Tuesday, July 29, 2008

monday july 28 - flaking the sails

i woke to rain rain and more rain which is wonderful here because it's a warm rain and comes with wind and noise from rustling palm frons. the air feels charged with energy. we called mitchell to meet us at the pier in his dinghy so we could get out to the boat. round one of cleanup begins. the two jib sails had to get untangled and stretched out on deck and flaked, folded and put into sail bags. that's like trying to fold a 40 ft piece of fabric in a tiny closet. jim explains you flake the sails (my least favorite thing to do) to compress them as storage is at a premium. these two sails are technically called downwind twins (DWT) because they're twin sails you use when you're sailing down wind and they go wing and wing on poles sticking out on the left (port) and right (starboard) at the bow of the boat. too much information? sorry about that. we managed even with squalls passing through the whole time. getting rain soaked was a refreshing counter balance to the heat. i can't imagine doing this alone in open ocean. he said it sometimes took him hours to get them down and folded away. we put them away because they don't have UV protection and like our skin will get damaged with too much exposure.
that done we packed up dirty clothes and old food and headed back to shore when mitchell arrived with the dinghy.
next stop, aloho blast smoothie (pineapple, coconut, mango, banana and lilikoi). yum.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

jim across the finish line at 04:48:45 hawaii time

synthia called me at 2:30am to report he's 25 miles offshore so i met her at the pier about 3am. mitchell jr. took us out in the d inghy to await jim crossing the finish line which took him a while since the winds died down just after he dropped the jibes. the four of us sat in the dinghy, synthia, rich (videotaping the arrivals), mitchell and me looking at the stars and listening to the swells slap the sides of the dinghy. diesel smell floated behind us. small red arcs of light bounced around in the darkness from their headlamps as synthia read the coordinates on the gps. we got word he crossed the line and he came on the radio loud and clear "i have to clean up the carnage on the foredeck and then i'll sail over to you". it took a while, not much wind but a beautiful early morning with an occasional shearwater flying by. eventually he made his way over to us and we climbed aboard and passed out hugs all around. he was presented with his lei of tea leaves (for men), a cup of mai tai and a fragrance-scented hot washcloth. then he served synthia and rich a big bowl of chocolate mint ice cream he'd carried all the way from berkeley. i'm sure some of the fleet still out there with many days to go would give their jib sheet for some.

we off loaded the trash and recycling (new requirement this year to sail green and recycle) along with the computer, camera and clothes. jim and i had breakfast at a local place and now we're at the condo. he's showered and relaxing into a long well-earned nap.

the only plan for the day is showing up at the tree at 5pm to be greeted by the increasing number of supporters. as for me, i plan on reading and napping at the beach until he's ready to play. needless to say it's good to have him back.

jim 70 miles out on july 26

jim called just as i was walking out the door to report he's about 90 miles out and expects to arrive around dawn. when i got to the tree and listened to his check in he was 70 miles out and we calculate he'll arrive around 6am. that means i'll get a call from synthia about 4:30 to let me know she's made radio contact with him when he's about 25 miles out and i'll drive down to the pier and take the dinghy over with her to greet him. he says after a shower he wants a big breakfast. i'm sure a long nap will follow. more and more people are showing up as the slower boats are getting closer and their friends and families are arriving. met a couple more racers that arrived today. it's all very exciting. like waiting to give birth, you don't know exactly when it's going to happen so you're just waiting and then boom it happens and that's it.

it'll be great to have him home, i sure hope he can deal with the condo heat. it's pretty awful and makes me cranky. time for early bed as i'll be up early. pictures to follow of course.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

july 26 - egads more to say

okay this is absolutely it for me for the moment. i have to say it's lovely sitting here on the deck with the breeze and rustling of palm frons, but i want to get to the beach and swim.

some of you have emailed me asking about someone in the race getting rescued. it wasn't jim. but since i'm sending this out i thought i'd give a bit more info.

i'm sure i've mentioned that each evening about 5pm the families waiting for the sailors gather at 'the tree" at the pavilion in hanalei bay and try to listen to the fleet check in and chat with each other. we can't chat with them and in fact we can barely hear or understand them. but it's fun to try. anyway, last evening discussion revolved around one of the racers who wasn't making much progress and wasn't checking in regularly. thursday evening he set off his emergency flare (eperp is that how you spell it?) which is a flare you send up if you need help. We're waiting to see if he and his boat made it back to SF okay.

