Building the Hawaiian Dream House: At Sea

July 1, 2016 | By | Comments (0)

My last blog talked about Hōkūle’a, Hawaii’s voyaging canoe. (She’ll be sailing the Massachusetts coast for the next two weeks.) The one below isn’t it. But I shot the photo at Hapuna Beach, which is where we’ll be in a few weeks.

Hawaii boat

Since my wayfinding blog ran, I’ve been especially interested in oceangoing vessels. But ones that look more like this:


We’ve now hired a freight forwarder, and have started consolidating items in a warehouse outside Long Beach, California. Once everything arrives, it’ll be loaded onto a ship, bound for Kawaihae Harbor on the Big Island, where it will then be trucked to our site. What will it entail? Our DHX – Dependable Hawaiian Express consolidation form currently lists 16 items from Duravit (plumbing fixtures), 33 from Hansgrohe (plumbing hardware), 4 from Warmly Yours (towel warmers), 2 from Panasonic (HVAC system), and 23 from Miele (appliances and trims). With the various manufacturers’ help, I’ve estimated the total weight at 3,135 pounds, and the volume at 459 cubic feet, but DHX has assured me it will correct those numbers once everything is together…at which point there will be the presentation of a bill.

Back in April, we bought a used 40-foot container, which is now sitting on our site to store everything once it arrives. These containers are at least as popular as shakas in Hawaii, and many convert them into storage sheds or garages, with roofs and the sort. Last August, a month before we started breaking ground, my brother-in-law sent me a link to containers that had been converted into homes, and then he followed up in December with a YouTube video detailing how to transform one into an underground cellar for wine and a host of other mysterious beverages. Here’s one conversion I particularly like by San Antonio-based Poteet Architects, but we’re selling our container as soon as we can. (Our contractor said he’d handle it, and promised it would be easy.)


Right now, the container already has our JEE-O outdoor showers, Polk Audio ceiling speakers and subwoofer, and The Galley kitchen and prep sinks (the company calls them “workstations,” and check out the link because they’re amazing). Separately, fog-free Robern medicine cabinets, a powder-room vanity, and arguably NASA-designed TOTO toilets are on the way (we visited Japan in April, and fell in love with the local high-tech tradition of treating your heinie right). Naturally, there are also lots of odds and ends—including 1,500 feet of 14-gauge speaker cable, two laundry sinks (one large enough to wash our scuba gear), and a floor-to-ceiling bicycle rack for the garage—plus we’re bringing robe hooks and under-mount sink clips in our luggage on our next trip (why Amazon couldn’t send those directly I still don’t understand). Morsø wood-burning stoves from Hawaii Fireplaces (yes, it does actually get cold—or cool—on the Big Island) are at a depot in Kona, waiting to join the rest. I’ll post photos of everything as it’s put into place.

Our Western Window Systems doors and windows? Those have been split into two more containers, and the contents of the first one is just now getting installed. Here’s just the tiniest hint (stay tuned in July!):


The open ocean around Hawaii ineluctably leads to thoughts of boats—but obviously we’re going to need to buy a car. A lot of people send those between California and Hawaii on freighters too, but in the meantime I tried out a Onewheel—an eponymously one-wheeled off-road electric skateboard—in New York City, along the Hudson River. They’re pretty cool—cool enough that we just got off with a warning from Hudson River Park’s police for 1) skateboarding and/or 2) operating a motor vehicle “except in areas designated and maintained by the trust for such use.”



I’m not saying a Onewheel will substitute for a car, but apparently there’s not a problem with them in Hawaii…


On the blog now:




Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s