The day before I left Waimea Bay, the spinner dolphins fell from the heavens. They came right up to me and Juniper and pirouetted out of the water. I swam with them, and we talked about the clouds, and played fetch with seashells. The dolphins told me that their favorite kind of clouds are the ones that carry rain but do not block the sun. That’s because those kind of clouds let the sky bleed rainbows.
After my time spent with the dolphins, I knew the next voyage was going to be a good one.
Sava and Josh are back onboard. Together we are sailing the Hawaiian island chain. We left Waimea with liquid plans that dripped with an uncertainty we all embraced. We are on the winds clock ya know?
The coastguard knows my name by heart now. Hell they might even have my number on speed dial and I’ll be damned if they don’t set aside a vhf channel just for us to communicate on.
Not because we needed any rescuing, but because every time we’re out sailing, they need us to rescue someone.
When we were on our way up to Waimea they radioed for the sailboat 3 NM off of Barbers Point. That was us. Said they were looking for a woman on a center consoled powerboat and asked us to help locate her. I was like “Rajah (roger), I’ll keep my eyes peeled wide open, Over.”
Ten minutes later, two boats of that description passed us, one to our north and one to our south. I radioed the coordinates and they were able to track the lady down. The coast guard sent a big thanks to SV Juniper over channel 16.
Then when we were leaving Waimea Bay, we saw a dive boat. 40 minutes later I spotted two divers a great distance from any boat. It looked like they were waving for help. I radioed the coastguard and asked if anybody was missing two divers. Turns out they were.
We sent coordinates and whipped around to scoop them.
The sea was rough that day, heavy winds and swells up to 10 feet. It was no day for us to rescue anything.
The divers were a couple and they had been lost out there for God knows how long. They deployed a personal EPIRB, but it must have been busted, because neither the coastguard nor the captain of their boat knew they were missing until we alerted them. Do those little Epirbs even work?! Lucky we saw them.
Just as we were about to throw Juniper into irons and lift them aboard, their dive boat pulled up. The captain shouted a lazy “Sorry about that guys,” and the divers swam back into his careless arms.
Wow! How in the heck did he loose track of them! We bet his iPhone had something to do with it. Perhaps he was writing a juicy text to his latest Tender match or maybe he was posting selfies of him at the helm. Who knows?
I’m forever grateful that Josh and Sava are with me out here. It’s so bitchin to sail with people who know what the heck they are doing. We embrace the upwind 30+ knot, wave-slapping runs, with laughter and total collaboration. Its the sailing dream team.
We are all skillful sailors and we learn a lot from each other underway. We are quick at problem solving and handle adversity well. Plus there are no egos at play. Everything feels pure. As pure as the sun is bright.
And I have never felt more myself and more at ease with others aboard my boat. Sailing with them, I am completely and utterly me and my vibration feels higher than the highest galaxy.
Sailing around Hawaii is no walk in the park. Sometimes this sea will make you never want to see it again. And the Hawaiian winds and currents are vicious. They go from doves to tigers in nothing flat. I can say for a fact that it’s tougher sailing here than sailing in the middle of the ocean. It’s more wild. More unpredictable. More catastrophic. Like trying to tame and ride a dinosaur.
If I’m not careful I’ll become a fossil out here.
The closer I get to my departure for Tahiti the more frightened I become. I’m scared to be alone at sea again. But I’m also scared to give up this dream. I don’t even know how I made it across the Pacific to Hawaii all on my own. It feels like I fell asleep, dreamt the voyage, and woke up on another shore. Have I already told you that? I’ll tell it to you again and again and again, because it’s the truth.
Juniper is hard to single-hand. All of her sails, except for her genoa, are changed at the mast. The wind is usually running amuck when I’m forced to go up and make changes, sometimes on moonless nights. Tacking and especially jibing, with all canvas flying, is incredibly challenging with only my two hands to work with, but somehow I do it and I will continue to do it, because this is what I have been guided to do.
The other night, while I was on watch with Sava I said, “Did you bring your passport.”
He said, “Yea I did. It’s so strange that you ask. Why did you ask?”
I had never told him to bring it, but deep down wanted him to. The fact that he has it means he is considering sailing to Tahiti. His mom wants him to sail there with me too. It would be rad if all three of us could continue onwards together.
