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Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Hale o Lono Harbor, Molokai

Saturday, December 28

It was easy enough to motor the dozen or so early morning miles from Kaunakakai to Lono on the 24th. But getting the anchor set was a different story. Three times in three different places John dropped the anchor in the silty water and each time it dragged through what must be only dirt and sand on the bottom. Since we weren't getting anywhere with our primary anchor (a 45 lb. Delta) John decided to add a Fortress anchor in tandem. While we appear to have slipped back about 20' in the past few days, we are secure enough. The big wooden schooner that arrived a few hours after us has put out a line to shore in an attempt to keep in place. We're closest to the entrance where the effects of the swell are more noticeable, but our rocker stopper keeps us comfortable.

After putting another coat of varnish on the companionway doors (and realizing that meant we couldn't lock up the boat - oh well) we went out Christmas morning to hike up the hill (and through a gate posted Private Property) to the bluff overlooking the anchorage. From there we retraced our route and walked past the boats to the eastern beach. An older couple who had passed us on the dirt road earlier were set up for a day of fishing using their truck for shade. After seeing us gazing over the top of a locked gate to a road beyond, the man beckoned us over to tell us that we could access it more easily if we continued a bit farther along the beach. We appreciated his friendly assistance very much and found the road without any trouble.

This was a quiet walk through a forest of scrubby trees, but without any beach access until we reached an old camp of some sort. The largest building (which I had thought was a house when saw it from a distance in the boat) turned out to be an open kitchen and dining area. Half a dozen small sleeping sheds were scattered to either side of the main building. Constructed of wood, abandoned, and damaged by termites, it appears to have been a nice place for a hunting or fishing vacation long ago. Two large water cisterns are visible on the bluff across the dirt road, but plumbing, and even a septic tank, are now in ruins. Sadly we also found the bones and even some hide remaining on what were clearly a doe and small fawn laying next to each other by one of the sheds. A third skeleton was outside another shed.

Friday we struck out in the opposite direction towards the western point, walking the beach for awhile and then switching to a dirt road paralleling the beach. This was another mostly shady morning walk through a monotone of scrubby thorn trees, catching the briefest of glimpses at quail and cardinals. It was quiet, surprisingly free of trash, and the dried up mud was covered in deer tracks, with more bones along the side of the road. We counted three feral cats on this walk which made a total of four counting the one John saw earlier near the quay. Fresh paw prints ran the entire length of the beach as one of them must have made an early morning search for something to scavenge. From up on a bluff overlooking a cove we saw a sea turtle fighting the swell as it fed among the rocks.

The harbor was a very popular place for locals and tourists alike over the holiday but they were usually gone by mid-afternoon for the long drive back to Kaunakakai. It's a very peaceful place but after a few days there we were ready for the bright lights of the big city.

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