25 June 2010 | Hilo, HI
It is an understatement to say it is great to be here. One big sigh of relief and satisfaction. I am proud of our Jenny P - she sailed us here even when we weren't trimming her sails quite right. In a way, she taught us what to do. We're a bit worse for wear - some bruises and fatigue, but the recovery began as soon as we set the anchor. The last few days of the passage were actually the best sailing weather we had on the entire trip. Steady 20-25 kts winds, reasonable wave heights and sunny skies. We had to keep up the speed in order to make it in to port by the afternoon. We didn't want to enter at night, and we really wanted to get to the Harbormaster's office before they closed so we could check in and get a shower!
There were times on this passage that I questioned our decision to undertake this adventure. I talked about selling our boat in Hawaii and moving into a condo and living here for a year. The kids were remarkable in their ability to deal with the rocking and rolling of the boat. In a way, they moved around the boat as they would a play structure at the local park. When things got rough, they just lied around on the bunks and kept cool. When they had energy, they'd play a game they call Castle Guards; it's a mixture of playmobiles and legos. Now that Freya has turned 5 and collected her gifts that were waiting for her at the Harbormaster's office, they play Calico Guards because she's added her Calico Critters to the mix. They've started to realize that they are each other's steady playmates for the year and we are beginning to have more harmony than discord. A trend we appreciate.
Now that our passage is over, I am particularly grateful for the following:
1. Eric, our Captain - he worked through all the glitches and never lost his sunny disposition.
2. The Monitor Windvane from Scanmar - it sailed us through rough weather and light winds - absolutely essential.
3. Nine dozen eggs from the happy hens at Stokesberry Farm near Seattle. I picked them up on May 9th at the University District Farmer's Market and we finished them up as we arrived in Hilo on June 21st. No refrigeration necessary. We lost maybe 5-6 of the lot - they fell off the counter when an unexpected wave hit.
4. Avatar the Last Airbender series - when we had major boat work to do, the kids were able to fully immerse themselves in this storyline.
5. The BFG, Harry Potter, James and the Giant Peach and My Father's Dragon - books on tape. What a lifeline. Whenever the kids got too loud with one another, we turned on a book on tape and let someone else talk for a while - they all got quite and listened for hours.
We've now been in port for a couple days. We have a rental car and can see some of the island. We snorkeled in some lava tide pools today and have plans to viist the Volcanoes National Park Monday/Tuesday. My host sister from when I was in the Peace Corps Micronesia lives in the next town over with her family. We'll visit with them this weekend. We have some boat projects lined up before our departure for Palmyra and Samoa next week. I get my birthday present early this year - a new toilet!! I couldn't think of anything else I'd rather have.