We successfully circumnavigated Oahu during a small craft advisory.
It was all upwind to Molokai. And the moon was new. We did a ceremony in her honor.
It was puffing big all through the day and night and the world was raining sea all over us. Spray galore. Each time a wave slapped or sounded closer than it should be, Josh and I flinched. Still traumatized from the rogue wave we got pelted by on our last adventure. Apparently every one out of twenty waves is rogue. And a real sailor would never turn his face away from one, Captain Joshua Slocum says something along those lines.
Around 9 am we caught a big Aku (Tuna). It’s the first fish I caught off of Juniper and I was as happy as a clam. I reeled it in and Josh taught me how to cut and clean it. I said a prayer as I sliced, to thank the seas for such a sweet gift. Days later I can still smell him on my fingers. So pungent.
I wonder how many fish are swimming around the ocean with hooks in their mouths?
The entire sail was long. Thirty hours. With rails in the water and mast and legs and sails trembling. We didn’t have to tack much. We were doing tacks so long that sea creatures started growing on the side of Juniper’s hull above the waterline.
And we were licking our lips for land by the time we saw Molokai. I radioed the harbor and he denied us entry. Said interisland was open for air but not by sea yet. We explained that we needed safe harbor to do repairs and the harbor master told us to return from whence we came or call the coastguard. So I called my coastguard buddies.
The coastguard, of course, remembered their dear friend SV Juniper and said the harbor master was mistaken. Then he called the head of the DOBOR (Division of Boating & Ocean Recreation). The head of DOBOR is the boss of all state run harbors. He called me immediately and said we were more than welcome to anchor there and asked who denied entry. Five minutes later that harbor master, who rejected us, called and said to come on in and anchor. Then he told me to throw on a mask and come to his office first thing in the morning. I said, “I’ll be there with bells on.”
What a run around!
By the time we pulled into the harbor we all looked like we had been rode hard and put up wet.
We anchored in Kaunakakai. It lacks much room or depth. The east side of it is very industrial. Men fish off of a sea wall with really loud generators blasting behind them. I avoid looking that way.
7 Replies to “From Doves To Tigers”
Another excellent post. Thanks.
Bummer that the divers beacon didn’t work. Might want to take that as an omen to have a spare 406 beacon on board for your next offshore trip.
I’ve flown small single engine airplanes, solo, across every ocean in the world. Even went north of the arctic circle alone in January. Always kept essential survival equipment, including (and especially) the beacon hooked to my life vest. That said, even though I prefer sailing alone, I always took someone along on my boat for the long trips.
Not trying to be negative. It’s just good sense to address safety issues, then turn your attention to the fabulous experiences you’re going to have sailing across the equator and to points south.
Fair winds and Aloha.
I love your writing. Always have. Always will. And I can’t wait for the next chapter and your encounter with the harbor master. I’m in Jacks Zoom class. He is always inspiring. Very good writers. I sending you love, rainbows and stardust. Brynn
I love your writing. Always have. Always will. Can’t wait for the next chapter with the harbor master. Who does he think he is dealing with??? Been taking Jacks Zoom Classes. He’s always inspiring. Excellent writers. I’ll be sending you love, rainbows and stardust. Look out. Brynn
Great post, I only wish all the videos posted on Instagram in your profile circle ?? Were in this post so they would appear longer than 24 hours. They show how cohesive the three of you are sailing together. You all have great skills and appear to have loads of fun. I would love to see y’all make the trek to Tahiti together, a dream team. I love what great samaritans you are on the high seas. Great stories and building good karma.
“You know, I was going to say something at the burial but I did not. I was going to say that when a storm hits this country, the cattle all turn their asses toward the wind. The buffalo stand with their faces into the wind.”
– Charles Bowden
Bison/buffalo are built to look forward into a blizzard. Cows, on the other hand, are built to turn tail and haul their asses out of there. Lol!
Maý I dub thee “Queen Rescue and the Rescue Rats”? I think coast guards could write stories about you, and little girls everywhere would want to grow up being you.
Don’t you just love to make unknowledgeable people knowledgable? I mean, where are you supposed to go in 20′ waves? Turn around and sail somewhere else bailing water all the way? A sure recipe for disaster. Must have been a friend of Trump’s!