Monday, May 15, 2006

Molokai Part 3


On Monday morning, we got up a little after 6:00 am. Although it rained pretty hard during the night, we stayed nice, warm, and dry. Staying dry when you’re trying to sleep does make a world of difference. It’s not at all under rated. Prior to this, I forgot to reset the trip data on the GPS. (I remember the first time I heard the acronym GPS. It was in the late 50’s and it stood for gray plastic sextant. A global positioning system was completely unknown) I didn’t have the directions but Bill figured it out previously. We are not sure how many miles we had sailed but I figured it was at least 60 miles from Kaneohe to Kaunakakai. We also sailed another 12 to 14 miles from Kaunakakai to Hale O Lono Harbor.

We took down the tarp, lowered the pop top, started the engine, and cast off. There was very little wind which is not unusual early in the morning on the lee side of the islands. The weather forecast was for easterly trade winds, 15 mph off shore, and 10 mph in the channels. I thought this was rather odd as it normally would have been 20 mph in the channels. I considered raising the working jib but decided to believe the weather repart. I got the mainsail and a drifter ready. A drifter is a jib (front sail) that is cut for use in really light winds. I did have the regular working jib set up as well, in case we needed to make a sail change.

We pulled up the anchor and started out of the harbor. As soon as we cleared the harbor, we hoisted the sails. When we were about a mile out, we turned right, and headed for Laau Point. I normally stay further off shore than is absolutely necessary as a precaution. Reefs in Hawaii can extend out fairly far. The charts don’t show that for this section but I like an extra margin of safety.

The weather was slightly overcast and the wind was light. We motor sailed down the coast. During this time I put out the hand lines and fishing poles with light lures. I was hoping we would get lucky and perhaps pick up some small tuna on the way home. As we neared the point, we could see a sailboat that had been wrecked on the side of the cliff several years ago. It must have been washed up on a pretty big wave because it is completely out of the water, at least 15’ to 20’. While nearing the point, we saw 2 of the fishing boats that were at Hale O Lono pass us and head towards Honolulu.

Bill asked me if I could see Oahu. I told him yes and no. Although I couldn’t see the island, I did see the tell tale cloud formations. The ancient Hawaiians were incredible navigators. They could tell a lot from the direction of different waves, the direction certain birds flew in the evening, cloud formations, types of seaweed and other flotsam, as well as the stars. They were routinely navigating over long open oceans a thousand years before anyone else in recorded history did so. What is also remarkable is that they didn’t use a compass. Clouds above islands have a different shape and can be fairly easy to see a long way off if the conditions are right.

After passing Laau Point, we turned off the engine and came slightly to the right. The wind started picking rather quickly, over 15 mph within a few minutes. It became obvious that the drifter was not going to work. By this time the waves were up to 4 to 6 feet and building. Bill went forward and lowered the drifter. Although he did everything he could to keep it from going in the water, the conditions were such that without another person, we had no choice. He pulled the sail out and handed it to me. He then set the regular jib. By then he was starting to get seasick. I’m not sure if he took a seasick pill prior to going to bed and again before leaving or not. Usually that will work for most people. However, sometimes when you’re on the front deck and having to focus your eyes on close objects, it can upset the equilibrium. Anyway, he came back into the cockpit with a splitting headache. He decided to go below and lie down.

Shortly after this a whale jumped completely out of the water about 75 yards in front of the boat. This is called breaching. No one knows why they do this but it is not at all uncommon. I modified our course to give him room. A couple minutes later, I saw him breach again, this time about 100 ft in front of the boat. He made a huge splash. The wind and waves were too much for me to hear him hit the water. I changed course the other way. A few minutes later, I saw a whale blowing a couple hundred yards behind the boat. I didn’t see any more whales this trip. I couldn’t complain much though, we were certainly had our share of wonderful experiences and then some! Not long after that, I could start to see the island of Oahu.

The wind and the waves continued to increase and it wasn’t long before the winds were gusting at 25 mph and the seas were running over 10 ft. The Kaiwi Channel has a big bank stretching off the island for several miles into the channel. The current there usually goes against the wind waves which causes them to build bigger and steeper than normal. This will cause waves to break in mid ocean. We also had about a 3 to 4 ft north to north west swell coming against us from the right side of the bow. The wind was coming from behind us (stern) and off to the right side of the boat.

