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#68 Eliana’s Final Post

Our life has taken an unexpected turn.  The call came unexpectedly.  Hawaii in summertime is wonderful by boat, or by any other means. Debbie had mentioned she wanted me to remind her always how much she loves palm trees, sun and ocean. The August post for Eliana’s Journal was in process save just a few more pictures I wanted to add.  We were in the midst of planning Eliana’s next passage bound for Fiji.  I had already scoped a killer metal detector I could use at Nikumaroro Island where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan met their demise.  I am absolutely sure I could have found the final, indisputable proof of her presence there.

But then the call came.  I was asked to go back to work.  In a moment, my love for Eliana and our life at sea met toe to toe with a lifelong passion for Agriculture.  It was possibly the one thing, the only thing that could pull me away. 

Debbie and I debated it all over and over.  It meant moving to Calgary, a beautiful place, but a long way from the water.  That didn’t matter.  This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  As is usually the case, Debbie was supportive and the decision was made.

Moving Eliana

Given the urgency of the call, I needed to report within just a few days.  Eliana had to be moved to Seattle where we could keep closer tabs on her.  Even though I had no known issues on any of her systems, I was concerned about preparing for a 2400+ nautical mile passage on such short notice.  Herein, though, is yet another testament to the Nordhavn legendary ability to reliably cross oceans.  Within a few short days, I performed all scheduled Wheelhouse maintenance, filled her with fuel, double checked everything and I was confident she was ready for the trip.

The only remaining issue was crew.  This would be the first time since we took delivery that Eliana moved without me at the helm.  I decided to engage Jeff Sanson to recruit a senior captain, along with a junior captain with engineering experience.  He came through in less than 48 hours!  Together with Debbie, sister Linda and brother in law Bill, the five-person crew made the crossing in 13 days without incident.  Eliana now lies in Salmon Bay Marine Center just inside the Ballard Locks.

My Job

I have taken the position of President for Hemisphere GPS.  Here is a link to the press release.  Hemisphere specializes in Precision Agriculture.   Our key technologies involve precise GPS positioning (2 cm), automatic driving and cloud based information exchange platforms, all of which enable hundreds of environmentally green and production maximizing techniques.  It’s an exciting field that will no doubt proliferate quickly over the coming decades.

Closing Chapter

I’ve heard that in the final moments, one’s entire life experiences pass through their consciousness.  It’s as if a million memories of sights, sounds, relationships, hardships, emotions erupt in an instant.  Beyond the lens of any camera, a high speed film reel feeds a sense of satisfied accomplishment.  I now know of no other endeavor more rewarding than what we experienced with Eliana.  For that we are thankful. 

Debbie and I would like to express deep appreciation to our dear readers who have offered encouragement knowing we started out knowing nothing.  Also, to Dan Streech and company for making the business of creating competent passagemakers a higher calling.  And to Ta Shing, where the heart and soul of each boat comes from the hundreds of craftsmen that make dreams for those of us lucky enough to experience it.  And finally to those who are uncertain whether they can do the same thing … if we can do it, you can too.

One never knows what lies ahead.  If we can be so blessed, we hope to have the opportunity to return to the sea.

Rick Heiniger

Start your own blog now! Free!

#68 Eliana’s Final Post

Our life has taken an unexpected turn.  The call came unexpectedly.  Hawaii in summertime is wonderful by boat, or by any other means. Debbie had mentioned she wanted me to remind her always how much she loves palm trees, sun and ocean. The August po…

#68 Eliana’s Final Post

Our life has taken an unexpected turn.  The call came unexpectedly.  Hawaii in summertime is wonderful by boat, or by any other means. Debbie had mentioned she wanted me to remind her always how much she loves palm trees, sun and ocean. The August po…

#68 Eliana’s Final Post

Our life has taken an unexpected turn.  The call came unexpectedly.  Hawaii in summertime is wonderful by boat, or by any other means. Debbie had mentioned she wanted me to remind her always how much she loves palm trees, sun and ocean. The August post for Eliana’s Journal was in process save just a few more pictures I wanted to add.  We were in the midst of planning Eliana’s next passage bound for Fiji.  I had already scoped a killer metal detector I could use at Nikumaroro Island where Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan met their demise.  I am absolutely sure I could have found the final, indisputable proof of her presence there.

But then the call came.  I was asked to go back to work.  In a moment, my love for Eliana and our life at sea met toe to toe with a lifelong passion for Agriculture.  It was possibly the one thing, the only thing that could pull me away. 

