There's no doubt that it was a lot of work to get the boat ready to cruise again in such a short time but we had some fun too. Astrid and Bjoern went for a night dive with one of the many companies offering a chance to dive with Manta Rays! Awww... poor them, there were only 8 or 9 on their dive! What a blast they had though
Beginning in Hawai'i
There's no doubt that it was a lot of work to get the boat ready to cruise again in such a short time but we had some fun too. Astrid and Bjoern went for a night dive with one of the many companies offering a chance to dive with Manta Rays! Awww... poor them, there were only 8 or 9 on their dive! What a blast they had though as the giant filter feeders glided directly towards them, skimming just over their heads and performing somersault after somersault. We drove almost all the way around the island, stopping at several very interesting sites. A lava flow just north of the airport, the Waipio Valley on the north, the Akaka Falls, which has spectacular plants and flowers to view along the trail to the falls just north of Hilo on the windward (very rainy) side and of course, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where you get glimpses at past and present activity of the world famous and largest Kilauea volcano. Another day we got the tour of Greenwell Farms Estate Coffee which is free, but the coffee is probably among the most expensive albeit delicious in the world, and visited Puuhoua O Honaunau National Historical Park, a Hawaiian place of refuge. In ancient days, if you were accused of a crime you could escape the punishment of death if you managed to flee to the place of refuge.
Once we finally left the marina we visited Kealakekua Bay, where the monument to James Cook is. Our big hope while at this beautiful bay was to swim with dolphins, which we sort of did, but only at a distance for a very brief time. Darn! Oh well, the snorkelling was very nice anyway.
Last stop on the Big Island was Makalavena Bay to meet with Paulo, Malia and their sons, whom we had met the year before. As the anchoring area was quite rolly, Astrid opted to stay aboard in case anything happened while we went ashore. Guess what? We had our first, and hopefully only ever, unintentional on-board fire! From the cockpit Astrid heard a “POP” kind of noise, so she went below to investigate. Hmmm... nothing appeared to be amiss so she went back out. Soon after, there was a strange smell so she went below again and saw smoke coming from their cabin. AHHH!!! She grabbed the fire extinguisher and blasted into the fiberglass sink in their cabin until the smoke and flames stopped. What the heck had happened? Bjoern had quit smoking tobacco and taken up the e-cigarettes, which is all fine and dandy, but one of the batteries exploded while charging! It started up on a shelf beneath the window, popped down onto the counter where it scorched the counter and the wood on the wall, then popped into the sink where it proceeded to melt a large hole. Thank God Astrid was on board and got it under control before the burning battery fell beneath the sink where there was a bottle of acetone, can of turpentine and a few aerosol cans stored! Just imagine, if we had all been ashore our cruising may have been over then and there. That was a close call!