Ships Log‎ > ‎

Voyage 22

End of Voyage 22

posted Apr 12, 2012, 3:43 PM by April Fountain

Voyage 22 from Honolulu to Kiribati and back was a total of 46 days. This was a much shorter trip then we usually do these days as we did not go to the Cook Islands. We will do the longer voyage this next voyage. 

Crew and Ship arrived safely back to Pier 31 in Honolulu. Thank you to all the amazing crew  who made this voyage another success! Special thanks goes to Super Cargo Frankie who kept all the accounts and worked with all our customers. It is a very complex job requiring a broad range of skills and she did an absolutely amazing job. We are all looking forward to working with her again on the upcoming voyage. 
The bow sprite and mast that was fabricated on the Big Island of Hawaii by our very dedicated  KWAI shore crew Ethan, Garret and Todd, was shipped over to Honolulu in a 20' container and has arrived to the ship safely. They will begin installing these as soon as the ship is back to the pier  from dry dock maintenance. The shore crew has flown over to the ship to work on the installation as well and for the time being, the warehouse on the Big Island has it's doors closed. Thank you again to Puna Geothermal for letting us use their warehouse space! 
We will begin accepting cargo at Pier 31 in Honolulu the week of April 23-30 from 8 am to 5 pm. If you need to make any special arrangements with us for times, please call us at (808) 937-0735. 
Thank you for visiting us on our website during the voyage. We will start a new page Voyage 23 shortly. 
Aloha nui loa, this is Mama KWAI~ wishing you a beautiful day. 

April 3, 2012

posted Apr 3, 2012, 1:08 PM by April Fountain

Tuesday 0730 Position 9 27N 158 44W   ENE wind 20kts.  Course 010T  Full and by the wind, clawing their way to the East. 

Kwai is headed home to Honolulu.  She departed Fanning Island on Saturday with a full load of dried seaweed.  The topmast bits are now ashore in Fanning, and the mainsail is back up, stitched together by a team led by Bruno in the Council maneaba.  Pictures will be up shortly.  As this is a short voyage only to Kiribati, Tyrone, our agent and the seaweed exporter, was hard pressed to pack enough seaweed for a full shipment.  The plastic wrap only arrived with Kwai so they had 2 weeks to press and pack 100 tons of seaweed.  They ran 3 shifts of workers and managed to get it done. 

The cargo hold was full for much of the trip.  After discharging in Christmas Island, they loaded 100 tons of food and fuel for the Outer Islands.  No copra was carried from Washington this trip as the copra sheds in Christmas are all full, so the ship went back to Christmas in ballast.  Only 40 passengers on deck weighed her down.  For the return to Fanning, she loaded food and fuel once more, plus a few passengers. 

The shore team here on the Big Island has finished the topmast and this week will have the mainmast extension/doubling ready to ship to Oahu.  After discharging seaweed in Honolulu, Kwai will go to drydock in Kaleoloa, Oahu.  Work list there includes a small patch of platework, removing the tail shaft for inspection, anchor chain service, and painting the bottom.  We will also try to get the mainmast extension welded in place while in the quiet of drydock.  Once back in the water we hope to put up the topmast and bowsprit before sailing south again.

The new mainsail is under construction at Force 10 Sailmakers in Port Townsend Washington.  One of our crew, Gabriel, is assisting and learning as much as he can.  The seaming is almost finished and the roping and hand work begins. 

Cargo will be accepted from the 23rd of April until 4th of May at Pier 31.  Please call us to give us your full name so we can add it to the security list at the port gate. 

Departure on Voyage 23 to Kiribati and Cook Islands will be around May 8. 

Captains Log March 25

posted Mar 26, 2012, 6:49 PM by April Fountain

I am no natural writer but I understand there has been too few blogs this trip and as the Captain I am to do the best for the ship and the ship operations which includes keeping everyone informed. 

We are on our way back to Kiritimati with a now empty hold and a full deck of passengers.  There hasn’t been any ship service on Tabuaeran or Teraina for two months so quite a few of the passengers are patients for Christmas Island hospital and small babies.

The weather has been very wet and even though there wasn’t a lot of wind the crew are always on their toes to make sure the passengers are staying dry.  This involves putting more tarp's up as needed and tying more lines on the tarp's. 

Rain is not necessarily bad as it’s a good time to scrub the decks with lots of soap and brushes. While scrubbing we can also take our daily shower while not wasting any of the ships stores of water.

The Main sail has now been repaired and is back on the mast with lots of new strips of white fabric. The repair of the sail took place in Tabuaeran.  Many thanks to our good friend Bruno who took charge of the project. It all wound up going faster than we thought it would.

