2007 Cruises


Pokai Bay, Oahu; November 10-12,'07


      For our last cruise of the year we planned to go to Hale'o Lono Harbor, Molokai, over the Nov.10-12 Veterans Day weekend.  At the Wednesday Skipper's meeting, Cruise leader Mike Salomon reported that the weather forecast was almost perfect for the channel crossing; a small swell and light but steady trades, strengthening slightly for the downwind return leg.  Yep - Perfect!  So we were "Go" for Molokai.
      But by Friday morning it was obvious that Mother Nature had played her little tricks and reversed everything.  Our scouts, Mike Mathews and Sam Holland, who went out ahead of the group, reported high winds and waves and confused seas in the Kaiwi Channel.  Not fun!!  So being the prudent group we are we changed to our alternate destination, Pokai Bay, Oahu.

Fleet; Alchemy, Seaquel, Symphoon and

 What started out as 7 boats became 4 participating boats:  Seaquel, Cruise Leaders Mike & Patti Salomon; Alchemy, Leon Fedenzcuk & his crew Dotty Bates, Leslie Moore, Rick Tudeur and Tom Gebhardt; Ricochet, Ralph & Jackie Sprague and guest crew member Edo Biagioni; and Symphoon, Skipper Scott Gilbert & crew Erick Cremer, both new members.  This was their first cruise with the group and also their first trip to Pokai Bay.
     The fleet departed Saturday morning under sunny skies, making our way west past Honolulu and toward Barbers Point.  With 15-20 knot trades we had a great sail downwind and were able to keep in sight of one another.  As sometimes happens, a friendly race developed, stirred on by some VHF banter between Seaquel and Alchemy ("Is that you, waaaay back there?").  Around Barbers Point Seaquel was in the lead with Alchemy catching up.  Suddenly Alchemy turned back; they had hooked a HUGH fish (or so they thought).  The fish took out all their line and bringing it in at the speed they were going was exciting.  Once the fish was landed the debate began; who among them had the expertise to fillet such a superb catch for sashimi?  Later it would be decided that Patti on Seaquel (who had been trained in this art by Skippers Restaurants) had the delicate knife skills needed.  After securing the fish they returned to their course and made good time up the Leeward Coast.

Tom, Leon, Rick and THE BIG FISH.

     We arrived at Pokai about 2:00 p.m., within minutes of each other. Seaquel entered the anchorage first, setting up for Alchemy and Symphoon to raft on either side; Ricochet opted to swing.  Soon crews hit the water for a cooling dip, followed by snacks (here's that sashimi as promised!), cocktails and relaxation.  About 6:00 p.m. everyone took the short dinghy ride to shore for dinner at the Waianae Beach Club Restaurant.  Having extensive knowledge of the quirks of Pokai beach landings, Seaquel's crew landed their dinghy on the quieter park end of the beach and walked the short distance up the beach.  The others opted to land directly in front of the restaurant, where the beach is steeper and has a bit rougher shore break.  After "Happy Hour" on the boat, landing a dinghy in the small shore break was tricky, providing some entertainment and wet bottoms (where's a camera when you need one!) but no real casualties.


In the restaurant we met up with Charter members Chuck & Dorothy Martin, who came down from their condo to join us for dinner.  It is always nice to see them.  They shared with us the new path they are embarking upon, selling their Hawaii property and moving off to Oregon.  We wish them well in this new chapter of their life, and will miss the enthusiasm and sense of fun they always brought to each group activity.  They promise to keep in touch. Godspeed to you, Dorothy and Chuck!!
      That brought our dinner party to 14 members, quite a group.  The restaurant staff was very accommodating and after some table arranging we were seated together.  On past cruises dining at the Waianae Beach Club Restaurant has been an adventure, and we were not disappointed.  This time we had a very long welcome (and life story) from a "slightly" inebriated Marine Veteran from 1946, in full uniform and celebrating Veterans Day.  Just like a pre-dinner show!  But even with misplaced orders and a very long wait for meals we were all finally fed, and there was plenty of time for friendly chatter.  The launch of dinghies in the dark for the return to the boats resulted in a few more dunkings in the shore break, and one dead cell phone.  Later, we agreed on the benefits of plastic baggies to the cruiser's life.  Nonetheless, everyone got safely home and we ended the evening in conversation and stargazing, followed by restful sleep.

Alchemy's Crew;  Leslie, Tom, Dotti, Rick and Capt. Leon.

 Sunday morning dawned clear and calm.  Usually, a cruiser's morning at anchor involves a leisurely wake up, a refreshing morning swim and coffee in the cockpit.  But on this morning Alchemy was slightly distressed when a full boat search failed to turn up the coffee pot!!  Patti on Seaquel answered their distress call with her low-tech drip method, and passed over enough coffee so that everyone got their fix.  Alchemy needed to depart for "Port Reality" (gotta go to work) and so after snorkeling and some breakfast they cast off their lines, pulled the anchor and sailed off about 11:30 a.m.  The crews on the remaining three yachts waved and wished them good sailing, then settled in to enjoy a relaxing day with swimming, reading and short excursions ashore.
     The day was finished off with a pot luck dinner aboard Seaquel.  We had lots of good food, conversation and healthy appetites.  Everyone contributed something to make it a success.  Of special note was Erick's home brewed beer, Jackie's sweet potato salad and Patti's BBQ chicken.  The atmosphere was perfect for swapping sea stories.  We all like to relate our adventures but it's a real treat when the "quiet guy" speaks up, and Ralph & Jackie surprised and regaled us with some of their sailing experiences.

