lanai with Mr. Turtle:
I dove down to attach to a mooring bouy on Molokini where we snorkelled with an Octopus (seen in video) and a reef shark (not caught on video, we were too busy swimming away!)
I paid a handsome fee for a shuttle up to the Lanai Cat Sanctuary where I was in heaven for 3 hours petting 490 cats!
After blogging every day on our trip, how do I summarize a week of adventures on an island in one post? I’ll do my best to keep it short.
We landed in Kahului, on the North side of Maui, as the sun was rising. The lush green mountains greeted us in golden light and the hard ground greeted our wobbly legs with much more resistance than we were used to! Christine miraculously found her way to our anchorage and we were extremely happy to see a familiar face upon arrival!
The following days were a whirlwind of island adventures for Danielle and I as we desperately wanted to make the most of Danielle’s week here. First stop the lush rainforest of the Road to Hana. True waterfall chasing, with way too many one way sections of a very windy road for my liking!
One of the many waterfalls of Hana Highway
Farrell and Christine brought Fenwick Light around to the South Island and enjoyed some snorkelling while Danielle and I decided to head into some higher altitude. We backpacked through what seemed like Mars, camped in the Haleakala crater (in a cave!) and made it out with very sore legs. Not knowing what the Maui climate would bring, Danielle and I made the mistake of leaving our gortex on the boat. Turns out $3 ponchos work great!
No gortex doesn’t mean no fun!
Next up is Lahaina, which we were able to get moorage at. The stern tie to the dock made for quite the ordeal to board the boat, but we were happy to not have to use our forever leaking dingy.
From Lahaina we cruised on over to a small crater island, Molokini, which is known for world class snorkelling. We all felt pretty pleased with ourselves as we pulled in towards the island and watched all the tour boats leave. Great timing we thought! Turns out the afternoon winds quickly picked up to 20 knots. I guess the locals know what they are doing. Luckily the wind died and we managed to get half an hour in while Farrell held the boat off the reef.
Finding treasures in Molokini
Next up, Lanai! We will be sad to say goodbye to Danielle this Thursday. Will she be able to survive without being 34ft away from me?
Today was the day I bet we would get to Hawaii. Judging by the fact that we can’t even see it yet, I would say I was a little off. However, we have less than 300nm left so we are estimating arriving Thursday morning! Farrell is having trouble sleeping during the day now as he is too excited! Maybe it’s the fact that Christine will be there to greet us. He told me that in their 32 years of marriage that this is one of their longest periods without seeing each other. Christine will be joining us sailing for a month in Hawaii. The closer we get, the more birds we see, which is always a good indication. Perhaps that means more fish too? Although I’m not holding my breath for fish tacos tonight.
After hiding away from the squalls this morning we are all out on the deck enjoying the sun and crossing our finger that this wind keeps up!
Christine’s note: My suitcase is packed and I am liking how close they are getting to land. I am also breathing easier watching Hurricane Celia’s predicted path and intensity which doesn’t look much now! The image below is next Saturday – much better.
What started out with waves that could have been out of the Perfect Storm is ending with beautiful 15knot winds pushing us along towards the promise of long showers and fresh fruit. Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic, but it is slightly terrifying watching these massive waves come right up to our stern before gliding under us as if they were only two fee tall.
Other than the usual reading, Danielle has been working on some crafts and I have been conducting interviews of the crew for my upcoming YouTube videos I’m working on. I hope to have them posted in Hawaii although it’s a bit difficult to charge the laptop on the boat so I may have to wait to work on it while I’m there.
We’ve put out the fishing line again, after a few days of no fishing due to only catching garbage. We are now within four days of Hawaii, so we are hoping there is more sign of wildlife as we get closer. There has definitely been more flying fish, as I cleaned 7 dead ones off the deck this morning! I was hoping Henry (see Day 20) would come by for a treat, but we figured he would rather some fresh fish anyways.
I don’t believe in bad luck, just bad timing, which is how today went for me. We’ve been rotating one hour shifts hand steering to keep the most efficient course we can. On today’s shifts we have had squall after squall after squall, which is quite different than the usual sun we’ve been growing accustomed to. So far I’ve managed to time my shift with everyone that passes over me, leaving me thoroughly drenched as I slink back inside, the rain dripping off my nose. Bad timing maybe, but I think perhaps it’s nature’s way of telling me I need a shower? Yes, that is definitely the case.
