Hawaii to Fanning Island – And We’re Off!

Good morning from the lee of the Big Island!

We finally caught a break – literally and figuratively – with the Hawaiian seas. We sailed from Maui to the Big Island last night and it was glorious compared to the beat down we had leaving Oahu. We motored through the lee of Maui on calm seas and were able to sail out of the lee into the Alenuihaha Channel (between Maui and the Big Island). The SE wind provided the perfect amount of wind (about 15-20 knots) and the seas were much smaller (about 3-7 feet). We sailed past Molokini Crater and short tacked out into the channel between Maui and Kahoolawee. The wind died a few hours after sunset so we went back to motoring. But this time the seas were much more reasonable and we were both able to take 3 hour sleep shifts through the night. Oh, and the autopilot is working like a champ.

As planned, we entered the breakwater to the Honokohau Harbor on the Kona Coast around 0600. This is the exact time that all the sport fishing boats put to sea so we had an interesting time dodging the parade of boats exiting the narrow harbor entrance. We managed to make it in unscathed despite the fact that the lighted range was not working! We came alongside what was described to me over the phone as a sea wall, but in reality was merely a rock and coral wall with concrete on top of it. This was definitely the most sketch sea wall we have ever come alongside and tensions were high. We decided to tie long lines to the wall and Alyssa was tasked with the duty of pushing Ellie off the wall the entire time I was taking on diesel fuel. With the tank topped off, we slipped the lines, shoved away from the scary wall and put back to sea. It felt great to be back in open water.

We just traded sleep shifts and I am now on watch after a 3 hour nap. We are motoring SSE along the coast of the Big Island in very light air (less than 4 knots) and glassy seas. Our plan is to take advantage of this break in the trades to get a half day south of Ka Lea, the south point of the Big Island, and the southern most point in the USA (for you trivia buffs – it’s not Key West). The forecast is calling for 10 knots out of the SSE to SE so we should be able to sail close-hauled into these tonight. The NE trades are forecast to fill in late tomorrow out of the NE and we will ride them on the quarter towards Fanning.

Well, have to get back to watching for whales. We came close to hitting a Mother and her calf yesterday off Maui. That would have left a mark. We’ll keep a sharp eye.

Wish us fair winds and CALM seas over the next week.

Aloha,
Lewis & Alyssa

April 26, 2015

TIME 21:11 z
LAT 19 12.0 N
LON 155 59.9 W
COG 170T
SOG 6.3 knots
TWS 3.6 knots
TWD 200T
SEA 2-3 FT

Thank You

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