Tuesday, December 17
We were motoring along in the calm hours of the morning, anxious to cross the Pailolo channel between Maui and Molokai before it got too windy. About an hour before reaching Lahaina I saw something yellow floating in the distance. At last, we'd found a kayak! It was only a short, hard plastic, kid's kayak but maybe it could float me. John fished it out of the water and it fit perfectly on Nakia. I began to have visions of paddling around quiet anchorages when John made a call on the VHF radio in a half-hearted attempt to find the owner. A charter operator came back with the possibility that it had come from a nearby camp. John Googled the camp name on his phone and gave them a call. He was routed to their kayak guy who said it wasn't theirs but it might be his buddy Chris'. John called Chris who correctly identified the kayak and agreed to meet us at the Lahaina harbor entrance by paddling out on his SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard). While John stressed about being delayed an hour over the whole thing (and running into too much wind in the channel) I was excited about the happy ending of reuniting the wayward kayak with its anxious owner.
The wind did pick up and we had a good sail across with the added bonus of a pair a whales breaching and crashing back into the water with splashes you couldn't miss. We ended up sailing right out of the wind line and motored into the familiar waters of Kaunakakai Harbor. I was dismayed to find four tired looking sailboats (one dismasted) on permanent moorings plus a large orange mooring buoy reserved for the Molokai Princess ferry. But three of them were far back in shallow water and we managed to tuck into a spot between S/V Koa Kahiko and the MKP ferry buoy.
We took the bikes in to lock them up on shore and to check things out. The harbor master's office was already closed for the day but John took one of the self-pay envelopes back to the boat with us. One nice surprise was to find that anchoring at Molokai is still a bargain at .10/foot plus $2 per person per night, or about $2 less than it costs us to stay at Radio Bay. On the downside the public bathrooms are worse at Molokai and we obviously can't run water or electricity to the boat at anchor like we can at RB. When we got the seldom used checkbook out to pay we discovered that the last check we wrote was also to DNLR for anchoring at Molokai on 1/4/11! It has taken us seven years to write 24 checks...