I checked the GPS for both direction and speed. It showed we were right on course and that our speed was well over hull speed (6 mph) a lot of the time. As the wind and waves increased, the boat was heeled over almost all the time, sometimes over 45 degrees. The boat would really take off on some of the waves. By then the wind was over 20 mph and gusting well over 25 mph much of the time.

While we were sailing home, I noticed that the fishing lines had become tangled. Unfortunately, Bill was too seasick and the conditions were too rough for me to do anything about it. I was constantly steering to keep the boat on course. With the wind and sea conditions, the boat would tend to round up into the wind. It wasn’t at all easy to keep control and the boat did turn into the wind several times. About that time we took the first of 3 waves over the back of the boat. The first one knocked the right stern of the boat without any warning. Even though the boat was well heeled over, I got soaked. I estimated that we took a little over 5 gallons of water into the cockpit, which quickly ran out through the drain holes. It really surprised me.

By this time, the boat was surfing down some of the waves at almost 10 mph. I even saw a little over that on the GPS. The noise while surfing down the waves was like a loud roar. The boat would actually start the wave to break if it wasn’t doing so already. It was great sailing.

At about 11:30 AM, as we passed Makapuu Point, the wind and seas started to decrease. We were out of the channel. Even so, we continued to make really good time. I made a call to my wife to let her know that we were making good time and that we would be in about 4 pm or so. I really thought we would be in earlier but I didn’t want to have them hang around waiting for me at the boat harbor.

I set a course which would take us between Moku Manu and Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station. It has a steep cliff and we started to pick up a large back swell off the cliffs. We continued to make pretty good time although we were rocking rather violently at times. Shortly after passing Mokapu Point, Bill got up. He still wasn’t feeling well but he was up and wanted to take the helm. I felt really bad for him as I knew how much he was looking forward to sailing the boat back. He picked up a lot pretty quickly and I know he would really have enjoyed the trip back if he had not been so sick. At about 2 PM, we were outside of Kaneohe Bay. The weather looked as though we might get rained on so we pulled out our jackets. I called my wife to let her know we would be in the slip in a half hour. We started the engine and motor sailed through the channel. As soon as we were inside the bay, the rains came. (I found out later they had some real heavy showers and several people were worried about us). We motored in the slip. My daughter showed up about 10 minutes later. We took most of the things and loaded up the car.

I knew we were really making good time coming back. The GPS showed that we sailed 50 miles in 7.5 hours, which averaged about 6.4 mph. In addition, it showed our maximum speed was 16.2 mph! That must have been some wave, perhaps even a combination of waves.

Over the next couple of days, I thought a lot about the trip. Se had a great trip. I really enjoyed my time with Bill. Like almost all of my trips, it was an experience I will never forget. My legs were really sore as though I did too many squats. With the sea condition and being so far heeled over, I really gave them a workout.

I have another planned in a few weeks with a couple friends who want kayak with the whales and also kayak down the North Shore of Molokai. If that comes together, I may have a much longer saga!

Molokai Part 2


All of the islands have an alternate name. Molokai is known as The Friendly Isle (http://molokai.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/molokai/). The atmosphere is pretty laid back. There are no shopping malls, stop lights, Mc Donalds, or the like. It reminds me of the Hawaii I knew while growing up in the 1950’s. The island is about 33 miles long and 15 miles wide at its widest point. The north shore has the tallest sea cliffs in the world and some of the most stunning scenery to be found anywhere. There are several valley’s there with magnificent waterfalls, one of which is 1800 feet tall. There are several islets. It is not uncommon to see goats along to cliffs. Many different sea birds also nest on those cliffs. The fishing is great. It is supposed to be one of the most breath taking kayak trips as well. Prior to sailing to Molokai, Bill and I discussed whether we should sail to Kaunakakai via the North Shore. It would have made for over a 90 mile sail. Unfortunately, there was a slight chance of thunder showers forecast and we decided to go directly to Kaunakakai. If the weather turned bad, we wanted to be in a harbor ASAP. For photos and more information, on the north shore please check out (http://www.search.com/search?tag=se.sr.box.main.search&channel=1&q=molokai+north+shore)

After we got up, we sort of straightened up the boat and motored over to the pier by the launching ramp. We went over to the harbor agents’ office and took care of the bill. The harbor master said we could use the loading dock. I wanted to use another place by the launching ramp but there was a catamaran there and we were just too close for comfort. Anyway, the rates are very economical and came to a paltry $14. This covers the boat and live aboard. We could have anchored out for slightly less. Unfortunately, the bathrooms were being renovated so we had to use the outdoor showers by the swimming area. It was overcast and the water wasn’t at all warm but it still felt great. During previous trips, I remember really warm showers in the afternoon, which felt wonderful. I can’t describe what a shower feels like at that point except to say it is Good with a capitol G. Although the channel crossing was calm, we both felt like we were still moving on the boat. If we had to take a field sobriety test, both of us would have failed. Neither of us could walk a straight line. That was a new feeling to Bill but I have felt it many times before. It lasted the rest of the day except when we were on the boat or riding in a car.

