What a beautiful day to be at sea. The wind is just aft of the beam blowing an easy 15 knots, sun shining brightly but not hot in the breezy wheelhouse. All sail is set and pulling, crew relaxed and laughing. Kwai herself is happy, just look over the bow and she will tell you. Behind is the 10 day work jag, dealing with city and traffic, cargo and paperwork, ahead the green sea giving way now to blue. The first day was rolly in 25 knots of trade wind; one wave even found her way through the skylight and surprised the watch below, then the 6 hours of calm and cross sea underneath the Big Island, then the free wind below Hawaii the steady lope across the ocean with the sails holding her steady.
Honolulu was quite busy as Tropical Storm Olivia made her appearance as we were planning to load. We pushed the schedule ahead one day, but could not finish loading before the Honolulu port was shut down and we had to depart. Originally a hurricane, Olivia passed right over Maui and about 30 miles south of us, moored in Kewalo Basin. Our good friend Bill Austin on Machias gave us his berth alongside and stayed outside Kwai. Olivia had lost her punch by then and we only got heavy rain and some north wind, from which we were well sheltered. The south wind on the back side did not blow in and we were back at work the next day. Friday we finished loading in Honolulu Harbor and sailed Sunday at noon.
Kwai is well loaded, at 90% capacity despite losing our biggest customer to Matson who has announced a container service to Christmas Island to start up at the end of the month. This was bound to happen as the Line Islands grow and Kwai will have to fit in where we can. We still have our unique business to supply the smaller islands and hopefully will be able to carry on. If not there are plenty of other islands and routes out in the Pacific that can take advantage of our fine vessel.
We will visit only the Line Islands on V46. We are cleaning up the remaining Christmas cargo from V45 when we left 100m3 on the dock. V47 will go to the Cooks as well and hopefully all the way to Rarotonga for the first time since 2015. I am happy to be back aboard with our strong Kiribati crew and a now experienced Supercargo Myra and Mate Anika taking up the workload.
Wendy and Cheryl are set up in the new office at Evy and Robinette’s house. The volcano has stopped for now and we can all breath clean air again. Mama Kwai is in her new palace, manning the radio and watching the big picture of our Kwai adventure continue to unfold.