Vessel Name: Iolani
Vessel Make/Model: Hughes 48 yawl
Hailing Port: Sausalito, CA
Crew: Barry and Sylvia Stompe
We bought Iolani in 2006 and fixed her up while racing and sailing on San Francisco Bay. 2014 started our next adventure: a spring refit and october departure for warmer waters. [...]
22 October 2016
01 September 2016
19 August 2016
15 June 2016
23 May 2016
08 April 2016 | Mala Wharf, Lahaina
20 March 2016
24 February 2016
05 February 2016
19 January 2016
02 December 2015
22 November 2015
09 November 2015
Recent Blog Posts
22 October 2016

Vancouver to Sausalito

Now that we are home, getting back into the rhythm of life ashore, I am compelled to chronicle the last days of our cruising adventure. We had a busy final few weeks in the Pacific Northwest; attending the Victoria Classic boat show and Blues festival and enjoying final visits with our cruising friends [...]

01 September 2016

Gulf Islands continued

The last post ended with a dash off to a beach party on Gabriola. It was a calm and sunny afternoon of swimming in a calm bay, then warming up by laying on the

19 August 2016

Gulf Islands fun

We have been in Canada for 4 weeks, in a whirlwind of social activity. We were greeted at the dock in Victoria, simultaneously, by our dear old friend Dave Reed and his lovely daughter Madeleine ( who was just about 6 years old when we saw her last, now a gorgeous and intelligent 16 yr old) , and our new friends from Maui, Doris and Gordon who were visiting Victoria for just two days. All before we had even taken our first real shower after three weeks at sea! Sylvia's parents flew in a couple days later for a fun and delicious week of enjoying the cultural and culinary attractions in Victoria. The BC museum was the highlight, followed by a day at the Butchart Gardens. We had no idea that the food scene was so hopping here with the farm to table and artisan food ethos firmly established. Jean and Charlie, aka Mom and Dad, flew out on saturday the 30th, so we left the dock in Victoria to sail north to the Gulf Islands. We literally saw their plane take off as we sailed up Cordova channel to our anchorage at Saanichton Bay. We spent just one night there, anchored off an Indian Reserve where we had front row seats for the canoe races which reminded us of all the pirogue and outrigger racing we have seen since arriving in Polynesia. A gorgeous daysail past many little and some large forested islands brought us to secluded little Genoa Bay. It is secluded as far as onshore development, but very popular with boaters with folks coming and going, rafting up and partying on the dock. After the calmest night sleep on board, with not a ripple on the water or puff of breeze, we headed ashore in the morning to catch up with the world. We called our constant cruising pals from Lady Carolina with whom we had been sailing with and sharing meals for a shy year. " Oh , you are just a few miles away, we will see you in 10 minutes!" They fed us, took us hiking, let us do laundry, take showers, and just hang out at a house, all big treats for boat bound people. The social whirl continued with a visit by Sylvia's friend Sheila and her two kids, Taj and Kira. We visited Sidney on Vancouver Island, Saltspring, Prevost and Galiano islands. Having a couple of kids on board was such a fun change: Games, knot tying lessons, more time ashore and special menu planning which included Kira making raviolis. Sheila and the kids became adept at boat chores and habits; Taj and Kira mastered paddeboarding; Kira convinced Sheila and I to swim in the icy waters; they taught Barry and I to play disc golf; we had late night card games, knot tying lessons, and special dinners which included Kira making raviolis. I think we packed more crazy fun into one week than the previous month! We had a few days on North Pender, catching up with Dave, Anna And Madeleine. They showed us all their favorite spots on the island and Madeleine made some truly fabulous food. She is a very talented young chef! We are now on Gabriola island, hanging out with longtime cruising friends on the sailing vessels Desire, Adesso and Rose and Dave of Aussi Rules who now live here. Gotta run, off to a beach party. This cruising life is so fun! We are enjoying it as much as we can in our last few weeks of sailing life

15 June 2016

One day of sun.....

