This afternoon we slipped the mooring lines that kept us safe inside Fanning lagoon over the past week and set sail towards Hawai’i. Our goal is to reach Hilo, but that’s quite far to the East, so that will only happen if the wind stays Easterly. For several days a stiff breeze was blowing from the NE quarter, so not very favorable for our track. But guess what: two hours before departure the wind died, and then came back South of East. I suspect lucky Brad Ives to have special deals with the weather gods.
Still, this is the first day out and it’s a long stretch. So if weather doesn’t permit us to run for Hilo, we lay our course for Kane’ohe bay on Oahu instead. In any case, our arrival is estimated for the 26th of January. We are ready to spend some time ashore after more than 70 days on the ocean.
For six days we have been working on maintenance jobs on board. Up to eight stevedores were hired to help us with chipping and painting the topsides.Our brand new, second hand, Atlas Copco compressor trailer comes in handy, it can handle eight needle guns and grinders at the same time. One big job was done replacing the steelwork underneath the second platform in the main mast. Tebitoa and Kabiriera did a fantastic job welding in strong winds. Ieie, Burangke and Beeni managed to re-caulk the wooden deck of the bridge wing. All hands involved can be proud of the work that has been done to get the Kwai back in shipshape condition.
With another 900 miles off the bow, we hope that the odds are in our favor, making this voyage a safe and successful one.