2017 is here! And with it (along with even colder temperatures and the seemingly inevitable viruses that have floored us this past couple of weeks) lots of intentions and plans. We think, and hope, it’s going to be a pretty big year for us in terms of sailing! I wrote in our last post about the privilege of being able to travel relatively easily, and with that privilege we recognize the responsibility to do our bit to try to protect and cherish the seas that we love so much. Continue reading “Pledge Less Plastic in 2017”
Cruisers’ Guide to Kewalo Basin Harbor (Honolulu, Hawai’i) – Part 1
After Illusion sat in Ko Olina Marina for over a year we were pretty keen to work out somewhere else for her to be. We’d gone there originally because they were the only place to get back to my emails confirming Doug could arrive there and the paperwork seemed manageable. It worked out fine as a place to arrive to from the Marquesas, but overall we had a slightly disappointing time there – it’s right by a resort and is basically a really impractical spot unless you have a car, and even if you do, it’s not that ideal. The restaurants, shops and bars at the resort were crazy expensive and to get to other stores required a longish walk and bus-ride. There were a couple of friendly people on other boats, but it wasn’t a great vibe in general and it wasn’t cheap either – though we had some fun times wandering through the hotels and hanging out at the beaches. Maybe as a live-aboard place with a car it would be better, and admittedly it coincided with not being able to get our engine mended, Doug’s shoulder preventing him from sailing, Doug having a bad back, and me visiting while pregnant and really struggling with the heat – so it’s not surprising it has some bad associations for us! Anyway, last November when Doug went down with his friend Petra (while I was too pregnant to travel!) they managed to get a tow out of the marina and sailed to Honolulu. It should have been an afternoon sail, though they were unlucky with the winds and it took a while longer than hoped, but they eventually got into the harbour and that’s where Illusion‘s been for the last few months.
I figured it might be useful for others to know what’s around so here’s my little guide to being there. Then have a look at part 2 for some fun things to do in Honolulu if you get time to be tourists, too… Continue reading “Cruisers’ Guide to Kewalo Basin Harbor (Honolulu, Hawai’i) – Part 1”
Solo Sailing: Routines
I’m about to head back to Hawaii to spend a few days working on Illusion – and maybe get a little winter sunshine, too! This time there’ll be no sailing of course – without an engine it’s too much effort to get in and out of the marina – but heading back to the boat has had me contemplating those last couple of weeks when I was sailing up to Hawaii from Nuku Hiva. Arriving back to Vancouver I was exhausted; a friend recently used the word “depleted” which is a pretty good description. The first few weeks back were a bit of a blur: it was great to see everyone at the ‘Welcome Home’ party (thanks to all who came and gave me such a warm welcome), but somewhat overwhelming to be surrounded by so much noise and activity after all that solitary time and seven months living on the boat, most of them without a whole lot of sleep! I wrote a bit about some of my experiences at sea alone, but I thought it might be interesting, especially for those who have never done long passages, to have an idea of the kinds of things that need to be done and thought about whilst under way. It’s all relevant to group sailing too, but just a little more intense when there’s just one of you… Continue reading “Solo Sailing: Routines”
Crunch Time – post by Janice
It’s here at last: our last day on land! Illusion has been “on the hard” for over a month now, and she’ll be going back in the water first thing Monday morning. Eeeep! An incident in which the boat was going to be moved yesterday, and then wasn’t, led to it being lifted and then dropped back down onto stands that were no longer aligned – damaging our beautifully painted hull in several places. We’ve repaired the dings and repainted, and Doug took it all in stride, but there’s no doubt that that gave him more than a few gray hairs. A couple more touch-ups though and the hull should be fine. But the problems aren’t over yet, so today’s the day when the biggest problems need to get solved….
The story so far – post by Deb
It’s been an exciting and hectic six weeks in New Zealand. Getting Illusion ready for the journey has been a journey in itself. We’ve come a long way, with many milestones to show for it: Continue reading “The story so far – post by Deb”
“That’s a big boat.” – post by Janice
The folks at the boatyard really like to remind us of this fact. Yup. We know. It’s a big boat. We know it intimately, now that we have sanded its 65-foot hull repeatedly for nearly a week. Those of us with back problems really felt it. Those of us without back problems no longer exist. But even the pain and tedium of sanding came to an end at some point, and that point was when Doug said “Okay, that’s enough sanding.” If our arms were not already frozen in overhead positions, we would have thrown them up in jubilation. Denied our gesticular glee, we celebrated instead with a bit of bubbly later that evening. Continue reading ““That’s a big boat.” – post by Janice”
Seeing red: what to do with a store credit?!
Shopping is not my favourite hobby and yet it seems to be taking up a lot of our time at the moment. We’ve started ‘provisioning’ (stocking up on food for the voyage, more on that soon), and we’ve also become regulars in the marine chandleries in the Auckland area. They’re mostly located within a 10 minute walk of Westhaven and Beaumont and the popular ones are as close to that corner as possible. A yacht refitter quickly realizes that a purchased item will not necessarily end its life on the yacht – and if lucky can recycle an unwanted item back to the shop, not into the yacht’s spares locker. During Illusion‘s refit, various items purchased with good intentions have turned out to not quite fit the need when compared more closely with the matching parts already on board. A couple of examples below illustrate this while giving a little insight into the exciting (?!) challenges of refitting: Continue reading “Seeing red: what to do with a store credit?!”