Friday morning brought the first sighting of land. Brian saw the lights of the North shore including Hilo at about 4 am and called on Garret to see the first sight. I got up at 4:30 to see how the sail was doing and found the genoa to be providing some movement to the boat but in reality the wind had changed and was almost directly in irons (coming straight from the bow). This caused the sail to luff and there lots of slapping of the mizzen sail against the shrouds and the genoa was luffing back and forth behind the forestay.
I was glad to see the lights but it was still dark and there was some haze and fog over toward the land that was still 16 – 20 nautical miles away. I dropped into the salon to confirm the speed over land at 5 kts and the distance to our destination was still 16 total nautical miles but the Fury was too far to the west by at least 6 or 7 miles.
We were unaware that the winds would change and become head winds. We were also unaware that the current was running from east to west and had blown us off the course to the west. We were going to need to correct the line and turn to the east. I made the attempt with Brooke at the helm and Rick on the sails with me. We quickly found our selves tacking to the NE and moving far off the target. It was evident that we should have modified our line to far to the east of Hilo and we could have then ridden the current right into the harbor.
I later found our from the officer at the port of entry that the large passenger ships would come from Honolulu and go far out to the north and pass east and then turn back to Hilo and come in from the east and ride the current.
Our position was not optimal and to go way out again and back would place us into the afternoon and that of course would mean a Saturday customs clearance which no one was interested in.
We decided to turn back and try once again to tack into the shore but found ourselves “hove to” which is a position of sails that counteract each other and allow you to sit in one place even in the wind and stop moving.
We were about 13 NM from the entry to the bay and by now the sun was up and the shore could be seen green and velvet like beckoning over the crashing waves.
We were still concerned over the remaining fuel in the tank. We knew we had a very real limit that we could travel on the engine and were trying to get as close as possible to the shoreline before engaging the engine.
I called Lynne and she and Jeni and the kids were watching form the cliffs about 10 miles north of Hilo where they had spent the night at a small bed and breakfast overlooking the pacific. They couldn’t see us but knew we were close.
The sunrise was beautiful and especially today.
We took the sail down with the estimate of 13 miles to go and turned into the wind and corrected the course and headed for the end of the breakwater of the bay. The engine purred and gave us all the excitement of the upcoming arrival.
We crossed the current and turned east and maintained the line for the bay.
Three hours later we were within 1 mile of the breakwater and were joined by a dozen dolphins that escorted us to the breakwater. They were swimming back and forth below the hull and then stayed off to the starboard side on the escort.