When Bruno and I spread the old sail out on the Maneaba floor (which is as big as a soccer field) to examine the damage, we could see that it hadn’t ripped  out in one strip as we had originally thought. What we found on close inspection was that 2 meters of the foot was damaged badly as was another long strip blown out in the middle.

The first thing was to cut all the damaged strips of canvas with a hot knife and the second was to replace the strips with the new material. We were lucky in that we had exactly the same width of material on board and a whole roll of it!

To glue the patch with the new canvas we used polyurethane silicon (Vulcan by its market name), and then laid the whole thing out to dry flat on the floor overnight.

The next day Bruno hung the sail from two posts in the Maneaba and two teams of people began the project of stitching, sitting on opposite sides of the big sail.

Lucky for us that Magali, our wonderful assistant cook for several voyages now, has many good friends who dedicated themselves to the work and got the job done much faster then we had expected.
By the time we got back from Teraina the work was done and all that was left to do was to put it back on the mast.

If Bruno had not been back on Tabuaeran to organize the work and Magali not present with her team of friends, this would not have happened, or at least not as efficiently and quickly . We whole heartedly thank everyone who made this happen! Ko rabwa team Tabuaeran!

We will be leaving  Kiritimati shortly  and be on our way back to Tabuaeran once again,  where we will begin to load our cargo of dried seaweed. This operation usually takes about 3 days. Then we will depart Northbound to Honolulu with an eta of April 8 or 9. We will keep you updated as to our estimated date of arrival.

Upon arrival, after offloading the seaweed which will then be on its way to China, the KWAI will go to dry-dock for about a week for maintenance before returning to pier 31.

We plan to begin accepting cargo at pier 31 in Honolulu Monday April 23.

Thank you all for checking into our website.

Captain Evy.






March 19, 2012

posted Mar 20, 2012, 12:28 AM by April Fountain

KWAI departed Washington Island at 19:30 today. The weather was good with 15 knots ENE winds. The Captain reported that they were all busy with the consigned KWAI store all day in addition to loading our maximum amount of passengers bound mostly for Kiritimati Island. The ship will make a stop tomorrow on Tabuaeran to load seaweed and possibly some copra (dried coconut) before proceeding to Kiritimati. The eta for Christmas depends on if the seaweed is packed and ready to be loaded or not. I will report this for you as soon as I hear from the Captain. The weather in the area continues to be stable. 
Captain reports that all is well with the crew and ship. 
Aloha and apologies for this very brief report today. 
Mama KWAI~ 

March 16, 2012

posted Mar 16, 2012, 3:08 PM by April Fountain

KWAI arrived to Teraina (Washington) Island this morning at 07:30. The weather is good for discharging cargo which they began right away.
 There were 14 passengers aboard from both Kiritimati and Tabuaeran who got off the ship first thing this morning after a night of sleeping on the hatch under the awning that we set up for them. You can see pictures of this set up on the Home page slideshow.  
There is about 70 m3 of ordered cargo being offloaded from the ship today. I will check with the Captain on the radio tonight to see how long he intends to stay there. 
Aloha and thank you for checking in to our website, this is Mama KWAI~ tiabo

March 12, 2012

posted Mar 14, 2012, 7:44 PM by April Fountain

KWAI has just offloaded the bulk of the ordered cargo in the last three days. Today and tomorrow they are focusing on the smaller "consigned" items or what we call the KWAI store. 
Gabe who has been sailing with us as crew for the past couple of voyages will be on his way shortly to the sailmakers in Port Townsand in Washington State (name to follow shortly), to assist them  and learn how to sew large sails before returning to Hawaii to work on the refit project. 
I feel a short explanation of the refit project is in order as there apparently is some confusion going on about what it is and what it isn't. 
The KWAI WILL continue to work delivering cargo while at the same time- a small crew of people will be working on the Big Island of Hawaii building items that will be later assembled on the KWAI. The things this team we are calling the "Shore Crew" are working on to begin with are building the Main Mast, the Bow sprit, the spars, the rigging and the new sails. We will do as much work as we can in this fashion in order to keep the KWAI doing what she does best, working cargo. In this next stage of growth be assured we will do whatever we can to keep our customers supplied. If you should have any questions at all about this or how you may be affected, please contact us. 
And as a reminder, tomorrow is the deadline for getting your orders in to us for the next voyage. Any orders received after tomorrow we can not guarantee we will be able to supply. For all those who did get their orders in to us already, thank you very much. 
This is Mama KWAI, wishing you a good day. Aloha and Tiabo

March 9, 2012 Captains Log

posted Mar 9, 2012, 7:17 PM by April Fountain

We are now on our way to Tabuaeran.  We are nearly full with cargo again after discharging  the orders on Kiritimati and filling up the ship with cargo bound for Tabuaeran (Fanning) and Teraina (Washington).   

