2013-09: Big Island

Our route from Siren’s slip at Kaneohe Yacht Club as far as South Point, Big Island and back, stopping at anchorages almost every night.

Our route from Siren’s slip at Kaneohe Yacht Club as far as South Point, Big Island and back, stopping at anchorages almost every night.

Adam: Captain/Owner
Chris: First Mate
Natalie: Ship’s Clerk
David: Fisherman
Milo: Fisherman’s mate
Jeff: Kona Stow-Away

After a few inter-island attempts and some Oahu shake-down sails we were finally ready for this trip!

We were a fairly green crew, most experience being near shore, buoy racing, small fishing boats, and white water rafting. But experience built quickly among all crew and after only a few days we were working well together. Setting anchor went from a chaotic and noisy mess to a quick and quiet execution. All cooking, cleaning, helm, watch and general duties were split between all crew, but we all fell into our own routine which molded into an organized, happy ship.

Our original plans were to hug the south shores of Molokai and Maui before running north through the Alenuihaha Channel to make a clockwise run around the Big Island. Then hug the north shores of Maui and Molokai on the return, making a big figure 8. However, our cruising buddies on Tide Roller convinced us to join them on a counter-clockwise attempt. Whoops, mistake! Trying to fight the South Point of the Big Island’s funneling winds proved too much of a match for the crew and the boat. We couldn’t make any headway against the wind, waves, and current and decided to turn around making an 18 hour leg in total. Tide Roller continued on and made it around after a hard beat and running their engine out of fuel while we slept off the Captain Cook monument south of Kona. South Point, we WILL return!

We started out with a crew of five: Myself, my two room mates Natalie and David, my old room mate from Kauai, Chris, and my work buddy, Milo. We picked up a couple friends, Jason and Lizzie, on Maui for a couple days sailing before dropping them off at Big Beach to catch a ride home. We then dropped Chris off on the Big Island before our South Point attempt (he obviously knew what we were up against and decided to go kite surfing instead) bringing the crew down to four. After returning to Captain Cook, Big Island for the night we contacted another of Milo and my work buddies, Jeff, and he met us in Kona. So back up to five crew we sailed the three days back to Oahu. Zehra was island hopping by plane during our trip and met us in Maui for some exploring by rental car before continuing on.

All told, the trip was a huge success. We ate like kings, only spent one night at sea and the rest at anchor, spent a grand total of $9 in slip fees (2 nights in Kahului Harbor), about $20 in fuel (we hardly used the engine except at South Point and a few times when bored of swimming while becalmed), and the rest on food, alcohol, and a couple rental cars. The sloop sustained no damage although we worked a bit on the electrical connections at one point, so actually she came back in better shape than she left!

I can’t wait for our next trip: Tahiti!!!

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