First Mate: Yayoi
Fisherman: David “Small Cacc”
Stowaway: David “Papa Smulls”
Day 1, 07/26/2016: La Mariana, Oahu to Haneolono, Molokai. 12:10 under way with 40 minutes of engine.
Light winds, some motoring, easy channel crossing. 06:20 off the La Mariana dock, 18:30 tahiti tied at Lono.
The plan was to try for a straight shot to Lanai, but the winds were very light and we had to motor for a couple hours making slow time. So we bailed out into the tried and true Haneolono Harbor before the sun set. We had 2 lines out the entire channel crossing, right of the Penguin banks, but zero bites. Looks like land mammal on the menu tonight. Yep: pork curry. Also, two 18 packs of beer is not going to be enough for this trip! We’re on 10 per day per crew rations. Easy tie-up today, almost like we’ve done this before. Dropped the best bower, drifted back to the tie-up cleat on land, Papa Smulls hopped out like a young-un and secured the aft line, hopped back across the gap and we pulled in the forward anchor chain. Done. (Watching the other boat in the harbor make 5 attempts in a row to match our procedure was a joy to watch, hehe.)
Settlers of Catan: 1st-Adam. 2nd-Yayoi. 3rd-Lucas. Last-David.
Day 2, 07/27/2016: Haneolono, Molokai to Lahaina, Maui. 9:10 under way.
Heeeeavy day, spray flying, jib swap in 39 knot gusts, exhilarating! 06:50 up anchor, 16:00 anchor aweigh off Lahaina.
We hoisted anchor and sailed out with no engine and were quickly on our way with a following wind and full main and jib. Our quick exit was immediately tampered by the wind dropping to nothing 20 minutes later. We have it a valiant effort to make progress to the wind line without the motor, but after 2 hours of slatting in the small seas and a refreshing swim, we gave up and motored out to the wind. a few hours later we were free of Molokai and into the unrestricted flow of breeze with double reefed main and full jib. The seas increased, became steeper and the wind picked up to 30 knots gusting to 39 as read by our hand-held anemometer on the foredeck. With Lahaina well ahead and directly into the wind, we decided to try to swap the inefficient roller-furling 125% jib for the small 100% jib. David C was on his belly attaching the foot of the jib while I had the head and Lucas kept the rest of the sail under control. We were going airborn on the up-heave and David was snorkeling under the waves on the down-heave. We finally got everything ready to hoist and up she went. NOW we’re sailing! Double reefed main and 100% jib making 6 to 7 knots into choppy seas, getting SOAKED! The wind dropped just before Lahaina so we swapped sails in calm seas and continued with full sail. We arrived in Lahaina before sunset and found a nice sandy spot between coral heads to anchor in 25 feet just north of the mooring balls.
Dinghy pumped up, outboard mounted and off we went to tie to the convenient Lahaina dinghy-tree. Goodbye Pappa Smulls! He’s off to visit friends while we continue our trip.
Settlers of Catan: 1st-Adam. 2nd-David. 3rd-Yayoi. Last-Lucas.
Day 3, 07/28/2016: Day off to explore Maui
The car rental picked up Lucas and David C while Yayoi and I walked to Foodland for some snacks and drinks. Then rock throwing contest off Haleakala, coffee shop nap in Paia. and back for a steak dinner on the boat.
Day 4, 07/29/2016: Lahaina, Maui to Honolua Bay, Maui. 4:10 under way.
Tack tack tack in 20+ knots, beautiful bay at the end. 08:30 up anchor, 12:40 anchor aweigh.
Another windy day, too much for the roller furling jib, but we decided to be lazy and just roll it up to the triple reef point rather than deal with swapping out sails again. If it’s too tough to make it upwind with that baggy, rolled up jib, we can always bail south and head back to Haneolono. After a few tacks we found it doable to stick close to shore and tack our way up that way, even with 120 direction changes every tack. The tour cats kept motoring past us at mach 10 with their cute little scrap of a main up. Even though it took forever and was a little rough, it was a fun sail. Tucking into the bays on every tack and meeting the tour boats on converging courses almost made it feel like a game of sorts.
We finally made it around Hawea Point and into the little bay of Honolua. It was my first time there, so we felt our way around looking for a good spot with little luck. We finally glided up to one of the cats moored up on a ball and asked them for tips. They said to hug as tight as we could inside and there’s some nice sand to stick out anchor in. It was close to shore on 3 sides, but in 10 feet our swing radius was tiny. No wind, flat water, and after 1pm there was no other boat around. Awesome spot!