 Symphoon's Skipper Scott Gilbert.

      Monday morning was an early wake up for Seaquel and Symphoon with all the bustle of preparing for the return to home port.  Fore and aft anchors came up with unexpected ease, and with a wave to Ricochet we were on our way by 7:30 am.  Ricochet followed about an hour later.  We expected light airs and were not disappointed, so it was a motor-sail on flat seas all the way home.
      Pokai Bay is a good cruise destination.  The sail can be easy or challenging, depending on sea conditions.  Stocking up can be more relaxed because provisions are nearby, and ice and water are readily available.  The beach sand is soft and fine and the water is clear and welcoming, with good snorkeling. There is usually a morning pod of dolphins at the entrance, and a turtle or two swimming about through the anchorage.  The fleet has been there several times now.  We always enjoy ourselves and look forward to a return visit.

Achemy Rafting to Seaquel Symphoon's Crew Erick Cremer
Ricochet's Skipper Ralph and crew Edo launch new dingy. Seaquel; Scott and Edo chow down while Patti looks on.


Hickam Harbor Cruise, October 6-8, '07


     October's cruise destination is back by popular demand (Mike Mathews can be very persuasive).  We chose Hickam Harbor;  it's a short, easy sail with a safe anchorage and lots of facilities, there's a great swimming beach, the restaurant and snack bar are outstanding, and there is ice available at the Harbormasters office.  The Harbor staff is very friendly; all they ask is that we observe a few reasonable rules (like don't throw trash in the water and no swimming off the boats). There are no fees or inspections required!  They went so far as to help us dispose of our trash and offered to give quests a ride out to the boats.

 Linell Kam & Skip Riley

   It was the first cruise with the group for some, a return to a favorite harbor for others.  Our fleet included six yachts:  Millie D, Cruise Leader Bill Beadle & Barbara Dove (always the gracious hosts); Lord Magic, Mike Mathews (first in, last to leave); Seaquel, Mike & Patti Salomon; Tuatha, Skip Riley & Linell Kam (yes group, Skip was there); Makoa II, Carl & Mayumi Geringer with daughter Mika (a real Cutie) and crew Richard "Coors Lite" Ali.  Ricochet, Ralph & Jackie Sprague joined us on Sunday.
     On previous cruises to Hickam Harbor we all met at the restaurant for dinner.  This time we decided to have a Pot Luck dinner.  So for Saturday night Millie D rafted with Seaquel and we all gathered on the two boats.  We enjoyed drinks and pupus, and dined on chicken, steak, a big pot of pasta, green and potato salads, and hot garlic bread, with delicious Oatmeal cookies for dessert!  Quite a spread, and all with a great sunset as our backdrop.  It was a fun evening  with only one complaint from Mike S.  He has been lugging around a mini-keg of Heineken, left over from the July Transpac greeting Party, and had hoped to have more participation in it's disposal!  Well ..... beer over Mai Tai's?  No contest.

 Group on Millie D.

     With Hickam's proximity to the Honolulu Airport, there is of course some noise from airplane traffic.  But we tolerate it in good humor, and normally the plane noise falls off at night.  On this weekend we all got a "chuckle" over the 1:30 AM wake up from F16 military jets taking off from the reef runway.  Those who looked out to see what the ruckus was could see blue and orange flames streaking up into the dark sky, with a very loud piercing roar!  Six times!  Even the boats were vibrating.
     Sunday dawned fine and fair.  Bill wrestled with some leaks in his inflatable with his unique in-the-water patching technique.  Mike S. had his dinghy taxi service running (he gets a kick out of it, unless the motor isn't running and he has to row!).  Some folks went ashore for lunch at the snack bar, a Sunday paper, swimming, showers etc; all in all a typical relaxing day on the hook.

Mayumi, Richard, Mika and Mike M.

    Due to real world commitments, Seaquel & Makoa left the anchorage on Sunday afternoon for the short return back to Ala Wai;  Millie D went out for a few hours with some guests, returning after swimming with dolphins at Electric Beach; and Ricochet came in for the night.  On Monday most of our group returned to home ports, except Lord Magic;  Mike M. managed to squeeze in another day ... must be nice!
    We all look forward to the next time we get together, wherever that is.  It isn't only about where we go; it's about getting your boat away from the dock, meeting up with some friends and having a good time, which we do!  Amazing how even a short little getaway can give a taste of the cruising life and leave you wanting more.  It's a good addiction.                               Seaya, Mike & Patti Salomon


Millie D; Barbra Dove

Millie D; Patti Salomon and Skip Riley

Millie D; Skip, Bill & Barbra Mika, Mayumi and Richard
Seaquel; Patti & Mike S. Millie D; Skip & Linell


Hanalei Bay, Kauai;  Aug. '07


     The Hanalei Bay Group Cruise was a loosely scheduled cruise with no set departures or return dates.  It could only be defined as a group event because everyone kept in contact, supplying the latest departure and return times along with weather and other information.  One thing about Hanalei is that you hear so many rumors about fees, permits, dinghy landings and etc.  It was nice to have a group member on site to enlighten us on the current rules and protocol. Besides which it is a great feeling to arrive in a new destination and be greeted by good friends.
     If you have never been to Hanalei's mile wide bay, it is well worth the long channel crossing.  Some lucky folks stay for the entire four month season, others for only a few days or weeks.  But all find Hanalei Bay to be enchanting.  It is easy to see why it has been the setting for several movies.  With early morning showers creating rainbows, waterfalls in the surrounding mountains, clear beautiful days and refreshingly cool and starry nights, the atmosphere is set for relaxations.  A beautiful sandy beach and crystal clear water entice you in for spontaneous swims, with a refreshing beach shower afterwards completing the experience.  Go for a short walk and you can enjoy the quaint town of Hanalei which provides for most of your needs.

