Sailing Through Paradise: Hilo, Hawaii to Rangiroa, Tuamotus
Leg #3, June 1997
June 24, 1997 0800
Position: 14 07N, 152 15W Log 3,918 Water Temp 80.1
Destination: Rangiroa, Tuamotus (190 mi. NE of Tahiti)
ETA: 12 days aprox.
Winds: E @ 14kts Close reaching @ 7.3 kts 24 hr runs: 135, 150 nmiles
HILO ASTERN, RANGIROA AND TAHITI AHEAD!
The NE winds we enjoyed the last week of the passage to Hawaii held
and John Graham and Jim MacFeeters spotted the loom of Cape Kumakahi light
on the windward corner of the Island of Hawaii at 0045 on Monday, June
16, 30.8 miles away. By 0200 the lights of Hilo were visible, 22.7 miles
away and then occasionally disappeared in rainy patches. Reduced visibility
meant that the breakwater and entrance buoy were most visible on radar
- but at 0545 when we rounded them visibility had improved slightly. By
0605 we had the bow anchor down, dinghy in the water and were backing to
the stern-tie bulkhead, only to be surprised by two old friends offering
to take our stern lines!
A happy leg #1 crew on arrival in Hilo.
Al Maher had flown from San Francisco just to see MT's arrival after
her maiden voyage and to see his friend John Graham whom he had shared
a cabin with on Mahina Tiare II's 1996 voyage from Cape Horn to Antarctica.
Also waiting was Ian Birnie, Harbormaster for the Island of Hawaii and
long a friend of Mahina Tiare's crew.
As soon as we had washed MT down and crew had packed their bags we headed
to Ken's Pancakes, a favorite local spot in Hilo for breakfast. Crew met
Mon. night for an evening of Hawaiian music, dancing and food. Ineke and
Leo Volkert did a great rendition of the hula, guided by a couple of lovely
Ineke & leo dancing the hula in Hilo.
The next three days were a whirlwind of reprovisioning, refueling, ordering
replacement parts and tidying MT up for her Leg 2, Hilo to Tahiti crew
who arrived on June 20.
At 1700 the following day we had completed our safety orientation and
cleared Hilo breakwater to be met by sloppy 8'-10' seas with light winds.
Within a couple of hours all but one of our new arrivals had emptied their
stomachs to the sea. As we rounded the eastern tip of the island of Hawaii,
the spectacular volcanic show on Kiluea's flanks cranked into high gear,
with fountaining and running lava visible for several hours.
We have been blessed with moderate winds and seas, and the wind direction
(always north of east) has allowed us to gain 88 miles of easting from
a direct rumbline course to Rangiroa. The easting is to our advantage if
we encounter SE tradewinds south of the equator.
Peter sent in some questions yesterday regarding seasickness, watch
standing, autopilot, sharks and ships.
Many sailors who have never been seasick in coastal sailing succumb when
exposed to ocean swells. This crew was no exceptions with 5 out of 6 losing
their cookies. Two brought prescription oral anti-seasickness drugs, neither
of which worked. One brought Compazine 25 mg suppositories which worked
so well that the others borrowed suppositories and that has cleared up
all seasickness. From many years of experience I have found that the Compazine
suppositories are by far the best drug and delivery method available. On
both the last leg and this leg crew have brought oral Compazine which is
quickly lost when seasick.
Our crew usually take a couple of days to get accustomed to 3hrs on
watch, 6 hrs off. We always have two people on watch, one to steer and
one to do hourly log entries, check the radar for ships and squalls and
assist in lookout. We don't use the autopilot and have found that concentration,
vigilance and sailing skills are enhanced by hand steering.
It is extremely rare to see sharks at sea and occasionally we see ships
which we generally try and contact. So far this voyage, no ships. Yesterday
morning our #1 fisherman, Amanda, decided crew had gained the upper hand
over seasickness enough to try fishing. Within a few minutes of trailing
Super Sammy, one of her tattered and top-producing lures, we had a 25 lb.
Ahi on board! Randy Quarry who has commercial fished in Alaska had the
fish filleted and ready for baking in record time. Even with generous servings
last night we have only eaten a quarter of the fish, so fish sandwiches
for lunch today!
Our crew are an eager group for learning. Yesterday we started our weather
instruction, aided by excellent weatherfax charts from SF, Hono and New
Zealand. Today we further explore how Pacific weather systems work and
will probably start working on celestial navigation.
To The Next Log Entry:
Log #4 - 6/29/97