sailing to Oahu
Jimi Hendrix was playing on Oahu. I had never sailed. Surfed Mexico, California, Hawaii! Aw, how hard could it be to sail 90-110 miles from Kauai to Oahu? Piece of cake, right? Remember it was the 60's! This is so bad. We thought we were looking at Kaiena Point,Ohau, knowing we weren't going to make the concert! But at least we were in site of Oahu-wrong! Coy, who had never sailed before, me,who had never sailed before, jeff and Abbott etc. We were looking at the sleeping giant on Kauai! We had done three-sixty's in the night! We sailed on the only tri-marran I've ever sailed on ( except later ) in my life, missed the concert! It was at the Waikiki Shell Ampitheater ( Moon eclipsed . We finally made Nawilwili Harbor! The Skipper tried to give us his boat saying, " It's trying to kill me"! We watched him go stark raving mad not even realising that had we got caught in the channel current we were on our way to Japan! Remember it was the 60's and we were going to see Hendrix. I left out some of the good stuff but I will make up for it later!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The air at 13,756 ' isn't much. At 10,000' there is no life no where when you are on Mauna Loa. It's still the only place I've ever been where it rained, hailed, snowed, fogged, rainbowed, moonbowed, sunnied up all with the absense of any growing thing, any living thing, including bugs and birds! All this in a twenty-four hour period. I'll see if I can downup-load some pictures. In 1979 before she started blowing and has not stopped there was a cabin with Bunks for overnight guests who would make the climb. You used to be able to drive to 10,000 '. Then you would follow cairns ( stacked rocks ) to infinity because most people are not geared for this elevation. Tom was the only cigarette smoker and he danced as el ledo,( He loved his vodkaa), I think Madame Pele is served vodkaa also! Anyway I took up the rear. We were showing two canucks the "Big Island" and ourselves too! They had just graduated from college and were on their way around the world. One had a dgree in chemistry and the others was ( Jane and Sheila ) guess? Geology! When we were done I felt like I had a degree in Volcanology! Shelia new her opoepoe, her A'A and minerals too! I didn't think Jane was going to make it. Tom, the cigarette smoker, got his! They had said to Tom, "How will you be able to handle this hike at this elevation being that you smoke"? They found out the hard way! Jane was white to begin with but she had the hardest time. I spotted her the entire way. She was borderline turn-around but I must admit she persevered! The log book at the cabin on the edge of the caldera went back to the early 1900's. I have often wondered if they got it out of there when she blew? It was really interesting reading what other people had logged in. One was supposed to bring fuel and of course leave everything usuable behind for the next group. We didn't see anybody ourselves and by the book no one had been up for a week. You can still drive to the golf ball/ Mauna Loa observatory but Mauna Kea has continually erupted since "81" I think. I know it took out Kalapana and is making a bigger big island! It's bizzare that I lived on the oldest island Kauai, and it has one/third more sand and beaches than all the other islands put together. I lived on the Big Island for one year and the only beach I found with white sand was Spencers. I heard there were two others and a hotel with imported sand kind of like Waikiki! Ha! Just thought I'd throw that one in there! So Sheila and Jane were with us for two weeks, plutonically. Tom is a marine engineer, goes to sea for 6 mo's at a whack. He invited me to go to Virginia. We'd had so much fun it seemed like a good thing. The part that relates to this story is I asked him if I could get my "Z" card in Virginia? He laughed and said it was impossible. It is a true catch "22"! You can't get into the United States Merchant Marine without a Merchant Mariner's Document and you can't get the document without having a job! Here is how I did the impossible and blew my friend away! I quit my two jobs, one at the Hilton and the other at the Chart House ( I told them I knew Joey Cabell)( He owns the Chart House at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor, Honolulu,Hawaii I do, Hi Joey. My 2nd day at manpower was at Berkley, this is Virginia, across from the Navy Shipyard at Norfolk, Virginia. Somehow I and nine other manpower emps are wiping oil on a barge. Somehow I am the boss. I guess you could call me boss wipe but not to my face. I didn't like it very much except that we were on the Elizebeth sp River, not only leading to the Cheasepeke Bay and the Atlantic but the inter-coastal waterway that goes all the way to Florida inland and up to Philedelphia sp. Bob, the assistant Port Captain asked me and one other if we would consider getting our Merchant Mariners Document because we had a job. I became a Tankerman, class "B" and blew my friend Tom away. I not only made my company money, Sea Horse Marine, I made a lot of money and loved my job. Transfering product and processing at our plant, boarding super-tankers, tug-boat, barge for days in the Bay! The company out of New York sent me to New Orleans and my friend Authur Cook to Beaumont, Texas. I lasted 17 days in New Orleans. I went there to trouble shoot. I found out what was wrong. The Mississippi River and some other things. It was time to go home. Hawaii. I will tell you this I liked my port captain in Virginia. We were clean. Lucky was a retired Coastie. We kept the river clean. The port captain in Louisianna sp also was a retired coastie. His twenty year career he busted people for what he was doing. This guy looked me square in the eye as he told me to pump interface which is oil and water into the river which runs to the Carribean. He said it was O.K. because every factory on the Mississippi had a pollution allotment so it's what is being done. See the weird thing about that is that pollution is killing the habitat that also protects the mainland from tidal surge or waves, hurricane induced. Plus the Bayous, like the everglades is a very rich spawning, growing pool for virtually tons of living its. So I wrote my letter, got it done. He got fired but not before I quit. Believe this! He actually said to me I couldn't quit! He asked me if I knew what I was leaving? Like without this job and the money I was making I would be a fool to leave it! He was right in a way. I never worked again using my "Z" card. I sat in my union hall in San Francisco for two weeks SIU. I was a tankerman not a steward. I didn't want to work on the love boat. The Constitution was doing Hawaii in seven days at that time. No dice. However I went back to Kauai and that is another story!!!