 Lord Magic; Mike Mathews

 An inexpensive and quick bus ride to Princeville is another adventure.  It's no wonder that Hanalei has inspired several songs and you will find yourself humming your favorite.  
    Several of our cruising group enjoyed the Hanalei experience.  Crow's Nest with Jerry & Michele Hansen and Lord Magic with Mike Mathews spent the entire season.  Mike & Patti Salomon on Seaquel arrived August 6th for a three week stay.  Several others had planned the trip but for various reasons had to cancel.  Leon Fedenczuk on Alchemy had engine problems and worked frantically but the fix was too late for the cruise.  One of the very few he has missed!

 Crow's Nest; Jerry & Michele Hansen

Everyone has a great time in Hanalei, some wishing for a longer season and others for more leave from work.  Unfortunately, the real world calls and Nature dictates the season.  On the other hand if we got our wishes there would be no room to anchor in Hanalei Bay!!
     Just a short note about Hurricane Flossie.  We all had calls from worried relatives and friends.  we got together and decided that under the present weather conditions and prediction, Hanalei Bay was the safest place to be in Hawaii.  So we put out extra anchors to the East and Southeast, stripped canvas and waited. We were encouraged when the commercial boats from Nawiliwili and Port Allen showed up to share our hurricane hole.  Our assumptions proved correct and Flossie passed to the south and fell apart over cooler water.  All we got was a few clouds, some wind and rain for a day or so, then back to paradise.

Seaquel; Patti Salomon Shore Break
Black Pot Beach Pier Famous Hanalei Rainbows


Alchemy's InterIsland Cruise

DAY 1 Saturday, June 30

     Alchemy departed Keehi Marine Center at 9:15 AM, with skipper Leon Fedenczuk and crew members Mitch Kahle, Dotty Bates and Ginny Newell aboard.  After raising the main sail in the turning basin, Alchemy motor-sailed out of Keehi Lagoon and the crew unfurled the jib just beyond the channel buoy.  With the engine off and sails close hauled, the crew settled in to enjoy the view and cool breeze.

 Dotty, Leon, Rick & Mitch

    Trade winds blowing 10 to 15 knots allowed for an initial course of 130 degrees.  Off Diamond Head the wind in the Kaiwi Channel increased to 25 knots with rolling seas.  Under these ideal conditions Alchemy was making 7 knots and holding a 115 deg. course.  Soon Oahu began to fade off the stern and Molokai grew slowly on the horizon.  Alchemy crossed the Kaiwi Channel in about 5 hours, with Mitch at the helm most of the time.
    Approaching southwest Molokai the seas became confused, like a washing machine, tossing Alchemy back and forth as the winds and waters of the Kalohi Channel merged with the Kaiwi Channel several miles off La'au Point.  To avoid unnecessary crew discomfort the skipper started the engine, we furled the jib, and Alchemy motored east.  Within an hour the seas settled down and Haleolono Harbor was within sight off the port bow.  With range markers aligned we dropped the mainsail and motored into the harbor, with 6 to 8 ft. waves breaking on either side of the channel.
    Safely inside the breakwater Alchemy dropped anchor in 20 ft. of water, where the crew took a cooling swim.  Dotty and Ginny prepared the evening meal which was enjoyed by all.  With the wine flowing the skipper toasted the crew and thanked everyone for a successful crossing and anchorage.  A beautiful sunset over Haleolono bid the crew to fitful sleep.

 Ginny, Leon, Dotti and Rick

DAY 2 Sunday, July 1

By sunrise everyone was on deck for a quick dip and refreshing shower on the transom.  For breakfast Ginny made coffee while Dotty set out fresh fruit. We raised anchor before 7:30 AM, in spite of some problems with the windlass and mudcovered ground tackle, and motored out of Haleolono.  The sea was flat and winds were light near shore, so we raised a full main, unfurled the jib and set a course of 150 degrees just off the west coast of Lanai.  Less then a mile out of the harbor the wind quickly increased to 30 knots, whipping up white caps and waves in the channel.
     Alchemy began to heel to 30 degrees.  Mitch was at the helm, enjoying the challenge of holding the course and keeping the boat as flat as possible.  In all this, Dotty brought up the fishing pole and tied on a small green lure.  Leon was skeptical, remarking "We've never caught a fish."
     With such strong wind on the beam Alchemy made 7 to 8 knots.  Approaching Lanai we hoped for some relief in the lee of the island.  But instead we found the down slope accelerating the wind to 38 knots with full sails!  Alchemy heeled at 40 degrees, heading 120 deg. with the coast closing fast.  Needing to fall off the wind to avoid the rocks off Kaumalapau, we let out the main sheet as far as possible and quickly hauled in the jib.  The boat settled down immediately and we changed course, running downwind at 150 degrees.

Manele Bay Cliffs

Now safely behind Mamaki Point on south Lanai, the wind diminished to calm.  We dropped sail and began motoring east toward Manale Bay.  Here we could see a larger ship maneuvering off the coast.  Soon our radio crackled when the ship hailed Alchemy with a warning to hold our course close to shore as the "Golden Bear" made a close pass to our starboard.

