Kai checked in yesterday. Since he had just been blown from San Diego to Tahiti aboard Babalu and then flown to the big island of Hawaii, I was surprised to hear him sounding sort of stressed. Having experienced the big island twice before with my incredible friends Willy and Marijke, I couldn’t imagine any reason to get stressed there. Something must be very wrong. After an update on the plethora of minor disasters and catastrophes that are the spice of any worthy project, he revealed the real reason for the stress. Kai had a PLAN.
Now – there’s nothing wrong with plans, I make them all the time. But trying to make a plan on the big island, especially a plan involving a rigid time component… oops. Don’t ask me to explain, it’s just better to hang loose and take it easy.
Anyway, Kai’s plan had 3 steps. 1) Put Desire back together, 2) sail her around with me and be sure she was ready for serious adventure and 3) sail her back to Seattle. The weather window for safe transit back to Seattle is mid July to the end of August. Immediately, anyone who’s paying attention will be able to spot a problem – he’s got a deadline! If he’s not ready by August, he can’t sail Desire back to Seattle.
Momma Pele’s been helping him to get his mind right with a few gentle reminders. The pickup truck graciously loaned to him by Steve Oliver has developed a fuel line problem, so he’s been blowing precious time sorting that out. Since the volcano’s been erupting a lot, there’s a constant haze of volcanic fog or vog – mostly sulfur dioxide. It’s hell on plastic and rubber. A plastic graduated cup he had stored on Desire was so degraded from exposure to vog that it shattered like glass. That means that all the plastic and rubber on Desire has to be checked and possibly replaced.
He’s also having trouble getting his hands on a computer. Kai has been trying to hook up with a guy selling a Macbook on craigs, but the guy is so laid back he’s hard to get a hold of… that’s Hawaii brah. My recommendation? Da kine.
IMHO – you can’t be on the big island and act like you’re on the mainland. The laws of physics are not invariable throughout the universe.
Eventually we shifted the conversation to all the cool stuff waiting for us – Jerry Garcia’s diving buoys, the telescopes of Mauna Kea, the rusted wind farm, his buddy Curtis Collins carbon fiber racing boat… I told him about my attempt to crack the Transpac 2009 and he gave me some promising leads.
I think by the end of the conversation his deadline was a little less urgent. It’s going to take whatever time it takes to re-assemble Desire and get her blue water worthy. When that’s done the Seattle weather window will either be open or not. If not then plan B.