2009 Cruises            


Pot Luck Barbeque

Our Hosts, Dave & Leslie Moore

We in the HYC Cruising & Voyaging Society do enjoy our group events, especially our land cruises, and Dave & Leslie Moore’s 2nd Annual Pot Luck BBQ was the best!   We thank them heartily for their warm hospitality. 

It was a lovely Sunday in November, warm and balmy, as we gathered together at the Moore house in Kailua.  Those of us who were not as familiar with that side of Oahu did our terrestrial navigation, clutching the written directions in our hot little hands.  In all, about thirty fellow Cruising Society members attended, enjoying the good food and good company.

The party got started with pupus and drinks, wine and mimosas.  The main meal was sumptuous, with BBQ ribs and fish fresh from the sea, baked beans, numerous salads, jerked chicken, breads, corn on the cob, and delicious desserts. 

Everyone mingled to “talk story” and visit with fellow cruisers, chatting about what we all love best - boats and all things related!   And there were lawn games, with Capt. Bill being the champion of the bocci balls (and why not, it was his game!).  

We all made our way home that night full and contented, basking in the glow of the companionship we shared, and looking forward to our next meeting!!   



Makua Valley Cruise
Labor Day  Sept. 4 - 7th, '09


Demasiada: Rick & PJ Value

Our Group Cruise to Makua Valley Anchorage, 3.8 miles to the southeast of Ka’ena Point, was a first visit for some and a familiar anchorage for others.  Ten Cruising Society yachts dropped their anchors off Makua Valley’s beach over the long Labor Day weekend.   We found it a beautiful anchorage, a little breezy during the day and a little rolly at night when the wind died down, but that’s typical for an open roadstead.  As with any anchorage in Hawaii, the character changes with the weather and the day, but find it in the right mood and you will experience paradise. 

Millie D anchors close to shore

Makua Beach was not exempt from Labor Day beach-goers.  You know, the crowd that comes with laughing squealing children, horseshoe games in the sand, and other camping noises, fire works and yes … jet skies. But the water was clear and the dolphins plentiful, an ideal place for snorkeling.  We dropped our anchors right off the white sand beach, in 25 ft of water, very close in to shore.

This group cruise was organized by Steve Dixon, and it turned out to be another record breaking cruise.  Steve and Lila Moore and their crew on Lanakila arrived on Saturday after stopping overnight at Ko’Olina.  New members Dave Cooper & Nancy Terrell on Swan Song had already arrived a day earlier and provided a two-person welcoming committee to the rest of the fleet as they entered the anchorage throughout the day; Seaquel, with Mike & Patti Salomon, Giant Turtle with Tom Gebhardt singlehanding from Ala Wai; Red Sky, Ed Abbot also singlehanding from Keehi; Millie D, with Bill & Barb and crew, after a day of fishing; Demasiada,  with Rick & PJ Value, new members on their first cruise with us;  and Bon Temps, with Jim Ripley, his wife Luey & crew, also on their first cruise.  We were joined by Renaissance with Russ and Lea Wells from Ko’Olina, invited by Steve Dixon.  And lastly we greeted Jeff and Patty Naus and crew Bob Sheetz on Moonshadow, who came in after braving a windy channel crossing from Hanalei, on the return leg of a couple of weeks spent cruising the waters of Kauai

Cruisers party aboard Lanakila

The skipper and crew of Lanakila were gracious hosts for Pot Luck pupus, drinks and dinner on Saturday evening.  Even their dog Kona Girl got into the act, scoping out the easy touches for treats and daintily accepting morsels from their fingers, sometimes even when they weren’t watching!!  Thank goodness, Lanakila has plenty of deck space and a huge cockpit and galley to accommodate the twenty-five cruisers!!!  The menu was eclectic with chicken, ribs, sausages, assorted salads and etc.  The food was dished up and passed along to the hungry guests, with self-serve seconds available.  Mike on Lanakila won the informal cooking contest for his delicious chicken casserole.  The sunset was gorgeous, with a definite green flash sighting, and the drinking and dining went on into the evening. 

Barb dishing up goodies

We must give a big Mahalo to Dave Cooper of Swan Song and Mike Salomon of Seaquel, who provided water taxi services.  Dave and his rigid inflatable tender Arabesque made short work of gathering passengers from the fleet scattered over the near-quarter mile anchorage, as he and Mike ferried crews to Lanakila and back to their boats again.

