Kaunakakai – Molokini 14.08
Guess we can`t pass our last update here… or can we? Swimming with a manta ray at our anchorage – when can sailing in gale wind be good? Crossing the Alenuihaha Channel from Hawaii to Maui is the answer. Meeting and swimming with mrs green turtle on the north side of Maui, both in the afternoon and the next morning is pretty cool. Crossing the Pailolo channel between Maui and Molokai in 20-30 knots of breeze with a beer in the hand is also pretty OK – Meeting single canoes out there surfing at the same speed as us, 12 kts, is also quite hilarious!
The last day we had in Kailua Kona something happened with the water temperature. In the surface it came down to “freezing” 22 celcius (sorry, don`t know Fahrenheit). With that temperature, it suddenly gets crowded with krill and plankton, and Karl Otto which was on board when the girls were shopping got visited by a manta ray cruising the surface for lunch. These animals are always going to be cool to swim with!
Before crossing the Alenuihaha channel, which is the one with the worst reputation over here considering wind and wave conditions, we followed the coast north to Kawaihae harbor were we got in after dark, planning to anchor but we were very politely welcomed in to tie up alongside at a slip since it was pretty normal with drop winds up to about 40 knots offshore during the night. The Hawaiians we have met this far are probably the most hospitality people we have met on our trip – always serving us and offer the best!
Sailing in gale wind is something you never should do, if you are not in a race. At least that is one of our ways of life. This time we broke it. We knew we were going out on a forecast around 25 knots of wind which is what we got. Gusts at 41, wave height 2-4 m (6-12 feet) with tops at 5 m. We did actually have a knockdown heavy enough to grab our danbuoy (inflatable MOB) but we turned around and caught it – Real life exercise, which is not often you are doing!
We had a night stop outside Kihei, which one out of three on board (Karl Otto) thought was OK in heavy winds but flat water. It was just too much waves and wind at all other places and anchoring on offshore breeze, flat seas, seemed to be a better option than a rolly beach. Hawaiian cruising still is a challenge..
Next morning we put the nose north and found a fantastic bay – Honolua Bay. This is a “snorkelers paradise” which of course attracts charter boats and other visitors, but between 4 PM and 8 AM we had the place by ourselves. We had a great swim together with a green turtle that was feeding on the reef, both in the evening and the morning.
Crossing the Pailolo channel over to Molokai was as expected easy. One reef in the mainsail and heavy weather jib, wind speed between 20 and 30 knots. Don`t believe you can find better sailing conditions when you pair it up with sunshine and 30 degrees Celsius (sorry again about the Fahrenheit). However, on this trip we found a couple of canoe guys – yeah they were in the middle of the channel. They were almost keeping up the same speed as us, actually faster on their surfs than our 13 knots but in the long run we were somehow a bit faster. Incredible to see, and if you canoers are reading this – we have a lot of photos!
Hope we can get to rent a car tomorrow, and if we can we will go over to the north side of Molokai. We will hike down to the foreign lepera isolate and have a tour there. Stay tuned!