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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Honokohau Marina

We're in Honokohau Marina where we are shoe-horned in between two boats with never more than six feet between us, and often less than two feet. We generally manage to keep 6-8 feet between our stern and the dock (the bow is tightly tied to a mooring buoy). Of course all this proximity to land and boats is more than tempting to Ziggy and it's all we can do to keep him on Nakia, making mornings and evenings very stressful for all concerned. We've finally resorted to putting him in his harness/leash combo and following him around with a squirt bottle when he's most active. When we can't keep an eye on him outside we attach his leash to the binnacle in the cockpit, and when we leave the boat he gets locked below.

But the worst part is that he's accustomed to waking up at 4:30 AM and going out on deck to survey the world until he wakes us for breakfast at 6:30/7:00. Now that we won't let him out at 4:30 he walks on us like he's giving us one of those massages where the girl walks all over your back and legs. I ignore him, but John can't sleep though it and gets up to sit in the cockpit doing internet (yay, free Wi-Fi!) while watching Ziggy. Needless to say we've been bleary eyed since we got here. Today John moved out to the settee to get some sleep and Z actually laid down to go back to sleep on the bed with me.

The good thing about the marina is that we've seen spotted eagle rays and turtles, the latter on a regular basis (one has a front flipper missing). We even hear the turtles breathing under the dock before sunrise when we're sitting in the cockpit on Ziggy watch. The water is very clear and seems to be pretty clean, amazingly enough.

The closest bus stop is at the Kmart which is about a two mile walk along the highway from the marina. Our laundry is reaching critical mass because I haven't come up with a way to get it to the closest laundromat. I'm probably going to have to ask for a ride from someone to get this batch done, and then go back to hand washing.

Speaking of rides, we've been fortunate enough to hitch-hike out of the marina twice. But getting a ride back from Kmart is something we have yet to figure out. Not being savvy hitchers, I don't think we've been standing in the right spot to make it easy for people to pick us up. Last Tuesday John needed to go to the post office and a guy coming out of the marina told us to hop in the back of his spotless truck. When we told him we were trying to find the post office, he took us all the way to it! From the post office we went to Long's, KTA, Ross, the Hele Mai laundromat, (still walking) Tyke's laundromat (near the Kona International Market Place in the old industrial area), Target (looks brand new and had hardly any shoppers), Petco, Sports Authority, and walked up Makala to Kmart where we waited for the bus only to be told that the scheduled stop that I thought was by the marina was actually a suburb up in the hills somewhere. So by the time we walked back to the marina we were really beat.

Wednesday I had to find the library to return the DVDs we'd rented in Hilo (you can return library materials at any branch statewide!). I got a ride out of the marina in a van with a humpback whale on top of it (!) to the first main street running down hill to town. Looking at my map I thought the street I wanted was a significant distance down the highway so I crossed Palani and found a shady spot to stick my thumb out on the highway. A lady in a van stopped to ask where I was going and took me all the way to the library - turns out I was looking at another street with the same name and the library is actually one block up from Alii right next to an outdoor market. After walking around town a little I walked back up Alii almost to the pier to catch the bus up to Kmart, and walked back to the marina. I tried hitching a ride but gave up after about 10 minutes. (Hitch-hiking and riding in the backs of trucks are both legal and fully acceptable practices here.)

So we're having some growing pains, but are enjoying the cool nights and warm days of Hawaii.