We walked to town, Kanakakai (http://molokai.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/kaunakakai/). Kaunkakai has several stores for groceries, dry goods, sporting goods, novelty shops, etc. It was Saturday morning and we checked out the local swap meet that was in progress. There were some really nice vegetables, artwork, household goods, clothing, etc, all with a local flair. We ate breakfast at Kanemitsu’s, which is the local bakery and is famous for sweet bread. My family had informed me not to bother coming back if I didn’t bring them some. (I think they were teasing, or at least I hope they were) The bakery is like an old fashioned, country style diner. It’s kind of dark inside but the food is good, and the people are warm and friendly. Bill had the French toast, which was made using the sweetbread. I think we were both so tired and hungry that I think anything would have tasted grea,t but he really thought it was special. From 10:30 pm to 3:30 am, you can walk down a rather dark alley on the side of the bakery. If you knock on the door, someone will open up and you can buy “hot”, and I do mean “hot” fresh bread. It comes plain or with butter, cinnamon, or strawberry jam. It’s actually one of the featured events for tourists although it is frequented by the “locals” as well. During a previous trip, my wife and I picked up 2 loaves of bread, one for her and one for me. We took them down to the harbor, watched the ocean and the boats, talked, and ate hot bread. What a treat!

I was hoping to rent a car from a friend of mine but they were out. We got a car from someone else. We immediately noticed we didn’t feel like we were moving on a boat when riding in the car. The first thing we did was go to the coffee farm. Mule Skinners Coffee is really good and they have bags for sale. They had a couple of local folks playing real Hawaiian music. I must say they were quite good. We sampled all the coffee’s and did get something to drink. It is a quaint little place with a whole lot of charm. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to stay there.

We then drove up to the lookout for Kalaupapa, which is the leper colony. It has a fabulous view although it was a bit overcast when we were there. There is also a stable where you can actually ride a mule down to Kalaupapa with a tour. There are plaques with some of the history of Kalaupapa. The altitude is a couple thousand feet and it is very lush and green. There are a couple of parks there and we saw several families enjoying the out doors. The forest has an exotic fragrance with the slash pines and eucalyptus trees. The air is fresh and invigorating.

From there we took off to the town of Maunaloa on the North West side of the island. It is cattle country and the pastures were green at the higher elevations. At one time the town of Maunaloa was a typical plantation town with a couple stores. Today, it still has a for real general store, theaters, specialty kites, etc. It also has a world class lodge with a restaurant to match. The lodge sits back from the road and is surrounded by tall northern pine trees.

We then drove down to Hale O Lono Harbor. At the lower elevations, it is desert with a lot of keawe trees. Keawe is very similar to Mesquite. It makes great charcoal for cooking and smoking. The road is crushed coral and is about 10 miles long. On a clear day you can see the islands of Oahu and Lanai, It has no electricity or any amenities. Most boats tie up “Tahiti style” which is with the bow next to the dock and the stern (back of the boat) anchored out in the harbor. The harbor is a well known spot for boats to spend the weekend. It is also the place where the Molokai to Oahu canoe place takes place every year. They have separate races for both men and women. It is truly the world series of canoe racing with entries from around the world. The race itself is bout 44 miles long and is completed in less than 6 hours. http://www.hawaiiweb.com/molokai/html/sites/hale_o_lono_harbor.html.

On the way back we drove by the Kaluakoi Resort, which has a beautiful golf course. We also drove to the end of the road and checked out several of the small bays. The bays are very small and some have beaches. We also kept a sharp lookout for deer that come down to drink water and get salt. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any. On past trips, I did see some just before dark. They are very shy and stay near cover.

We got back to Kaunakakai about 5:30 pm and had dinner at the Molokai Pizza Café. Bill decided to have the special of the day, fresh mahimahi (dolphin fish). I had a bacon mushroom burger. It was so big that I could only eat half of it but Bill finished it later at the boat. The food was really good and the service warm and attentive. Most folks were dressed really informally with shorts and t-shirts.