As the evening progressed the wind died down a bit, and after returning to our boats we settled in for a quiet night, gazing at the beautiful full moon as it rose above Makua Valley.  Suddenly the night sky was lit up by a short fireworks display from campers on shore, no doubt using up leftover fireworks from New Years or Fourth of July.  The display provided some short lived entertainment, and then peace settled in on the anchorage once again.

Patti Salomon enjoys a dip off Seaquel

Sunday morning was peaceful and lazy, the anchorage calm and quiet.  Some members of the fleet departed by 10 am for the return trip home.  Taking advantage of the long holiday weekend, Millie D and Seaquel left a bit later, Millie D to fish for awhile and then rendezvous later with Seaquel at Pokai Bay.  Swan Song remained several days, being joined by their son and his family.  And Demasiada really got into the cruising thing, remaining to enjoy the pleasures of Makua one more day; PJ reported excellent snorkeling and diving along the reef at the south end of the anchorage.

By any standard this was a terrific outing, with good friends, great food, and friendly weather making it an all-around fun cruise. 

                                                                                                                                   We’ll do it again!              


Hickam Harbor Cruise
August 8-9th, '09


Prudence was the key word for our August cruise, originally planned for Hale’o Lono Harbor, Molokai.  Because of the approach of Hurricane Felicia, it was decided we would fall back to our alternate destination, Hickam Harbor.  Not that any of our group’s skippers were afraid of a little ol’ hurricane.  We just thought it would be “more comfortable” going to Hickam.  Well…we might have been a little influenced by our mates’ declaration “I’m not crossing the channel with a hurricane coming!”

CVS Fleet at Hickam
Giant Turtle, Moonshadow, Seaquel and Millie D

Anyway, Hickam Harbor is a nice little harbor, with an easy entrance and a great sand and clay/mud bottom for a good anchor set.  As Mike Mathews (one of our intrepid singlehanders) says, “Once your anchor is set, it’s down for keeps, you don’t have to worry about it.”  Hickam is just a couple of hours from Ala Wai Boat Harbor, which allowed cruisers to get in some sailing and/or fishing before heading in to anchor for the night.  The anchorage sits just behind the reef runway of the Honolulu International Airport, and there were occasional slight audio disturbances from ‘one or two’ aircraft taking off, but with a nice breeze and a few glasses of wine we hardly noticed them.

Four boats participated in this group cruise:  Millie D, with Bill Beadle and Barbara Dove as our Cruise Leaders; Seaquel, Mike & Patti Salomon; Moonshadow III, Jeff & Patty Naus, with Ralph & Jackie Sprague & Glen Pang as crew; and the Giant Turtle, with Tom Gebhardt singlehanding. (This is Tom’s newest acquisition, having stepped up in boat size to a Lancer 29.  See “Adventures” for his latest article, “The Giant Turtle Emerges”.)

Moonshadow's crew gives a " Hi Ya!

On past visits to Hickam we have enjoyed a get-together and dinner at the local restaurant on shore.  But hearing that it was temporarily shut down, Bill Beadle invited everyone aboard Millie D for a potluck.  Mike S. used his dinghy to provide ferry service for Moonshadow’s crew, as their engine would not start even after a valiant effort by Jeff.  Bill and his soul mate Barbara hosted a great dinner, as always, and provided pupus and grilled chicken & ono sausages.  The rest of us contributed side dishes and our drinks of choice.  Tom G’s wife Eder sent delicious deviled eggs, and others brought tasty salads, and Glen P. brought Tiramisu for dessert!!  We ate and drank and talked into the evening, enjoying the company of cruising friends.  All too soon it was time for Mike S. to fire up the “Water Taxi” to ferry folks through the darkness and back to their boats.  **

Since Hickam is so close to home no one felt the need to get started too early, and we were able to enjoy a leisurely morning, having breakfast and coffee in the cockpit before making our way back out the channel.  Some took the opportunity to get in some more sailing and maybe a little fishing before heading back to their respective slips.  All in all, it was a pleasant end to an enjoyable weekend, the kind that always leaves us wanting MORE! 

** Editors Note:  The only fly in the ointment was that we were all having soooo much fun, no one remembered to take any pictures!!!  So you’ll just have to imagine us all raising a glass to toast good friends and good food!!  Better planning next time.