River water is cold and fresh. Papio later ulua do the fresh water salt water thing. It is a long way to impossibles. I don't know why it is called that I lied. (to you). Why is innersections not enter sections? Actually certain swell directions make it enter sections! But when Hanalei connects it is one of the most powerful and longest rides that exist anywhere. I'm a goofy-foot. Like Gerry Lopez only he has always been a lot smoother than me. I always loved his style. Carlos Andrade is a smooth goofy-foot also. Beaver( Jim Demoral), David Abbott( abaldo)and Tim McKenna could handle also. Jim pollack, Ambrose Curry and myself loved inside Hanalei! While Ralph Young and Rick McGruff (Mc Duff) ( best steak cooker that ever lived)would wait and wait( righteously so) us guys would be ripping the 6 to 8 footers until the big weinee would catch us inside and over the falls at least two of us would go!And there is Ralph on the wave of the day! So what we were strong! In the day, before whore cords, it would not be unusual to swim for your board five times. I loved getting older and wiser. It got to a point where we were getting boats. Ralph would motor out and drop a pick with four of his friends. Save the long paddle! The looks one got if one was lucky enough to be in the boat! Surfing changed immensely when board cords announced their pressence. At Hanalei, just to paddle out for a novice surfer was an event. When a novice lost his board at " The Bay", you simply didn't see him again. Long paddle, long swim. It's funny looking back, remembering the reef walk, or back doors, or full swim because your board was in the channel on it's way to Wainiha or Niihau!!! Hanalei is still there. When it connects through the bowl almost to the pier your legs are shaking bra! It is a long ride doing different things. One thing that always got to me though! You make this incredible take-off, you are screaming through sections closing out but just enough to reach and stretch reach the bowl and Joe Bogest or someone like him takes off in front of you. Why didn't I kick out?Because I always wanted to shoot the pier! Just joking. I've sailed half way around the world. Hanalei is still the prettiest place and the overall greatest wave I've ever seen. I've seen Joey carve at twenty! Rusty Miller and mike Doyle were there. So was Gary Fodor and Mike Mc Clellen. So was Jimmy Lucas, Jeff Hay,Leon Thomkins,David Abbott,Bubby Yarbouro, Robbie Bryson, Coy Ardledge, Hila monster ( Randy Mills) John McCelgan ( frog)and more!!!! I've surfed Sunset Oahu, Hanalua Maui, and Hanalei Kauai. Which do you favor? Aloha no ka ko
My first passage is a story that dreams are not made of! I learned so much and yet so little! A 55' Choy Lee with what could have been a great crew and should have been except for one thing. A young delivery skipper, well versed of the sea. A goodfriend for a first mate. Me for crew and two girlfriends. I knew Patty and Pearl. They were both friends of mine.Patty was dating Steve on Kauai before the sail. I felt so lucky to have this opportunity to make a passage from Kauai to California. Marina Del Rey. I had sailed through the islands, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, Big Island, Kauai, O.K. Oahu!!! But to sail to the mainland, wow! It's a couple thousand miles! So, the sail went like this: Five days out, we lost the privledge of refrigeration, electronic ignition, gas stove, motor, running lights, in other words we became just a sail boat. Our food, of which we had carte blanche, owner on mainland wanted boat delivered! We spent $1,000 Oh yea! But the steaks we had purchased had a short life due to no batteries-refrigeration! I'm not going to tell you the rpms that an alternator must spin to generate enough power to start a marine diesel! I like yanmars, of course, I found out later you can kick start some of them! What was strange about this sail was that the skipper was dating one of my friends on land and when we sailed she slept with him in the aft cabin. It was really a sad thing when Ken and I would watch Pearl sneak into Steve's( the young captain) after berth while her friend on land Patty was driving. This went on for quite awhile and actually made the sail painful. I've sailed from Hawaii 6 times and will share some horrific weather stories with you but this was the most uncomfortable people wise passage I've ever experienced. The two girls who were friends became rivals. I watched for the first and only time a person take on a sea personality that ended our frienship. She hid in a cupboard for four hours. We reversed course thinking she had fallen overboard. When she popped out she thought that was the most creative adventure, the most original thought, ever. When we sat her down and tried to explain the depth of our feelings she thought we made way to much of it! She is the one who (even though we all know it is the skipper's fault) who ran both banks of batteries at the same time. All in all, what a first passage. Great weather. 28 days and we could see Santa Barbara and Catalina Islands. It's been so long I'm pretty sure it's Santa Barbara. Oh hell, I could look at a chart if I must! But the meat of the sail comes to this. No wind and we are out of food! Had three eggs and a bottle of ketchep and are becalmed for two days in a major shipping lane.I got to eat the eggs because they smelled like sulfer, needed the ketchup to nuetralize the smell! I've got a million sail stories but this is still a good one for all of you that have been there. When you are becalmed in the fog anywhere near shipping lanes expect tugboats and the long tow. They can't see sailboats or your damn radar reflector. It's bad enough going through major shipping lanes. We know they are moving (fast) and with a skeleton crew, especially the dog watch! Fogged in with no wind and no food. No radio, no power. We sailed into our slip in Marina Del Ray. Only problem was the fat, cigar smoking,drunk on power, stink boat skipper who wouldn't give right-of-way, until he had to, no joke, he didn't know we hadn't seen land for awhile. Just another Hippie sail-boat in la-la land! He gave way but he didn't like it! I'm sure he made someone pay for his slighted inconvenience. If you are down in the Marina Del Rey area and ever run across Shambala drop in and buy um a beer for me and tell them this story! It was 1976, my first passage!
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