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Monday, April 14, 2014

Maui waypoints

The day after my aunt and uncle departed Hilo on the Star Princess we had a short weather window to get to Maui - with none to come in the foreseeable future. We spent the day doing last minute shopping and taking on water in the small boat basin at the Suisan fish market. We motored out of Hilo at 4:30 PM for the uneventful overnight to Maui. In our admittedly limited experience with anchoring at Maui, we have yet to become fans of the island as a cruising destination. This has only been further reinforced by our current visit, which has been during a period of strong trade winds.

We initially tried an anchorage north of Pu'u Ola'i Point off a black sand beach next to a golf course:

{GMST}20|38.436|N|156|27.008|W|Maui|Puu Olai north{GEND}

This became very unprotected as the afternoon wind picked up, and we moved around to the south to Oneloa, or Mckenna, Beach:

{GMST}20|37.858|N|156|27.024|W|Maui|Big Mckenna Beach{GEND}

After a rolly night in the swell we thought we'd better move up the coast towards Lahaina. Even though we got an early start just after sunrise we had a nasty motor sail into the wind to get across Ma'alaea Bay where the wind was honking. We were covered in salt spray by the time we anchored east of Olowalu three hours later:

{GMST}20|47.913|N|156|35.635|W|Maui|Olowalu east{GEND}

We had a nice day catching up on our sleep and watching rainbows come and go over the mountain before sunset. But mid-way into our evening the wind came up and we spent the rest of the night listening to more wind than we've experienced in a long time. It only seemed to be getting worse by morning so we decided to make a break for it. Getting the anchor off the bottom was a team effort as I had to drive the boat into the wind while John brought in the chain. As the chain piled up I'd run down below to knock over the pile and race back out to the cockpit to do some more driving. Fortunately we got out of there without injury or breakage.

We motored close to the beach to stay out of the fetch and searching for anything that seemed calmer. Four miles closer to Lahaina we thought we had a spot, but it became windier after only an hour so we pulled up and moved on towards Lahaina again. We are now south of Lahaina at what our cruising guide calls Waianukole or Lahaina East. It's basically an open roadstead like Lahaina itself but we aren't in a pack of moored boats or off the noisy city. Although it is right in front of the noisy road:

{GMST}20|50.805|N|156|39.568|W|Maui|Lahaina east{GEND}

Worried that the wind would come up as fiercely as it had the night before, John didn't deploy our rocker stopper last night. But when the wind doesn't blow steadily the swell rolls us from side to side, and we had another night of poor sleep. Today we've had some gusts but nothing like the past couple of days. Even with the rocker stopper we're rolling heavily in the swell. The winds are supposed to die down later in the week and we'll try to get to Molokai then. In the meantime we haven't been off the boat since we left Hilo five days ago. Oh well, at least the water is clear blue and warmer!

Ziggy sees a honu