We left Las Perlas and worked our way around Punta Mala in nearly flat calm. We then spent a couple of nights anchored along the coast and islands, with our final stop at Isla Jicaron waiting for the weather to look right for the passage. Alas, our wait was somewhat in vain, we were two weeks too late and the monsoon season had started to settle in. We left Panama with light winds and never really got any (aside from the 30 minutes early on that destroyed our spinnaker) in the whole five weeks we spent underway. It wasn’t bad, just slow.
After five weeks we headed in to the port of Hilo, HI. Now we were really home; back in the USA. What a strange feeling checking in with customs and immigration when everyone has the same accent as us, no longer trying to interpret what they need (well, ridiculous regulations are still ridiculous regulations, so some interpretation required).
It was great being back on The Big Island, we have always enjoyed the low key aspect of this island which was needed after such a long passage. We enjoyed 10 days or so being anchored at Hilo. Hot showers, bus rides in to town for some lunch out and of course the public library for some Wi-Fi. Erika even got in a few runs up the coast. We rented a car one day to head up to Hawi for some much anticipated sushi from Sushi Rock, a place we’ve previously visited. But most of all we got ready for Maui a much anticipated visit from Inga, Jonathan, Jacob, and Ezra.
We headed over from the big island and picked up a Lahaina Yacht Club mooring ball for a week. We only used it a couple of nights, but it allowed us some flexibility in getting to town with guests aboard. The family arrived and it was great to see them. Erika had a birthday underway from Panama with little hoorah but was able to enjoy a combined birthday celebration when the family arrived. Erika and Jacob’s belated birthdays, Ezra and Jonathan’s half birthdays, and Inga and Donald’s unbirthdays of course. Lots of excitement opening presents and just being with family. One of the gifts was Johnny Boy Seasoning, Jonathan’s secret recipe, which we now use on everything!
The biggest physical change to the boys was that Jacob is now taller than me (Erika). I knew it would happen but it was still a shock. I still picture him in my mind ias 13-year-old.
We spent the first day in Lahaina walking around, seeing the town, doing last minute provisioning, and renting snorkel gear for the kids. Then we were off the next morning out of the rolly anchorage of Lahaina and off to Honolua Bay where we spent a couple of days snorkeling with the turtles. Molokini was next where we all snorkeled in beautiful clear blue water but the highlight being Inga and I swimming with a pod of dolphins that you could hear conversing with one another. After Molokini we anchored for the night at Oneloa Beach where Inga and Jonathan took the boys to shore in the kayak and played in the surf.
After Oneloa we anchored and Kihei which was a great spot although very windy. From here we took the bus in to town for local BBQ, shave (sic) ice, and the Sugar Beach Bakery for fresh malasadas. Jonathan has a friend who spends every year in Maui so we had the inside scoop on the local eateries and places to see. Lots of walking around, bus rides into town, and even a fancy night out to dinner.
The boys did wonderful on the boat and I think even liked it. You never know how kids will do in such a confined space but we made sure to play games, do a whole bunch of snorkeling, kayaking and swimming, and most of all we had plenty of Top Ramen and Togarashi on board!
For me, the highlight was seeing my sister. It had been too long. Just being able to catch up with the person who knows me the best and by default the longest was comforting and gave me a second wind. The love I got from the boys was pretty good for my spirits as well. It was very difficult to see them go. It was the exact visit I hoped it would be, can’t ask for more.