3rd Annual Around Oahu Cruise
May 22 - 26th, 2009

One of the noticeable differences between cruisers and racers is their attitude regarding the weather.  A racer wakes up to a beautiful clear day, with light & variable winds and calm waters....I mean, not a ripple...and responds "Aw shucks, a slow race!"  A cruiser responds "Great!  I won't need my scopolamine today!"  That's the way it was for our third annual "Around Oahu" cruise for Memorial Day weekend, ideal conditions for a nice motor cruise but very frustrating for the sailing purist.

Cruising Society Fleet

We had four, and sort of five, yachts participating.  Seaquel with Mike & Patti Salomon left from Ala Wai on Friday morning and set up a base anchorage at the Kaneohe Bay Sand Bar around 3:00 pm.  Alchemy, with skipper Leon Fedenzcuk and crew Mitch Kahle, Bobby and Dotty, arrived on Saturday, dropped anchors and rafted up to Seaquel.  Lanakila arrived a short time later via the Sampan Channel.  Skipper Steve Dixon and crew Jeff Naus , Karen Valentine and Alika Maderios and Lorrie, did a very nice job of anchoring fore & aft on the run and then pulling over to Alchemy for the third boat in the raft.  Ted Murphy and his Seamar Mhuire, with a young crew of first-time cruisers, came in and anchored off a short distance (a little leery of our rowdy group, Ted?)  A new cruiser, Alan Robinson on Koa Malie, a Northsea 27, also made the cruise, but was just a little out of sync with the rest of us.  But congratulations to him, he was able to complete the circumnavigation of the island.

Ted Murphy

We swam and enjoyed the crystal clear turquoise water, the beauty of Kaneohe Bay and the camaraderie of our fellow cruisers.  That evening Steve D. invited everyone on board Lanakila for a Pot Luck dinner.  Karen and Lorrie served up a Big Island Game Bird stew (game birds shot by Steve himself) w/veggies and other goodies.  Alchemy brought over steak, corn on the cob & veggies and we all dined in Lanakila's spacious cockpit and talked story into the night.  We had agreed to break the raft apart before retiring.  But the weather was so calm, and with no change predicted everyone agreed to stay rafted.  So it was off to sleep, to be ready for the next day's 50 mile push around Kaena Point to Pokai Bay on the west side.

 You don't have to dive on your anchor

The next morning each skipper got underway in his own time, with Seaquel leading the way out of the bay about 7:30 am via the ship channel.  (We noticed a small sailboat heading out slightly ahead of us, which we later found out was Alan Robinson on Koa Malie.)  No problems were reported other than the inconvenience of picking up a stern anchor, even though the bow anchors were dropped at peak high tide and retrieved at low tide off the exposed sandbar.  [If you've never anchored at the Kaneohe Bay Sand Bar, an example of an anchoring technique might clarify the possible problems:  Seaquel arrived off the Sand Bar at peak high tide (+2.65 ft.), approaching with a breeze on the nose.  Very slowly we eased our 5.5 ft. draft yacht forward until just aground.  Our bow was in 4 ft. of water and our stern in 15 ft. when we let the bow anchor go.  We then dropped back a couple of boat lengths to 35 ft. of water, and with our dinghy set a stern anchor in 42+ ft.  When we left in the morning it was low tide (-.64 ft.) and the Sand Bar was exposed, with our bow anchor in one foot of water.  We had two choices ....option #1- have Patti swim ashore and drag the anchor out into deeper water:  or....option #2- drag the anchor off the bar using the pressure of the keel against the sand bar ledge and a taut stern anchor line.  So, after we dragged the anchor through the sand to the boat, I was able to winch our keel off the sand with the stern anchor and then retrieve it, no problem.  This whole procedure took about 20 minutes, and we never felt our boat was in danger; the bottom is sand, after all, the tide was rising and the wind was negligible.]

 Steve, Alika and the vengeful fish

The weather conditions were much like the previous day; partly cloudy skies with variable winds zero to 10 kn.  and flat, calm seas with a small gentle ocean swell.  Perfect conditions for motor sailing (if you must) up the north shore and around Kaena Point.  It was an uneventful passage.  The only other boats out were a few fishing vessels and the racing fleet making their way around the island in the light airs.  Alika Maderios on Lanakila caught an Ono and the fish repaid them by biting back, getting skipper Steve D. on the leg, which he said was "only fair". But no serious damage was done, and there would be fresh fish for dinner!!