The cargo is mostly from Punjas Store which is a large supplier  in Fiji  which sells food mostly for the Pacific Islands

We left Kiritimati on a rainy day of weather in the Line Islands (Central Pacific) which is more prone to changing weather in the winter time then other times of year.

For those who are not familiar, close to the equator is an area called  the ITCZ or Inter-tropical Convergence Zone.  This is an area where the Trade winds from the  NE meet up with the winds from the  SE  and what you get is a perpendicular flow of warm moist  air going up into the atmosphere and getting cold by the process. This meeting up of winds makes the two winds unhappy and when air is not happy you get problems usually in the form of rain showers and strong wind squalls.  

By a not so lucky chance we were forced to meet this condition 2 days before reaching landfall in Kiritimati and I never saw such nasty weather in this area. Winds of up to 40 knots and lots of rain.

We broke the Top Mast when it first started to blow and I pointed the ship downwind but not before the back stay wire clamps failed and  the jib went into the water. Five of the crew worked on pulling the jib out working hard in the wind and rain.  Everybody got soaked with rain and sea water and in the end it didn’t make any difference which kind of water it was.  

The jib was saved  from damage and I took the Main sail in for safety . In the afternoon the wind settled down to force 4 and we started to make better speed and have a smoother ride. We set the Main sail only to find out too late that there was a big patch in the sail where it had torn three times before and the sail just ripped apart. It is so sad to see such an important sail ripped as it is. One that has given us such good service for so many voyages and so many miles on our ship.

We are going to see if we can  do any repairs on the sail in Tabuaeran where we can get the man power to do the work.  Hopefully it can be re stitched and that will allow us to make the trip back North to Honolulu  much more efficiently and comfortably then we would be without it.  

We are due to arrive to Tabuaeran tomorrow morning March 10 (Hawaii date).

Once there we will work on getting the Mainsail fixed and discharge our cargo before departing for Teraina .

Captain Evy- 

February 23, 2012

posted Mar 9, 2012, 6:09 PM by April Fountain   [ updated May 8, 2014, 12:22 AM ]

KWAI has just sailed out at 16:00 hours from Honolulu harbor under fair conditions. 

The Hawaii Pilot boat escorted them with Stephen "Brad" Ives and Ethan Aspler on board. 

I hope they got some nice pictures to share with you which I will post soon if they did. 

The crew totals 10 and 2 passengers to Kiribati. 

Crew :

Captain- Evatar Ben Resheph 

First Mate- Nubono Tebano

Engineer- Jarren Flack

Head Chef- Leslie Scott 

Super Cargo- Frankie Desoutter

Bosun- Tanawai Routake

Deckhand-Teitera Turei

Deckhand-Teibitoa Rubeniti

Deckhand-Beeto Areieta

Deckhand-Kabiriera Naan 


 Arthur Sager

Susan Venables 

I would also like to give a very honorable mention and kudos to our shore crew who worked so hard for the KWAI in Honolulu. 

Wendy Berry- who came over from the Big Island where she works with me in the office 3-4 days a week, and who stayed on the dock doing tons (literally) of organizational  work with the cargo and on the computers.  Thank you so much Wendy, we really couldn't do this without you. Really! 

Melinda Walker- Our new shopper in Honolulu who did a MAGNIFICENT job filling orders and running all over the Island of Oahu day after long day for well over a month. She was extremely  dedicated on filling the orders and finding the best deals for our customers.

    Being on the subject of shopping, I would like to take a little opportunity to describe this often  underestimated and misunderstood position. 
First of all this job is hugely important to our entire operation. Brad and I used to do it ourselves but as the business has grown this was no longer possible. Wendy and I shop as much as we can from the internet and home office but the bulk of the orders must be purchased in Honolulu directly from the stores. 
More often then not, the stores will have not have the many items we need, or in the amounts we need, or the prices will be very different from the last time and so the shopper often has to go to different stores all over the city or the same stores over and over again, looking to fill hundreds of orders. Different stores will have different prices so if we have 150 cake mixes to buy, that come from 4 different stores, then the Shopper has to  keep track of how many were purchased where and at what price and then try to average the prices out so our customers won't be confused with multiple pricing  She works from large order sheets, sometimes over 40 or 50 pages worth, that have to be kept meticulously organized with all the paid prices noted so we can enter all the information back at the dock from which labels and then invoices and export documents are then generated. 