Debbie and I debated it all over and over.  It meant moving to Calgary, a beautiful place, but a long way from the water.  That didn’t matter.  This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.  As is usually the case, Debbie was supportive and the decision was made.

Moving Eliana

Given the urgency of the call, I needed to report within just a few days.  Eliana had to be moved to Seattle where we could keep closer tabs on her.  Even though I had no known issues on any of her systems, I was concerned about preparing for a 2400+ nautical mile passage on such short notice.  Herein, though, is yet another testament to the Nordhavn legendary ability to reliably cross oceans.  Within a few short days, I performed all scheduled Wheelhouse maintenance, filled her with fuel, double checked everything and I was confident she was ready for the trip.

The only remaining issue was crew.  This would be the first time since we took delivery that Eliana moved without me at the helm.  I decided to engage Jeff Sanson to recruit a senior captain, along with a junior captain with engineering experience.  He came through in less than 48 hours!  Together with Debbie, sister Linda and brother in law Bill, the five-person crew made the crossing in 13 days without incident.  Eliana now lies in Salmon Bay Marine Center just inside the Ballard Locks.

My Job

I have taken the position of President for Hemisphere GPS.  Here is a link to the press release.  Hemisphere specializes in Precision Agriculture.   Our key technologies involve precise GPS positioning (2 cm), automatic driving and cloud based information exchange platforms, all of which enable hundreds of environmentally green and production maximizing techniques.  It’s an exciting field that will no doubt proliferate quickly over the coming decades.

Closing Chapter

I’ve heard that in the final moments, one’s entire life experiences pass through their consciousness.  It’s as if a million memories of sights, sounds, relationships, hardships, emotions erupt in an instant.  Beyond the lens of any camera, a high speed film reel feeds a sense of satisfied accomplishment.  I now know of no other endeavor more rewarding than what we experienced with Eliana.  For that we are thankful. 

Debbie and I would like to express deep appreciation to our dear readers who have offered encouragement knowing we started out knowing nothing.  Also, to Dan Streech and company for making the business of creating competent passagemakers a higher calling.  And to Ta Shing, where the heart and soul of each boat comes from the hundreds of craftsmen that make dreams for those of us lucky enough to experience it.  And finally to those who are uncertain whether they can do the same thing … if we can do it, you can too.

One never knows what lies ahead.  If we can be so blessed, we hope to have the opportunity to return to the sea.

Rick Heiniger

Start your own blog now! Free!

#68 Eliana’s Final Post

Our life has taken an unexpected turn.  The call came unexpectedly.  Hawaii in summertime is wonderful by boat, or by any other means. Debbie had mentioned she wanted me to remind her always how much she loves palm trees, sun and ocean. The August po…

#67 Puff The Magic Dragon

… lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.  The author that penned the lyrics to this song by Peter, Paul and Mary says there is no connection whatever to Hanalei Bay on the northern shore of Kauai.  Th…

#67 Puff The Magic Dragon

… lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.  The author that penned the lyrics to this song by Peter, Paul and Mary says there is no connection whatever to Hanalei Bay on the northern shore of Kauai.  Th…

#67 Puff The Magic Dragon

… lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.  The author that penned the lyrics to this song by Peter, Paul and Mary says there is no connection whatever to Hanalei Bay on the northern shore of Kauai.  That doesn’t keep at least some of the locals from pointing out their own dragon lying peacefully along the valley, head in the water guarding the community.  Once you see the dragon shape, it’s impossible not to notice it each time you look up into the misty mountains.  The whole image from the head all the way along an imaginary neck to the magnificent body, haunches  and tail couldn’t have been sculpted any more clearly.


Click to enlarge the dragon head as seen from Eliana lying in Hanalei Bay.  The bare spot creating the eye has one just like it on the other side.  Both have always been there as long as anyone can remember.  The shadows are typical as rain clouds form over the mountains.  The rest of the dragon is impossible to photograph without making a very long picture left to right!

Hanalei Bay
It’s easy to get lost in the magic of Hanalei valley, town, river and bay.  Katie Ritto had spoken about Hanalei as she was trying to convince us to come to Hawaii.  In her mind Hanalei was heaven on earth.  Highly secluded on an already sparsely populated, Kauai, Hanalei would be what I might imagine the Garden of Eden being like.  Lush, green, the perfect ratio of rainfall to sunshine.  Fresh floral scents everywhere and an abundance of fruit growing wild.  I didn’t notice any mosquitos, no-see-ums, snakes or any other annoying critters.  The water temperature is right at 80 degrees in the bay making summer swimming, surfing and boating ideal.  

