Thursday, July 3, 2014

Day 18: Big Island Hawaii, Here We Come – A Bittersweet Ending

- Harbormaster called, slip assignment secured – CHECK
- Received local knowledge about rounding the top portion of the Big
Island of Hawaii - CHECK
- Customs officer called, made aware of our arrival – CHECK
- Fruits and veggies consumed – ALMOST, just enough left for the two
more days of transit we have before us
- Coffee creamer – OUT
- Crew adjusted to night watches – CHECK
- At least one book read – CHECK
- Plans for travel back to Alaska made – ALMOST
- Personal growth achieved - CHECK
If not for the clouds on the western horizon, we would probably be able
to see the top of Mauna Kea today. We are less than 300 miles offshore
from Hawaii and riding our large 30-ton sled down the swell to Honokohau
Harbor, near Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Now that land is (almost literally) in sight, I have mixed feelings
about this 2,822 nautical mile journey ending. It has taken us almost
this whole time to fall into a sweet rhythm of night watches, napping,
sharing kitchen duties, and maintaining the good ship S/V Sweet Dreams.
The kids do their daily check of fruits and vegetables without asking,
they all share the galley cleanup duties, they all know how to catch and
land fish. They can watch the helm for a few hours and answer questions
like "what is our lat and long?" or "what course are we on now?" We are
all comfortable spending time together and also taking some time alone.
Not only will this experience shared by only the six of us be over soon,
but our time together 24/7 will probably never occur again. I have
grown even fonder of my friends Gina, Jim, Colton and Niki as we get
used to each other's quirks and gifts. And I will miss them, as they
are continuing on a 3-year+ voyage to faraway lands and who knows when
our paths will meet again.
I thought I would list some of the discoveries I realized out here:
- The azure color of the deep sea is indescribably rich, intense, truly
awesome and I will never tire of looking at it.
- The force of the ocean's swell and waves can rock a 30-ton boat like a
- A pressure cooker is my new best friend in the kitchen.
- Carmen is an amazingly patient and careful baker, creating sweet
goodness for us throughout this trip, and her baked goods have an extra
dose of love thrown in.
- Days and hours stretched before me with no "agenda" or long to do list
STILL go by in the blink of an eye.
- Naps are fabulous remedies to any ailment and should be taken often by
everyone everywhere. Period.
- My daughter is an intelligent, gentle, outgoing, helpful, courageous,
exceptional person and I vow to remember that even when we are back in
the daily grind, doing the mundane and bickering about what clothes she
wants to wear to school.
- At 48 years old, I am still learning. Still discovering who I am.
And more and more, I kind of like who I am. Perhaps I can finally stop
trying to be something else.
From 2,486 nautical miles offshore from Mexico, 331 nm to get to Hawaii.


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