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Friday, February 05, 2010

Beach Day

Last weekend we took a vacation from the "vacation" and made a spur of the moment decision to get out of the marina and go anchor out. After a week of John's hard work stripping and sanding the exterior brightwork we managed to spend almost another week laying on coat after coat of Cetol (a product we use instead of varnish). We had gotten to five coats and were ready to lay on the sixth when, of all things, we woke up to find rain threatening. The tiniest spot of rain on fresh brightwork will leave unsightly spots so we decided to wait one more day for better, more Kona like, weather. That night it rained in earnest and we woke up to a still threatening sky. In addition to the rain we were also working against time. We had completely taped off our work area and, even using blue tape (now wet), we were looking at a problem with cleaning off any adhesive that remained on the fiberglass when we pulled the tape. So John decided five coats would have to be enough and sure enough, tape residue on the fiberglass will have to be attacked with adhesive remover. But that's a chore for another day. With the brightwork done, I got busy scrubbing off the rust stains weeping down our stern. It looks much better (for a little while at least), and hopefully now our neighbors will stop making gentle suggestions about using products like FSR and Ospho!

Between the couple of walking trips we made to town and John's never shrinking list of boat projects we also got lifts to Costco with our friends, Ralph and Glenda. They have been very generous about picking us up to let us tag along with them for shopping and lunch at Costco, and sharing dinners in their beautiful new home (in addition to receiving our mail for us). But other than that we hadn't been anywhere or done anything on our own since parking Nakia in the marina. We were itching to get out to enjoy some freedom and Saturday afternoon John suggested we up and leave for the night. We hastily cleared the decks of project debris, and at the last minute remembered to grab our swim ladder off the dock.

We motored back over to our favorite spot off the Kailua Pier (in front of the Kona Inn) and set the hook. Our dinghy is on its last legs and has to be pumped up every day so we elected not to put the motor on it to go ashore. Instead we enjoyed watching the departure of Holland America's Zaandam and the sunset cruises passing by. We had a lovely quiet night with Ziggy free to roam the decks at will, and we managed to sleep in until 6 AM! Later, after breakfast, John suggested a morning snorkel/swim to the King Kamehameha beach and we donned our wetsuit jackets and snorkel gear. We made sure to look both ways before crossing the busy bay and quickly swam over to the rocky entrance to the beach. There weren't a lot of fish but we were treated to a long look at a sea turtle on his way out of the little cove. We must have been an odd site to the tourists on the beach because we were the only ones wearing wet suits. But the water still feels chilly to our Tropic thinned blood! We explored the small temple site and then swam back to the boat.

We had an uneventful motor trip back to the marina and got a ride out to the airport to pick up a rental car. It's great to finally have wheels! Monday we picked up Ralph and Carmen from Relax and we all made a much needed trip to the laundromat before hitting the stores for provisions. After saying goodbye to Relax at the pier (they are off to Maui this week) John and I drove south but got stuck in commute traffic (!) and decided to turn around.

Tuesday we met my parents at the airport and helped get them settled in their condo, and I spent most of Wednesday visiting with them while John was out fishing. Yesterday John and I had our first real beach day since arriving in Hawaii. We drove north to the beach at Mauna Kea (it was a windy, red flag day), visited the little harbor at Kawaihae, made a brief stop at Spencer Beach Park (absolutely calm), drove up to Waimea (where the temperature dropped 20 degrees!) for lunch at Tako Taco, back down to Spencer in time to see Relax dropping their anchor in the no-name unfinished boat harbor, then to Hapuna Beach where we sat and watched the body surfers getting pummeled, and finally to a roadside pullout for the gravel road and lava trail hike out to Keawaiki Beach where we walked the black sand beach and watched for whales. After seeing huge splashes but missing most of the actual leaps we called it a (great) day and headed back to the marina.