The mountain backdrop to the lush 19 square mile valley boasts the highest rainfall in the world creating hundreds of magnificent waterfalls and rivlets cascading 3,500 feet down the heavily vegetated face.  The resulting river is the Hanalei River.  A kayak trip up the river is like a peaceful, slow motion trip through a time warp fantasy of vegetation.  Flowering shrubs renew their yellow blossoms daily.


Brilliant twin rainbows during morning showers.  The close one was so bright it reflected in the water all the way to us.

A closer view clearly reveals each distinct color.

Artist painting near the mouth of the river.

Blossoms lining both sides of the river

A private foot bridge across one of the tributaries.

Sweet Charlotte at anchor in the river.  The shallow water at right is where we wade ashore to town.  I placed a sand stake with float in the shallow water so we can pull her back to the shallow when we get ready to go.

About Town
The town of Hanalei is a pretty, unassuming community.  Getting there by car means passing the Hanalei bridge, an old 15 ton, one lane structure that crosses the Hanalei river.  The town population hovers between 400 and 500.  The folks are a wide assortment of long time locals, itinerant surfers, new age types, celebrities, you name it.  Many, many movies we all know were filmed here.  The list is too long to even start naming, but notably “South Pacific” (1957).  More recently “The Decendants” was made here.  

The Hanalei sport of favor is competitive paddling.  No surprise.  All of Hawaii is nuts about paddling, but Hanalei is on paddling steroids.  We found that with patience and understanding, paddlers and boaters can coexist in the same water.  Eliana being anchored in the bay became a favorite pylon for training.  But our spot was perfect on race day because we got a front row seat as literally hundreds of paddlers of all ages compete.


Unassuming “Tahiti Nui” where locals and visitors alike come to eat, drink and listen to traditional Hawaiian music nightly.  Many a movie scene has been shot at this place.

Or how about some home cooked, traditional Balinese dishes, right at the river landing?


Saturday canoe races while Eliana looks on.

Canoe racing is an all-ages sport.  This heat looks like middle schoolers, and they are very serious.

Of course the pros are very good and go very fast.

SCUBA
Since being in Hawaii, I have taken up SCUBA.  I love it.  I’m finding life below the surface fascinating.  So far, I’ve logged 22 dives and have gotten my Advanced Open Water certification with specialties in deep diving, wrecks and nitrox.  More recently, I started learning underwater photography.  I hope to be able to get better so I’ll have something to share with my readers.

Now that I’m diving, I’ve taken up cleaning Eliana’s bottom.  Little by little, I’m figuring out how to do it and the experience is invaluable.  Nothing like inspecting your own bottom!  I love jumping in to check Eliana’s zincs or wipe off the water line quickly. 

I am also providing a 1:37 minute underwater video showing Eliana’s running gear, her propellers and rudder.  The small propeller on the starboard side of the main is normally in a closed position, but opens automatically when I engage the wing engine.  Part of my bottom maintenance duties is to keep the gears of the wing propeller clear and moving freely.


One of my first underwater pictures of a coral growth on some boat wreckage.

Mike, my photography instructor at 100′ depth is difficult to get the white balance correct.

Eliana’s wing propeller folded.

Eliana’s wing propeller deployed.

Underwater video of Eliana’s propellers (1:37)

Before Signing Off
Thank you for following Eliana’s Journal.  I encourage you to visit this posting on our website.  The advantage of looking at it on your web browser is I think it shows the photos better.  Plus if you widen your browser window, it allows the enlarged photos to get larger which is the best way to see them.  You can go to the journal entry directly by clicking on the link below.  There you can also leave a message for us or ask questions.

Rick Heiniger
N7617 Eliana
Lying: Ko Olina, Kapolei, HI
Mileage:  11,589 Miles

#67 Puff The Magic Dragon

… lived by the sea, and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee.  The author that penned the lyrics to this song by Peter, Paul and Mary says there is no connection whatever to Hanalei Bay on the northern shore of Kauai.  Th…

#66 Kauai Reconnaissance

We want to move Eliana to Kauai in June.  It’s not far, about 100 nautical miles, but our preferred Kauai base anchorage is on the north shore at Hanalei Bay.  To prepare for the trip, we thought it would be a good idea to go there for a co…