Hawaii in 2015

Paul the register boy

The purpose of stopping in Hawai’i this year was to pay some bills and add to the cruising kitty, so we’ve been hard at work. Bonnie has had a great time teaching English at Kapolei High School on the Leeward side of Oahu. Though her job is fascinating and frequently hilarious, it is not terribly photogenic as we can’t publish pictures of students. Paul’s job, however, is clearly glamorous. He rides a cash register at West Marine one day a week, and even with the employee discount spends twice what he makes. If you think this might not make financial sense, we’d like to introduce you to a whole bunch of new and replacement boat gear that is getting us ready for that big South Pacific. Also, Bonnie thinks Paul is extremely attractive in the glasses he wears at work.

Chinese New Year

We try to take one day a week to play and enjoy the glorious cultural soup here in Hawai’i. Our friends from Ariel IV accompanied us to the Chinese New Year parade (they’re the Swedes in the picture). Watching the crowd was almost as much fun as watching the lion and dragon dancers. This particularly brave boy was a hero to his friends when he fed his luck money to the lion.

Bonnie the geisha

Bonnie’s turn as a geisha at The Honolulu Festival supported survivors of Fukushima. The festival is more like the Japan-Hawai’i Friendship Festival (oh yeah, and some other Pacific rim places). It was three days of fantastic music, dance and . . . other talents from around the Pacific. We got to interact with some cultures from the not-so-tropical Pacific: the Innuit dancers seemed a bit warm in their costumes, and the tourism bureau from the north island of Japan assured us that we could bring our boat there “when the sea melts in the summer”. The most surprising performers were the young Japanese cheerleading troupes (yep, multiples!). Imagine all the enthusiastic power of which an 8-10 year old is capable, multiply it by forty, and teach them to do all the high-flying tricks with nary a break in the huge smiles. We laughed and clapped until we peed ourselves.

La Gitana

One of our big new acquisitions this year has been a new dinghy, as our last one got a little too friendly with the windvane rudder last year in Fakarava. Paul did eventually patch her convincingly (yay handyman!), but we wanted a strong tender before heading further away from mainland prices. Meet Gitana, Spanish for gypsy – thanks to our multilingual friend Birgit for the name. Paul offered Neptune some very decent prosecco in hope of better protection for our shiny new darling.

Wood chips anyone?

Besides working on the Romany Star, Paul has been doing a number of boat projects for those who would rather pay than get their hands dirty. For those interested in learning how to work on their own boat, he is putting on a weekly workshop at Hawaii Yacht Club. Spreading some of the tricks of the trade and helping to draw the Yacht Club community together has made Sunday afternoons challenging and very satisfying. At this writing no students have yet lost a digit.

Costumes on Kalakaua

It turns out that Halloween is a really big deal in Honolulu – so much so that tourists from other countries time their trips to take part in this silly holiday. Paul (as Neptune/Triton) and Bonnie (as Ursula, with balloon tentacles) encountered no fewer than four mermaid Ariels on our wanderings through Waikiki with Bonnie’s godparents. This little darling was clearly the best Ariel, as she is obviously in awe of Triton. In other moments we were mobbed by groups of tourists in group costumes – the gaggle of giggly angels seemed particularly threatening. We’re probably on many foreign-language Facebook pages now!

Lena’s Birthday

One of the things making the big city bearable for us has been visiting with Paul’s niece Lena, a student at UH Manoa. We were honored to host her and friend Brook for a low-key twenty-first birthday party on a weeknight (don’t worry – they went out to the clubs on Friday). After quick tequila shots at the Hawaii Yacht Club bar, Paul’s fabulous pulled-pork was so delectable we barely had room for rich chocolate cake.

The Spirit of Christmas Silly

Bonnie taught a half-year of tenth grade English last spring, and is now teaching the same subject in eleventh and twelfth grades. She loves her silly students, and tries to make school fun for them. Out of concern for the stress levels surrounding final exams at the end of the fall semester, Bonnie dressed up in increasingly silly costumes each day of finals week. The Christmas Tree was the finale of the whole ridiculous experiment, and left many students chuckling and shaking their heads at their clearly weird haole teacher. But they had to admit that it was hard to be too stressed when a tree was handing them a candy cane.

Elvis and backup

Did you notice that Paul was sexy before he dressed up as Christmas Elvis? Apparently our neighbors hadn’t realized it until they threw an Elvis-themed Christmas party. The hosts provided all the costuming, except for Paul’s traditional Grinch hat, and we finished the night by crashing the shmancy sailing awards upstairs at the Yacht Club. There was a penguin dancing with a Christmas tree!

Christmas in the City

We were proudly the first boat at HYC with our lights up, though others have now far surpassed our level of decorating enthusiasm. We have generally enjoyed this busy working year in Honolulu, but we’re starting to look again towards distant anchorages far from the city lights.

Christmas Traveling

We closed out our visiting friends and family on the Mainland. Even Gunter got to get together with old friends!