JUMP FROM MAUI TO MOLOKAI

This morning I picked up the hook and headed over to Lahaina Harbour to enquire about a berth.  Unfortunately, the harbour master informed me she had no berths available.  I was disappointed, I really wanted to go ashore in Lahaina and just as importantly I wanted to tie up alongside a berth and to walk ashore.

I decided to move on.  Soon I was headed across the Pailolo Channel towards Molokai.  The trade wind between the islands picked up strongly, with a handkerchief sized jib and triple reefed main we blasted across at eight plus knots, spray and seawater everywhere.   Around two in the afternoon we reached the south coast of Molokai and ran west along the coast with the wind astern.  I took all sail down and we ran bare poles, in comfort, with the wind vane steering down towards Kaunakakai Harbour.

By three thirty we were anchored in Kaunakakai Harbour.  The guide says the wind howls through the harbour – its correct, its been howling all afternoon.  The Coastguard are warning of these strong winds continuing until Thursday.  Oh, how I long for the snug anchorages of Alaska, BC and New Zealand.

Kaunakakai is a commercial harbour and there is a tug and barge alongside the wharf.  One other yacht came into the harbour and anchored in the afternoon.  I watched him motor in from the west, it took him some time and must have been a rough ride.  We haven’t talked yet as we are separated by wind and waves.

Last night I watched ‘Salmon Fishing in Yemen’.  An unusual movie and I enjoyed it.  Better than cutting up bodies in the outback from the night before.

I cracked a couple of beers for sundowners. Heineken is about the only beer I have that can be drunk warm and I found that dinking from a pot mug makes it better.  The Captain then issued an extra tot of rum for a good hard sail today.  That made me happy.  Sundowners was accompanied by Pavarotti tonight.  I have no idea what he is singing about really, but the sound he makes is incredible.  I was fortunate enough to see him live in Auckland, what a presence and voice.

Early in the morning when all is quiet, before the wind picks up, I will go ashore and have an explore.  I don’t know how long I will stay here, I will see what I can find.  There are not many places to go between here and Honolulu and I haven’t managed to get a berth in Honolulu yet.

COASTAL MAUI

By the time the wind had died down last night it was too late to go ashore, never mind, I had a couple of glasses of Mount Gay and settled in to watch a movie.  I watched an Australian film ‘Wolf Creek’ quite nasty and blood thirsty and based upon a true story.  It didn’t give me any bad dreams and I slept like a baby.

This morning I put the kayak in the water and headed off to shore.  On approaching the beach, I was met by a bunch of people hurling some serious abuse at me vociferous manner.  They were making it clear that I was not wanted and that I should take my boat and head out.  Well, the natives were certainly restless, there was no point in going ashore if that was the reception, no way I could leave the inflatable kayak on the beach unattended.  Instead I went for a kayak along the shore and used some muscles I had forgotten existed.

Later inn the day I spoke to an American couple on a boat about this unusual incident and they said they had heard there was a group of people at that place that were hostile to anyone using the beach from boats.  What a shame, they live in near paradise and still have anger management problems.  Oh well, another stitch in the rich tapestry of life.

Papaya for breakfast.  What a great breakfast fruit with some fresh lemon squeezed on.  The papaya here is the best I have tasted since Nigeria.

After breakfast, I picked up the anchor and sailed across to Maalaea Harbour to see if they had a transient berth available.  I didn’t like the look of the place so headed back out and down the coast towards Mc Gregor Point past some lovely secluded sandy beaches.  At Mc Gregor point the wind switched from fifteen knots to zero, you could clearly see the wind line on the water.

My next stop was Lahaina Harbour.  I poked my nose in, its quite tight inside, not much room to turn around.  I tried call in the harbourmaster but the office is shut until Monday.  I will call again, I hope they have a berth available for a couple of nights.  The town from the sea looks great and I would like to spend some time there.

This evening I anchored at Mala, just along the coast from Lahaina.  As soon as I had anchored an American couple arrived, Hayden and Marina, in an inflatable, asking if I needed anything and offered to run me ashore to the shops.  They had watched me sail into the anchorage and seen the New Zealand flag.  I happily accepted their offer for a run ashore and now have fresh milk, cheese, eggs, fruit and veg on board.  The fruit and veg here is awesome, looks like it’s just been collected from the garden and tastes wonderful.

I will cook something delicious and fresh tonight and then plan to watch Salmon fishing in Yemen.  Sounds bizarre.

NO MORE BACK TO WALL

Strong winds and rain in the early hours is becoming a tiresome habit.  This morning at one the rain squalls came through the harbour and the anchor must have dragged through the soft mud, leaving Truce far too close for comfort off the harbour wall.  Fortunately, the wind decreased and everything remained safe until daylight.  Now I know how it feels to have your back to the wall.

After suffering interrupted sleep two nights in a row I decided that I had enough of Radio Bay and Hilo.  In the early morning I made preparations to leave.  The forecast is for strong North Westerly winds, twenty-five to thirty knots.  They will be aft of the beam so nothing too strenuous.

I have decided to make the jump across from the Big Island to Maui.  It’s one hundred miles to Maui and entails crossing the Alinuihaha Channel, a notoriously windy place where the trade wins are funnelled between ten thousand foot mountains on one side and five thousand foot mountains on the other.

By eight I was clear of Hilo harbour and motoring up the north coast of the Big Island, no wind but a lumpy sea and big swell.  By eleven the wind had set in and we were sailing in beautiful conditions along the coast.  What a lovely coastline, the vegetation is vivid green, houses dotted on the hillsides, some large houses with well-manicured gardens and lawns.  As the land rises back from the coast it is covered by clouds, nothing can be seen of the mountains beyond.  Further up the coast we passed the Waipio Valley, a spectacular stretch of high rugged coastline.

We are aiming for La Perouse Bay on the south side of Maui.  This is the first sheltered anchorage after crossing the Alinuihaha Channel from the Big Island.   All being well we should be there in the early hours of Saturday morning, safely anchored.  I am looking forward to Maui, everyone says it’s a beautiful place.