Alenuihaha

Sava and I had decent wind when we left Lahaina. We came quick upon Molokini. It’s a half-sunken volcanic crater in the shape of a new moon. It was never our intention to stop there, but I dig anything with a crescent shape, so we did.

I didn’t have to twist Sava’s arm. Dude doesn’t like to stay dry. He’ll jump in the water all day long and he’d probably turn into sand or a pile of smoke, if he was forced to stay on land at any great length of time.

Sava taught me how to prep my new dive mask on Molokini. You burn it, then you spit in it. I know it sounds kinky, but that’s what you do, if you’re feeling really wild you can throw some toothpaste in it too.

After I jumped in, Sava tossed a bunch of chips in the water, and the fish went nuts! There were hundreds of humuhumunukunukuapuaa surrounding me. That’s the Hawaiian state fish and it’s name translates to “triggerfish with a snout like a pig.” I can assure you that they are very piglike. One of the fish thought my finger was a chip and viciously bit it. It freaking hurt!

I don’t know how long we were there. Maybe an hour, maybe more. When we decided to leave, the sea was rambunctious. White caps were everywhere and the clouds caught and stole Haleakala from the sky.

It was a rodeo that made me more frightened of the bull that awaited us in the Alenuihaha Channel. The name of the channel means “great billows smashing” and if the billows were already smashing before the channel started, I could only imagine what the billows were doing all up in the channel.

The middle of the channel wasn’t worse than anything else we’d seen in Hawaii. We had about 30 knot winds off our beam the whole way across. The swell was a little over a meter and we moved at 7 knots, sometimes 8, sometimes less.

Waves came aboard and kissed and slapped us whenever they could. I think the waves love us so much that they want to eat us. Mauna Kea was visible from way out there and that made whatever the waves did ok.

We blew across that channel by 2 am and I got nervous that we would arrive to Kona before sunrise. I was trying to figure out how to slow the boat when the wind lightened.

It was around that time that I lost a chunk of cheese. I remember cutting some slices from it. I remember putting it back in the fridge. And now, I can’t for the life of me find it. I hope it’s not rotting somewhere. My bilge already smells so bad I don’t think I can handle anything else stinky. What if I find it 7 years from now. Maybe I can sell it as a nautically aged cheddar. Or maybe I can eat it and trip out like Captain Joshua Slocum.

Anyway, Sava was sleeping and I was snacking and watching the stars. I’m such a stargazer. I like to think about all the fire and ice in space. Did you know there is a exoplanet that is both fire and ice? She’s called Gliese 436 b and she’s made of burning ice. She’s 30 light years away from us, next to the zodiac constellation of Leo.

I want to see ice burn. Frost and flames, baby!

Whenever I looked down at the sea I was hoping that the love of my life was going to bubble up out of it. Earlier that day Sava said I need to find an enchanted wanderer who wants to roam the sea with me. Then we decided that he must live inside the sea. So that’s where I keep looking for him. I think when I meet him it will be during a night watch, when I’m really dreamy feeling. And my red-footed booby, Pluto, will be there too, just for shits and giggles. (In case you don’t know, Pluto is the bird who was always with me when the seas got rough during my transpacific crossing.)

Pluto, who is my best friend and sworn enemy- because he always poops everywhere- will warn my sea-lover about me. He’ll say, “When she gets thirsty for something more she’ll move on and let you lick your lips over her backbone.” And I’ll want to pluck a feather from Pluto’s wing for saying that, but I won’t, because it’s true. The boredom part.

That morning Sava pointed out a new rip in my jib, Janice. It was a big rip. Damn these Hawaiian winds and the pieces of Juniper they have shredded and captured.

Sava then confirmed that he wanted to do the sail to French Polynesia . I asked, “How did you just decide right now?”

He said something along the lines of, “Juniper’s a good boat and we just went through a bunch of stuff during this inter-island trip, and we’re all still smiling.”

Now that we are all going, I am nervous. It’s my home and it’s a long sail and I wonder if it will change the offshore flow that Juniper and I have. And I can’t have my naked dance parties or spend a day releasing through my tears when they are onboard. And whats gonna happen when my moontime comes and a raging psycho flys out of me. That happens sometimes. And if it does will there be mutiny? Will they throw me overboard and steal my vessel and force me to cling to a shipping container somewhere near the equator?! What if that happens!

Let’s just keep these wild ideas between you and me and everyone we know.

Sorry for the sidetrack.

We made it to Kailua Bay early that morning and we saw a pilot whale not long after sunrise.

I was in a daze after the trek and all I wanted was a massage. I pitched the idea to Sava and he said, “Sure. Can we get a manicure too?”

And that was that. We blew up Daisy and rowed to shore to get pampered.

I got a slip the next day in the Honokohau Harbor. Sava lassoed me the lines while John Prine blasted on a neighboring boat, then he flew back to Oahu to tie up his loose ends.

Since I’ve been here I’ve watched the sunset from Mauna Kea, chased sheep up a hill, stared at silver swords and trumpet fish, swam in Narnia, dove around Two Step, watched tadpoles grow, eaten fresh mountain apples, and scuba dived. I also got a COVID test which burned so bad it made my eyes cry and also made me feel like a heifer on the way to the slaughter.

I’ve been hanging here a lot with my friend Ellen. She survived an avalanche while skiing in Switzerland and a circular storm with 90 kt winds while aboard a wooden boat. I always love anyone with a good story and she’s got plenty of them.

Juniper and I are ready to sail away and create our own new stories. The outboard is fixed, Janice is fixed, leaks are fixed. And I bought new batteries from some local boys who read “The Secret” and ooze gratitude.

We set sail today. My weather router says there are some storms cooking along our path and there might be lightening. I’ve never sailed through lightening on Juniper. Only anchored in it. I wonder what it will be like and what kind of hell it will make my head crawl through.

I’m leaving here having learned some lessons. 1- If I follow the rules, people eventually let me bend them. 2- Coral is more precious than diamonds. 3- I panic a lot. Too much. Inside; the ropes, the worry, the rust. 4- If I never knew anybody else’s tragic story, I think I would panic less.

4 Replies to “Alenuihaha”

  1. So glad I get to share in your sailing stories. Remember Your an amazing sailor, you’ll enjoy the company.
    Fair winds and following seas 🧡

    Like

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