Kwai is homeward bound today only 2 days out of Honolulu. Wind has been light so far this trip and Captain Evy has worked her to the East making back up 3 degrees of longitude from Washington. As the wind now fills in from the East they should be able to start the sheets and run on home.
After arriving in Christmas Island on the 9th of May, Kwai made a round trip to Fanning and Washington, full of passengers each leg and with 100m3 of local cargo from Christmas to the Outer Islands. She came back to Christmas with a full belly of Washington copra and loaded full of passengers and a bit of cargo again for the outer Islands. The weather has been variable with plenty of rain. The challenge is to load cargo and passengers between squalls and to keep the passengers dry at sea. Kwai’s old hands and new recruits do their best to feed and comfort 60 passengers huddled together on the hatch.
Captain Evy has got an early start on the work list for this Honolulu stop. We plan to rebuild the Ritz (original Captain’s cabin) and the old Paint Locker into crew and investor cabins. Evy, Kabiriera and Banuera, have gutted the Ritz, and Lisle cut out the bulkhead between the cabins one Saturday in Fanning. Gabe is here with us on the Big Island and will start right away with the carpentry. New floors, bunks, shelves all the ecoutrements of fine living and we will have one more bunk and stand one step closer to removing the wheelhouse and adding the mizzenmast. For these final stages we still await the arrival of Tiare Tapporo in the Pacific. We have chartered this ship, rigged similarly to Kwai, ( see pacificschooners.com), but she has been seized in Nova Scotia for the last 5 months with an old court case. Eventually she will come out and take over Kwai’s run while we refit the ship. Meanwhile we undertake projects ever time the ship is in Hawaii. The new mizzen mast is on the dock awaiting structural work and many pieces for the new bridge deck are cut out or in process. Ethan’s excellent 3D drawings of every part of the rebuild allows us to work on each section separately.
And in Honolulu, we have a new berth. Our old warehouse is torn down to allow Mokihana, one of the Matson fleet, to put down her stern ramp and land cars. We are moved 800 feet down the dock and cling to the last bit of warehouse in the Port of Honolulu. Containerships and ro-ro’s don’t need covered space which is critical to our work. Hopefully we will hold on to this last spot and continue to do what we do.
Aloha and Tekeraoi- Brad