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Sailing, Drones and Underwater

You know when friends arrive at the dock and spill out of their VW van with free-diving gear, three prong spears, suitcases with a drone in it and coolers crammed with food, you’re in for an interesting day : ).

The drone in the air….




Yes, it was another magnificent Hawaii day…..

AndĀ Treasures of the Sea…



The Ocean is My Temple

I have been away for quite a while, so it was wonderful to be reunited with the boat. After a thorough hose down and a good scrubbing, she was all ready for a shakedown cruise.


Familiar coastlines are beautiful in all kinds of weather….


Restoring the soul with sunshine and wind.


Flying along….



Let’s go sailing!



And The Winches Go Clickety-Click

The winch on the mast for the jib halyard had started slipping a while back. When I checked on it again, it wasn’t catching at all….. not good.

Luckily, it was pretty easy to take apart and being a one-speed winch, not too complicated.

winch apart

I discovered that it is such an old Lewmar Winch that they don’t make parts for it anymore, so losing anything overboard was definitely not an option. Once cleaned, regreased and oiled, everything went back in a box, surrounded by towels and t-shirts, in case pawls, springs and what-nots decided to make their “great escape”.

winch box

Then all put back together with the comforting “click-click” sound. Ready for more trade wind sailing againšŸ™‚.

winch together

Meeting An Old Friend

I went by a boat harbor today and saw an old friend in the distance.

Here she is! Youwarke, my old Cal 2-30. She looks like a boat that her present owner is pleased with, which makes me happy. Riding high, so hopefully staying nice and dry inside.


The owner came out while I was there but I couldn’t bring myself to talk to him and instead walked away feeling like an old lover.

(Yeah, geez, right? Boats do funny things to you.)

The Trades Are Back

Yes, indeed they are!


Snorkel Fun off Waikiki

My friends had a sailor guest in town that wanted to go snorkeling. What a great combination! It was the perfect excuse to sail, anchor off Waikiki and snorkel. The stars aligned that weekend and the weather called for just the right amount of wind, 10 – 15 knots.

I’m counting down the days where I can still use the fullĀ main, but the winds were perfect for that on Sunday and we fairly flew along to show our guest the classic Diamond Head coastline. We headed offshore for sometime, as our San Francisco guest was fascinated with the ocean “rollers” amidst the wind chop and spentĀ some time learning how to steer up and down them. He told me that San Francisco Bay has wind chop but no ocean swells. Fancy that!

Then it was back to Waikiki. We dropped the anchor in a sand patch in about 30 – 40 ft of water.

Finally, a pretty photo of Koloa!


She is a modified full keel with a cutaway forefoot.


I like the big rudder that she has. The propeller is offset to the port side, which sometimes makes backing up interesting.


The hull looks like it could do with a good clean, no? I wonder if my monthly hull cleaning guy is slacking off…..

The water was so blue and clear on Sunday. The black durgons were out in force.


As were the pennant fish.



With a coral garden below…..



Of course, no snorkel trip is complete without a green sea turtle sighting. This one actually came and checked meĀ out.


Can’t ask for much more. Oh, did I mention the bow riding spinner dolphins we saw earlier?šŸ˜€.

Thank you, Mother Nature, thank you, Hawaii!






Gifts are a Boat’s Best Friend

Recently, the boat’s been a fortunate recepient of good gifts. My friend dug a bell out of his garage and offered it to me. Till now, I’ve been staying Coast Guard compliant with what I think is a pretty fancy whistle,


but, how could I turn down a solidly built bronze bell? It took all of 15 minutes to install, then I went online to make a bellrope and came across this on

“The bellrope is a necessary ancillary to the ship’s bell, long considered the ‘heart’ of a ship……

The bell-rope is a symbol of the Pride in the ship taken by the crew… battleships and other major vessels will usually have theĀ fanciest bell-ropes, often the product of several hundred hours of labour by one or more expert knotters. The more detail andĀ embellishments, the more respect it engenders.”

Well, two hours of bellrope embellishments later…..


OK, definitely not a chosen profession, but it does work!

Then today, a friend came by and presented me with a be-lated Christmas present. Lo and behold! A brass barometer!


Mine had broken a while back, so this one definitely didn’t sit in the box long. Another 15 minute install. Now I have a thermometer/hygrometer, a barometer and a clock all of different makes with different fonts for the faces, making for a rather eclectic display.

Then a while back, came the presentation of an antique Persian prayer mat “for the boat”. I didn’t think Persian rugs and salty boats were compatible, but this one was a perfect fit.


Now the boat is filled with warm and happy reminders wherever I look.

Last, is a gift from me to the boat. I finally figured out what one of the loose wiresĀ was for, and yes, another 15 minutes later, I had my steaming light!


Boat maintenance rarely goes this swimmingly for me, but I’m going to enjoy this while it lasts.


First Solo Sail on Koloa

The forecast for Sunday was for 10 knot east winds. I’ve been contemplating going solo on Koloa for a while now andĀ the conditions on Sunday looked ideal for that little adventure.

So it was with some trepidation that I slid out of my slip on Sunday. I didn’t want to run outĀ of roomĀ putting up the sails in the turning basin at the Ala Wai, so I headed out the channel to the open ocean. The winds were still blowing out of the south on the way out and it seemed like the winds hadn’t switched to the east yet.

The world was pretty quiet when we (meaning the boat and I) finally got out. I enlisted the help of my autopilot to put the sails up and we were off!


The wind was coming in little puffs that day. The ocean takes on a really jelly like appearance when there isn’t much wind or waves to speak of.


The water is an amazing color.


The cloud cover was similarly spectacular, heralding an approaching front.


The “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” started running through my head…. while I patiently waited for the wind shift to happen. It’s amazing (and a bit annoying) how much equipment squeaks and groans when it isn’t under tension. Thankfully I had other ambitious sailors languishing with me.

no wind spinnakerWind at last!


I turned around during one of the puffs and nearly made itĀ back to the harbor entrance.


So close! The ocean returned back to its jelly state, so it was time to fire up the iron jib, put Mr Autopilot on (I guess it deserves a name now), drop the sails and motor on home.

My personal philosophy is that it’s easier to be happy when you don’t ask too much of life (or yourself) at any one time.

So…… First solo sail,

1) don’t hit anything leaving slip – check

2) don’t fall overboard – check

3) do some sailing – check

4) don’t hit anything returning to slip Ā – check

All in all, a successful sail : ).


First Sail of the Year

O Happiness!

Sunset Sails

We are moving into winter weather this time of the year. In winter, the trade winds can be really strong and gusty, or hardly a whisper. Sometimes they go away altogether and we get southerly winds or gentle land and sea breezes.

It’s been a good time to go out for leisurely late afternoon sails.

sailing leisurely

There is none of this bouncing around, so typical of Hawaii sailing. You almost have time to contemplate life and existence,

watching sunset

while takingĀ inĀ the wonderful ever changing sunset as the boat drifts back home.