 Dotty, Steve and Karen

Seaquel entered Pokai Bay about 3:40 and set anchors fore and aft.  There were three other boats there already, all anchored out by the entrance.  Lanakila arrived at 4:45 and rafted to Seaquel's starboard side, followed by Alchemy at 5:50, to raft to Lanakila.  Seamar Mhuire had developed a glitch in her charging system and skipper Ted opted to continue on home to Ala Wai.  So, with anchors set and boats rafted comfortably, we had a welcome swim, so very refreshing after the long day of motoring in the hot sun.  Mike S. lent out his dinghy for stern anchoring and ferrying service, and Steve D. was joined by his lady Lila and their boat-savvy dog Kona Girl.  Lanakila invited everyone on board to share sashimi, fresh fish dinner and conversation with them as the sun set, the stars came out, and the music wafted across from the shore.  A good ending to the day.  We are so lucky.

 Cruisers enjoying  Pokai

Monday morning, Memorial Day, started out at 6 am with a four-legged yapping alarm clock on the beach!!  But the little dog was having so much fun that it was hard to get too upset, and it was a beautiful morning anchored on the still waters of Pokai Bay.  We enjoyed coffee and breakfast, and they even had a Sunday paper on Lanakila.  There was time for another swim, and Steve D. broke out his stand-up paddle board, so a few of the group tried their hand at this newest hot trend in water sports.  (Looks easy once you learn to stand up, but it really works your balance.) Then Lila & Kona Girl returned ashore and it was time to prepare for the return to home ports for Alchemy (Keehi) and Lanakila (Ko'olina).  

 Steve & Jeff;  " Motoring takes concentration"

Alchemy dropped out of the raft and started home about 10:30, followed soon by Lanakila at 11:10, leaving Seaquel behind to settle in for lunch and relaxing for one more day.  The skippers reported calm seas and light SE winds allowing for a pretty decent sail down the Leeward coast and dropping off after passing Barber's Point, which is just the opposite of our normal trade wind conditions.  Seaquel departed Pokai Bay Tuesday at 7:45 am, motor sailing on flat seas in zero winds until passing Barber's Point, at which time we picked up an ESE breeze, 10 to 15 kn., raised the jib and sailed on a close reach all the way back to the Ala Wai entrance!  "Oh, I remember, that's what sailing is like!"  Mike even caught two small barracudas, released same as quickly as possible (stinky, slimy fish with very sharp teeth, don't even want them on the boat!)  All in all, a very relaxing 5 days on the water.  We feel most fortunate to be able to have these experiences and to share them with our fellow cruisers.  



Pokai Bay Cruise, April 24-27

Alright!  Finally!  Mother Nature gave us a break.  Good weather for a cruise.  And on the weekend we selected!  Perfect!  Well.....almost.  Just a little more wind (or a little less in some areas) would have been nice.  But hey, beggars can't be choosers.  And how we begged.  The weatherman said "rain and showers."  But the satellites showed just a glimmer of hope.  Goes to show, sometimes prayers do work.

 Cruising Society Fleet

So on Friday, April 24th, some of us headed to Pokai Bay.  Others left on Saturday and of course Mike Mathews on Lord Magic had headed out early, and acted as our greeter at the entrance.  Mike gave an "Aloha" to 10 Cruising Society boats as they arrived.  Thanks, Mike!  That's right, eleven yachts in all, a new record for a group cruise.  I quess everyone was frustrated with the previous rained out cruises, and thought "I'm going, no matter what!"  Not much wind and so it was a motor-sail, but the seas were calm which made for a nice smooth ride around Barber's Point and along the Leeward side.

Tom Gebhardt's Giant Turtle

Besides Lord Magic, making the trip on Friday was Seaquel, Mike & Patti Salomon (cruise leader).  In addition were Hence, Hal & Fran Hallonquist; Tanya, Bill Taylor w/Lillian Russel and her corgi Buffy, and crew Roger & Vicki; and Principessa, Don Farley, all on their very first group cruise.  

First thing on the agenda, as each boat arrived and survived the anchoring thing, was a jump into the water.  The weather was warm with light winds, and that first swim is soooo refreshing.  Then it was time for pupus and cocktails in the cockpit of Principessa and a Pokai Bay sunset, visiting and listening to the music coming across the water from the shore.

