Monday, December 13, 2010

2. Maui....


Mmmmmm Maui! Well there we were anchored in Makena, a quiet little bay on Maui, with the small deserted island Molokini a few hours sail away. I had read up about that sunken crater and badly wanted to go snorkeling there. David said we would go the day after tomorrow after a good nights rest and a snorkel Makena bay. It was somewhat disappoining the next day. Not much to see at all, other than an eagle ray and a turtle and so now I was even more keen to do Molokini. Another boat had arrived and so we swam over to him and invited him over for sundowners, he was Larry and his boat was called Skimmer.

The clouds had been building since about midday and it started to rain at about 4.30 and the wind had got up to 15 knots..ish and then just after 5pm the charter cat, that was anchored nearby, left. The wind was building rather rapidly. Realising that that charter cat was a locally run boat and so the skipper probably knew something we didn't, we radioed Larry on Skimmer and called off the sundowners, having decided to leave. He told us he had too. Skimmer was really being thrown about we wondered if he was going to be OK. The wind was between 15 and 22 knots and gusting, Puddytat was on a lea shore and was dragging. To get to safety we had one of our 30hp engines on at 2500rpm and the genoa out, but partially reefed, and Puddytat pounded her way almost directly into wind, waves, (that were building up fast,) rain and a lot of spray. We occasionally took green water over the bows too. It creamed and frothed its way over the coach roof into the cockpit and over me as I was helming. The wind got upto 33knots at one time but Puddytat ( still with her old name of Malachi ) handled it all with aplomb. Keeping Puddytat at a steady speed of 5kts the whole way, eventually at about 10.30pm the anchor was dropped in Wainanukole Anchorage and we collapsed into bed. It had been a hard 5 hours for me behind the wheel. Molokini was way back behind us and it was very unlikely that we would go back there, so I was rather sad.

The next morning we woke up to sunny, almost windless, conditions. The area that Puddytat was anchored in was a shred of beach and not much else. It was lovely and peaceful. Every now and then we would hear voices and there would be a few surfers standing on their boards paddling casually and chatting away. They wove gently around us and off to their chosen surfing spot.

A few days later, deciding that we should go into town, the anchor was lifted and Puddytat sailed over to Lahaina, about half an hour away, where we picked up a mooring ball in front of the Yacht Club. Soon, under our feet was that hard stuff called terrafirma, and our eyes were feasting on wonderful sights like, ''The Largest Banyan Tree in the World!'' I kid you not! It takes up a whole block. After checking in at the Lahaina Yacht Club about the mooring ball and to get temporary membership, we sheltered under the Banyan Tree's cool shade while doing our own surfing. Yes, as usual, stacks of emails to answer. By the way the mooring ball was free of charge, what a lovely surprise!

Yup, this is one tree and it's over 120 years old!!

I just had to add this picture of one of the sunsets...just so beautiful.

Then a few days later the VOG arrived from Big Island...that's the sun you're looking at..time to leave I think. It must be awful on Big Island. VOG? what's VOG? didn't I tell you, sorry, it's 'Volcanic Fog'. It's thick and it makes you feel very lethargic and headachy.

A little later, feeling hungry, we wandered off to the Yacht Club to have some lunch. It's a known thing that Yacht Club food is always better than any resturant in town and cheaper too! Later, fully stuffed to the gills we decided to return to Puddytat. The town is quaint and full of tourists. We had had enough of the crowds and were tired, hot and ready for a nap. On reaching the dinghy we realised that we were not going home anytime soon. The whole thing had deflated because one of its seams had burst. Like I said earlier, the town is quaint, it's not set up with a place that sells inflatable dinghy repair kits. How was this to be solved?

David being the type of fellow who thinks laterally, went off to a hardware store and managed to find some regular contact adhesive. He slapped that on hoped for the best. We walked around asking everyone we saw if they had a pump. Eventually we borrowed two ( to have more fitting options), as it turned out they both worked. The dinghy was pumped up and motored to Puddytat, after going back to the Yacht Club and asking them to keep our computers overnight, not wanting them to go for a swim if the seam popped again on the way back to the boat. Amazingly, the seam stayed shut and we made it back to Puddytat dry. Mike our new friend told us about JB Weld, he uses it on his dinghy. He swore by it, so the next day David bought some which was just as well because when we got back to the dinghy it was flat again. The same seam had gone. So David used the new stuff and it really is excellent. The dinghy was pumped up and we were on our way in about 15mins. This time our own pump was with us. The problem is, it is so hot at midday that unless the dinghy is deflated a little in the morning, the air pressure in the tanks increases so much that the old seams can't cope.

