My first overnight sail

The Kamafiki Crew, as we named ourselves, went on our first overnight sail this past Saturday, a moonless night so we could see stars. Basically there are six of us on this crew that means ‘magic’ in Samoan, according to Captain Buddy.
It’s a word he uses when something suddenly fixes itself or does what it’s supposed to. None of us could find it in a Samoan dictionary and the one Tongan one of us asked had never heard of kamafiki. When you think about it, it makes sense that there wouldn’t be such a word as magic, at least in a Polynesian cultural context, because magic is sorcery. Anyway… we liked the word. The six of us on this crew bonded from training for the Hokule’a world wide sail. We all pretty much started coming to classes at the same time last year and so became friends.

Only four could make it last Saturday but it was enough to set sail. Captain Buddy McGuire has been very generous to teach us and to give us ocean time on his 41 foot sloop. Every sail is a training opportunity, and we are having a crash course in sailing vocabulary as well as how to do everything aboard ship. Preparations are especially critical as it would not be good to get stuck in the middle of the ocean.

My first overnight sail2We finally got everything checked, verified that it was all working and headed out. We weren’t going far, just to the sandbar in the middle of Kane’ohe Bay. We got more or less to where we were going and stopped for the night. I didn’t think about the fact that we were going to have to take turns doing ‘anchor watch’. Even though our anchors were pretty firmly set, we wouldn’t want to accidentally drift during the night, so after dinner we paired off and started our watches. This was the part we had all been waiting for. A clear sky on the ocean, away from city lights, where we could observe stars. We spent much of the time looking at our star charts and comparing them to the sky. It was exciting to actually see stars and constellations that are too difficult to see from land. Leo and Scorpio were the clearest constellations I saw that night as well as many individual stars. It was the lessons in the Planetarium coming to life. The steady breeze and rocking of the boat made it feel like we were moving, although we weren’t. I thought about my Scottish great grandfather, Captain Daniel McGregor, who captained the ferry that went back and forth between Hau’ula and Kane’ohe in the late 1800s. I thought about my Hawaiian ancestors, who must have also known these waters. There’s lots to think about at night while keeping watch aboard ship. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to sleep and get up every two hours – and stay awake – although I don’t know how many nights in a row I would be able to do it. We were all pretty exhausted the next day, which was a beautiful day for sailing out into the deep blue, which we did.

As far back as I can remember I have wanted to spend the night at sea in something smaller than a passenger liner, something more closely one with the elements. I finally got my wish and I wasn’t disappointed. Now I look even more forward to actually sailing at night on Hokule’a, navigating by the stars. That will be next.


Please support “Waking in a Sea of Dreams”

I am raising funds for a new book called Walking In A Sea of Dreams.

I was born in the year of the rabbit, so it is not in either my personality type or comfort zone to call attention to myself, at least in the way I am doing through the project I set up.

I have been humbled by the response. I’ve gotten lots of grants and commissions but nothing like belief and support from friends and family to create a personal obligation and desire to make a totally excellent project. And I will.

When I first heard of I thought it was very cool but could NEVER imagine myself proposing a project through their site. After thinking more about it and the increasingly limited funding for creative projects (grants or otherwise), I decided to apply. Kickstarter accepted my application and here I am, in a place that has pushed me beyond anything I would have envisioned doing six months ago! Putting up the site was easy, the less easy part is shamelessly asking people to support my endeavor, but it is a major part of what I have to do to make this successful, so here I am! These funds will help to cover living expenses while I stay home and write. Please look at the site, please post it on your facebook and other social network sites, please forward this with your recommendation on to your friends and anyone you know who might be interested in supporting my efforts and most of all, please consider making a contribution! I have only a few more weeks to raise the full amount. I’m only asking $5,500 because if I don’t raise the full amount, I don’t get anything. If I raise more, better yet. $5,500 won’t go far but it will at least give me permission to focus on the story for six weeks or so. To contribute, just click the green tab on the right of the page that says “Back This Project” and it will walk you through the steps. Mahalo for reading this far and I hope you enjoy the short video I made mostly with my Flip camera and iphone.


