Hilo wrap up
03 July 2010
The transient moorage in Hilo is a small area called Radio Bay within the commercial harbor. Due to newer Homeland security regulations, we were required to be escorted in an out of the harbor area. While the guards were quite friendly and helpful, this was still inconvenient as the wait could be 5 - 30 minutes for an escort in and out. We quickly started living out of our car during the day. While initially we thought we would want 2 weeks or so to rest, relax and repair, after just a couple of days we realized we needed to get the projects moving and move on.
The projects kept me quite busy.. I had left some boat jobs unfinished as we left the mainland, a balance time and priority. I had a belief that I could get supplies fairly easily in Hilo - this was not true. It is a very small boat harbor. While there were a dozen or so hardware stores, there was not a single marine supply. I ordered some supplies form Honolulu, with a 2-3 day lead time. Even finding the right weight motor oil took me three stores. This was my weaning from ready access to marine supplies. I thought we were pretty well stocked when we left Seattle, but a few things were missed or the need became apparent on our shakedown.
I had no major repairs, just general maintenance. Resealing the teak foredeck was the largest project. We had hoped to hire this done in the Northwest, but the weather never cooperated. I also had a cleat whose bolts worked loose on the passage over. This turned out to be not as simple as just re-tightening the bolts. The nuts had been glassed in under the deck, and after I crawled into the lazarette, under the cockpit and over the steering cables, I discovered them to be inaccessible. There are a few things like that on this boat that were not built to be serviceable. I ended up having to cut an access hole through the top of a shelf in our aft cabin. I will cover this with some teak in Australia. One of many projects that took a lot longer than I expected.
Upon refueling I discovered that we burned less than 30 gallons of diesel covering the 2100 nautical miles form San Francisco. The bulk of this on our first and last days. I was quite pleased that power generation burned significantly less than I had estimated. We have about 75 usable gallons on board.
I am also getting weaned off of the ready access to information. Tracking down good Internet access was challenging. Even with my WiFi boaster I could not get a signal in the harbor, so my prior practice of downloading weather, emailing and blogging while the kids slept did not work. Finding access where the kids could stay out of trouble was difficult. Borders free access was expensive in terms of purchases for the kids. The best local access turned out to be a bar across the street from the harbor. While the kids slept, several cruisers and I would gather with our laptops in a corner as the locals played darts and socialized.
Between projects we would take the kids snorkeling or to a park to climb Banyan trees from the inside, all three are getting quite adept. We also had an overnight trip to see the volcano park, including the lava tubes. While we had daily outings with the kids, we never slowed down enough to play games on the boat, we were constantly moving. Hopefully this changes in our next port.
We left Hilo on July 3rd. It is quite a bit of work to re-provision, re-stow, and get ready to sail. We had intended to sail for Palmyra on our way to Samoa. Our chart package arrived on July 2nd, but alas, it did not contain the chart for Palmyra that we ordered. As there is a narrow pass into the lagoon, entering without a chart is not an option. It is not covered on our electronic package, as it is in a gap between the US and Polynesia packages. With the Independence Day holiday, it would take another week to get the chart. We need to get moving. On to Samoa.