Thought I'd copy a bit of dogbark's email so you can get a feel for what happens upon their arrival: The race committee was out to greet me and provide assistance getting into the anchorage. They boarded us via Mitchell's Zodiac, provided a celebratory Mai Tai, a cool scented clean washcloth, checked the shaft seal , did garbage check and helped get the boat in order. At the tree an ssb is set up in the back of the car and it was quite the entertainment to eavesdrop on the evening checkin.

july 26 - random shots

i can't imagine anyone reading this stuff or spending this much time staring at a computer screen except i have to say it's taking me a @#$%^&*( amount of time to get this stuff downloaded. why am i doing this? i guess at some point i'll look back and say oh yea i remember that. so here are some shots from yesterday that i happen to like and don't necessarily know what to say about them. but i like 'em.
not sure what aini means (note to self look it up)
the red beans were called magic beans at the wednesday farmers market. he said if you eat one they make everything taste sweet. 10 cents each. i didn't try one, i need to stay away from sweets or i won't fit in my foul weather gear on the boat.
i loved this old hawaiian booth sitting in someone's front yard. i did a big u turn to go back and look at it.
this last thing, what is it? saw it in the sand at anini beach and wasn't sure if it was a jelly fish or what. i'll show it to lori, she'll know.

lazy saturday july 26 - farmers market

It’s a lazy Saturday and I’ve had the pleasure of chatty phones with Isabel and Marilyn. It’s almost like I haven’t left home. And then the farmers market. What a treat. First off very easy parking to accommodate all those people. Flue and guitar players greeted everyone and it was a mix of crafts, jewelry (high end and not) and fruits and veggies (lots of organic). Saw more new foods—cream apples, mountain apples, and more varieties of mangoes. So, the mountain apple or malay http://www.tradewindsfruit.com/malay_apple.htm grows in tropical and rain forest environs and is eaten like the apples we know. They’re pear shaped and bright red. Tasty. I’m still looking for a good website to explain some of the other fruits I’m trying. Bought a cream apple and will eat it tomorrow with Jim. I also bought some local goat cheese from kauai kunana dairy and it’s amazing. The lilikoi goat cheese is especially wonderful and probably won’t be when Jim arrives. Oh well, there’s always next Saturday.

Raw foods are here too. I bought 2 energy balls of apricots, seeds and I can’t remember what else, oh coconut too. They were really tasty and I was thinking of Cynthia and Wyn when I scarfed them down. Wish I could have afforded the curry hummus too but by then I was running low and wanted to save some $$ for the crafters.

And then there were the jewelers. Bought another ring (can’t have too many) that I’m wearing right now. Takes getting used to the wideness of the thing but I love the way it looks.
So that’s it for now. Back home getting a grip on the blog entries which sometimes feel like work but mostly it’s fun. Oh forgot to mention I also stopped at a garage sale on the way home. How could I not stop. Cynthia, Dorit, Isabel would never allow that.

friday july 25 - muddy feet

just got home a short bit ago and just as i was walking in the door jim called on the sat phone. he's less than 300 miles away and plans on arriving noonish sunday. nothing has broken, he's getting some sleep and generally doing well.

today was my big drive day. i headed south stopping at a few places to look or shop but i'm really not interested in buying anything. no place to put it and wear it. decided to drive up to opaekaa falls and walked around a bit but didn't have the right hiking shoes and i could see mosquitoes in the air. then drove up to waimea canyon and got half way there when i realized i needed to get gas. it was okay because i did get to see some spectacular scenery. that red dirt is really something and takes quite a while to get off the skin. i had all the windows down in the car and enjoyed the different smells and thermal climes as i drove up and back. the vistas are so breathtaking it was hard to decide where to stop and take pictures. i poked along the road back home and stopped at one of the beaches to cool off and wash my feet. my poor sandels will be bleeding red mud for weeks to come i'm afraid.

