Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 20, 2010, 21:29 HST

N 21°17.567’, W 157°51.404’
Greetings from Honolulu!

The passage from Moloka’i to Oahu took about 9 hours with the first 3 being in light winds with the motor running. Once we passed Laau Point on the southwestern coast of Moloka’i, we finally found some winds and were able to hoist the main and head sails. We had fantastic winds in the mid-20s from the east which made for a great sail to Honolulu. The winds were mainly in the mid-20s but every now and then we would get gust that would sustain itself in the high-20s, leading us to wonder if our winds were actually a little higher than predicted or if these were indeed just gusts. In any event, they were welcomed and we had a fast and physical ride to Diamond Head with waves coming in on the starboard aft quarter. Some of these waves were pretty big, in the 10-12 foot range, and would raise Osprey high on the crest and then we would race down the face of the wave at incredible speeds. Like I said, it was a fun day out on the ocean.

We put in at Kewalo Basin Harbor which is adjacent to downtown Honolulu and east of Waikiki. Kewalo Basin has historically been more of a commercial harbor with lots of parasailing, fishing and sightseeing boats filling the marina, and while those enterprises are still present, there are also a fair number of transient and local pleasure boats docked here. It’s a basic marina with water, electricity, and restrooms across the street. No showers, but we pulled out our sun shower and that works great. Only takes about an hour to heat up the water and you’re good to go. Since we are in a public marina, we hang the shower through the hatch in the head and shower in there. If we were in a secluded anchorage, we would probably hang it on deck somewhere and shower out there.

Since we had had a long day, we grilled some chicken that I had started marinating before we left Moloka’i, with sides of grilled zucchini and purple sweet potatoes. Never get tired of seeing those bright purple mashers on the plate!

Yesterday, we did some boat chores in the morning and then headed out to Chinatown for lunch. I had my mind set on a Filipino plate lunch and we were not disappointed. Inside the Maunakea Marketplace, past all the fish and produce vendors, is a long hall with about a dozen or so stalls hawking plate lunches from all corners of the southeast Asian peninsula. We opted for one of the stalls that looked like we could identify some of the food and dove in for a delicious lunch. I had a spicy pork dish and Richard, having first asked what one of the dishes was (“intestines”), opted for the milder madras curry chicken. Mine was wicked hot, even by my standards, and I was sweating by the end of it (a good sign in my culinary book); even needed to buy an extra water. We left the lunch hall and headed outside in search of dessert. What we found was a coconut tart and a pastry thing that included a toasted coconut shell, covering a sweet bean paste inside with a salty center of some other substance. It must have been good because Richard ate the whole thing down.

Dinner was less exciting as we went to a regular sushi place that was crammed between a couple of strip clubs. Despite the bookend establishments, the place and the food were decent (albeit a little over priced) and the walk back to the boat justified desserts.

Today started with a visit to the Ward Center Farmers Market which is less of a farmers market and more of an Asian-themed Costco. You could get anything in there; a lot of what you would expect, and more than a few things that I didn’t expect! Bought a few groceries including some sake, quail eggs (not sure what I’m going to do with them but I had to have them!), wasabi peas, milk, orange juice and ice. I had two different people help me pick out the sake and they both referred to the sake they steered me towards as "girl" sake which I guess is how they translated by attempts to establish that I have never drank sake before. One woman insisted that I buy the sake with the plums in it because after you eat the plums "you very drunk, any you didn't drink!" Needless to say, I passed on the potent plums.

I passed up a lot of things that I really wanted to buy; things I had no idea what I'd use them for but kept thinking, "I have to have this stuff!" In any event, it was a great adventure and and fun time exploring a world where nothing's written in English, and you just have to guess what something is or used for based on the pictures printed on the packaging. Fun times

After my Asian-Costco experience, Richard and I headed out to a parking lot where there was a truck dishing out Hawaiian plate lunches. These were the real deal and even included haupia (that coconut gelatin dessert served at luaus). I know, in the corner of a parking lot across the street from the Ward Center; whodda thunk it?

For those of you that think that the cruising life is one of absolute bliss amongst palm trees, sandy beaches, turquoise waters, etc., here’s a little reality check for you. Today after lunch, Richard and I schlepped our dirty laundry (over a month’s worth!) to a laundromat in Waikiki and spent 3 hours doing laundry. No palm trees (okay, so outside the coin laundry there were palm trees), no beaches (alright, so we were a mere 2-3 blocks from the beach), no turquoise waters (hmmm?); just piles and piles of laundry. Not glamorous, but somebody had to do it and since no one else volunteered Richard and I bit the bullet and did laundry.

We decided to reward ourselves tomorrow and do a little sightseeing. Hoping to get to the Bishop Museum; they currently have an exhibit on historical surfboards that I want to see.

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