We are still at Hanalei Bay, Kauai, prepping the boat for passage to Vancouver. Frequent rain showers allow us time to enjoy reading our books without feeling guilty. Sylvia does more cooking while it is rainy; curries, soups and today, BLT and avo sandwiches, instead of big bowls of salad with a rainbow [...]

23 May 2016

Lovely Kauai

We arrived at our final island in the Hawaiian chain, Kauai, after a relaxed overnight sail from Oahu, which was nice because getting our final chores done and departing the Ala Wai Marina in time to get to the fuel dock before it closed, in gusty winds and passing sprinkles, was a challenge. We headed off to the west, skirting the restricted Naval operations area around Pearl Harbor under jib and mizzen, ensuring we would have moderate speed and not arrive at our destination before morning light. At 8 am, we actually hooked a small yellowfin tuna, after many months of not even a nibble on our lines. We entered Nawiliwili harbor midmorning, and dropped our anchor on the edge of the channel, just barely within the crowded mooring field. After some welcome napping, we readied the boat for guests. Barry's college friend John Takakawa is from Oahu, but has settled here where his grandparents had emigrated from Japan, working at the plantation store.. Sylvia's friend Andre, from way back when she lived in Napa was also here on the island catsitting, and had brought our winter clothes from California with him on the plane. To round out the festivities, Andres friend Robin, who we had met years back when she came for a tuesday night race, had gotten badly slapped by the mainsheet, and actually trusted us enough to set foot on our boat again. Barry ferried them all aboard between rainshowers. Dinner was ahi tuna poke sushi rolls. What a nice first day on Kauai! In the days following, John and Andre both took us around the island in their cars, to see the beaches and bays on the South shore, and gorgeous Waimea Canyon. We took Iolani out for daysails and trolling for fish twice, with no success but nice scenery. We had several cook outs with Dan and Mary, more college friends, taking part in the universal Hawaiian culture of beach barbecueing. People have been so nice and helpful, inviting us over and even taking us out to dinner, loaning cars, and even their sewing machines. Sylvia spent a day at Charlie's Upholstery shop, squeezed in amongst piles of cushions with Charlie, a Phillipino immigrant, who had no time to sew our weathercloths ( panels of canvas attached to lifelines to hopefully keep out waves and spray) , but allowed me to use his awesome professional machine. These things mean so much to us cruisers! After about ten days at Nawiliwil, on Barry's birthday, we sailed up north to Hanalei Bay, a place that we had been hearing was the most beautiful in all of Hawaii. It certainly is, and is also full of fun things to do. We have dinghied up a river, paddleboarded, swam, walked along the beach and through town. Now we will borrow a car to access the sights and hikes that are further afield. We have less than two weeks or so to enjoy this island and also get Iolani ready for the upcoming ocean passage, which will be as long as the Mexico to Marquesas passage. While the rhumb line distance is around 2400 miles, we will probably sail about 2800 miles to skirt the edge of the Pacific High, the area of light winds that sit between Hawaii and the mainland in summer.

09 May 2016

Molokai and Oahu visits

Our time in Hawaii has flown by; here's some highlights of our adventures after the 10 weeks spent on Maui. We had a quick 4 day stop on Molokai, and spent 2 busy weeks at the Ala Wai Marina in Waikiki.

Gulf Islands continued

01 September 2016
The last post ended with a dash off to a beach party on Gabriola. It was a calm and sunny afternoon of swimming in a calm bay, then warming up by laying on the
rocks at waters edge. We created a buffet from the scattered driftwood logs and enjoyed the sunset and another superb potluck. That memory is quite a contrast to todays scenario; we are cozied up on Iolani with fuzzy clothes on, hoping for the rainclouds to move on so we can hike up Mount Norman on South Pender Island for views of the anchorage and south towards the San Juan Islands, for that is where we will soon be sailing. It will be sad to leave Canadian territory, as it has been a treat to see the island life through the lenses of our local friends both on North Pender and Gabriola.

