Friday, July 19, 2013

The final leg home

We are completing our final preparations for our final passage home. Sophia has been in Ko' Olina, Hawaii (just west of Honolulu) for 2.5 months awaiting our return. Phil and I (Rachel) arrived 2 weeks ago to get her prepared. We tackled leaks (more on that below), tidied up some wiring issues, cleaned, organized, and provisioned. Karl arrived last night and we are nearly ready to go. Other sailors on the dock keep asking if we're still planning to leave this weekend, as there is still a flurry of projects in the works. And it's no wonder as we've tackled some dandies... Four days ago we decided to finally address some persistent and pernicious leaks on the starboard side. Phil pulled off the teak deck on the starboard side to find 18 "after-market" screw holes that went all the way through the deck. No wonder we had leaks with the golf course set of holes! He filled the holes with epoxy and epoxied the deck. We put a quick coat of non-skid paint over it to get us home. We'll do the port side and re-do the starboard side once we're home. Today, with Karl here, Phil went up the mast to address some problems there. Namely, the tri-color wasn't working. Turns out that the casing was falling to pieces. So, Karl and Phil are off to West Marine to get a new tri-color light casing. So it is no wonder that folks continue to ask if we're leaving tomorrow! With around 25,000 miles under her keel, we know Sophia is sea worthy and the things we're doing now are mostly for our comfort, rather than our safety. We've been really fortunate to have our friends, Sharon Reed-Hendricks and Steve Hendricks, as hosts at Ko' Olina. They've been living aboard here since arriving nearly a decade ago after a 7 year cruise from Everett, WA to the South Pacific (New Zealand) and back north to Hawaii. Sharon and I have crossed paths numerous times in our lives -- Sharon lived across the street when I was a little girl, her daughters used to babysit me, and when I was in high school I worked for Sharon in her marketing business. We kept in touch on occasion over the years (mostly because Sharon put out wonderful newsletters about their travels) and when we knew we were coming to Hawaii, I asked her where we should keep the boat. They have been such generous hosts! Everything from yoga on the beach (sunset and sunrise), stand-up paddle boarding, a delicious lunch at Farm to Table, a tour to the east (wet) side of the island (think steep fluted mountains with lush tropical vegetation and waterfalls -- and I didn't bring my camera), and most crucially the use of her car for our provisioning and boat part errands. What wonderful friends and a hoot to spend time with. Sharon is a great storyteller and I recommend you get her book -- "One Man's Dream; One Woman's Reality" -- about their 7 years cruising. They'll be doing a book tour early next year. Alas, the projects are not quite done, so I'll sign off for now. We'll be using our SPOT device again so you can follow our sailing track via the "Current Sailing Track" link on the left-hand sidebar. We expect the passage to take a little over 3 weeks. We'll be trying to get around the Pacific High pressure system -- it's been a little squirrelly this summer, so we might have a wandering track as we make our way northeast 2750 miles to Bellingham. Fortunately, we'll have Doug feeding us weather updates via the Sat phone. Until next time... Rachel, Karl, and Phil