We returned to the boat and found that another sailboat had pulled in. The owner, Captain Dan, had sailed over from Malaea Bay on Maui. He had originally sailed it from Washington State several years earlier. There was another guy, “Stretch” who owned 2 boats in the harbor, one of which he had sailed extensively throughout the south Pacific. He was concerned that with the tides and surge we were a little too close to his boat. After moving the boat a couple feet, we continued to interact with them. In all my years of cruising, I have had so many memorable encounters with people at the docks and this was no different. We eventually settled in and did a little fishing. Bill had a pretty good bite and lost his hook. I suspect it was a balloon fish. They have quite a beak that can cut the leader with no trouble. We didn’t fish very long and went to sleep quite early. I chose to sleep on deck while Bill decided to go below. I much prefer to sleep outdoors where I can feel the wind and see the stars.

Both Bill and I slept really well on the boat. On Sunday morning, I got up early enough to see the ferry leaving at about 5:30 am. At about 7:30, I saw several whales breaching off shore. I got Bill up but unfortunately they had stopped. We got ready and headed out to the East Shore. We had a nice breakfast on the way at a small little drive and convenience store. The food was quite good.

After that we continued to Halawa Valley at the end of the road. It was somewhat overcast but still very beautiful. The road is very windy and narrow. It eventually becomes so narrow that there is no centerline. Along the way we could see the islands of Lanai, Kahoolawe, and Maui. The shoreline is very scenic at places and is right on the water (I mean a few feet, literally). Along the way, we saw several ancient Hawaiian fish ponds, some if which are restored. There are numerous bays with some very quaint houses. The road finally goes up through some mountains and ends up at Halawa Valley where there is an amazing scenic lookout. The valley has 2 great water falls and the river that flows into the ocean is cold. I have seen surfers out in the bay almost every time I’ve been there and this day was no different. I was a little concerned because the water was somewhat muddy. Surfing in such conditions can be hazardous due to sharks. http://molokai.aloha-hawaii.com/hawaii/molokai/ This web site also has some other good links.

Later in the morning we drove back to Kaunakakai and returned the car. A little after 2:00 pm we cast off and left Kaunakakai for Hale O Lono Harbor. We left Kaunakakai at about 2:30 pm and sailed to Hale O Lono Harbor, a distance of about 12 miles. We hoisted a full main and the working jib. On the way out the channel, we saw some whales on towards Lanai. The wind was building and was gusting at about 25 mph. We started towards the whales but saw some others that were closer, and more towards the direction we needed to go. Frankly, I can’t remember all the whales we saw. There were just too many sightings.

The wind was behind us and the gps showed we were making over 6 mph at times. Within about 15 minutes, we got into the area where we saw the whales. There was another power boat also whale watching. We kept a respectful distance as is required. However, 3 whales surfaced about 50’ off the port (left) side. They were going the same direction we were and stayed with us for about 15 minutes. Without the engine running, we could clearly hear their blows, even though the wind was quite loud. We were given quite a show.

We continued on down the coast seeing many whales. Another whale surfaced about 50 yards away. He showed us his complete tail flukes.

The wind continued to build and we were encountering about a 4 ft steep chop. It was steep enough that waves were breaking. This pushed the boat along quite nicely. Bill alternated between taking pictures and steering the boat. We could hear the waves breaking without any trouble. The boat handled well but we did have to stay on top of it to keep the boat from rounding up into the wind or having and accidental jibe. Rounding up is when the boat turns towards the wind. Sails are like airplane wings, which have lift. A jibe is when the wind is behind you but changes from one side to the other. When that happens, the boom that is connected to the main sail, goes from one side to the other. During an accidental jibe, the boom and go across the boat with amazing speed and force. Anyone who is in the way will get hurt and/or knocked off the boat. It can also damage the boat. Although we tried to stay on course, we encountered different size waves at the same time and we did round up several times. We also had a couple of accidental jibes. We were surfing some of the waves, which creates its own bow wave. At times, we heard a roar form as the boat created its own wave while surfing down a wave well over its hull speed of 6 mph.

We heard what sounded like a real big wave breaking behind us. Both of us turned around to see a whale that surfaced well less than 20 ft behind the boat. He was moving fast and the water turned green and “boiled” around him. They have really good “sonar” and hearing. It’s very unusual to surprise them but that’s what I thought happened. I can’t say it scared me but it did startle both of us.

