Well it’s been six months since my last blog post, which just happens to coincide with the last time I took Bodhran out on an overnight cruise. This blog has always been a way for me to send pics and let people know what I was doing with my life, but most of the time I’ve really concentrated on my cruising life and not life in general. I might get some good cruising in again this Summer, so I better get caught up on all the non-cruisy stuff now.
The plan last October was to stick around Hawaii through the Winter and then sail home to Seattle when the weather became palatable in June. That plan is off the table for now. I’ve just gotten myself into too good a situation here to leave. June through September is the good season to sail back to the West Coast and it could still happen….I have been know to change my plans on a moments notice.
Life at the fuel dock is going great. When I moved Bodhran out here in October, I’d been told that we’d probably be able to stay until December. Here it is almost the end of April and there’s no sign of construction starting anytime soon.
I can’t imagine a much better situation than the one we have here at the fuel dock. The guy who “manages” the property for the company that holds the lease is very, very leissez faire. There are 12 boats out here, 10 of which have people living on them. It’s an interesting experiment in anarchy that’s had a few issues over my tenure here, but for the most part works extremely well.
We get to use the old convenience store as our clubhouse/workshop/laundry and bathrooms. We have BBQs and parties on a regular basis. Rick keeps the veggie garden going, ensuring we have all the herbs, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and broccoli that we can eat. Best of all we live on this little oasis in the middle of crazy Waikiki. We sit and play music in front of a campfire surrounded by all the city high rises with an unobstructed view of the ocean and Ala Moana park.
The other great thing about the fuel dock is it’s location right at the entrance to the Ala Wai Boat Harbor and Ala Wai Canal. The Canal is a dirty drainage that was dug a hundred years ago to drain the swamp that is modern day Waikiki. It’s pretty gross, but it’s very scenic. Most important it gives me a calm place to paddle my latest obsession, my 14′ racing standup paddle board.
Standup paddling, or SUPing, always looked like a silly kind of way to get around. I’d done a little down in Fiji and it was fun, but I still wasn’t quite sure about it. When I had to opportunity to buy a board from C4 for a measly $350, I decided it was too good a chance to pass up. It was a 2 year old floor model that had a lot of cosmetic scratches, but nothing serious.
I’d only paddled my board once when I through my back out at work putting a tool box away in an awkward spot. After a few days of icing and not working, I decided to take my board out for a paddle. My back wouldn’t straighten out before my paddle. What was going to be a quick trip, turned into a 5 mile paddle up the Ala Wai and back. My back felt fantastic. I had full range of motion and I was hooked. I try to paddle every morning and it’s doing wonders for my back. Most days I head out into the ocean, sometimes as far as Diamond Head and back. When the wind pipes up, I’m happy to have the dirty old Ala Wai to paddle in.
Work is going well. I have a great schedule that pays the bills while still affording me plenty of time off. The Winter has been slow except around the holidays and Spring Break. In the Summer it’s really supposed to pick up. It can still get stressful bringing the boats through the surf on big swell days, but for the most part it doesn’t really even feel like work. I hang out on the beach, serve drinks and take people sailing every day.
In addition to the catamarans, I’ve also been working on Swiftsure. Swiftsure is a 68′ raceboat that was built for the 85 Transpac. She took the trophy for first across the line that year. I fill in as a backup captain and have done a lot of maintenance on Swiftsure, but mainly its just fun to sail on a thoroughbred sailing machine.
I’m living a healthy lifestyle, biking, SUPing, hiking or surfing pretty much every day. I live in a great place. The weather is pretty much always good. I have a great circle of friends. I have two jobs, that don’t really feel like jobs. I just can’t justify sailing on when things are this good. Someone told me that it’s hard to move to Hawaii. The islands either accept or reject you. I feel like Hawaii has embraced me in a big way. It’d be plain rude to leave now…..maybe next year.