 Happy Hour on Principessa

The remainder of the fleet began arriving on Saturday, about 3 pm.  First to check in was Millie D, Bill Beadle with 3 crew (and a big Mahi), followed in quick succession by Red Sky, Ed Abbot (1st group cruise); Ricochet, Ralph & Jackie Sprague and guest crew Ellann; Seamar Mhuir, Ted Murphy w/crew Jim Murphy & Richard Somery-Gade; Giant Turtle, Tom Gebhardt's new boat, w/crew Rick Tudeur; and Thrills & Spills, Tom & Sandy Meehan, new group members, and their guests.

Saturday evening began about 4 pm with drinks and pupus, hosted by Hal & Fran on Hence, and then a short dinghy ride ashore for dinner at the rest

 Dinner at the Rest Camp

camp restaurant for our group of about 15-18.  The ambiance and view was great, the live music toe-tapping - if a little loud, and the food and service so-so, although our waitress was very sweet.  There were delays in getting our dinners (hungry, Mike?) and the kitchen kept running out of food, but we all kept our sense of humor.  After dinner it was a short walk to our dinghies and a quick row across the calm bay to our boats.  And some visiting & partying continued, we hear!  Altogether, it was a fun and pleasant evening.  

At this point we must give a really big THANK YOU to Don Farley.  He generously served as "Water Taxi" for those who didn't have a dinghy available, cheerfully running folks between boats or to shore and back for dinner or to walk the dog, even ferrying Hal & Fran's daughter, son-in-law, and their very large dog out to Hence for a visit.  Don was always gracious, and with his engine he made short work of each trip.

 Farley's Taxi

Sunday dawned clear, and several boats left to go home.  Millie D went out for a day of fishing and diving, returning later in the afternoon.  The rest of us, planning to stay another day, waved them good-bye and settled in to enjoy the day.  We swam, read, visited and watched the always entertaining parade of families, stand-up paddlers, canoers, kayakers and swimmers who use Pokai Bay to its fullest.  

 Bill's Mahi

We were entertained by a midday re-anchor drill, complete with a wrapped prop, borrowed anchors, dinghies running around, divers working below and a general good spirited "we're here to help" attitude from everyone involved.  It was great fun - nobody got hurt, no equipment was lost or damaged - and a great way to spend the afternoon.  There was a gathering on Seaquel for light pupus that evening, and then we settled in for a good night's sleep, ready for the return next day.  

All boats reported light or no wind on their return to home ports.  Tanya and crew opted to stay one more day (lucky them!!) and skipper Bill Taylor reported "We had a great sail, a nice breeze all the way."  Maybe we should have stayed one more day, too.  Wind or not, it seems that everyone had a great time.  For some it was their first cruise with the group and probably not their last.  For those who missed it....Well, there's the next cruise.



       2009 Anniversary Dinner

     Another year has flashed by!  Three years ago the HYC Cruising & Voyaging Society was created at our first meeting, 6 pm April 12th, 2006, on the Lower Deck of the Hawaii Yacht Club.

Commodore Howie does the honors

2008 was a great success, not for it's quantity of group cruises, but for individual participation in the Society.  Our 1st-Sunday-of-the-Month breakfasts remain very popular in spite of a few glitches with the galley.  Our regular meetings on the 3rd Wednesday of the month have been well attended and our Society-sponsored educational presentations following the meetings are open to all and have been informative and entertaining.

We had a well-attended BBQ, hosted by Dave & Leslie Moore at their home, which again shows that cruisers don't have to be on the water to have fun together.  We have continued to build on our communication system, to help keep members involved in the goings-on of the group, and so that people who are going for a day sail or short cruise can easily find crew.  And the Web site continues to be a resource to our members for contact information and interesting and fun articles.

The start of 2009 finds us with a new Fleet Captain, Bill Beadle, whose enthusiasm and dedication to boating and to our group was apparent from his first meeting.  We thank our previous Fleet Captain, Linell Kam, for her time and energy in leading our group last year.  

Dave & Leslie Moore

On Saturday evening, April 18th, we celebrated our group's third anniversary. This year our celebration was held on the Lower Deck at the Hawaii Yacht Club.  It was a great time, our largest gathering ever, attended by 40 members and spouses, including invited guests HYC Commodore Howie Mednick and his lovely wife Barbara.  The Lower Deck was a great venue for our event, and many thanks go to Naomi Wasano and her helpers, Dotty Bates, Leslie Moore and Patti Salomon for the elegant decoration of the tables and room with soft candle light and fresh foliage.  Thanks to Mike Salomon for setting up the buffet tables for maximum access to the food.  Bill B. supplied leis, and Linell Kam & Skip Riley brought our "Birthday" Cake.  And once again, Leslie Moore used her persuasive skills to arrange for the donations for our door prizes, and she and Patti S. picked up and wrapped up all the goodies.  

