We had skipped a couple of our planned extra days along the way to Kawakiu Nui on Moloka’i in order to work with the weather rather than against it. We didn’t have to be in Honolulu for the haulout to replace Begonia’s rudders yet, so we stayed for almost a week.
With the resort being in mothballs, there really wasn’t much to do except sit on the boat looking at the people on the beach who were looking at us. We snorkeled occasionally. I swam ashore and embarked on a long and ultimately fruitless search for a trail to the top of the big cliff at Make Horse beach. My choices were to crawl through thorn bushes on a goat trail or go around the back, leave the trail and wade through thigh-high grass in shorts and sandals. The latter seems like a good option until you remember that it’s the perfect habitat for Hawai’i’s dreaded centipedes. They are foul-tempered, venomous and can grow to almost eight inches long. No, thanks. I’ll walk where I can see my feet, thank you very much.
Begonia didn’t need much in the way of maintenance prior to the haulout, so there weren’t too many little jobs to keep us busy. We could get a marginal phone signal only a couple hours a day if we were pointing the right direction, so trying to use the internets to get anything done was pretty much all frustration and no results. We had little to do. It was nice at first to get some down time, but after a while, we started getting bored. We had plenty of sun and wind, so we were able to listen to the radio and play DVDs without having to worry about power. It seemed a waste of paradise to overdo it too much with that, so we spent the days stretching out what little there was to do. We knew we’d be overly busy with unpleasant jobs I the yard soon enough.
The Saturday before our Monday haulout, the trades, which had been howling all week, finally abated a little and we set sail to cross the Kiawi Channel for O’ahu at daybreak. In the lighter winds, we were able to fly full sail and made short work of the miles.
We rounded Diamond Head at noon and dropped anchor at Waikiki Beach. The party had just started. The Waikiki Yacht Club was having its annual Summer Solstice celebration. So far, it was just us and a nearby racing boat full of people anchored next to a big motor yacht with a loud cover band. Boats were streaming in from all directions, though. Within an hour, the whole place was full of every conceivable manner of water-borne fun. There were sailboats of various types, outrigger canoes, kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders, snorkelers, sailing dinghies, runabouts and the requisite floating spring break booze cruise, loaded to standing room only. There were even a couple of submarines doing tours a little further out; all of this in front of a city of nearly a million people. It couldn’t have been a bigger change from sleepy Moloka’i.
Great views of Honolulu and Diamond Head from our Waikiki anchorage
We spent the afternoon listening to the band and watching all of the activity all around us. When the music stopped, a few boats lingered for dinner, a few others for sunset. When we finally called it a day at nine o’clock, I took my customary walk around the deck and was astonished to find that we were the only boat left. I had figured a few boats would want to spend the night out on the hook, but Maryanne and I ended up being the only two people on the water that night.
Another memorable sunset
We awoke to a clear, calm day, still the only vessel around. In the glassy water, we could see our anchor chain as it snaked its way across the bottom. From ashore, strange wild animal noises made their way across the water from the zoo. It was quiet for a short time, and then the city woke up. By afternoon, we were surrounded by a dozen boats, all surrounded by swimmers. Tour boats sailed by, their decks covered with smiling patrons. The sounds of music and sirens made their way to us from the beach. We seemed perfectly positioned for another afternoon of people watching on our last night before the toil and grime of the yard.