As I look back, I think I was pretty brazen for an 18 yr. old in those days. I felt so sticky, salty and gritty that when I found there were no docking facilities in the harbor nor Reed’s Bay, I walked to the nearest hotel, crept through the lobby, up the elevator and knocked on a few doors until someone answered. I described my plight and actually asked if I could use their shower! I hit pay dirt with the first lovely visitors who came to the door. I even had the nerve to ask if the rest of the crew could avail themselves of their generosity. What could they say? No? So, I trekked back to the boat, announced what I had discovered and we all went back for our first Hilo shower. This was, and still is, the most luxurious shower I’ve ever taken and I will forever be grateful.
We soon realized we were the talk of the town. Apparently, sailboats didn’t sail into Hilo. Photographers came to take pictures for the Tribune Herald, people welcomed us with open arms, volunteered to drive us to special places. The restaurant on the bay (At that time called the Steak and Lobster) invited us to finish the salad bar everyday after the lunch crowd had left. I think they charged us $1 and we ate like kings at least once a day. One of the most amazing things was something that didn’t happen. Each day we would row the dingy to shore so we could walk to town, do some shopping or catch the Sanpan bus for a little touring. We would pull the little boat up and leave it sitting there, untied, with all kinds of things stored in it…deep cycle batteries, different engine parts, our foul weather gear, etc. Reed’s Bay was a very popular place for families…picnics, swimming, floating on rafts. Nothing was ever touched. We pulled that little boat up every day for six weeks and nothing was ever taken out of it.
The Coast Guard had come to our rescue and allowed us to use their bathroom facilities, but alas, we were aware this was only a temporary solution and therefore felt compelled to sail to on Honolulu. There we lived on the boat for two years at Keehi Lagoon and then the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor until my sister graduated high school and I moved into my own apartment before my parents decided to sail to the South Pacific islands. I was where I wanted to be, had had enough of the sailing for now so stayed in Honolulu. My sister jumped ship in Kona on Hawaii island.