Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Radio is Working

They got their radio working, turns out they were trying to use the old broken microphone instead of the new one that they had just bought. DUH!

So now they report their location to www.pacsea.org at 5PM each day.
I'm (Graeme) no nautical expert but doesn't 3POB mean 3 people on board? (2 People and a Cat)

UTC: 24/06/2008 04:00:00
Position: 26°43'N 156°37'W
Course: 340 (°T) Speed: 4.0 (kts)

You can see their position on a map here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Still Heading North

Bill reports sunny conditions and full sails as they continue north. Bill does mention that the radio is still down but that they are in good humour.

Coordinates: N2447, W15721
Course: 350
Speed: 4 knots

And their off - again.

Graeme here reporting for Bill. They are on their way again. Bill says he and Tom had lovely 2 days of great sailing. Now getting into some squalls for next little while. They both
are feeling a bit peaked so not eating much. Heading North, speed 5 knotts.

Time: 12:45 EST Saturday June 21st
Coordinates: N2213, W15733
Course: 351
Speed: 5 knots

Best of luck & good weather.

PS. Bill said Tom won't fetch the ball like Stewart, his scottie use to!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Adventure in Slow Motion Continues

Well, it's the day of departure. Tom was up till 3 working on the packingless sealer for the rudder shaft. The existing one has been improved on satisfactorily avoiding the final combat with flanges which the new one we received through the Bishop Street UPS would have required. The steering shaft seal works marvellously now that we've expelled the air from the tractor fluid. The radio microphone arrived and with the tech serviced radio is transmitting and receiving just fine. Allex Viernex at NavTech was a real source of help and support as were the folk at Oceantronics. Kat's General Repairs Inc. and Ed Dang Machine shops were terrific too. Homeland Security also did it's best to encourage our departure. This morning we joined the 12 coconut meeting before saying prayers again at St. Andrews Episcopal Cathedral. Now it's just a matter of putting 2 more bolts in the flanges, confirming shaft allignment, stowage, dissassembling the dinghy, leaving the mooring buoy in Keehi Harbour and filling up with fuel and water. I found an organic food store yesterday where I replenished the fruit and vegetables and stocked up on my favourite Reed's Ginger Ale. Now we drop off the glorious mustang with Enterprise. The weather reports are without warning but fresher. The adventure in slow motion continues.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

24 hour Extension

Last night Tom insisted we take the mustang and cruise Waikiki. So there we were looking for parking before hitting the pavement and checking out Prada lapel widths and Louis Vitton tie sizes. We cruised the malacon with honeymooners and hundreds of juniors (20-30 yos). Lots of bittersweet memories of other lifetimes. Regae street bands, shell string necklaces, coconut art, moonlit palm trees amid the rip tides of 2 for 1 conviviality. Beautiful people everywhere in this shrine to holiday happiness.
This morning I woke at 6 am to the sound of jet engines taking off over the boat. 7 am we were at the 12 coconuts meeting doing the dance with Ron and talking about God with Norma Jean. At Pier 1 Border and Customs the Homeland Security folks extended our stay 24 hours. Breakfast burritos and americanos at Red Elephant. Cellphone call saying the steering cylinder is ready. UPS, Radio, Westmarine, harbourmaster, fuel dock and on down the list.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Downtown Honolulu

This is downtown Honolulu near the Hawaii Pacific University. In this church Father Damien gave mass in the 1850's. Thanks to prayers, UPS and the good folk at Wagner we now have the seal repair kit .
The hamm/ssb radio is with Icom radio tech. A machinist is making a new bronze bushing for the rudder post mount. Tom believes there's a hydraulics shop near Pearl Harbour which will do the seal kit repair. We found a laundromat and will get to that task later.
My sister in law Adell calls this 'an adventure in slow motion'.

