Friday, July 30, 2010

July 26-27, 2010, 20:15 HST

N 22°12.658’, W 159°30.097’
Hanalei Bay, Kaua’i…I’m not sure it gets any better than this…

The overnight passage from Honolulu to Hanalei Bay was full of notable events. First off, we had great winds for most of the trip and were able to sail the entire way. We had winds out of the NE and E in the range of 15-24 knots; however, there were some pretty big waves associated with these winds but for the most part, this wasn’t too bad of a problem.

At N 21°19.11’, W 158°17.59’ we were approached by a high-speed inflatable dinghy. The boat came cruising out from the distance, sped behind our boat, then pulled up parallel to Osprey about 100 feet off of the starboard side of the boat. One of the guys in the boat yelled over to us that we had to be “8,000 yards that way” pointing south, without any further explanation. He repeated this demand and then sped off. I have to admit that I was somewhat taken aback by the lack of official-ness this boat had and the demands that were being placed on our boat. The charts did indicate that we were in a military practice zone (submarines, target practice, something like that, no, seriously, we were aware of this and had taken this caution seriously), and we had plotted our route with this in mind. After the boat left, we started looking at what exactly “8,000 yards that way” would look like with respect to our route to Kaua’i and actually started off in this new direction. This didn’t last long though, and we pointed Osprey back on her original course, keeping a sharp look out for the speeding inflatable, which never returned.

The high winds continued through the night and we also had a picture perfect full moon to light up the night skies. It was so bright out that the person at the helm was able to see clearly in every direction. We pulled into Hanalei Bay a little after 11:00 (HST); 24-hours after leaving the fuel dock at Ali Wai Marina in Honolulu.

Hanalei Bay is a beautiful crescent-shaped bay, lined by palm trees on the beach and mountain peaks just behind. Not only is it a favorite recreational area for the locals, it is also the staging grounds for cruisers heading back to the Pacific Northwest in late summer. The bay is often filled with sailboats biding their time on Kaua'i prior to setting sail.

The bay opens to the Pacific Ocean and the sunsets are truly spectacular. Winds that come up in the daytime typically subside in the late afternoon, leaving the boat facing the shore. With the boat facing the shore, the two long seats on either side of the cockpit face aft which is the same direction as the setting sun. Makes for an incredible end of the day.

We headed into town, via dinghy, to get an idea of what kind of supplies might be available to us when we get ready to head back to Seattle, and were surprised to find that the grocery store that was described as only having “the basics” was more stocked than reported. A rain storm moved in and loads of people could be seen standing under awnings watching the rain come down (by the bucket full, and I’m from Seattle, so I think I know a thing or two about rain!). We decided to make a run for it and cross the street and managed to get soaked just the same. As it rains pretty much every day (usually a brief passing shower, then the sun come out), people usually take it in stride. It didn't seem to bother these guys.

Just a word on beaching the dinghy mentioned above. We motored the dinghy to shore and then had to drag it 100 feet up the shore to beach it. Now, Richard and I both get to the gym as often as we can but we must have lost all of our muscle strength because lifting and dragging the inflatable dinghy (granted, the out board motor was attached) up the beach took way more effort than either of us anticipated.

Since we had expended so much effort to beach the dinghy, we decided to make the most of this trip to town and had dinner in town. After dinner we headed across the street to Java Kai and had chai and pie; I like to think of it not as dessert but as fuel to drag the dinghy back down the beach.

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