Sam and I entered the mouth of Hanalei Bay 36 hours after leaving O’ahu, it was around midnight. I was nervous to anchor at night because I had never done it before. If I was alone I would have sailed until sunrise and then approached, but Sam and I checked the charts and he was confident we could do it.
I felt like I was sailing in outer space. All I could see was darkness sprinkled with unidentifiable lights; some red, some white, some yellow, some dull, some bright. There was a reef to my right and another to my left. I could hear the waves breaking on top of them. The boat was soaked in the smell of land; grass, trees, dirt, sand.
I approached it all slowly, under main only. The bay was crowded with boats, some lit, others startling us because they were hidden by the night- revealing themselves only when we where close enough to hit them.
We found an empty space between a fishing boat and a catamaran and prepared to drop the hook. My windlass jammed up, and we did loops round and round and round trying to fix it. This has happened to me before and I can usually resolve it by wedging a long flathead screw driver between the gears to release the tension on the windlass. That trick was no longer at my command.
Sam ended up feeding the chain down by hand. We were in 30 feet of water and let out a 7 to 1 scope- 200 of chain, 10 of rope.
I backed down hard on the anchor in reverse and Juniper set deep into the mud beneath us. Just as she nestled in, fat drops of rain began to fall.
A rush of adrenaline surged through my body. I was high on the feeling of accomplishing something I had never before done. And never could have done without Sam.
That evening we were rocked to sleep- the rain was pattering and the boat bobbing up and down.
When the sun rose, the water surrounding us was a cloud of brown. There is a river that flows straight into the harbor, during the rain it had gathered globs of soil and dropped them into the sea.
On shore I could see the tall, green peaks of Kaua’i towering like mountains made of leaves. I could see rainbows kissing ridges. I could see waterfalls dripping into gulches. I could see miles and miles and miles of country.
Sam and I wanted to explore it all, so we inflated the dinghy. Her name is Daisy. We loaded Daisy up with trash, backpacks, and snacks, then rowed to shore. There was a current in the channel that moved faster than my arms could row, I was rowing south but Daisy was moving west. I could not go backwards or forwards, my arms were jelly.
So Sam had to take over. We headed for any space of beach that we could get to. Just before we hit the sand, a wave crashed into Daisy and flooded everything inside. We were wet, our bags were wet, the trash had broken open and everything was floating.
As we pulled Daisy down the shore more and more and more water poured in, until finally neither of us could lift her. She was a sinking bathtub of seawater!
No Daisy, don’t drowned. We need you!
I pulled everything out of Daisy and moved it to shore. Running fast from sand to shore to sand to shore. People walked by and stared at the struggle. Nobody stopped, nobody offered to help. That is the result of the century of self! Communal aspects crumbling beneath the importance society places on the individual, all amplified further in the realms of social media. A world of “WE” dissolving into a world of “ME.”
It didn’t matter, nothing of real importance was at steak, just an object that can easily be replaced.
Sam and I quickly used the force of a wave to flip Daisy upside down and let her drain. Together we carried her safely to patch of dry sand.
…… To Be Continued …..