Well, we went, we conquered and are now enroute back to Seattle. We arrived in the Port of Honolulu around 10am on Friday the 11th of April. After breaking tow and getting cleaned up, it was 1pm as the 2nd Mate and I headed into town. We first went to Hilo Hattie's for our complimentary Aloha necklace and then grabbed the free shuttle down to Waikiki beach. We walked the beach in search of a good lunch stop, and afterwards we went our separate ways to shop and look around.
I went straight to the beach and made a few calls home to the family, and watched the hundreds of people on the beach having a good time. There were surfers, stand-up paddlers, outrigger canoes, sailboats, swimmers and everything else you can imagine on a tropical Hawaiian beach.
I personally enjoy both surfing and SUP, but I hadn't come prepared to get in the water. I began to strategize and after picking up some cheap board shorts, a towel and some water, I was headed back to the beach and more specifically, the SUP rental tent. I rented a board and paddled Waikiki for an hour before drying off and going on about my shopping business. I figured, "I'm here, and I'll regret it if I don't", so I did.
I then spent the rest of the day walking around. I visited the international market with its hundreds of small vendors in the alleys, then walked for a few miles stopping into anything that caught my eye. I ended up stopping into the largest outdoor mall in the world, Ala Moana, just to check it out. Impressive, but I'm not much of a mall rat. After that, I grabbed some dinner and then hopped on a public bus headed back towards our pier. It was a short day, but I got to get wet and sink my toes into Waikiki, which I was grateful for. I have to say, Waikiki reminds me of Las Vegas on the beach. Tons of posh shopping opportunities and expensive restaurants to choose from and fairly polished. The beach is wonderful, but I could do without all the glamour and 5-star hotels that surround it. I'm thinking maybe Maui might be more my style. I like grass huts and less cars.
The next morning, Saturday the 12th, I stood a 2-hour watch from 6-8am, and then went grocery shopping with the captain. We hit up Safeway and spent about $1600 on food for the next 2 weeks. After cramming it all, including 12 cases of bottled water, into a minivan taxi, we headed back to the boat and I began the process of unpacking and stowing it all.
We got underway that afternoon around 17:00 and are now 3 days into our trip home. The weather has been clear, but we are bucking a headwind from hell and not making very good time. We averaged about 4 knots for the first 2 days as the winds came right out of the northeast and slowed us to creeping speed. Today, the captain decided to head more north and we are finally making speed, but not heading in the right direction. I'm think he's hoping that we'll skirt around the winds and hopefully they'll shift to a southerly at some point, helping us home. When the wind is on our beam, we are parallel to the wave, or "in the trough", which makes for a rolly ride, but at least we can make some speed.
About an hour ago, I was asleep when suddenly a large wave smacked the starboard side of the house with a lot of force. It smacked my porthole so hard that it forced about a quart or two of water past the seals and all over the inside of my room. It all leaked down along side my bed and all over some of my electronics (portable hardrive, video camera, charging station, etc.). So, needless to say, I was now awake and cleaning up a mess. I think everything survived, but time will tell. I put a few more turns on the wing nuts, grabbed some lunch and am now back in my bunk. I checked the porthole when I first came onboard, but I guess it still needed a few more turns to be fully waterproof. Live and learn.
So, that's my 31-hour Hawaiian adventure in a nutshell.