forgot to mention the eucalyptus trees at opaekaa park. camaflouge colored. i know they're not indigenous to the area but they are so sensual with their sleek trunks and i love their smell. anonther thing was trying a sweet bread pastry. cary says the coconut cake is wonderful and this place didn't have that but they did have sweet bread with coconut filling. it was okay, not worth the calories so i'll continue to look for coconut cake which i'm sure is really easy to find.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July 24 - jackfruit and mangoes and comraderie

Inconsistent sleep patterns continue to haunt me. Up very late, waking up early, disoriented to time change and date, my whole routine is thrown to the wind. Eating 2 small meals a day and I’m not retaining water anymore so sausage fingers are almost gone. I wish I could say the same for my stomach.
Anyway, drove to a section of Hanalei Bay to sit on the beach, read “An Embarrassment of Mangoes” and go swimming. Checked out the local health food store and ate salad on the grass while overhearing a group of kids gossiping about each other’s personal lives. I’m so glad I’m beyond that phase of life. Back home I went swimming, then to the farmer’s market to sample and buy new to me fruits like jackfruit and mangoes (http://www.princekuhioresort.com/jackfruit/jackfruit.html for explanation and visual). Jackfruit was surprisingly juicy and refreshing and the namdocmai mango tasted the best of the varieties available. I took a picture of a cashew fruit but can't as yet find information about it. And this guy's coconuts were huge. Actually all the fruit was enormous compared to what I see at home.

Back at Hanalei Bay I met some of the wives also waiting for their sailor husbands. One sailor came in at 6am this morning (Al on boat Dogbark) and Jeff on Hecla is due in about 10pm tonight. We were able to listen to the evening roll call although it was really hard to hear most of the boats checking in. I appreciated meeting these women who are going through the same adrift feeling of waiting alone for their husbands to show up. Looks like Jim will arrive around 3pm Sunday slightly behind schedule due to the encroaching pacific high and lack of wind early in the race.

Another day another sunset.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jim on July 24 - asking for mercy in 70 hours

428 miles to go. If the weather holds, I will be there in about 70 hours, maybe a little sooner. Been charging the batteries with the Panda since I left (2-3 hours/ day). Went to start the main engine today for the first time since I left and sure enough it wouldn't turn over, so I had to go trouble shooting. Not my idea of fun. Fortunately I found the problem rather quickly, a loose wire. The engine now runs. Other than verify that the engine would start, my other goal is to use it to generate hot water. It's time for a bath. I has gotten bad enough that even I can't stand myself. Also notice that the wire seal had broken on the shaft. Guess it was put on too tight. I will need to throw myself on Synthia's mercy, so I don't get disqualified.

july 23 - sunset mosquitoes

Wednesday evening sunset. On the patio it’s breezy and I’m watching the sky change from blue and grey to yellowish orange pastel. Chickens and roosters are settling in for the night and the morning doves have finally disappeared. Periodically I hear the gecko calling from inside.

It feels magical to sit here feeling the air move, watch the sky change color, hear the final bird calls and be typing away on my laptop. I have too many mosquito bites to count, my hair is matted into twin damp braids, and aside from missing Jim (and the animals) I’m quite content.

Got out early today, before 9am and decided to locate Hanalei Pavilion where families and friends of the racers will gather. I suspect Jim will arrive late Saturday or sometime Sunday. Then headed south to Kaapa. Didn’t make the farmer’s market but did find a recycled clothing shop (nothing there for me) and thought of Dorit. Decided to head north again to Anini beach. What a great drive down a curvy road along the ocean. So many picturesque spots to chose from, accessible and not crowded. It felt good to finally swim in the ocean and lounge in the shade between beachcombing expeditions. Thought about all the “shopping in nature” Cynthia and I do at the cabin.