 Swimming at Lanai

With little wind and the mid-day sun bearing down, the skipper decided to stop the boat and everyone took a refreshing swim in the deep, crystal clear water.  Ah, what a treat!  By 2:00 PM we could see the buoy at Manele Bay tucked back within a rocky bluff.  With the south swell increasing, waves were breaking on the rocks and shore of the bay.  A breakwater protects the small harbor, but Leon was worried about the depth (Alchemy draws 7 ft) and decided we'd anchor outside in the lee of the cliffs.
      We dropped anchor about 200 ft. behind the breakers and backed down until it was set.  Unfortunately this put Alchemy abeam to the swells and she began to roll immediately.  After briefly contemplating a late afternoon run to Lahaina, we decided to set a stern anchor to hold the bow into the swell.  Mitch paddled the dinghy right to the edge of the breakers and dropped the anchor.  Alchemy settled down so we decided to stay the night but post a diligent watch.  After a dinner of grilled salmon, pesto pasta, asparagus and salad everyone relaxed on the deck, drinking wine and celebrating our second successful passage and anchorage.  As the sun set over Lanai Leon, Dotty and Ginny turned in, leaving Mitch on deck for the first watch.  The stars were incredible!!

DAY 3 Monday, July 2

      At dawn, Leon was on deck having taken the final watch.  Overnight Alchemy had dragged anchor toward shore, but was still holding okay in 12 ft. of water, about 50 ft behind the breaking waves.  It was certainly not the best night's sleep we've had, as the boat did roll with increasing frequency.  After breakfast we pulled both anchors, which came up with almost no resistance, and motored out of Manele Bay.

 Alchemy at Lahaina

Today, with little wind to the lee of west Maui, we motor-sailed across the Auau Channel towards Lahaina.  The channel was almost flat so midway out we stopped briefly for another cooling swim.  Motoring on at about 5 knots, Alchemy made the crossing to Maui in less than 3 hours.  Mitch called the Lahaina Harbor office and to our relief a slip was available!  We motored into the harbor and tied up in slip # 78, on the outside facing Lanai. Our Lahaina slip did not have individual fingers so we had to put in bow first, with a line off the stern to a mooring ball.  Surf was up outside the breakwater and the local kids were having a great time riding the 4 to 6 ft. waves.
    After a quick visit to the harbormaster to register, we headed to the Lahaina Yacht Club where we received a warm welcome and courtesy privileges.  On the LYC deck, with a spectacular view, we ordered lunch and a round of beers.  Leon called Rick Tudeur, who had flown over from Honolulu, and within an hour he joined us for drinks at the club.  After lunch everyone returned to Alchemy and made busy for the afternoon.  At sunset we enjoyed another meal in the cockpit and retired for the night, with a 4:00 AM wake up call.

DAY 4 Tuesday, July 3

     Rick woke everyone at 4:30 AM and we set about preparing for departure.  With a faint glow in the eastern sky Alchemy cast off and motored out of the harbor.  With no wind we motored north toward Ka'anapali and Honolua Bay.  Bearing north east off Honokawai, the wind came up suddenly.  We quickly hoisted the main and rolled out the jib.  After a brief foray into Honolua Bay we turned and set a course of 350 degrees for Cape Halawa, at the easternmost point of Molokai.

 Alchemy's First Fish

     Dotty again brought up the fishing pole and we set the lure about 200 yds. back.  The wind quickly jumped up to 25 knots in the Pailolo Channel with rising seas.  After about an hour, Dotty yelled "We've got a fish!" and sure enough the line was full out and the pole was bent over.  Mitch quickly untied the pole and began reeling in the line, while Leon and crew turned upwind and hove-to.  Within a few minutes the tell-tale emerald green of a Mahi Mahi flashed the surface of the water.  Reeling closer, the fish leapt out of the water several times.  Rick volunteered to climb out on the transom with the gaff & net.  All told, it took less than 15 minutes to land the 30-plus inch Mahi Mahi, officially the first fish caught aboard Alchemy (at least since Leon has owned the boat).  Alchemy had drifted about a mile off course while hove-to, so we loosened the jib sheet, fell a bit off the wind, and tacked back on course for Cape Halawa. 

 Halawa Valley

 Within an hour we could see the waterfall back in Halawa Valley as we began to turn west, running downwind along the breathtaking windward coast of Molokai.  Here, the tallest sea cliffs in the world rise between three and four thousand feet above the water.  This isolated and impenetrable coastline is legendary, both for Hawaiians and mariners lucky enough to witness its majesty.   With following seas and fresh trades, we decided to drop the main and sail on jib only, to minimize roll on this downwind run along the coast.
     After passing several cathedral-like valleys that cut deep into the mountains we set our sights on finding a suitable anchorage.  On our first attempt, we sailed into the lee behind Lepau Point, at Wailua Valley, where two small fishing boats were anchored near a rocky beach.  As we got in close the bottom rose quickly to less than 20 feet.  It also started to rain and the wind swirled from all directions.  Without hesitation,  Leon turned around and headed back out.  We set the jib and headed for Okala Island near Kalawao and Kalaupapa Peninsula.  About a mile out we rolled up the jib and motored into the back of a large cove in the lee of a large volcanic rock wall on the eastern side of Waikolu Valley.  