Red Elephant

We've just come from the 12 coconut meeting past Waikiki across from the zoo. Heard a old fellow say that he was told he didn't have a good childhood or a bad childhood but it certainly was becoming a very long childhood. Reminded me of Milton who says he doesn't know about having a 'child within' but sure does think there's an 'adult within' trying hard to get out. Right now we're in the Red Elephant, a downtown cafe near the Bishop Street UPS where our parts are being shipped. Jimmy Buffet's, Mother Ocean is playing in the background. We're on hold waiting for the hydraulic steering seal kit and a propeller shaft seal kit and a new hamm radio microphone. This morning we're heading out to have the radio checked by a radio tech, get a prop shaft bushing and do our laundry. It's a bit cloudy so far we haven't had to use the air conditioning in the convertible. In the pictures Tom is demonstrating his personal one man escape dinghy.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Well, the tractor hydraulic fluid didn't do it's job so we decided to head for Honolulu. This is us coming by Diamond Head. The other picture is me with the white mustang convertible. Since we had to rent a car to haul stuff and get about I figured this was it. We just cruised Waikiki to find where the UPS store is that we've had the Wagner steering cylinder seal repair kit shipped to. It's supposed to arrive overnight. West Marine was helpful as always and we got a replacement propeller shaft packing less seal. It's possible we're be able to just tighten the present one as it now appears from looking at the replacement that the problem wasn't as serious as it appeared. It's going to feel good to have the replacement nonetheless and just for good measure I got a replacement kit for the head since I'd used the one I brought to get that up and running again. Tom just tried out the electrosan waste disposal unit without warning me to put on a Hasmat suit. Much to our surprise it's functioning fine. Homeland Security won't be after us because of it. Customs has given us 48 hours to put our ship in order so we're planning on leaving Wednesday morning. Right now Tom is on the phone looking for parts for the Icom Hamm/SSB. The Icom 706 MKIIG unit has an unusual microphone plug that no one likes and though there's an "optional part' to convert this to a regular microphone plug I don't have the optional part. We're still trying to find out why the pactor III connects and then disconnects. Something in the initial communication identification is interfering with email getting out. We're receiving well on the radio so have high seas weather reports.
Meanwhile Oahu is beautiful. Great weather reports continue. The boat is at anchor in Keehi Lagoon. Despite the incredible surroundings I'm really looking forward to getting back to Canada. I just have to steer Tom away from the beaches.

Friday, June 13, 2008


We couldn't get the part because the fellow in Washington wasn't available till next week. Tom and I mutually concluded we couldn't leave on Friday especially Friday the 13th. The Canoe Club which has been accomodating here has a regatta tomorrow and we're in the midst of their race lines so must move first thing in the morning. Tom's added tractor fluid to the hydraulics with improvement so we're going with that knowing we can still go to Honolulu if the problem persists. No luck finding a microphone but my water bladder patches appeared to be holding after I physically hauled 25 gallons of water. We're having another dinner at Koho's. Tom said this may be the last 'dinner out' for weeks. Despite only seeing the commercial parts of this town and the beach we've enjoyed the stay here. Tomorrow we're leaving again with the weather reports for the week good for east trades at 15 knots. We'll be heading north again.


Tom's been on the cell phone to the new Wagner in Vancouver and has the part number which we need. Apparently there's a part in Seattle and right now Tom's off looking for a quiet spot with my credit card to order it via ups overnight. This gives me time to look for a microphone for the Icom 706 MK hamm radio I have. Right now I'm unable to transmit and while it may be in the program it seems to be the microphone so with another mike I'd be able to solve the problem or move along the diagnostic curve. The Maui Harley Davidson is just down the street and another part we need is in Lahania so it may be we'll rent a Harley for the trip across island. One taxi trip for a part yesterday cost $20. Rent a car's aren't expensive but they can make it harder to leave island whereas a motorcycle could be a compromise (business&pleasure). For now back to the boat for hauling more water to test the bladder repairs and collect the microphone. Cruising = doing boat work in exotic places.


We're on Maui still looking for a solution to the Wagner hydraulic steering system. Hawthorne here were terrific and would restore it and add seals and rings if we had the replacement kit however Wagner went out of business. This was the same problem I had with their autopilot electronics. Tom's looking for the specifications of the seals and rings on the other Bad Ass Coffee Co computer. Otherwise we'll get by with heavy hydraulic oil and trust our Hydrovane self steering system which bypasses the hydraulics. I did get all the patching done on the water bladder and hope it will hold. Chafe wear from previous trip.
We're anchored off the paddling club here. The picture of Tom and I is from this morning when we came over in the dinghy. The boat's there in the background. I forgot to say earlier we saw flying fish on our way. Angel my cat would like to know that sort of detail. Also that Maui has an excess of wild chickens. Very colourful.

More Kahului

Found wifi spot in restaurant here!

Kahului, Maui

We got away from Kona after a pleasant night of fine food and music with Alfred and Adva from Waterhoen. Saul who'd been in the 1948 Israeli war before becoming a fishing guide and now at 80 thinking of retiring, had sold me a 12 foot Korean inflatable. We think it was the only one on the island. We left the marina and anchored off the beach before setting sail in the morning. En route we caught an ahi and barbecued it for dinner. All that night we were sailing across the channel thankful for the advice to do the passage when the trades were light. Finding that one of our water tanks had leaked and that the steering was mushy we decided to put into Kahului on the west coast of Maui. Caution is the better part of valour. While I fixed the water system Tom tore apart the hydraulic steering. It's getting to be that there's not a system that we've not taken apart and put back together. Tom says he's getting all the demons out. Today he told me he was making certain the hydraulics were Christianized. We've made a hundred miles of the 2500 journey. If we can get a hydraulics shop to repair a fitting in the morning we should be off again. It's been good to have cell phone connection. I've not been able to get the hamm radio email connection because of com port problems with the computer. I hope to fix it before Tom takes it upon himself to evangelize the radio and pactor modem.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Later Sunday

Bill shorn and weather looks good.