 Skip, Barbra and Normajean

Communication Officer Mike Salomon created an entertaining photo slide show with music, which was looped on the big screen TV as guests entered the room.  Filled with photos of members in past events and cruises, it provided a few good laughs and brought back fond memories of good times for all to enjoy.  We had pupus while enjoying adult beverages and lively conversation.  Then we had a terrific Buffet Dinner served up by Chef Alfredo & Dana of the Galley by the Sea. Thanks to Commodore Howie who treated us all to champagne and toasted our group.  Then it was on to the door prizes.

Party Animals!  Jim Cavell & Mike Mathews

This year we were again fortunate to have items donated by West Marine as in the past, and we wish to thank West Marine, and specifically Susan Lynch, for their generosity.  In addition, through the efforts of Leslie Moore, we also received donations from two other local businesses.  We are most grateful for their kind generosity.  Uncle's Fish Market & Grill donated a $25 Gift Certificate, and POP Fishing & Marine provided five $20 Gift Certificates for us to use as door prizes. What fun to draw a name and get a prize!  We know Ralph Sprague will get a lot of use from the binoculars he chose.  And Tom Gebhardt's wife Eder will learn a lot from the Boating Trivia game she won. And just what she needed, Dotty Bates (army nurse!!) won a First Aid Kit.  She was able to trade off her First Aid kit with another member.
Other door prize items ranged from fun to practical, from baseball caps to a hand-held weather radio.  The POP gift certificates were awarded to those who correctly answered trivia questions
about our group, emcee'd by Dave Moore.  Great fun Dave!

 Ralph Sprague snags Binoculars

Bill Beadle & Barbara Dove were recipients of the "Cruiser of the Year" award for 2008.  Bill and Barb were selected for demonstrating the spirit of Aloha and an unfailing enthusiasm and support of recreational boating.  They encourage others to crew or come aboard as guests, and have always made themselves available to organize or help in Cruising Society events.

Also, in recognition of her many organizational talents, Leslie Moore was awarded a special trophy, to acknowledge her as our "Planner Extraordinaire".  Thank You, Leslie, for all your efforts on our behalf.  Fleet Captain Bill recognized Skip Riley and expressed our appreciation of Skip's founding and dedication to the group.  Mike & Patti Salomon were presented with the Uncle's gift certificate, in recognition of their efforts in keeping up the communication network for the group, and for the hours spent in building and maintaining the Web site, all of which helps members stay involved and in touch with the group.  

All in all, the 2009 Anniversary Party was a great success, as with past anniversaries.  Everyone enjoyed themselves and was still talking about the event days later.  Not surprising!  We just enjoy our fellow cruisers.


 Thelma & Ted Murphy enjoying the pupus

 Bill Beadle & Barb Dove, Cruisers of the Year

 Naomi Wasano relaxes

 Commodore Howie, Cpt'n Bill and the gang

Leslie Moore, our Planner Extraordinaire

Lovely and Delicious!

 Mike & Patti, Communication Officers

 Skip & Linell

 After Dinner Coffee

 Cruisers having fun

 Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!

 It's fun to get a prize!

Maui Whale Watching Trip
  February, 2009 
Contributed by Bill Beadle


The Moonshadow III, a 52’ Tayana Cutter, with a crew of five, journeyed to the coast of Maui and back in the middle of February.  Skipper Jeff Naus, his wife Patty, Mark Chips from California, Barb Dove and Bill Beadle were the lucky crew.  The voyage began on Sunday, February 15 at 7 a.m. and finished on Saturday 21st at 7 p.m. with drinks and dinner at the Hawaii Yacht Club.  The week was filled with beautiful weather, exhilarating sailing, stunning views from anchorages and hundreds of humpback whales.

Moonshadow and crew


Starting on Sunday, after a weather delay of 36 hours, Moonshadow crossed the 56 miles between Oahu and Lanai in 11 hours, with top winds of 32 knots apparent and top speed of 8 knots.  The last two hours were spent motoring into a light wind and confused sea to reach the Needles (Nanahoa) before sunset.  We saw some whales during the crossing, but the 10’ seas probably limited our viewing opportunities. 

