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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Captain- Evatar Ben Resheph
First Mate- Nubono Tebano
Engineer- Jarren Flack
Head Chef- Leslie Scott
Super Cargo- Frankie Desoutter
Bosun- Tanawai Routake
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.
the subject of shopping, I would like to take a little opportunity to
describe this often underestimated and misunderstood position.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Aloha and good day to you from Mama KWAI ~