Safe Arrival at Hawaii
14 August 2011 | Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Yesterday evening, as the sun set, we could see the dome like outline of the Big Island's volcano on the horizon. As we got closer, we could see what appeared to be city lights on the slope of the island. Consulting with the charts, however, we could see that there is no large city on the south east end of the island. The luminous glow was not city lights, but rather a huge field of lava flowing down the volcano to the sea.
We celebrated our sighting land with a bottle of fine French champagne (a gift of Didier in Papeete), along with foie gras served on freshly baked bread that I had made for the occasion, and also caviar on buttered toast.
It would be some time longer before we made landfall, however. The Big Island is very big, indeed. It would be another four hours after sighting land before we would approach the southern tip of the island, and another 8 hours of sailing northward along the west side of the island to Honokohau Harbor.
As we approached the island, the winds increased to 30 knots and the seas turned into the huge waves that Hawaii is famous for. Our boat surfed down mountainous swells that followed us on our course towards the north west. One rogue wave came upon us on our side and hit us so strongly that it sent everything that wasn't nailed down flying.
We sailed through the night and arrived at the harbor entrance at about 9:30 a.m.
Once in the harbor, we took a mooring ball and stern tied, Med-moor style, to the quay. We clambered from the stern onto dry land and walked unsteadily on this unfamiliar terra firma.