Safely secured in the Ala Wai marina. Waiting on parts to repair my bow thruster which sucked in a rope. This is the second time and a major screwup on our part. Trying to leave the shipyard in 30 knot gusty winds we were just not careful with the dock lines and left one hanging in the water after throwing them on board when very quickly trying to leave the shipyard dock. I just had the boat hauled at Keehi Marine to repair the thruster after a similar incident with a mooring ball line in Majuro. Fortunately, when they just fixed it they loosened all of the frozen parts and put new ones back on properly. We tried initially to repair it in the water in Majuro but the retaining screws for the thruster props were corroded on and we ended up stripping them. The experts at the shipyard greased everything properly. So, now I can just replace the damaged props while the boat is in the water with my scuba gear. Everything comes off very easy. No $1000 haulout needed.
This actually works out very well because of our delayed departure due to hurricane Lester. We will be able to be more relaxed doing our provisioning and getting the boat ready for our next leg. Our berth at $25 a day is a bargain and everything is very conveniently located in this area of Honolulu.. It appears that Lester will now pass northwest of the islands. The chance of storm force winds here in Honolulu has declined to 12% now. It is Saturday morning here and from my berth I can look down Waikiki beach at the small 1 foot waves and the marina is glassy calm. It really is very beautiful. Hopefully not the calm before the storm. After the three weeks at sea it is really nice to have “couch lock”. A good book, the slight rocking of the boat in the most quiet area of the marina and a cool sea breeze blowing in the hatches. Hard to leave the comfortable salon settee.
This incident with the thruster has reinforced the fact, to me at least, the need for bow and stern thrusters on a two person crewed heavy displacement boat. Even with my bow thruster damaged being able to kick the stern around with the stern thruster has been very helpful. The Duck at 40 tons (the shipyard travel lift just comfirmed that) is a very heavy boat with a full keel and a not overly large rudder. It is not very maneuverable, to say the least. The transient berths in the marina here are actually med moorings which place the boats perpendicular to the dock. To back up a boat this size with boats on both sides with any type of wind present would be impossible without the two thrusters. For those of you not familiar with a med mooring, you have a mooring ball about a boat length off the dock. You back up the boat and tie the front of the boat to the mooring ball and the stern ties to the dock. You exit and enter the boat from the stern. With two people on board, one is on the bow and the other is driving the boat. Holding the stern in position without the stern thruster while your crew is dealing with the bow mooring ball line before he can get to the stern and quickly tying it off is very difficult. Fishing the mooring ball line out of the water that you must tie to takes some time. The thrusters take most of the stress out of docking especially in an unfamiliar marina. Being able to spin turn the boat within one boat length while engaging the bow thruster in one direction and the stern thruster in the other direction has also been a “boat paint saver”. I always stop the boat’s movement when entering a berth and then move the boat sideways with the bow and stern thruster engaged at the same time in the same direction.
I will post some pictures later today of what a med mooring looks like and Moby Duck in the marina.