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April 27, 1999

Hawaii to Tarawa Voyage, Update #1

Kona, Hawaii to Tarawa, Gilbert Islands

April 27, 1999
Kona, Hawaii
Latitude: 19deg 38 minutes North
Longitude: 159deg 59 minutes West

People always ask: what's the toughest part of the expedition? The ocean sections? In-line skating across the US? Maybe hiking across the big island of Hawaii? The answer is that these are all challenging in their own way. But the real test is the last week before a major ocean crossing - like this one. It's bloody pandemonium…

For the past month we've been subsisting on 4-6 hours sleep a night - with perhaps a short power nap in the afternoon to recharge for the evening stint. My day starts at 4 am on the phone to the east coast of the US - 6 hrs ahead - hustling for money from sponsors to pay for the voyage and rounding up the last few bits and pieces of equipment that we need. There's a frightening amount of stuff that one person needs to survive on the ocean for 70 odd days. It never fails to amaze me how much food and supplies we have stacked and ready to fill the boat before each crossing. But somehow it all fits in and all gets used at some point during the voyage.

The rest of the mornings have either been spent down at Honokohau harbour doing fieldtrips with local schools or working on the computer writing last minute content for the web site and the newsletter (which is due out mid May). The afternoons are then 'free' to prep Moksha - cleaning her inside and out, checking old equipment and installing new. Steve has been up to his eyes - trying to hold down some temporary work in the local marina to save up for his New Zealand trip as well as work on Moksha in the early mornings and late evenings. The preparations are not quite as crazy as they were before we left from San Francisco last year - but not far off.

We're fortunate to have a really great place to be based here in Kailua-Kona (the big island of Hawaii) - courtesy of our wonderful hosts Laurie Thrasher, Lois Clark, Jake and Zachary. Moksha is parked outside the garage under a tarpaulin. We have the garage set up as a workspace for laying out tools and preparing food - and a small room, part of the garage - serves as an office and sleeping area. Everything is within spitting distance of everything else, which makes life so much easier.

Well - it's late now on Monday evening. We have some rice and tofu on the boil - which I need to take off the stove and dole out for us to eat. The price of such a crazy schedule is not having the TIME to do anything slowly and well - like cook a decent meal or sit quietly in the morning to focus for the day. This will all change once back on the ocean. I'm looking forward to my vacation! But for the last few days till blast off its all go, go, go.

I'm sick of gobbling Taco Bell bean burritos and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so tonight we're going to eat proper food.


Posted on April 27, 1999 8:52 PM