It’s been two weeks now since Beetle has arrived, and all is going well. Kristen has flown over from California and was here in time for Thanksgiving dinner; we did this at the Mac 24/7 restaurant nearby that sets up a buffet with all kinds of good stuff – eat as much as you’d enjoy while choosing from a wide variety of foods – worked out great.
Kristen comes bearing Yacht Club membership (Island YC, in Alameda) and armed with her card we walked the short distance over to the Hawaii YC to see Giovani Soldini’s Maserati – and immediately ran into Nate, the fellow who has the boat tied up to the dock ahead of me. Turns out it’s an entirely different environment when meeting people in the yacht club as opposed to meeting them out on the docks. On the docks you’re wary of whom you’re talking to and do not share information, primarily because petty theft is reported to be rampant in Oahu and therefore you simply keep to yourself. In the yacht club it’s quite different, we’re all boaters and lots of stories flowed.
Kristen then ran into another SSS TransPac veteran, Ronnie Simpson – he had just come in from the Friday night races where he crewed on a Hobie 33 and they had a great race, he was quite happy with how he did and it was super to run into him there at a table out on the surrounding veranda of the club’s upstairs. He typically crews on the TransPac 52 Locomotion, but they didn’t sail this Friday and apparently a bunch of that crew went out on the Hobie and had lots of fun.
We met the Matteo from Italy, he’s part of the Soldini campaign looked quite elegant in his fancy Maserati shirt; he’s onboard for moving the MOD 70 to Hong Kong but wont’ be on board for the record attempt back to England. Fun guy, lots to do for getting out of here and zipping across to there.
Today (Saturday) we went over to Pearl Harbor and got to see the US Navy submarine Bowfin – a decomissioned World War II boat that is now moored in Pearl Harbor as as museum – a very interesting tour through a tiny space. There’s an adjacent rather large building that houses a submariner museum dedicated to the underwater boats, this houses the bulk of the display as the submarine itself, while big at 311 feet long is super narrow and teeny tiny insde, stuffed with equipment and therefore no room to house a museum – that’s what the external building is for. Kristen’s brother Billy spent five years in the US Navy and served on the USS Ray attack submarine, and his submarine’s logo & patch was there in the Bowfin museum in Pearl Harbor – pretty neat!
Kristen has a rental Prius car, so we’ve also been able to get out and around and explore more of Oahu than I am able to by bicycle, we’ve been out to Waimea Beach (think of the Beach Boy’s song), and also over to Sunset Beach down from the Pipeline to see them preparing for the Van’s surfing contest – lots of trailers, power generators, big television cameras, all that was interesting. Also checked out a Zippy’s diner restaurant for the down-home Hawaiian experience though it wouldn’t be out of place in any city in the world, they have good food at good prices… and speaking of prices, there is a local large Japanese market/store called Don Quixote that remind me a lot of a smaller Walmart built around Japanese products, only it is located here in Ala Wai. Lots of things imported from Japan that I could not figure out what they were, and their beer buyer is particularly excellent as he (or she) has brought in an enormous variety of goodies from around the world. And I now have two Don Quixote plastic shopping bags. Turns out that in Hawaii they discourage you from single-use plastic bags and instead you get solid sturdy plastic bags for 10 cents each and re-use them, only I am informed that never be seen carrying around an ABC store bag – those are for tourists!
On board Beetle the big project was cleaning out the water tanks. The tankage has been producing sediment and small specks in the water that made me suspicious, and one of the projects while in Ala Wai is to empty and clean the tanks. I suspect that by not using chlorinated city water in the tanks for the last four years has allowed critters to consider growing in the pure Spectra watermaker-produced water, so time to clean out tanks. This involves pulling apart the port and starboard settee/dinette in the middle of the boat in order to access the tank ports, pull the ports and go into the tanks with nylon abrasive pads, 5% bleach, and lots of water to dilute everything. I did a bit of research on bleach and the resulting free chlorine in the water that does the work for you. At least in Honolulu, the water is chlorinated at 0.1 to 0.5 PPM; a swimming pool is chlorinated to 1-3ppm, and to sanitize a water tank you want 50 PPM for four hours – then dump the water and replace. I went through four water exchanges following the 50 PPM chlorine application, and removed a bunch of aluminum oxide from the interior of the three tanks – seems the alluminum inspection port backing plates have definitely had some corrosion issues and dropped some material in to the tanks, and that was good to get rid of. When that was all done, new water flushed through, the water on board is looking and tasting good again. Next step is to install a Shurflo activated carbon water filter ahead of the pumps – this will filter all the water coming into the system and keep crud out, that will be a good thing.
So that’s what has been happening here. I’ve spent three afternoons at the AT&T store using their nice upload speeds to move imagery to Zenfolio, each hour there I can move what would have taken 80 hours on the public library network – so far I’m ahead 280 hours, and that’s a lot of hours. It is nice to move data at 30-40 Mbps (that’s bits, not bytes), and while not a fast network from a business perspective, it is freely available as long as you’re willing to sit in front of the AT&T store at hat Ala Moan shopping center – that’s very nice of AT&T to make that available.
All is well here tonight, Nate (the neighbor) is cooking up enchiladas at Hawaii YC tonight, Kristen and I will be there later tonight to partake.