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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.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

ARR Kona

We made it to Kona after 36 hours of motoring :-(

Then we had to try 4 times to get the anchor to set. Finally I (John) dove in and swam around until I found some sand to drop into. We're way inside and even though it's rough outside we're pretty comfortable.

We may be able to get a spot in the marina soon, we'll see.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hilo to Kona

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Ziggy came home safe and sound last night. He was still a little out of it because they'd had to sedate him again for one last test (and probably to remove the catheter). He's on a prescription diet and antibiotics for the time being. He doesn't like the food very much but I managed to hand feed him a little this morning.

We're getting underway today for Kona. Our friends left Monday and called last night with a glowing report of the bright lights and big city. They say it's like Cabo San Lucas compared to sleepy Hilo! We'd have to jump through a few hoops to stay in Reed's Bay any longer so it's time to move on. It's an overnight run and we'll be anchored in Kona sometime tomorrow.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Radio to Reed's

Yesterday we made the long (one mile) trek from Radio Bay to Reed's Bay in Hilo. Reed's is where local boats are kept on dedicated moorings. We tried anchoring on the east side but it was solid rock with no sand. So we moved to the west side and dropped the hook in a 30' drop off and backed towards the shallow mooring field. That should keep us from dragging into the moored boats (to the south) with lots of room to drag across the channel to the north if the wind picks up.

We settled in and started working to get the boat ready for the overnight trip to Kona. The swell is very high over there right now, but we hope to move to an anchorage on that side of the island some time this week. John got out the new spool of line from Fisheries to make new jib sheets so that he could stow the rest of the line under the quarter berth. We had moved everything out of the quarter berth to make room for an overnight visit from our friend, Tammy, who's visiting her parents over in Kona. She drove to Hilo on Friday, we visited Akaka Falls, the Lili'uokalani Gardens, and Banyan Drive before returning to Nakia in time for a cruiser's Happy Hour at the picnic table on shore. This was kind of a farewell get-together because most of us were moving on to other places after spending a month in Radio Bay. The next day we rode with Tammy to Waimea for lunch and a walk around town before saying goodbye to her and catching a bus back to Hilo.

Earlier last week John spent a day doing sail repairs for Bill on Quest and he in turn spent a day going up the mast to help us remove and replace two shrouds, the forestay, and the backstay. Having his help saved John a lot of work!

We took a break from projects one afternoon to buy a brand new 19" DTV and last night we watched an episode of Nature on PBS about hummingbirds that was just breathtaking in high definition. We get about eight channels which is plenty.

I returned to the boat early Thursday evening to find all eyes from S/V Lap To on Nakia. Ziggy had been playing on Relax's dinghy tied to Lap To (Helmut and Kerstin are huge cat fans and had Z over for several play dates). The dinghy is much larger than ours and we suspect Ziggy thought he could make the jump to Nakia from the dinghy. Everyone heard the splash and, without a single meow, Ziggy was up the stern rescue rope and back on board Nakia in a flash. I arrived in time to feed the shower hose out our forward hatch so John could rinse Z with fresh water before he began the arduous task of drying himself off with his tongue.

He seemed to recover completely from his short swim so we doubt the events are related, but last night we noticed Ziggy making frequent, lengthy, and unproductive visits to his litter box. John was able to get on the internet only to read that 24-36 hours of blockage can be fatal, and by 10 PM John was on the phone to a 24-hour emergency vet service. They told him we could bring Ziggy in but it was complicated by the fact that we're now anchored out and are still unfamiliar with any potential dinghy landings nearby (not to mention it's a mostly rocky shore and it was pitch black out). So John called Security in Radio Bay to ask permission to land our dinghy there and get an escort to the gate where we could have a taxi meet us. To our immense surprise and gratitude they said we could do that so we put Ziggy in his crate for the dinghy trip. We called for a taxi and arrived at the vet's office by 11 PM. The vet examined him and said that Z's bladder was the size of a tennis ball so they kept him overnight to put him on a catheter, antibiotics, and fluids. We got a call this morning that he's doing well, but we're still waiting for the test results to find what caused it. It will probably mean moving him to a higher quality pet food to prevent a reoccurrence. We both hate to think what would have happened had we been in the Marquesas (where the closest vet is in Tahiti) or on passage, but I'm afraid it's something we're going to have to think about before we leave Hawaii.