Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Too much or not enough Oahu??

Just in case you're wondering why everything seems to take us so long. This is what happens when Chris has breakfast duty… Needless to say, Shawn ended up making brunch around noon and now we have a nicely cleaned sink with all the old no longer functioning adhesive material completely removed.

We can’t decide if we’ve had too much time or not enough on Oahu. We really had all the intentions of being in Oahu for only 1-week. But at the end of that week, the forecast for crossing looked grim. No problem, we can always find fun ways to explore and spend time. Mellow is more our style anyway. So we continued to visit Chris’ grandmother frequently and added trips by bus to see interesting parts of Oahu. While APEC was in full swing, we tried to get away from the city to hike Diamond Head, but found that for safety of the dignitaries, the trail was closed early. So we hopped another bus and continued E to Hanauma Bay. Permanently off-limits to motorized vessels of any kind, this well known bay is where hoards of Honolulu tourists descend to snorkel the beautiful reef. Ironically it is also where Chris’ grandparents watched workmen dynamite a section of the coral in 1957 when the first Trans-Pacific undersea telephone cable was laid. From here we had a gorgeous view of Diamond Head at sunset to the W and Koko Head and the fullmoon rise to the E.

The next day we did an around-the-island bus trip stopping at a few points of interest. Our first stops were on the NE windward side of the island; Kaneohe Bay and Mokolii Island (locally known as Chinaman’s Hat), which might just have the most beautiful bus stop in the world. We caught another bus and got off again to explore Kawela and Turtle Bay on the NW windward side of the island. Again we boarded yet another bus and continued SW around the island, and near literally stepped off onto the the world renowned beaches of the “North Shore” where tons of surfers were shredding the small waves of Pipeline and Sunset. The energy of onlookers and surfers alike was abuzz in preparation for the imminent annual ASP Triple Crown surf competition.

Over 2-weeks in Honolulu-town and still, the weather was not mellowing. We negotiated a monthly rate with the Kewalo Basin folks and although there was a small weather break forecast for the end of the next week, we decided to buy a full November bus pass (an upgrade from the 4-day passes we’d been using until now). Also, our list of fun things to do kept growing. This extra time allowed us to visit Chris’ other uncle, Strat, show him Tao, and join Grandma and him for another trip to the Punchbowl for the year anniversary of Grandpa’s passing. On the 17th, we had to move Tao to the slip open on the other side of our dock as the owner of the one we’d been in was due home. Shawn taught a yoga class at Bikram Yoga Nimitz in Honolulu and Chris met with Dorothy Iams and sat in on a few science classes at Punahou School. We were surrounded by the hustle and bustle of humanity with stores constantly reminding us of the approaching holiday season. Since USPS was accessible here, we decided to do our Christmas shopping early. Among all of these tasks, we continued to visit Margi every couple of days, and the howling trade winds persisted. We are under the impression that winter weather in Hawaii includes more breaks in the trade winds than summer months- however this has not been our experience thus far. Pouring over the online weather models, we found a small 24-hr window starting Thanksgiving afternoon before stronger-than-normal trade winds would return late Friday, and decided to attempt an eastward crossing. Our focus immediately shifted to tying up loose ends in preparation to sail.

We mailed out boxes stuffed with holiday gifts, filled our tanks with diesel which required a half mile walk to the nearest fill station and back with a 5-gal jug twice (good job Chris and thanks to Kewalo Basin Harbor for lending us a dolly!) and water (always a tedious task was made more interesting by requiring carrying twelve 5-gal jugs from the water spout at the far end of the dock and then lowering them down to our boat at low tide because our drinking water hose was way too short for the distance). Finally, off to the grocery to provision for a couple of weeks as we make our way back to the Big Island via at least one several day stop at Lanai. Two back packs, 5 rip-stop nylon bags (one of the unsung heroes of our adventures) and $250 of groceries later and we caught a bus back toward the harbor and walked the final half mile to Tao where we cleaned up and stowed our purchases. The next morning we grabbed an early bus, poinsettia and Christmas present in hand, to visit Grandma for a nice Thanksgiving brunch (as well as the added bonus of a last load of laundry, hot freshwater shower, and frozen water bottles for our fridge). Even though there are many things we would still like to see and do on Oahu, we were able to experience much more than we ever expected, and most importantly, it was very special for us to be able to spend so much quality time visiting with Chris’ grandmother. Thank you, Margi!

1 comment:

  1. Sure sounds like an amazing place to visit. Safe sailing back to the Big Island!