About Me

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Sacramento, California, United States
so salty pieces of coral from surfing Hawaii in the 60's and 70's getting reef pounded living in my body fall through my skin from time to time!

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!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We missed Christmas

Just by inches on a chart did " Sea Rover" miss Christmas!! How can one miss an Island in broad daylight that you are looking at? The same way that you can find an atoll by it's reflection on the bottom of a cloud formatiom giving you a heading towards an object in the middle of no where that has an elevation of 4' at it's highest point! Anyone who has sailed the "South Seas" knows that a current runs fast above and below the "Equator" fluctuating between four degrees north and south moving about four to six knots parallel to th equatorial line! So we, on Sea Rover, a Cullen Archer, double ended, norweigian keel, faro-cement, slutter; unwilling to start the Yan-mar to over heat our feet on a teak deck that was already drying out from lack of any moisture due to the prevalent weather written about by every sailor who has managed to bypass the conditions required to get from a northern to southern or vise versa, decided to head for Fanning Island!!!! Screw Christmas, Bah, Humbug! So. Mark and Judy and Corrine and Skuppers decided to flow back to Fanning. I'm glad we did. I hadn't realized how many ships had run aground on Christmas! Now, I can see why and how. My next small story will be about Fanning Island. We stayed there awhile and learned much.

Lanai Or " Bust "

A friend or so it seemed for so many years has died. July 6th, 2009. Now that he is gone I will speak about him. Some will say " You should not speak un-well of the dead", but I say now is the time to speak the truth about a friendship that I carried a lot longer than he due to the resentment towards me that laid buried under a guilt-ridden, so-called weakness of the moment; an action he considered un-manly, that festered like a bodily wound unattended until it had absorbed his very self in regards to me! Whereas now, and for years that I had no knowledge of, instead of friend ( out loud ) He thought of me ( secretly ) as his enemy! And yet not I! But the infection from an event which I am about to explain that shaped his thoughts and ideas forming a complete understanding of what went wrong off Lanai that night! We'd been working on a " Block Island " 45' ketch (49' from bowsprit to bumkin )spending all we had in dry dock on Oahu. It was time to see if this boat could sail! The year was 1971, early. I had just sold my resturant ( I had partners ) The Rice Mill, Hanalei, Kauai. Larry, Bob and I decided to sail to Maui. The trouble began when the wind picked up ( with swells ).....Here is where skippers are good but they are capable of making bad decisions! In the course of sailing across the Molokai Channel ( one of the reasons America Cup potential racing challengers practice there ) the potential for diverse wind and swell configerations was beyond us with our limited sailing experiences. Years later Eddie Aikau ( someone Larry and I both knew ) drowned or disappeared off these islands going for help. This was a terrible thing. Larry and I can remember when they established the first life guard station at Waimea Bay, Oahu. Eddie told us ( he was the life guard ) that we could no longer body-surf Waimea shorebreak ) We were pissed!!! We had 5 people aboard when we left " The Ala Wai " Boat Harbour! After that, the swells, thunder and lightning and wind were so horrific that we had to shorten sail! Easy for me to say now that I have sailed half the Earth! How does one shorten sail? But then, to be a novice, a babe and to have the entire known forces of nature, a swirling lighthouse that appeared to be 6' away, hearing the pounding surf on shores that I could see the white mists of battered water rising as vapor and falling again to return to the rocks on shore that had carved into a slow or sometimes rapid oblivion the lives of not only the sailors aboard but the dreams of the builders themselves to die in the open ocean or on a foriegn shore never to know or be known the unrealised dreams of all who chance like the roll of the dice, that from the " greatest unknown ", we all who sailed that day would find ourselves on many a distant shore! I'll never forget and either did Larry! How he looked me square in the eyes and said," Mairum and I are going below. The ship is yours and Bob's. If we arrive at a safe destination I will sign over title as I never want to sail again as long as I live!" So there you have it. Larry went on to sail many boats. He sailed " the New Carthigianian" from Sweden to Lahaina. He got his skippers licencse including a "six pack" running tourists down the Napali Coastline on Kauai!!! I purchased that package! I'll never be able to tell anyone how special Larry Byfield is to me! But he is my friend. No matter what he has said or thought about me. You see people the truth about all things is this. It is that love is a one way thing. Love is given without the thought of receiving. I gave Larry Byfield, my friendship! Whatever came back is a blessing! He was so afraid that I would tell someone that in a crisis situation he had broken down! That would suggest that I never had! Shit!!! I have seen grown men cry when they face their own demise! So Larry died. He is my friend. I wish he would have returned my calls!

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