Further down the coast we came upon a couple of whales that were surfacing in unison. I noticed that the backs and blows of one of them was much smaller. These were 2 mother whales with their young. We altered course slightly to give them a lot of room. However, one of them was going the same direction we were and swam along side for at least a couple of miles. I found this really thrilling. They finally crossed our bow a couple miles before we reached Hale O Lono Harbor.

The harbor itself seemed closer to Laau Point than I remembered and I took down the jib (front sail) a bit too early. The wind had dropped to about 15 mph and it was very pleasant sailing, if a bit slow. It certainly was not exhilarating like we had earlier. We continued down the coast and saw the breakwater quite clearly. Although it has no channel markers, there is a red marker on the right side, a green marker on the left side, and range markers. Most major channels have these range markers. One is always taller than the other so all we had to do was line them up so it looks like one marker. The red marker or buoy is always on the right (RRR = Red Right Returning). Just before reaching the harbor, I started the engine. We motor sailed into the harbor and then dropped the mainsail.

Hale O Lono does have a lot of surge in the harbor. It has less on the far east side which is where we went. I lined us up straight for the end of the dock and dropped the anchor about 40 yards away. Bill was concerned that our anchor was too far out so I explained that the anchor can drag and if it does, it may come a lot closer to the boat before it catches. We went into the dock and tied up without incident.

We squared away the boat and I walked down to the showers. Unfortunately, the water has been turned off to the harbor. Undeterred, I then went over to the beach and took a swim.

We opened a couple of canned goods and ate right out of the cans for dinner. I think we had some ravioli. We also had some crackers and cookies. That is what cruising dinners are suppose to be. It never ceases to amaze me how good they are. It sounds lousy and I don’t think I would like it at home but after being on the water for a few hours, it can really hit the spot.

We put out a couple fishing poles. I think we got one bite but didn’t catch anything. We were tired and planned to get to sleep rather early.

I set up the boat to sleep on deck again. After seeing a 2nd lightning flash, I decided to sleep down below in the cabin. We put a tarp over the pop top and cabin hatch so we could at least have some good ventilation. It was a good thing too because the rains really came down hard.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Molokai Part 1


I have a Cal 25 that I really enjoy. Previously I had a Cal 2-24 with which I made about 3 dozen outside island trips to Molokai, Lanai, and Maui. I had also previous done trips on other peoples' boats to all the major Hawaiian Islands. The Cal 25 is as its name says; it’s 25 feet long. It has a displacement hull, which means that its maximum speed is about 6 mph. Going faster than that will cause the boat to ride deeper in the water. It takes a lot more energy to make it go faster than that. If you’re interested in knowing more about these fantastic boats, please log onto http://www.cal25.com/. There is a lot of information and pictures of the boats. There is even a story about an 1100-mile trip.

Some of you may know that I have been trying to sail to Molokai for over a year; however, something always seem to go wrong, crew got sick or had emergencies, weather, etc. Well finally, it came together. A friend of mine from my church, Bill, and I made it. Bill is in the U.S. Air Force and in his early 20’s. Although he has come out with me a couple of times, this was his first major sail. Anyway, it’s whale season right now. These are Humpback whales that spend the summer in Alaska and then travel to Hawaii to have their young and mate. Fully grown they can be over 60 feet and weigh several tons. They are especially known for “singing”. In Hawaii there are a lot of whale watching tours. The rules require that we stay at least 100 yards from them. However, they often come closer or even surface very close. Here are a couple of links if you’re interested in more information about these remarkable creatures. www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/humpback/ , www.earthtrust.org/wlcurric/whales.html

On Friday evening, we left Heeia Kea Harbor in Kaneohe Bay for Kaunakakai, Molokai. The trip is over 60 miles although the closest distance from Oahu to Molokai is about 26 miles. We left about 5:30 pm, before dark. I don’t like navigating Kaneohe Bay at night with all the reefs, especially since there are several turns to make.

Anyway, we motor sailed out the Sampan Channel and turned east towards Moku Manu, which is an island a couple miles outside of Kaneohe Marine Corp Air Station. Motor Sailing is using the engine with the sails. There are several reasons for this but it does help make better speed, especially when winds are really light. Just about sunset, we were visited by a couple of whales. Unfortunately, it was a little too dark to get any good pictures. After that, Bill took the helm. We continued and passed Moku Manu about 2 miles outside. The ocean was really calm. There was a small 3–4 feet north swell that helped push us along. We were able to sail a couple of miles in very light winds. The night was clear and we could see a lot of stars. I set the engine to run on a fairly slow speed and we were making about 5 mph. The entire coastline of Oahu was well lit up and we could easily make out Makapu’u Point Light House. Makapu’u Light House sits up on a cliff. It is a really good lighthouse and can be seen for miles at sea. It was dark enough that we could make out a lot of bio-luminescence. These are plankton that when stimulated glow in the dark. The spray, bow waves, and wake of the boat created a lot of this and it was very pretty.

