As Hurricane Lane passes closely to the west of the Hawaiian Islands, SV Kwai is in Christmas Island, finishing up her Voyage 45. Kwai arrived last night and will discharge her 100 tons of Fanning copra today, then spend a few days painting the topsides before heading north to Hawaii. They spent 3 weeks in the Northern Cook Islands visiting Pukapuka, Nassau, Manihiki, Rakahanga and Penrhyn. The sailing was good, but business a little slow as many of the islanders were in Rarotonga for the annual Independence Celebration. This trip was scheduled for May on V44, but we had to return early for replacement of the main engine. The trip from Christmas to Pukapuka was a reach in 10-15 knots of ESE, sailing most of the 930 miles. Then fortunately the breeze went light for the motor back up to Nassau, Manihiki and Penrhyn, arriving on the 6th of August. All through the Northern Cooks was pretty quiet, but fun. 120 drums of petrol got delivered along the way and Kwai Stores were active, but subdued by normal standards. There is a big stock of goods on the ship as we were well prepared for the V43 swing through the Cooks and this only grew bigger as some paperwork issues slowed down Unclaimed Goods sales in Kiribati. All the food gods have sold, but there remain mountains of clothes and household goods. This bodes well for a quick turnaround in Honolulu in early September. The schedule is on the home page now. The Kalihi warehouse is already filling up including 100m3 of cargo that could not fit on V44. This next trip we will concentrate on clearing up this remaining cargo and the substantial Christmas Island cargoes that are booked. The rumor is that Matson will soon start a container service from Honolulu to Christmas, so we need to be sure we get what we can.
Update for September 12, Voyage 46
Today, Kwai sits in Kewalo Basin, Oahu, safely moored while Tropical Storm Olivia passes 30 mile south of us. Forecast is for 45 knots of wind, but we have yet to feel that. As the wind is from the Northerly quarter we are safe alongside. The south wind on the back side of this one is not very developed and should not cause any problem as well. Due to the storm and the anticipated closing of the port we scheduled loading for Monday, 10 September and managed to fill the hatch with cargo. Honolulu Harbor closed to all traffic that evening and we returned to Kewalo. Friday we should be able to get back in to Honolulu to load the remaining deck cargo. Matson has announced the start up of container service from Honolulu to Christmas Island. We have lost already our biggest customer , but hope to hold on to the business. This voyage will not be full but will be close enough. As the Line Islands grow it was inevitable that container service would start up. Hopefully the same growth will keep us busy with the smaller shippers to Christmas Island, our regular customers on Fanning and Washington, and our regular sales in the Northern Cook Islands. Voyage 46 will take us just to Kiribati to clear up the backlog of cargo to Christmas and V47 will make the full swing through the Cook Islands with before Christmas sales. We may go to Rarotonga, Cook Islands again on that voyage to carry a Charter party to Penrhyn, but this will depend on the timely renewal of our Cook Islands shipping and trading licenses.
It has not been an easy 2018, with lava taking our home and office on the Big Island, a major breakdown of the main engine requiring re-powering and several threatening hurricanes in Hawaii waters. Brad and April have a new home further from the active flow now, the KWAI office is moved to Evy and Robinette’s house and the ship is performing smoothly, with a fine and happy crew.
Aloha and more soon!