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Sunday, October 31, 2010

First days in Hilo

Yes, we got our blizzards while waiting for the return bus back to the boat. And the great news is - they now offer a mini blizzard!!!! Even the small was always too much for me and now, for a dollar less, I can get the perfect size. It's enough to satisfy my craving without feeling stuffed. Yay! I had pecan pie flavor and John had Georgia mud fudge.

But first things first. I think I mentioned that John did a fantastic job of setting a bow anchor and backing straight to the wall behind us, in between Tango (catamaran) and M/V Kiska, the small Coast Guard boat stationed in Hilo. I slowly let out the bow anchor rode until he backed close enough to literally lasso one of the ship sized cleats on the edge of the wall. That was enough to get us set until we could launch the dinghy to properly tie both stern lines.

We started the arduous task of rearranging everything below back to its proper place, though not entirely since we'll be going back out to sea again soon. At 8:00 John picked Gary up from Sea Flyer to go check-in with the Harbor Master and Customs. Unbeknownst to me, John got a call back from our Hilo veterinarian, and made a 9:00 appointment. So in the middle of my cleaning and before John and Gary returned from Customs, I heard a call from Dr. Skip Pease on the dock. Since the dinghy was at the ladder where John left it I couldn't fetch the vet but, good sport that he is, Skip climbed down into the dinghy and did his best to row over to Nakia. He looked over an uncooperative Ziggy and completed the Health Certificate required by Animal Quarantine.

The next visit was from a veterinarian from the Department of Agriculture who asked that we meet her up at the picnic table by the bathrooms because she had her small daughter with her. So we harnessed Ziggy and loaded him in his crate, into the dinghy, and up the ladder. She scanned Ziggy's microchip, checked our ID, filled out the Airport Release Card and other paperwork, and gave an unhappy Ziggy another once over. By this time he was really stressed and by the time we released him back on the boat his nose and paws were very pink and he was breathing quickly, though not actually panting. Last year he'd had a day to get used to his new surroundings before going through all this and it didn't phase him. I'm so glad we didn't have to put him through a long trip to the HNL airport, which you have to do if you check in on Oahu.

We took the first afternoon bus to do some shopping at the mall, and get the aforementioned DQ blizzards, and caught the last bus of the day back to the boat. Picked up some not very good Chinese at the Oceanfront Kitchen and plopped down to see what's new on the TV. To our surprise we found there's an election coming up this Tuesday and the TV is full of negative ad campaigning and ads against negative ad campaigning. Welcome back to the good ol' USA...

Yesterday we made an early morning trip to the local laundromat and managed to get all of that done in one trip. I returned in the afternoon for a visit to the library and more groceries. Since we can only buy what we can carry on the bus, it's nice to pick up a few things each time we go into town.

Today we heard from Alobar, one of the three remaining Equator Hoppers, who reports that Kehaulani discovered broken wires on their rigging. The breaks are at the top of the mast where they can't make repairs in the current conditions. They've called the Coast Guard for help and are hoping to divert another sailboat in the area to get a younger person who would be able to climb the mast for them. Otherwise they would have to motor the rest of the way, and they don't have the fuel capacity to do that.

Yesterday was a gorgeous day - nice for the Holland America ship visiting from SoCal - and last night we got a good rain. This morning I wiped the boat down to get most of the remaining salt off, and just now we had another rain shower to complete the rinse cycle. Next I need to polish and wax the stainless which is looking very rough after more than three weeks of taking a pounding of salt spray. But first we are probably going to Kona on Monday to meet up with good friends, Ralph and Glenda. We're sorry we're going to miss Freedom's arrival in Hilo this week, but we've got to get moving on to Honolulu soon.