 Waikolu Valley

The word  SPECTACULAR does not begin to describe the place.  So without hesitation we dropped the anchor on the rocky bottom in 30 feet of water and let out a 7-to-1 scope.  Unfortunately the CQR would not hold fast and continued to slip when Alchemy backed down on it.  Fortunately the boat was sheltered from the wind and there was very little swell.  We decided to put out another anchor off the bow, but it would not hold fast either.  After more than an hour with no real movement toward shore, we decided to trust two anchors and 150 feet of chain to hold.  Rick made a reconnaissance swim to verify that we had plenty of room and there were no hidden rocks in the vicinity.  
     Wow! Perhaps the most breathtaking anchorage in Hawaii and we had it all to ourselves.  Mitch paddled the dinghy ashore to explore Waikolu Valley and stream.  Although we didn't see any, there was ample evidence of a large goat population and a few pig ruts too.  Mitch climbed the bluff to get some shots of Alchemy anchored in the cove.  Below, a fair sized shark was cruising just beneath the surface near the mouth of the stream.  This, just as Dotty and Ginny were snorkeling to shore along the wall.
     Back aboard Alchemy, Dotty cleaned and cut the Mahi Mahi, while Ginny prepared a salad and heated some more pasta.  Mitch grilled the Mahi Mahi steaks and Dotty's shrimp kabobs.  We enjoyed the feast and several bottles of wine before retiring for a comfortable sleep.

DAY 5 Wednesday, July 4

      Overcast skies and a light rain greeted the morning and everybody enjoyed hot coffee and fruit for breakfast.  According to the GPS we were 59 miles from  Oahu, so we decided to get underway as soon as possible.  Alchemy had turned more than a dozen times on the anchor, so the two rodes were twisted together like a pretzel.  Surprisingly, we pulled the first anchor with ease, then removed the chain from the anchor to free the other rode.  This was too easy!  The main anchor also pulled up easy with the windlass ( which Mitch fixed in Manele Bay). With fresh trades building we pulled out the jib and set sail for the northern end of Kalaupapa Peninsula.

 Father Damien's Church

As we departed Okala we could see Father Damien's church above the rocks at Kalawoa.  This is the place were the Catholic Missionaries abandoned Hawaiians (and others) who had exhibited signs of Leprosy (Hansen's disease).  Many drowned or were killed on the rocks trying to make it to shore. The Kalaupapa Settlement was a virtual prison where thousands were exiled to die under miserable conditions.  Father Damien, disobeying church authorities, dedicated his life to helping the victims, until he contracted the disease and died in 1889.  Believe it or not, Kalaupapa remained a leper colony until 1969, and some survivors remain at the settlement.  
     On the north end of the peninsula stands the majestic 213 ft Molokai Light.  After rounding the peninsula, Leon pointed Alchemy towards shore and we sailed to within a half mile of the beach before jibing, hoisting the main sail and setting course of 270 degrees for Ilio Point at the northwest end of Molokai.  After jibing several times to maintain course, the fishing line became entangled beneath the boat.  So we hauled in as much line as possible before cutting it loose.  Unfortunately the lure and some remaining line were wrapped in the prop.  Leon decided we'd wait until we arrived in Honolulu to address the problem.
      After passing Ilio Point we could see Oahu in the distance.  Koko Crater stood out first, then later Makapu'u, Koko Head, and finally Diamond Head.  With a steady 25 knots on her stern, Alchemy was making a good 8 knots on a downwind run to Oahu.  The following seas made steering a bit of a challenge, so Leon, Mitch and Rick took

 Diamond Head Lighthouse

turns at the helm.  We crossed Kaiwi Channel in 5 hours, reaching Diamond Head buoy by 6:00 PM with plenty of light for the remaining trip to the slip at Keehi Marine Center.
     As the sun slipped low we could see a number of boats anchoring and rafting up off Waikiki Beach.  After all, we were arriving on the 4th of July and the fireworks were scheduled for 8:30 PM.  Normally we'd be there also, but after our splendid five day adventure, fireworks didn't really seem all that exciting!  At the Kalihi Channel buoy we rolled in the jib for the last time, started the engine, and motored into the lagoon.  With the main sail down all that remained was to tie up at the dock, rinse the salt off, and put Alchemy to rest.
     We each consider ourselves lucky to have had this opportunity, to make new friends and share new experiences while cruising the Hawaiian Islands.    ALOHA!!

                        contributed by Mitch Kahle                             


Around Oahu Cruise, May 25-28, '07


Millie D

On Friday morning, May 25, '07 three Cruising Society yachts set out from Ala Wai Harbor for a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of Oahu; Millie D with Bill Beadle & Barb Dove, Seaquel with Mike & Patti Salomon, and Xanadu with single-hander Tom Gebhardt.  This cruise was to be our most ambitious yet, with plans for three stops in four days.  The first leg was to Kaneohe Bay, then Haleiwa Harbor the second day, on to Pokai Bay the third and returning to Ala Wai Harbor the fourth day.


The weather was forecast for 15 mph trades and 5 ft waves, with 5 to 8 ft mixed swell.  Actual conditions proved to be a notch above the predictions, giving us all a little challenge, but ensuring an interesting voyage.  All yachts kept in contact via cell phone and VHF and agreed to turn tail to our alternate destination if anyone encountered problems.  All of us did well.  Even the smallest, Xanadu, made slow but sure progress.
     Once we turned the corner at Point Makapu'u the world changed and it was a fast, albeit rolly, sail to the Kaneohe Bay Sand Bar anchorage.  After anchoring and a refreshing swim, Bill and Barb invited everyone aboard Millie D for pupus and celebratory drinks.  Xanadu came in a little later and joined us, after providing some entertainment while anchoring.  But hey........that's the lot of the last boat in.  Ted Murphy on Seamare Mhuire was to meet us after a side trip to Lahaina, Maui but was unable to due to crew illness.