Upon arriving at Needles (N20 49.680 W 156 59.720), we discovered Bikini Kim in the anchorage, a fine looking catamaran that is currently berthed in the Ala Wai.  There was plenty of room for a number of boats as we anchored in 32’ of water with a sandy bottom.  We chose to layover the next day to recover from the crossing and enjoy the beauty of the location.  Snorkeling around the five sea stacks which give the anchorage its name is exciting because of the variety of sea life (one 4’ shark) and surge.  Another highlight was the pod of about fifty dolphins that cruised by in the afternoon, gliding past the Moonshadow with nary a glance.

 Needles (Nanahoa)

On Tuesday morning we pulled the hook (love that power windlass) at about 8 a.m. The morning was spent on a relaxing cruise down the coast past the Barge Harbor (Kaumalapau) and around the corner to Manele Bay.  The view from the water was perfect for photography and sightseeing as the day was sunny and warm.  Leaving the shelter of Lanai, we entered “whale wonderland”, that magic triangle between Lanai, Kahoolawe and Maui.  Over the next four days we were entertained by hundreds of whales blowing, breaching, slapping tales, waving fins and giving us an insight into their lives.

 A brisk four hour crossing brought us to Makena on the southwest coast of Maui.  Winds and seas were quite confused, clocking around the compass and varying in strength.  We decided to take the Makena Anchorage (N20 38.533 W156 26.925) on the north side of Pu’u Ola’i for protection from the south winds that afternoon... of course, the winds died at dusk... Following a stunning sunset over Molokini, the stars were spectacular as there are few lights on this coastline to pollute the night sky.


Underwater mooring

After a leisurely breakfast we powered to Molokini for a day of snorkeling and whale watching.  Molokini is heavily used by commercial boats from Maui and has 20 or so buoys ranging from six to twenty feet underwater.  Finding an empty mooring was not a problem and the charters came and went during the day, sometimes we shared the mooring field with 15 boats, sometimes none.  The snorkeling was again spectacular.

Crossing back to the Makena area we chose to anchor on the South side of Pu’u Ola’i at Oneloa Beach Anchorage for protection from the Northeast wind and seas.  We dropped our hook in 30’ of water on a sand bottom off of the beautiful beach.  That afternoon three of us swam in to enjoy the sand and sun, with a little snorkeling thrown in for good measure.  The point at the north end of the beach offered spectacular coral and sea life.  Continuing on around or over the point brings you to the “clothing optional” beach and an entirely different type of wildlife viewing.  Back on the boat we were treated to the sight of a mother humpback teaching her very young calf how to breach, just 200 yards from the cockpit. WOW!

The next day found us exploring La Perouse Bay at the south end of Maui.  Captain La Perouse was the first non-Hawaiian to land on Maui in 1786.  Lava flows surround the bay and give it a stark appearance.  We found it surprisingly large and protected from the prevailing northeast winds.  A quick cruise for future reference and we headed back to Oneloa Beach for the night.

Friday was moving day.  After cleaning up the boat (a little salt water incursion) we headed up the coast to Lahaina.  This was the most exhilarating run of the trip!  We put out a half jib and deeply reefed main and were still making seven to eight knots on a beam reach.  The winds varied from twenty to thirty knots coming out of the slot between Haleakala and Puu Kukui.  Once we reached the shadow of Puu Kukui the wind cooled off and the whales heated up!  Everywhere we looked we saw whales, breaching, tail slapping, fin waving and blowing.  This continued all the way to Lahaina Harbor (N20 52.050 W156 41.000) where we put in to fill up on water and drop trash.  Exiting the harbor, we picked up a Lahaina Yacht Club buoy for the night.  The sunset behind Lanai painted the clouds with every variation of blue, pink and red imaginable.  Another                                                                                 wonderful day in Hawaii Nei.

                   Sunset over Lanai

Saturday morning found us heading home to Ala Wai Harbor, Oahu at first light.  The winds were moderate on the starboard quarter.  The following sea gave us a very comfortable push all of the way home, covering the seventy or so miles in just eleven hours. 

Moonshadow III is a wonderful sailing vessel.  Skipper Jeff Naus and Admiral Patty Naus are competent sailors and wonderful hosts.  This was a week of lasting memories, truly another “trip of a lifetime.”  

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