21.12.2017

We're in Hilo - Hawaii

At 1330 local time we shut the engine off after having finished our Bohamian (we call it roman catholic) mooring procedure: anchor in front and two lines to land in the back. We were lucky that two boating girls appeared and took the line from me. Behind us is a ladder at the dock wall. We installed a line between land and Alita along which we could move our Dinghy to get to/from land. Unfortunately at land we can't get anywhere but to the toilet. We need to use the Dinghy to get to the little rocky beach in front of the rowing club to be able to get out of the harbour area. That's a bit a pain in the a...But oh well, welcome to water camping world. With the help of a biiiiiig security lady we found our way over to the rowing club - not amused that we would get wet because we have to get into the water to get the Dinghy out - and walked over to customs to check in. Luckily we called the guy, Bill Foss, from customs via Satphone from out at sea that we will be checking in betw
een 1400 and 1500hrs because customs usually closes at 1400hrs. So Bill agreed to wait for us and - oh my god - he has been THE NICEST customs/immigration/agriculture guy EVER. He was sooo incredibly sweet. Welcomed us from the bottom of his heart. He stayed overtime to make sure we get cleared in. He was happy to see that Marcus had filled out and printed out everything he could. Bill left with all our papers and passports and everything and excused himself that he now needs to do some paperwork and about 20 Min later he came back out with our passports stamped and all paperwork done and US cruising permit printed. I gave him the $19 fee (great that I had it just right). And then he was so kind to show us on a 3D-map the most important points of interest in Hawaii and gave us an overview of Hilo. All I can say is WOW. He was sooo incredibly friendly from his heart (he had lived in Germany/Stuttgart when he was in the army and he had a blast, including Oktoberfest and Stuttg
arter Was'n), so welcoming after this trip and happy. Thumbs up for the best check into anywhere we have ever had. The fastest and especially friendliest we ever had. And we have been to many countries.
Having finished with customs we had to go to the port authority to register. They checked us in, told us how much we need to pay (27.50$ one time registering fee and then, for our boat length, $10.56 per day) in advance by some kind of paycheck (we hopefully get that at Walmart tomorow) and gave us maps and the bus schedule. They had a nice christmas decoration in there- the first one we saw for this year. For the money we pay we have the toilet and I think shower, free water and we can anchor here pretty secure.

The weather is not so welcoming. Ever since we dropped the anchor it has been pouring rain. Thank god it just started then to rain really bad. The good side is, of course, that Alita gets the washdown that she needs after the passage.
We heard that the peak of Mount Kea, which hosts the observatory and which I need to see, is closed because just today 2ft of snow came dowm. Oh man, that's what I am looking for!!! I need to get to the SNOW!!! Argh. I hope we can go up these days. There are a
couple of cold fronts coming through, starting yesterday. It looks like it's going to get better on the weekend.

Tomorrow we'll take the bus around to town and the shopping areas. Check in at the Tourist information, use Wifi to get rental car etc. Make a plan for the next two weeks that we intend to stay here.

We just had a fabulous dinner.
Marcus three bottles of beer, I am working on my white wine. We had a very nice onion soup with garlic bread & melted cheese and then some steaks of bilfish (Schwertfisch).
After our check in we went to the little store here. I got ONE apple. Boy that was good. Then outside we found some not pretty but hopefully good tasting local oranges for free. Will taste them now, then off to BED. Good night.

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