Saturday Morning, after a good night's rest, we headed out the Kaneohe Ship Channel and turned left for Haleiwa Harbor, leaving Chinaman's Hat to port.  The weather had moderated with winds 15/20 mph off the starboard quarter, then to directly astern as we rounded Kahuku Point and headed for Haleiwa.  The trip was punctuated by a pod of dolphins leaping in front of and around each of our boats in turn.  The sailing was so great that Seaquel decided to continue on to Pokai Bay, arriving about 4:30 pm, in time for a cooling swim and happy hour in the cockpit.  Xanadu & Millie D docked in Haleiwa and had a nice dinner ashore, meeting some new friends and having a jolly time.
     Sunday morning Xanadu & Millie D continued on to Pokai and had a fast, uneventful motor & sail around Kaena Point, arriving in the afternoon.  Jim & Normajean Cavel with crew Lennie, on Holokai, arrived later, followed by Boy & Brigitte on Waypoint.  

Holokai and Waypoint

Both yachts had sailed directly from Ala Wai to rendezvous with us.  The anchorage was quite crowded for the Memorial Day weekend, with two other fleets rafted in the bay.  So it was fore-and-aft anchors and raft-ups for us.  This always presents some light entertainment around the anchorage.  With some quick dinghy work and much line heaving, all were soon moored and cooling off in the clear water.  Mike & Patti invited everyone to cocktails, pupus and dinner aboard Seaquel.  Everyone contributed something to the ono grinds and all reported a fun time, with introductions to new friends and lively conversations.

Boy & Brigitte, Bill & Barb

Monday morning arrived clear and lazy, with leisurely departures by all except Waypoint.  Her crew was experiencing starter problems and took a tow from Millie D until they got their engine started.  The sail and motor home in light winds was uneventful, with the exception of Millie D.  Bill & Barb stopped off Ewa Beach to observe and photograph a ball of bait fish providing hor d'oeuvres for some Galapagos Sharks!!  Quite a feeding frenzy, we're told.  Although Bill had a waterproof camera, he decided against underwater photos!
     Even though the first few hours of this cruise were challenging, we ultimately had a fun adventure.  A very special mention is due for Xanadu's skipper Tom Gebhardt.  Even with a malfunctioning auto-pilot and sailing singlehanded, he pushed on with enthusiasm and a grin.  We all felt proud of our accomplishment, a first for most.  If this appeals to you, toss off those dock lines and come join us!!             
                                                                           Mike & Patti Salomon

Waypoint: Jim & Norma Jean

Xanadu & Millie D: Bill,Tom, Lenny and Barb

Seaquel: Chow Hounds: Mike, Tom and Lenny

Seaquel: Brigitte on galley duty!

Seaquel: Mike on the Helm.

Seaquel: A crazy man,  3 miles off shore!

Ports of Call

Millie D: Sharks snacking !


First Anniversary Dinner


This April we marked the 1st Anniversary of the HYC Cruising & Voyaging Society.  During the past year we have come together 22 times, and have signed on 40 to 50 members.  We've had 8 planned events; 7 group cruises and 1 dinner.  In addition we've had 12 monthly meetings and a couple of Sunday Breakfasts.  Pretty good for starters

     We celebrated this special occasion on Saturday April 21 with a big Birthday Dinner at the HYC Galley by the Sea, attended by 28 members.  Quite an impressive group we made.  And Oh, what a night we had!!  Fun and food and good company!  

A very special "Thank You" goes to Leslie Moore, organizer extraordinaire, who did a terrific job arranging the dinner menu with Chef Goran.  We gathered at the club for cocktails and chit chat, and dined on soup or salad and choice of four entrees.  We even had a delicious Birthday cake provided by Linell Kam & Skip Riley.  Thanks, guys!  Chocolate can never be a bad thing!!

             Leslie Moore

     A huge "Thank You" also goes to West Marine, who made some very generous product donations, so that we could recognize and show our appreciation for the contributions of members.  (So next time you're standing about waiting for a West Marine associate to help you out, maybe you can give them a break).

*   To Skip Riley, as founder and director of our "leaderless" group, a pair of Biloculars

*   To Leon Fedenczuck, a rigging knife, for his enthusiasm for sailing and his willingness to take on crew

*   to Bill Beadle, a survival bottle with water purifying aids, to help him on his next adventure to Polynesia

*   to Hal Hallenquist, as our official medical expert, a complete First Aid Kit

*   to Mike & Patti Salomon, as Webmaster and Grand Poobahs of communications, a West Marine Tote Bag

*   to Rick Tudeur, as member most willing to "just go" (& most likely to become a boat owner) an HYC insulated mug

*   to Tom Gebhardt, as the member with the smallest boat (O'Day 25), a protective VHF float case

*   to Linell Kam, as organizer and provider of our official caps and T-shirts, her very own "Boat Days" coffee mug.

*   and to special surprise guests and much missed members Chuck & Dorothy Martin, a waterproof marine weather radio.

 Additional fun prizes were given out by drawing names from a bowl, with much fun and frivolity

             Hal, Skip & Patti

     Our "Cruiser of the Year" award was presented  to Leon Fedenczuck, acknowledging his outstanding participation and his demonstration of seamanship and spirit of camaraderie, qualities for which our group stands.  Leon, on his 42 ft Catalina Alchemy, has attended 6 of our 7 cruises this past year, and took along a total of 20 people as crew members.  He can always find "room for one more".  