We swam to shore and found some green papaya and coconuts. After working up an appetite banging on coconuts with hammers and a chisel we feasted on coconut meat and green papaya salad (thanks to Yayoi, yummmmm!).
Settlers of Catan: 1st-Lucas. 2nd-Yayoi. 3rd-David. Last-Adam. (and loser does dishes, hmph.)
Day 5, 07/30/2016: Honolua Bay, Maui to Papohaku Bay, Molokai. 9:00 under way. 45 minutes motoring around anchorage.
Woohooooo! What a fun sail. Quartering tailwind all the way, 09:15 small Aku, 10:15 10 lb Mahi, 11:00 12 lb Mahi, 11:04 9 lb Mahi, chased an Ahi/Dolphin war (alas, couldn’t catch up and David almost cried), flew by some sea kayaking campers around Umilehi Point, all with the sea cliffs of northern Molokai rising above us. This was my favorite day by far. We rounded the north-west corner of Ilio Point and saw hundreds of boats at anchor! The Molokai to Oahu paddle race was gearing up to depart the next morning and every paddler had a chase boat. We probably spent an hour finding a place to anchor. We had one good spot and circled around into the wind and were just dropping our anchor when a small motor boat zoomed up and threw his little Danforth into the water. He then proceeded to berate us for taking his spot. “Hoh, not so smart, you!” he says. Ah well, scrapping with a big local guy didn’t sound like fun, so I rolled over and said “Aloha” to him as we pulled our few feet of anchor back and continued our search. We finally dropped anchor over flat lava rock in 18 knots of wind blowing side-shore and hoped for the best. It seemed to hold all right, so we ate a hug Mahi dinner, played some Catan and went to a rocking sleep to the sound of the anchor slowly dragging.
Settlers of Catan: 1st-Lucas. 2nd-Adam. 3rd-David. Last-Yayoi.
Day 6, 07/31/2016: Papohaku Bay, Molokai to Kaneohe Bay, Oahu. 7:50 under way to KYC, then 1 hour motor to anchor.
Easy departure, dodging 50 paddlers competing in the Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships, straight shot all the way to Kaneohe Bay. Easy steering, 5 foot following seas with 20 knot winds just off the ass end. Only one thing spoiled this day…. BLAM!!! The spinnaker blew out with no warning at 10:15, half-way across the channel. Doh! The stitching separated at the reinforced section of the tack, so it was a simple thing to retrieve the spinnaker. It was basically a normal take-down except for the uncommanded tack release. I can’t afford a new spinnaker for another year or so, but hopefully it’s just an easy fix to restitch the fabric. Cross fingers!
Once around Mokumanu Island the winds died off and we had to motor. The rain came in hard and made the visibility worse than I’ve ever seen it. I thought Hawaii never had fog! I called the port captain’s cell phone and was granted permission to use an open slip to drop off David and Lucas. We slowly motored past the familiar markers of a well-know harbor and into the slip at Kaneohe Yacht Club.
10 minutes at the dock we were off again. Yayoi and I reversed out of the slip, threw her into forward and… CHUNK, silence. Rookie error! The aft spring line had fallen into the water and wrapped the prop, killing the engine! The wind was slowly pushing us into the race boats preparing for the Kauai race. I restarted the engine and tried a quick reverse to unwrap the line with no luck. I then yelled to some crew on the dock that my engine died and could they help. I grabbed a spare line, fastened it at the bow and threw it to the dock. My savior grabbed it first try and pulled the bow away from the other boat. Another helper hopped on and helped me fend the stern and Siren pulled nicely into the empty slip without touching another boat. Whew! It was touch and go for a minute there! I jumped in, unwrapped the prop and when I looked around my helpers were all gone. I wanted to give them a big stack of Mahi steaks as thanks. Shoot.
So Yayoi and I tested the motor, reverse and forward (no problems), and left KYC to meet our friends Brett and Tyler at the sand bar. Unfortunately, the rain was still coming down in sheets and Yayoi and I were dead tired. Screw the bow and stern anchors required at the sand bar, let’s just drop the hook in the Heeia Kea anchorage and call it a night.
Day 7, 08/01/2016: Kaneohe Bay, Oahu to La Mariana, Oahu. 7:10 under way.
The night before, we were seriously debating leaving the boat at the sand bar and going home for a couple days. But after an amazingly restful sleep in a strong holding ground with flat water, we were both ready for another day of sailing. We tacked our way out of the Sanpan channel, shot the gap inside Mokumanu and had an awesome single-tack run to Makapuu. We put the spinnaker pole as a whisker pole and ran wing-on-wing allllll the way home. 6 hours and 15 minutes, only motoring for 5 minutes to exit our anchorage.