Loading Map

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Lost" on a rainy day

I've been telling everyone how lucky we've been with the weather here in Hilo because it's been day after day of sunshine and warm temps. This has made taking the bus for daily treks to town, and all the walking to the post office, library, laundry, grocery stores, shopping mall, and discount stores, very easy and comfortable. It's been nice not to worry about our backpacks and shopping bags getting wet, let alone ourselves. Tuesday evening we even walked from the harbor to a new restaurant called Ponds where we celebrated Glen's birthday with delicious meals of surf and turf, Italian meatballs, shrimp, and my generous plate of pasta in a macadamia nut pesto sauce with scallops. What a delicious splurge!

On Thursday the sky had an odd overcast look to it, and I overheard several people comment that we were having a bad "vog" day. Vog is short for volcanic smog caused by the activity at Kilauea volcano. It's become quite a problem for areas normally downwind (southwest) of the volcano, which are typically Ka'u and South Kona. But when the Kona winds blow the vog in the opposite direction, then Hilo is affected. According to the Lonely Planet guide book the high amounts of sulfur dioxide can affect residents with respiratory problems, but it's not much of a problem for short-term visitors.

I spent some time doing internet chores at the library and checked out several DVDs on Friday. We've never had the opportunity to watch the TV series "Lost" so I got the first season of that. We watched the first episode on Friday night, when it started raining. It rained hard all night, complete with thunder and lightning, keeping me awake wondering how I was going to get into town Saturday to pick up a few groceries.

When it was still pouring down Saturday morning, John said I was nuts to take the bus and I quickly realized he had a point. I spent part of the morning filing most of the mail delivery we'd recently received, and then we popped in the "Lost" DVD. We proceeded to watch three episodes back to back before taking a short break, and then we watched four more episodes! In between episodes we popped our heads out the hatch to see the rain turning the concrete wall behind us into a cascading waterfall, and the surf pounding over the breakwater way out in front of us. The waves over the breakwater sent enough water into our little bay to make the boats rock and roll for the first time since we arrived here. Just before sunset the wind came up enough to push Dorothy Marie uncomfortably close to the wall and Glen and Sally decided to let their stern lines go to re-anchor out in the middle of the bay for the night.

The local TV evening news reported flash flood warnings and 1.5-2 inches of rain falling per hour in the Hilo area, but the leeward side of the island (Kailua-Kona) wasn't affected at all. We also saw footage of the eight inches of snowfall on the east coast which made us feel pretty lucky to be getting nothing more than a good boat wash. It continued to rain all night, sometimes very hard with more thunder and lightning, sending Ziggy running for cover when one set came within three seconds of each other.

This morning we're trying to be a little more productive and John's already helped Dorothy Marie get tied back up to the wall. But it's still raining off and on, so we may be watching some more episodes of "Lost" this afternoon! We're making plans for a Christmas potluck BBQ with the two German boats, and we've been invited to Christmas Eve dinner with Glen and Sally. So while we will miss spending the holidays with our families back home, we'll enjoy sharing them with the new friends we've met here.