                          Skip and Leon

       For the upcoming year we look forward to adding more cruise destinations.  Plans are in the works for several extended cruises this summer, like around Molokai and to Hanalei Bay, and our group will be sponsoring the HYC "Pirates Party" in June.  How about a Potluck gathering some weekend?  These are just a few events we have talked about, any and all suggestions are welcome. Keep an eye on this site for more information as plans develop.  Better yet, come join us at the monthly meetings, it's a good way to stir your cruising juices!!  Potential crew, we suggest you keep attending meetings and sooner or later a crew opening will present itself.  Persistence is the key!  Seaya out there!  Let's have fun.

Cruiser's small talk

Linell Kam

Pokai Bay Cruise, March 24-26, '07

      For this group cruise, sailing conditions were ideal for the 6-8 hr. downwind trip west from Ala Wai, north around Barber's Point and up the Leeward coast to Pokai Bay.  Making the cruise: Lord Magic, skipper Mike Mathews; Crow's Nest, Jerry & Michele Hansen; Alchemy, Leon Fedenczuk & guest Diane, with Rick Tudeur & Tom Gebhardt as crew; and Seaquel, Mike & Patti Salomon.
        Lord Magic and Crow's Nest went out early on Thursday Mar. 22, and were joined by Seaquel on Saturday at about 1 pm.  Alchemy  sailed in about 4 pm, after stopping at Kahe Point for some snorkeling action.  After a short swim and "Happy Hour" on Alchemy we all rowed ashore for a nice dinner at the Waianae Beach Club.  In the relaxed atmosphere we caught a beautiful sunset, complete with Green Flash!!  We all had a pleasant evening with good food and good company.
      Alchemy  needed to return home on Sunday.  With predicted winds in the 20-35 knot range an early departure was prudent.  Those of us remaining met at the Beach Club for breakfast and watched Alchemy weigh anchor and begin their journey home to Keehi.    See Tom Gebhardt's account below.  That evening Mike & Patti hosted dinner for Jerry, Michele & Mike M. on board Seaquel, with BBQ'd chicken, potato salad and a big green salad provided by Michele. Yummy!
      Next morning, Mon., Seaquel got underway at 6 am, to get around Barber's Point as early as possible.  Winds were forcast for 15-20 kn.  Crow's Nest and Lord Magic moved around to Kahe Point for some snorkeling, but the winds came up from the west, making conditions rough at that exposed anchorage.  They returned to Ala Wai on Wed. Mar. 28, in flat calm seas!  Weather was very changeable for this trip!
 Patti Salomon

Seaquel, Crow's Nest, Alchemy and Lord Magic ( behind jetty)

Lord Magic:  Mike Mathews marking the entrance.

Crow's Nest:  A short swim to the beach.


Alchemy: Always with an enthusiastic crew!

Sunset dinner at the Waianae Beach Club.



CREWING TO Pokai bay

by Tom Gebhardt


       Underway about 9:30 am, we worked the boat into the wind and unfurled the sails with clear blue skies above and deep blue sea below.  A whale blew just off our bow as we cleared Keehi Bouy #1.  We headed toward the area but the whale didn’t come back up.  So we veered off toward Campbell Industrial stacks and the oil rig fueling off Barber’s Point.  Our boat Alchemy, a Catalina 42, made good speed in about 20 knots of wind, and in a couple of hours we were bearing down on the smokestacks of the HECO power plant at Kahe Point.  We dropped the hook about 1:30 pm and everyone took turns snorkeling and lounging about.  

We enjoyed a brief lunch and resumed our sail toward Pokai.  Another hour or so had us lining up the twin radio towers of Lualualei and shortly the sailboat masts of Waianae Harbor became apparent.  A lone sailboat lying to anchor just outside the breakwater of Pokai Bay proved to be Lord Magic, with Capt. Mike Mathews aboard.  

   We dropped sail, made our approach and dropped anchor just inside the breakwater and in front of the recreation center.  The hook splashed down in about 15 ft. of water in the sand/mud bottom and dug in well.  Cocktails followed as we were joined by crews from  Crow’s Nest, Lord Magic and Seaquel.  At 6 pm all dinghys headed for the Waianae Beach Club dining room and we had dinner and a great sunset as the day faded away.

    The next morning  had Alchemy headed back to sea.  The winds coming back were brisk and at times very strong, and right on the nose.  As we rounded Barber’s Point we fell in with the racing fleet leaving Ko’olina.  We had to watch closely for all the boat traffic and finally fell away upwind of all the action.  

    A pod of about 4 whales led us back toward the Keehi entrance, and soon we were dropping sails and making our way back into the protection of the harbor.  What a great weekend.  Lots of wind, good food, cold drinks and friendship.  What a nice bunch of folks to go sailing with.  Ahhhh, that’s the ticket!


Rick Tudeur, Tom Gebhardt, skipper Leon Fedenczuk

Tom on the helm & Rick on whale watch.