As we neared Makapu’u Point, we could see a lot of the airplanes both inbound and outbound to and from the mainland. The inbound planes were much closer to Oahu. The outbound planes were further out in the channel. We reached Makapu’u Point about 9:30 pm at which point I called my family. I changed over from the 3-gallon fuel tank to the 6 gallon but noticed that the 3-gallon tank was still really full. Bill had the watch and we switched off on the helm a couple of times during the night. We continued across the Molokai Channel, called the Kaiwi Channel, motor sailing. I was surprised that we could not see the town of Maunaloa on Molokai. We later learned that although the skies were clear where we were, the wind was turning south. The smoke from the volcano, called VOG, had already reached Molokai. They also had clouds. These two combined to obstruct our view for several hours. I though we should stay straight on our course.

I had sailed to Molokai many times from Honolulu and could see Molokai from the Diamond Head Buoy most of the time unless it was raining. During normal trade winds, the trick was to sail into the wind as close as possible (about 45 degrees) and when you see Molokai, adjust accordingly. Anyway, the angle from Kaneohe is different and there were no winds. I had purchased a really good hand held GPS with base maps a while ago. Bill made a check and advised that we needed to head about 10` to port (left). I was on a perfect course for Lanai but would have discovered the error a few hours later when we did see Molokai. Anyway, we made an adjustment and proceeded on a more direct course to Laau Point, which is the northwest point of Molokai.

Shortly after passing Makapuu Point, I took over the helm and Bill got some rest. The moon came up. The seas continued to really calm. The winds were really light and we couldn’t use them to help us. We had to go directly into them and the sails frequently flapped. There was very little traffic during the night. I saw a couple fishing boats that were stopped. They were probably bottom fishing. I also saw a tugboat pulling a barge. None of these were ever close to us. Although we had our running lights on, I also carried a couple of flashlights in the cockpit, which could be shined on the sails. That can be seen from a long way off.

We were still a good distance from Molokai when I spotted the town of Maunaloa off to our left. By then there were high-level clouds. After a while, I spotted the lighthouse at Laau Point. This lighthouse is a strobe and is very low to the water.

A little later, Bill took the helm and I got some rest. We rounded the point and turned slightly to port. It was important to stay a couple miles off the coast as the reef does go out a ways and there are no lights. There are few houses and no streetlights until you get to Kaunakakai, which you can see from Laau Point. Bill motor sailed the boat. He later told me that he was able to keep the sails filled and was making upwards of 7 mph at times. The wind was coming down from the mountains and I got really cold. I was able to get a little sleep bundled up in my jacket and sleeping bag.

At about 5:30 am, Bill woke me up. We were right out in front of Kaunakakai Harbor! He had seen the Molokai to Maui ferry leave the harbor and turn to our starboard (right). Normally I don’t go into harbors at night that I don’t use regularly but Kaunakakai is a wide channel and the range lights were easy to follow. There are no course changes required. The channel markers are well lit. There isn’t a lot of background “city lights” like Honolulu has that can be very confusing.

After taking down the sails, we started in. We were going really slow when a whale popped up less than 30 feet in front of the boat and stayed there. Bill was the first to see it. When he first pointed him out, I was looking further off. I couldn’t believe how close he was. We immediately veered off and he stayed really close to us. Even so, we came within 10 feet of that whale. I couldn’t help but feel this was a really special blessing and that we were being royally welcomed to Molokai. We got into Kaunakakai Harbor and anchored on the northwest side of the dock. We then slept for about 3 hours or so.

After we got up, I checked our gas situation. I have a Honda 8 HP, 4 stroke outboard. I had heard that they were really good on gas but I couldn’t believe it what I saw. We motor sailed for 12 hours and went over 60 miles on only 4 gallons of gas! I have to also credit the GPS as it kept us on course and I was able to set our speed. Because there was no guesswork on speed, I didn’t make the engine go faster than was necessary.

Part two coming up in a bit.