  Another challenge is that someone may order a box of bic lighters for instance, something that came in a 50 pack last time and was ordered this way,  but is only available in 12 packs or 24 packs and the shopper must calculate the each price over and over again for hundreds of items to make sure she is getting a good price. What about a shampoo that is on sale in a two pack but the customer just ordered one. Does the shopper decide to give the customer 2 or to separate the items into two and then super cargo will have to find another buyer for the second one, which makes more work, or........... does she just not buy the 2 pack sale item opting for the more expensive one. Each of these decisions takes precious time which she often doesn't have. 
Another challenge is  that some of our customers are more familiar with  items from New Zealand for instance, and they are called different things here in the US. For instance if someone orders a Chily-bin this is a Cooler. Or a Torch is a flashlight. Or "Singlets" are tank tops and "Mum" is a woman'
s deoderant. These are just some of the name differences that we have to work with. We also have customers who will order "1 roll of fabric" or "Shoes for my baby girl to go to church in", or "a Plastic Container", or some small electronic part that fits an old piece of equipment that they are trying to repair.  What kind of fabric do they need and how much? What size shoes would fit? What kind of plastic container, to hold what and what size? Wendy and I are try to get answers from our customers who often take weeks to be able to answer us and then sometimes even then it is with  little information that will help us supply the right thing. The Shopper often has to just pick what she feels is good and will be usable to the best of her knowledge. And if the Shopper is new at the job, this can be and IS a hugely difficult job. Melinda has done an absolutely  wonderful job with all these challenges and hey Melinda, if you stay with it, it WILL get easier. This I promise you. And thank you again. 

And now onto other fun topics: 

The ship is again sailing completely full, full, FULL with 451 cubic meters of cargo both in the hold and on deck. 280m3 will be going to  Kiritimati (Christmas) Island and 170m3 for both Tabuaeran and Teraina. Of these we had 875 different items that we shopped for and were loaded! We once again had to turn down cargo for people who arrived to the dock late. We  don't like to turn anyone away but as we only have so much space, we ask our customers to please tell us in advance if they are coming and with how much cargo so we can try to keep the room for them rather then turning them away. 

 And for those who may be reading this for the first time, just to give you an idea of what we take there are 2 personally owned vehicles bound for Christmas Island, 2 tractors that were ordered, 20 bales of used clothing weighing in at around 900 pounds each (we had 40 ordered!!) , food, soda, water, fishing supplies, solar equipment, radio equipment, construction materials, 120 used bicycles,chain saws, electronics, balloons, cosmetics and jewlery for the ladies, you name it, we probably have it! All these things get mapped where they are placed on the ship, and loaded according to which Island we are going to first, keeping in mind that balance on a ship is also very crucial. Brad is an absolute Wizard at stowing the ship with all the above in mind along with trying to eliminate every possible square inch of space between the cargo. We used to think that 200 m3 of cargo was our limit and now we are carrying 450m3! 

 We did have some problems this time around locating certain electronic items that were ordered by our customers. These included Mini computers which we took last time and we had 10 ordered for  them which we were not  able to fill. Unfortunately companies are no longer making these little computers as they have gone to Tablet based technology which is still too expensive and not as suitable for our Island customers, many who do not have access to the internet and even if they do, there is no Wi-fi. 

Also we had many laptop computers ordered that we were able to find on sale last time, and we had 10 orders for them this time. Unfortunately the price went much higher and we didn't want to surprise our customers with computers that were too expensive. So many of these orders also went un-filled.

We also had a very hard time finding all the portable DVD's that were ordered as they have become hugely popular on the Islands. We had 43 of them on our order sheets! Our problem  is that the ones we supply have to be able to play "All Regions" and this is not something that is readily available in the stores. They are available on-line but then it's usually by the "each" unit and they don't come with any usable warranty for our Island customers who can't just pop a defective unit at the post office to send it back. There are no post offices where we go and we can't be carrying a bunch of DVD's back to the US if they don't work. I'm not sure how we are going to handle this in the future but we will keep working on it. 

Ok folks that's all I have for you today. 

I will try to keep the website updated every few days for you and add pictures of the voyage as they become available. 

Thank you so much for checking in and if you should have any questions, please feel free to email me from the contact page or

Aloha and good day to you from  Mama KWAI ~ 

1-8 of 8