I saw this interesting-looking vessel tied up alongside the wharf at Kawaihae harbor for a week or more in the first half of January. When I searched for information about the boat, I learned that it’s the Sailing Vessel Kwai, a cargo vessel operating between Hawaii and Kiribati and the Cook Islands in the Pacific.
I’m not sure what it was doing in Kawaihae. The boat had been in Honolulu earlier in the month, on completion of its 51st voyage. Their 52nd voyage left Honolulu on January 24. Perhaps they were picking up cargo or doing maintenance in between these dates.
According to the first blog from Voyage 52 (here), the boat returned to the west side of the Big Island to search for a ghost net. A ghost net is a large clump of fishing nets that can be very destructive to ocean life and that will eventually wash up on shore somewhere being equally problematic when it does so. This net was estimated to be 50 feet long and deep by 70 feet wide.
A tracker had been attached to the ghost net so that it could be retrieved by a larger boat but, according to the blog post, when SV Kwai reached the area, only the tracker was found and retrieved. I haven’t heard or seen anything else about the net, so it is either still floating in the ocean or has washed up somewhere.