Friday, January 20, 2012

Reconnected, really?

It is very strange, after 9 months of sailing around, we have settled into the Ko Olina Marina on the island of Oahu - at least for awhile.  It is quite a place.
Home sweet home - for awhile

We have been here almost two weeks and amazed how "reconnected" we are.

We have electricity, phones, internet, and even cable TV.

Now, we are shopping for a used car - oh my!
Biking to town
The town of Kapolei has great shopping (Costco, Target, Safeway, etc.), but it is ~2 miles along the railroad track.

The bus stop is over a mile away, plus getting to Honolulu takes over a hour.

So we decided to look for some cheap (junker) transportation - oh my!

Sunset at Ko Olina
We have also been applying for jobs - all kinds of jobs - too funny. I haven't had any luck, but Doug and Dennis are working for a yacht broker.

They are re-wiring a boat nearby and on-call. They seem to enjoy the work and even got their 1st paychecks. Yeah!

Hope the work continues.
Harp concert by Karen - amazing
We have really enjoyed being at the marina. Everyone is very helpful and made us feel right at home.

They are also a very social group and we joined the "Grumpy Old Men's Club" that meets nightly for Happy Hour. We fit right in!

A special treat was having Karen play her harp for us. We thoroughly enjoyed the concert.

Northern Red Cardinal
Ko Olina is wonderful place to stroll around - beautiful walking trails along the lagoons, resorts, and golf courses.

And bird watching... the Northern Red Cardinal is my latest spot. Beautiful!

Black swans (and babies) guarding the golf course

Plus, we found a great Happy Hour - $4 Mai Tai's at the Beach Club - just a short walk away.

We will be here for awhile (TBD).

Hope you can come for a visit - we would love to have!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Did I mention...

That the DAY we were flying to Texas for the Christmas holidays, we had an EMERGENCY haul out? Well we did!

Not our fish
We were packing and stashing in preparation for leaving Moondance. Things were going well until Doug tried to close a thru-hull fitting and it wouldn't close and water was flowing into the boat. That's not good!

Doug reacted quickly and called Gentry's Marina to see if they could haul us out.  They could and within an hour we were at their dock dismantling the wind generator (and other items). All this time, water is still coming in - good thing the bilge pump is working.

Next, need to find a crew to replace the thru-hull, plus paint the bottom while we have it out of the water.

All this time, I was thinking we weren't going to be able to make our trip to Texas and trying not to cry...

Well, we got Moondance prepped, paperwork completed, found the crew and are just waiting for the stands to be put in place so that we can get back on the boat. Then it rained - buckets of rain.  All of our hatches are open and our luggage (and Christmas presents) are in the cockpit getting soaked and all we could do was watch.  That's when I had my meltdown!

Nope, we didn't catch this one either
But, after lots of stress and lots of rushing around, it all worked out and we made it to the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight - whew.

Doug did an excellent job of preparing Moondance, getting the crew and work lined up, plus dealing with me.

We were fortunate that Tim and Jane on Midnight Blue were there to watch over Moondance when she was put back in the water - secured the lines, adjust the packing, and fixed the bilge pump. Don't know what we would have done without you guys, Thanks!

So, it all worked out, but it was stressful and expensive.

Lesson learned - we should have replaced all thru-hulls while we were in Mexico!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Was that an explosion?

No, it wasn't, but that was what I was thinking at 5 o'clock this morning! We were sailing across Penguin Bank on the approach to Honolulu, Oahu. The depth shallows up to 150 feet and the electronic charts are marked: explosives dumping area, unexploded ordnance, submarine buoys, etc. So, I am nervous all ready. When off the starboard side, I see HUGE splashes. I scream thinking - bombs exploding - yikes. Well, it wasn't, it was humpback whales breaching. Very impressive, busy still scary that close to the boat.

But, we are safe and sound tucked into the Ko Olina Resort Marina. It is very nice and has all of the amenities - docks, showers, laundry, etc. Plus, besides our friends on Evergreen, we had a line of people helping us dock and welcoming us. Even got invited to a neighbors boat to watch the Steelers game (lost - sorry to say). Plus the nightly happy hour on the dock, which is being called the "Piers End Yacht Club meeting" - I like it. I think this will be a very nice place for us to spend the next 4 months.

Our 25 hour crossing from the Big Island was interesting. Crossing 20 miles off the Alenuihaha channel (between the Big Island and Maui) was challenging on an extremely calm day. I can't imagine what it is like when the trade winds are roaring. Doug's words "that was ugly" as he is trying to keep things from flying around the cabin. But, after the ugly phase, we had some great sailing, which turned into calm motoring. So, we did all right.

Now, it is time to focus on finding work and getting busy on Moondance projects. We aren't sure who will hire us (we think we are unemployable), but we are going to give it a try.

Wish us luck!

PS: No fish were harmed during the crossing. Sorry to say.

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Holidays with the Warren's

Boy, this family knows how to have a good time!

Family fun at the Heard museum

We were in Texas for 2 1/2 weeks and loved every minute of it, but we are still recuperating.

Dad and Mom - looking good!
No trip to Texas is complete unless you visit Mom and Dad in Granbury.

Lots of wonderful food and drink, plus a visit to the American Legion for some shuffleboard.

Christmas in Texas
Mom's always the big winner of course, but we keep trying.

Love that Texas BBQ

Plus, you have to visit the RibShack in Acton - great Texas BBQ. Just be sure to pack your own cooler.
The guys enjoying the Cowboy Stadium tour
The guys all had a special treat - a tour of the Dallas Cowboy stadium. They all loved it and would go again - even Doug the Steelers fan.

Gavin and Doug - Starfighter pilots
You gotta check out Dave and Busters arcade - so many wonderful games, plus you win tickets for fabulous (not) prizes.

And, they serve food and drinks - perfect for the whole family.
Ryan looking for a ride to Hawaii

We also had fun playing games, singing, and lots and lots of exciting 42 matches.

A special treat was listening to Dave and Ryan jamming on their guitars - beautiful music.

Enjoying the brewery tour!
11 am seems like a strange time to join in on the Franconia brewery tour, but not for our family.

$5 and all of the beer you can drink. Why not?

Then off to the Oklahoma casino for a night of gambling. Sorry, no big winners in the house.

Celebrating Anessa's Birthday

Besides Christmas, we had lots of birthdays to celebrate: Anessa, Dad, Conner, and Gavin's.

Ryan and Becky - love this picture

So fun to be together for the celebrations, plus all of the wonderful homemade desserts - yum.

Besides having fun, this family can eat!

Gavin taming the dino

Gavin was the youngest family member at the party and he had a great time being spoiled by all of the relatives.

Seems like we took turns sneaking him treats. What's family for anyway?

Conner and Phil - a couple of Cowboys

Hard to believe that Conner (next youngest) is 17 now and driving - watch out.

Just kidding - he is driving well and doing excellent in school.

We are proud of you Conner!

Danette and Phil relaxing

Danette, Phil, and Conner had to leave first and we sure missed them. Really happy that they were able to join us though.

Hopefully, they will visit us in French Poly. We would love to show them all of the wonderful islands!

Becky and Dave - true love...
Becky and Dave were excellent hosts and made sure we all had a wonderful holiday. Thanks for opening up your beautiful home to our crazy family.

It was a Christmas to remember for sure. Love you guys!

Now, we are back on Moondance and it is time to get busy. We are leaving in the morning for Oahu. We will be hitting the streets looking for employment, plus we have a big list of boat projects to work on.

Our vacation is over (for now).