We needed to go inland to collect a Pelican two seater Kayak that had been bought with the boat, but you can't hire a truck. We were asking around and chatting to other cruisers when our new friend Mike said that he had a truck and if it was topped up with fuel by us, we could take it to collect the kayak. YAY! We made plans and a few days later we were on our way, armed with maps and directions to the previous owner's daughter's home. It wasn't difficult to find.

On the way there we took the opportunity to do some sight seeing, and took a different route on the way back to catch some more sights. The road climbed 'til we were driving on a plateau where a lot of farming was going on. It was cooler up here and the soil was 'rich looking' and dark. The farming must be good. We also took the car part way down a coast road to no-where ...the Hana Highway!! through the Koolua Forest Reserve ... It had amazing views over the rugged coastline.

After thanking the people who had helped us and saying goodbye to all at the yacht club we set sail for Molokai'i. The locals had told us that the winds between these islands was a little stiff, that we should expect 30 to 40 duly warned, off we went. The idea was to sail up the island to the Northern most tip and stop in a bay there called Honolua Bay for the night and then do the ''crossing'' the next day. HAH!
The best laid plans do tend to go awry! We decided to test out just how strong the winds were, We could see the line on the water where the wind started and bracing ourselves, sailed into it. The wind crashed into us and if she could have heeled, Puddytat would have been on her side! But instead what happened was, our mainsail got torn. A strip, at least a meter long, right along the edge, (the leach,) about three quarters the way up. The wind was blowing at least 35knots. It was an amazing experience to go from wind of 10 to 35kts in so quick a time, and to realise that the locals were not kidding saying that this wind is always like that. Tacking about and heading for the shoreline towards where a few boats were at anchor, we escaped and soon got into protected waters where the wind dropped to about 10 knots again. The anchor was dropped just North of Black Rock shortly after lunch time, so I prepared some food and whilst eating we discussed our sail repair plan.

We dropped the sail onto the deck, measured and cut new sail cloth, three layers of it. These I managed to sew together with the sewing machine. It needed to be over a meter long and about 8inches wide at it's widest point. Then it had to be folded over the edge (creating a new edge to that part of the sail), encasing the leach rope, and then to sew by hand, the two sides together through some original sail. It took us that afternoon and the whole of the next day to get the job done.

During our work in the morning, we noticed a few Catamarans actually beach the bows of their boats onto the local beach and people climbing on. Then in the late afternoon they came back and did the same so that the people could get off again.

Hmmmm wonder where they've been? The following morning we sailed, close to shore, up the coast to our proposed anchoring spot, Honolua Bay. In the distance a whale breached and splashed back into the's always ''in the distance'' sigh...

What an idyllic spot! The wind was racing out there yet in the bay it was calm. The water was as usual, crystal clear and we just couldn't wait to go snorkeling. We snorkeled for about an hour and a half, seeing all kinds of fish and more than a few turtle. These chaps seemed to be snoozing in the sandy bottom, sweet. One thing we found amusing was the tourist boats...three of them arrived, which made the anchorage very tight as there wasn't much sand to drop your hook in. Anyway they must have had about 50 people on each of their boats, all jumping into the water to go for a snorkel. They pull in, drop anchor, people go swimming for a while, get out and eat a bun, drink a coke, go for another quick snorkel, if there's time and then off they go, back to land where the day before we had seen these same catamarans beaching their bows on the sand and
loads of people getting off. SO now... Hmmmm I knew where they had spent their day.

That evening we had the bay to ourselves, there were some campers on the beach in amongst the trees, but basically we were alone. It was heaven!

The next morning at peaceful. The sun came up and revealed the surrounding country side...calm and green.

A little later, just after sunrise, up came the anchor and Puddytat headed for Molokai'i......

No comments:

Post a Comment