Hawaian Sunday

We just took communion at the oldest church in Hawaii founded 1820. The service started at 1030 and we arrived at 1045. Tom and I had been up since 5 am. I spent 5 hours fixing the head then changing fuel filters on the engine while Tom got the electricity going to the Hamm/SSB radio giving us access to offshore weather. Being filthy from head and engine I jumped overboard and swam around the boat seeing a really large box fish and a school of blue fish. After I got to rinse off the with shower and have the shower pump take away the water. When I came out in clean clothes, Alfred was on his boat holding the plunger arm from his head.
"The cruising world is all about doing boat work in exotic places," I said. He agreed going on to recommend a lagoon and a Fiji Island he'd come from. "All the people do there is eat and procreate and the women take really good care of the men."
For the first day this week, Tom having only been working on electrical, could get away with just washing his hands. Now it's time to look at weather reports to plan passages.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The GIRI is in the WATER!

What excitement as the travel lift lowered the GIRI into the water! She floats. No leaks!
Next it was getting the engine started. Tom had a time with the old fuel and we've concerns to come. No one is polishing fuel on the island any more and only a coffee plantation sailor may pick up old fuel. We couldn't reach him so are making do.
Leaving the lift bay and the rusty helm skills began returning. Backing up and turning with a full keel to land along side a dock with just enough wind and current to remind me of past encounters of the third kind.
After a night at dock we put on the sails this morning and moved the boat to the fuel dock where we did mediterranean moorage rafted up with Waterhoen. I actually dove into the clear blue warm water with mask and fins to retrieve a moor buoy rope. Tom got out a 2 x 8 board and walked the plank to get back onto our boat from aft.
Alfred and his crew, whose name means "little waves" are returning from the polynesian south about to passage back to NA.
Tom and I have been visitting the first church on the islands set up here by the missionaries including Brigham and Thurston. A nice break from our earlier time in the bilge from hell.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kona Boat Work

Flying into Kona the volcanic nature of the island is readily apparent. Tom said he thought he was landing on a moon scape. The lush palm trees surround the airport though along with all the exotic vegetation that the island is famous for. Tom was there to meet me and it was a great reunion. Laughter and that great manly handshake hug.

It was good to reunite with the GIRI too. For two days now we've been working and outfitting, hauling all that is necessary for an ocean crossing from Kmart, Home Deport and Walmart. I even found Reed's Ginger Ale. The engine part has arrived and Tom's fixing that tomorrow. I've been doing inspections and wood work and cleaning tanks. Only wasps got in so my fears were unfounded. Lots of superficial rust to be addressed and bottom painting to be done. A few more days before she goes in the water. I"m aching everywhere from the physical exertion. Good feelings of accomplishment as each day brings us closer to going into the water. Right now we're at the Bad Ass Coffee Co enjoying the sound and sight of the night surf. In the distance a great big ketch is all lit up.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Dawn over Honolulu. Aloha!


Arrived with all bags accounted for. Flight made better by MP3 Monty Python, Third Day, Sarah McLaughlin and Anne Murray. I could not hear the two babies demanding first class service in coach. The couple beside me were on their honeymoon. Hot humid tropical air hit when we landed. Though I've been to Hawaii several times it was Saipan that I first thought of. Next the airport itself brought to mind my last transit here with Scotty dog Stuart and calico cat Angel in tow. 12 coconut meeting tomorrow at 7 am in Kapiolani Park. Now for bed with Jimmy Buffet's book, A Salty Peice of Land. Can't imagine why I just don't feel like dancing all night. Might have something to do with Saturday's 250 km Ride for Dad, with the 1020 other motorcycles Laura and I and Harley joined which raised over $100,000 for prostate cancer research. Tom's calling me in the morning to let me know if Kona's Yanmar engine distributor can access the exhaust part that he found we needed yesterday. If so I'll be hopping on Hawaian Air. If not I'll be sourcing the part here before I fly over there.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


It's time to board the plane. Tom's been phoning each night claiming to be working on the boat while no doubt lying around on the beach. Time for me to join him lying around on the beach to claim to be working on the boat. Thanks for all the help and encouragement. Hawaii here I come. All's well I'll be on the boat tomorrow.