Dave, Anna and Madeleine brought us to see Pender's Recycling station where Anna works part time. It is a bustling, convivial, creative and artful waystation for the items that people would put in the trash, leave on the curb or take to the dump on the mainland. Here, as everything needs to be taken away by boat, it is vital that the trash and recycling be handled with utmost efficiency. The task is undertaken with good cheer.; here one sees neighbors and friends, catching up on news and making a pleasant time of a necessary chore. There is a "free-store", where items are nicely displayed, as if at a thrift store, but no money is needed, (I found a potato masher and a book). Next, we swung by the Fire station, where Anna also works as a paramedic. In what we have come to see as the typical helpful island spirit, the man on duty offered to loan Barry a scuba tank when we inquired about filling our tank after diving to clean Iolani's underbelly. Finally, we had a garden tour of the community plot that is advantageously located on a sheep farm, and an orchard of plum, pear and apple trees in full fruit that the owner has opened up to share with the community.

We saw this type of congenial living on a smaller island, Gabriola, as well. Here our cruising friends Dave and Rose, whom we met at the beginning of this voyage, are homesteading. They bought a plot full of trees years ago and are now felling trees, some of which will be milled for timbers, preparing their homesite and creating the gardens that will sustain them, while living onsite in a trailer about the same size as the 34 foot sailboat they sailed to New Zealand. Just down the street there is an artisan bakery where, in exchange for repairs to the owner's truck, they have an account kept track of on a chalkboard. As Anna has done on Pender, Dave and Rose have also found work by meeting folks, becoming not only useful but vital parts of the island community. On these small islands, people must be creative to support themselves as the economy is small. Seeing how they have found such good opportunities gives me inspiration for my own return to the working life.

After leaving Gabriola, the northernmost island of our Gulf Islands cruise, we have often shared anchorages with Tom and Britta on Desire, and Lee and Shelli on Astraea, two boat couples we met nearly two years ago while on The Baja HaHa. We all stopped at Thetis and Kuper Islands, which are separated only by a narrow and shallow passage for dinghies. The Southern Island, Kuper, is a First Nations Reserve, Penelakut, as the people there are known. While anchored in Clam Bay, a local Penelakut artist paddled up to Iolani, where we were socializing with "the gang", to show us his carvings. They were too big for our boats, so we arranged for him to return the next day with smaller carvings. He came the next night with a fabulous orca which Britta purchased for Desire. Barry and I did not fall in love with the others he had, so we will keep looking and hopefully find a nice carving to display onboard.
Next we returned to Genoa Bay, one of our favorite spots, and there we were treated to a fabulous meal at the home of May Fong who had done the HaHa and sailed to the south pacific as well. She picked us all up at the dock, took us to her house and served us a feast of salmon, local lamb, many delicious vegetables, then a dessert of apple pie followed by local raspberry flavored icewine in chocolate shot glasses.

The following morning, perhaps inspired by all that good food, we motored to Ganges Harbor, Saltspring, to go to the big saturday market. It was a bustling street fair with gorgeous though quite expensive produce and very good art. From Saltspring we had a lovely light air sail down here to Bedwell Harbor between North and South Pender where we currently are anchored off Medecine Beach, a quiet spot with a bird preserve. We were again treated to a beautiful and delicious meal cooked by Madeleine. She made a gorgeous flower design with the one artichoke they harvested from the garden plot, the leaves framing a mound of rice and the heart cut into pieces at center. There was also a lovely platter of roasted vegetables with exotic spices, and a green salad dressed with a sunflower seed, lemon and coconut oil dressing. Though Dave jokingly muttered something about wanting a hamburger, we enjoyed the meal so much.

We hiked to the top of Mount Norman on south Pender, where the islands to westward were alternately obscured in mist, then magically clear the next instant. We looked towards Sidney Spit and Vancouver island, our next stops as we work our way back to Victoria to a Classic Boat Festival and a Blues Bash on Labor Day weekend. Sept. 9-11 is the Port Townsend Wooden Boat festival, then we will look for a weather window to sail down the coast back to San Francisco.

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