Hickam Harbor Cruise, February 24 & 25, '07


                 Welcome to the 2007 cruise year !  
     Our first cruise was to the Hickam Harbor anchorage with Rick Tudeur as our Cruise Commodore.  There were four boats in the flotilla:  Alchemy, Skipper Leon Fedenczuk, with Rick Tudeur, Dotty Bates and Tom Gebhardt crewing; Seaquel, Mike & Patti Salomon; Lord Magic, skipper Mike Mathews; and Ricochet, Ralph & Jackie Sprague.  
      Hickam is an easy sail, convenient and welcoming, even if we must share with the reef runway of the Honolulu Airport (really not that bad).  The weather was warm with E winds 10-20 mph. Charts of the harbor do not give much info on the water depth inside, but we had 20 plus ft. in the well marked channel, and 13-18 ft. throughout the general anchorage.
      Lord Magic & Seaquel  arrived and were settled in before noon, and Ricochet arrived about 1400 hrs., followed by Alchemy at 1700 hrs. Cruise Commodore Rick had made dinner reservations for the group for 1900 hrs. at the SeaBreeze Restaurant.  Captain Skip Riley and Linell Kam were not able to make the cruise, but drove over and joined us for dinner.  The eleven of us toasted to friendship and enjoyed good food, wine and conversation.  About 2100 hrs. we began to make our way back to our boats.
     Sunday morning dawned clear and promised to be a sunny day with E winds 10-15 mph.  After a leisurely morning each boat
weighed anchor in it's own time, and with a wave and a farewell we left for our respective home ports.  Mike Mathews had fallen under Hickam's spell and stayed one more night.
     The sail home was pleasant and uneventful for all, except for Alchemy.  They had some excitement! (See article below by contributing editor Tom Gebhardt.)  Altogether a very nice way to spend a weekend in Hawaii!       Patti Salomon



Alchemy Hospitality

Ralph & Jackie Sprague, Ricochet

Mike Mathews, Lord Magic

Dinner with Friends!

A Perfect Weekend

by Tom Gebhardt    


        We hauled away on the halyards and raised the mainsail.  The boat leaped forward and we sailed out into the open sea, bound for an afternoon of sailing and relaxing.  The crew was mostly new to Alchemy.  Only Skipper Leon and Rick had sailed her before, but she is a very forgiving lady for a 42 footer.  Dotty and I learned her quickly as we all took tricks at the wheel.

      As we sailed up and down along the south shore of Honolulu the whales would rise, their dorsal fins and backs breaking the surface.  We waited patiently for more action as we cruised about the area, but they usually disappeared without a trace.
       Finally we turned Alchemy for the downwind run to Hickam Harbor.  Dotty sprang up through the companionway with a great spread of victuals.  "Drinks, anyone?" she smiled.  We sat back and enjoyed the afternoon sun, sea and food.  Classical music whispered from the speakers and we relaxed.  Ahh!!  What a great start to the weekend.
      As we approached Pearl Harbor Channel the food was taken below and we all prepared for the entry into Hickam Harbor.  Instructions were issued on how to douse the sails.  All went without a hitch and we motored up the Hickam channel toward the anchorage.  We could make out a few masts above the runway so we knew fellow cruisers were waiting to welcome us.
     We soon slid in among the boats;  Mike & Patti Salomon on Seaquel, Mike Mathews on Lord Magic, and Ralph & Jackie Sprague on Ricochet.  Our novice crew set out the anchor with 100 ft. of chain.

 The only problem was we were trying to set the anchor as the skipper backed down with enthusiasm!  This caused some fast action (and a little screaming) on deck.  Oh well, this is real life and we are all still learning.  The good news was the anchor was well set and the crew was none the worse for wear.  With that the engine went silent and it was time to relax (I really like this part).  Everyone got in a quick rinse and prepared to go ashore for dinner.  Mike & Patti  and Ralph & Jackie came aboard and we visited awhile, when it started to pour.  So we relaxed somemore, what a great crew!  Eventually the rain lessened and we all climbed into dinghies and headed to dinner as the sun settled down.
     Dinner at the SeaBreeze Restaurant was great as always, and the company was supurb.  We talked, ate, drank and laughed into the evening.  After dinner we all slipped back to the boats.  While launching the dinghy, Rick even decided to take a moonlight swim off the side into a few inches of  water.  Funny stuff, so I'm told.  Skipper Leon stayed calm and dry in the dinghy, as a good skipper should.  Back in the cockpit of Alchemy we munched on the cookies Dotty had baked.  Our invited guests had gone home to sleep instead of joining us, so we finished a little more wine and headed below ourselves.
     Next morning had the crew scrambling for coffee.  There was a snafu with the inverter, which kept tripping.  Somehow, with ingenuity, Dotty managed to make a few cups of coffee, and thankfully "one cup" each was the magic number.  No one asked for more, it was really "strong" stuff.  There's another lesson under our cruisers lifebelt:  make a note to bring an old perculator along, or go instant.  
     Raising the anchor found the crew working hard again.  The windlass did not want to raise her load and it slipped a couple of times, but finally up she came.  Throwing a quick wave to all who were watching we headed out the channel for a few hours of sailing, which lasted most of the day!  More whales, sun, birds and relaxing.

     On the way back into Keehi Lagoon we spotted a vessel on the reef (Waypoint under new ownership) and they waved us down to help them.  In a moment our skipper put all hands to work and lines were found, rigged and passed.  Our excellent rescue swimmer Rick was put into the water to swim them a line.  In minutes the lines were secured and we were easing them into deeper water.  Waypoint was saved and the happy crew waved a goodbye as we left them astern and steamed towards our slip.  Being new crew, we were anxious about the docking, but Skipper Leon masterfully brought the boat in to a perfect landing and we all drew a sigh of relief.
     The cruise had been a total success!  Whales, dinner, sailing, music, O'Douls, good food and good company!  The crew had become an efficient team and we even saved our fellow seafarers along the way.  Seems like a perfect weekend.  Let's do it again...soon!