Stopped for groceries and once home made the most wonderful sandwich—fresh basil, tomatoes, avocado, cucumbers, red peppers, lettuce all from the farmers market yesterday, rosemary/olive oil sourdough bread, and pepper jack cheese. Yum.

july 23 - my bird roomies

Slept in until 5am. In the early morning light I made coffee and checked the race results and read the emails. By the way, I don’t know how to deal with comments yet so it’s best to email me directly.

Sat on the porch and was visited by what I call morning doves and those other birds I need to identify (note to self). At one point four of them were on the railing staring at me, then three moved to the table next to me. I suspect they expect food and I'm woefully unaccommodating.

It's rained twice this morning and now the clouds are moving around and I see bits and pieces of sunlight and pale blue sky. I'm discovering all the mosquito bites from yesterday and am fully aware of my water retention, especially as I type this. I know I mentioned this before, but really, I’m swollen in all the wrong places.

So far plan for today is to get myself out in the next hour and drive around, find a nice place to sit and journal or read or just soak in the landscape.

july 23 - time for a diaretic

I can’t believe how much water I’m retaining. My feet are swollen and it's hard to type my fingers are so swollen. I think it's time for a diaretic. Overheard a conversation at the local craft fair about water retention. Apparently until our bodies adjust to the change in location it holds on to water for emergency purposes. Eating salty things too. I guess my potato chip breakfast wasn’t such a good idea.

I just spent way way way too much time entering posts. Yikes, it's beginning to feel like case notes. Time to stop. It's raining, again. A bit cooler. So much nicer on the patio but the mosquitoes eat me alive. Tough choice but time to go inside. Just discovered they have fans here, oh boy.
by the way, forgot to mention lunch, tacos made from farmers market veggies. yum.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jim on July 23 - sweeping squids

Wind has dropped. so it's slow going. Hopefully, yesterdays weather forecast is correct and the wind should come back today. I will see what the latest forecast is. Must be the tropics, have to sweep flying fish and squid off the deck in the morning. No whales yet. 684 miles to go.

july 22 - going crazy with the cameras

Once I got home and started to write I found more entries in my journal. Found postcards cafĂ© on the way and took pictures of the lily pond and rusty disc for Trina. Saw a natural foods place, and glimpses of ocean Heading north crossed two small narrow bridges allowing one car at a time. There are many of these I discover. Saw a p.o. (post office) to photograph for Trina and a rusty sign I want to snap on the way back, then the beach. At Hanalei beach weather is perfect, sun out & breezy. Was alone then a kayaker paddled over, then a couple came. Brownish green water turns beige when it hits shore. Wow. Across the bay at the NE tip a huge condo/hotel, probably Princeville. Took a picture at Lumaha’I beach. Saw a sign for a farmers market. Continued until road narrowed to Napali coast and turned around. Also saw horses grazing across the street and thought of Cary--notice the white (egret?) next to one of the horses?

july 22 - farmers market and new tastes

Farmers market – perfect timing, had only a half hour wait and was able to talk with Trina on the phone. Lots of local produce, some crafts and such. Tried a couple new foods. Something called longan or dragon’s eye. She broke it open and I popped this gelatinous white thing in my mouth. It was liquidy and refreshing. I looked it up on the internet and it’s also known as long yan rou, used as an herbal medicine for fatigue, emotions, mental restlessness, insomnia, palpitations, poor memory and dizziness. Except for the dizziness I think it’s just what I need. (it's the small white thing)

Then I tried Soursops. Big green things with soft thorns, the lady gave me a sample and since she let me take pictures of it I sorta felt obligated to try it. It was okay but I sure wouldn’t buy one for eating. Maybe for photographing. It’s described as acid flavor and fibrous consistency, cut in sections and the flesh is eaten with a spoon. The seeded pulp may be torn or cut into bits and added to fruit cups or salads, or chilled and served as dessert with sugar and a little milk or cream. Yea sure. (it's the big green thing)
They have markets every day except Sunday and they all seem to start about 2 or 3 or 4pm. i'm not sure why so late, unless it's to accommodate the surfers? also discovered a couple of flea markets. I can't disappoint Dorit, i have to find them although it won't be the same without her.