We have pulled out week 4’s food, which is more or less the same as week 2 and 3. I am starting to salivate at the thought of fresh fruit and veggies, although Danielle has been doing an excellent job getting creative with the potatoes and the various cans of food we have left.
It looks as though the tropical storm Celia will be heading to the west of Hawaii on the 15th, which is quite a relief, however, our sense of urgency to arrive on land is still apparent. 500nm left to Hawaii!
Christine’s note: I got the first of the ‘please bring with you’ list today … maple syrup and sheets for the bunks to replace the sleeping bag liners two of them have been using. I wonder what they will be asking for next!
And there is Hurricane Celia as of next Friday … oh boy … I hope it behaves! Still a bit early to tell.
After 20 days at sea and only seeing a handful of cargo ships, we were surprised to come across another boat yesterday evening and again when a bright light bobbed along the horizon at 5 in the morning. We have been accustomed to it just being the three of us; the occasional Albatross (who we have decided to call Henry), and flying fish who keep us entertained when they crash back into the water. It is a strange thought to think how big this ocean is and we still manage to almost run into another boat.
590nm left to Hawaii
Christine’s note: I wish I could share the series of text messages between Kayleen and I that ocurred a few days ago discussing the provisions. She was trying to find another jar of peanut butter and one of nutella. I was certain that we had only packed two of each. She wanted to raid week 4’s rations to see if they were in that hard to reach locker. It took a bit for us to realize that I had assumed they had eaten two of each. They hadn’t actually found the second! When I realized that, I advised them to check under one of the bunks as I vaguely recalled splitting one week’s worth of rations into two holds. Sure enough, they found that second hold today – and the desired jars of peanut butter and hazelnut chocolate amongst other things were located. No wonder Farrell was questioning what I had stocked for them … they had not opened everything. A party on board I am sure when they found it! Phew!
Still watching Hurricane Celia which was slightly better positioned today than yesterday’s prediction. The FWL crew is taking the lead. That is Celia’s predicted position in one week – July 15th. They should be well in at that point, eating pineapple and fresh veggies!
A cloud covered the sun and I grip the wheel a little tighter. The swells that just seconds ago were friendly now look ominous and angry as they charge towards us. Minutes later I am drenched by a fine rain that is the type that manages to get everything wet. These squalls have been visiting us on and off in the last 24 hours, but luckily are harmless.
The wind has now steadied leaving us with a gorgeous day and 15 to 20 knot winds that are pushing us along to Hawaii. We have chosen to hand steer again to obtain as tight a course as possible, due to an unexpected tropical storm due to hit Hawaii by the end of next week. The pressure is on and we are aiming to arrive on the 13th or 14th a day or so before the storm does!
Christine’s note: I told them about Celia this morning which has got them concerned but determined. It is predicted to not cross their path as they transit. Phew! I am however, madly researching plans for what to do if it does hit Hawaii when we are in port. That can be very destructive. At this point I am thinking we may be opting to head out to sea to avoid it. I am sure you can imagine that this news was not greeted with much excitement by the crew. I will keep you posted!
Ever since rounding Cape Flattery we’ve been on edge. Every whitecap could be one. Every crashing wave against our hull could be its’ spray. When planning this trip, I imagined it a certain way and just like anything my expectations don’t always meet reality. I wouldn’t have even imagined I would be reading a book a day, I didn’t realize how many days would be cloudy not sunny like I had hoped, and I didn’t anticipate that we would see more garbage in the ocean than marine life. But I guess I hadn’t lost hope yet, as that whitecap that caught my eye this time was in fact a dolphin. The large creatures didn’t seem to be in a rush as they playfully glided around us, following the sleek lines of Fenwick Light’s hull. Underwater they looked green but revealed their shiny grey skin as the leapt up around us. About 10 minutes passed as they played with us before all turning away at once again becoming one with the whitecaps. There is nothing like a visit from the dolphins to leave a smile on my face. That and a day of sunshine, I guess my expectations weren’t so far off!
Christine’s note: I continue on wind watch … hurricane Blas is not a threat in any way and peters out but it is followed by Hurricane Celia. I am really hoping the course shifts as right now it is expected to hit Maui when I am there. Not my idea of a fun time! Perhaps it will alter course as that prediction is 10 days from now so typically would not be highly accurate. I will keep my fingers cross and keep you posted. The Windyty image below shows the position of Celia on Wednesday, July 13th – the date of my flight!