The Kickstarter fundraiser is over. If you would like to donate,
please contact me.


Social Media

Almost a year ago I set up this website with the intention of making a place where I could make public commentary on things – events, people, news, movies, kitty cats, whatever struck me.

I wanted to be like local newspaper columnist Lee Cataluna and say what I think as a way to get people think more deeply about what’s going on in the community, celebrate neighbors whose deeds are noteworthy yet not significant enough to be reported in the news. Her humor is insightful, local, intelligent, often biting and more often than not, profound. To date, my entries have not been ala Lee Cataluna. I discovered that I am reluctant to make observations about inept politicians or poke fun at my community or people in it because I don’t want to say something that may come back and bite me in the ʻōkole at an inopportune time.

I recently attended a training session on social media and how nonprofit agencies can use it to advance their mission. It was very informative and even exciting to think about how all these instant internet communication tools can help an organization achieve its goals. This brought me back to thinking about why I am not a particularly active participant in developing an internet social media network.

Here’s what I think about social media: I don’t see the point of reporting one’s every move unless one has a tremendously big ego (if one just got food poisoning at a certain restaurant or witnessed an incredible event or is reporting what the newspapers and network news fails to cover, then reporting it is definitely useful); I don’t understand why one would want the world to know that they are fixated on Hooters girls unless they have no life otherwise (hmm, do I really know anyone like that?); I don’t understand why someone wants to be my friend on Facebook when they don’t know me and I don’t know them (although I did appreciate all the birthday wishes from so many strangers).

So here it is, my first Lee Cataluna-esque commentary. For what it’s worth, my kitty cats have gotten bigger and are hilarious when they’re not being annoying, and I’m about to go out to dinner with my mother and brother.

Makua Valley

Makua ValleyMy hiking partners and I hiked up Kealia Trail, which begins in back of Dillingham Airfield in Mokuleia, ascends the mountain face via a number of switchbacks, then continues over to Makua ridge, ending in this overlook of Makua Valley.

The military has already used it extensively for live bombing tests and military training. It took the community many years to stop the bombing but the military wants it back, to make a “world class” roadside bombing and counterinsurgency training center. They say it will better prepare them for fighting in Afghanistan. I donʻt think so.


I love dogs, mostly I love animals in general but I am not particularly a cat person. I’ve never had a real pet (other than a fish) because I travel so much and because I’m not good at cleaning up after them. My fish was a total character (who thought an angel fish could have so much personality!) and when she died several years ago, I was devastated and didn’t want to go through the death of a pet again.


Last week, my friend’s daughter brought home a box of kittens that had been left to die. I happened to be at their house she came home with the kittens. They were supposed to be left at the humane society but when the daughter was told they were going to be destroyed because they’re so young, she brought them home instead, much to her parents’ dismay. When we all looked in the box, of course everyone melted and a space was set up for them.

I contemplated bringing one home and rejected the idea immediately as I know nothing about cats, let alone four week old kittens who have been taken from their mother prematurely. One week later the cats were still at my friend’s house and for some reason, I decided I should take one. So I did, named her Makana, which means gift, which is what I felt she was to me. It was a traumatic couple of days trying to litter box train her but we got through it. When I could finally let her loose in the house and then loose outside, things got much better. But I still wasn’t sure about this arrangement and was not happy that she was scratching and biting me so much, even if it was only in play. Last Friday night I was ready to return her to my friend. The following night I came home with a second kitten! I brought one of her sisters home to keep her company and named her Hehoa, which literally means companion. I thought a second kitten would be either a stroke of genius or madness. It took two days to litter train her and as of now, everything is going great. They play with each other, inside and outside and they hang with me when I let them. They are not only the cutest, they are also the coolest! So we shall see where this goes from here…. It’s hard to take a picture of kitties, they don’t stop moving unless they’re asleep.

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