Two days out

We're two days into our passage to Alaska now and all happy and well up. The first day was a bit rough but yesterday afternoon as we the wind started easing so did the waves. We went from a bit roaring cross sea to nice bumpy wind waves where our dear Alita is gliding through with ease and pride. WE're a bit more to the west than we wanted to, but we're already sailing hard to the wind, so no more room for improvement. At least this way we ave enough easterly room to run downwind if the next low kicks in. Our current position is to be found on the link I posted earlier. You can also subscribe and this way always get an info as soon as there is an update to our position.

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Leaving for Alaska

This afternoon we are finally heading up to Alaska. We had an awesome time here on Kauai, except for here in Hanalei Bay where it just rains all the time and the anchorage is really rolly. Yesterday I had to take a bus back to Lihue to buy a new power adaptor for my MacBook, as the old one broke (shit quality from Apple I have to say; they build them in a way they have to break. Argh). That took the whole afternoon. 

Anyways, we're ready to leave, the weather window looks quite good. So let's pray that all goes well and we're dafe and sound and don't get any bad storms. We're all positive. 
Byebye tropics. Hello cold, Orcas, Salmons, Dolphins, Ice, Glaciers, Bears and so much more I can't wait. 

We will be posting during the trip regularly with positions. You will also always find the position once a day on https://www.yit.nz/yacht/alita

Talk to you on the way. 


Retrospective: Molokai and little harbor in Kaneohe

Sitting at the laundromat in Kauai I finally find some time to write my little stories from the last two weeks.

Life got so much better once we left the big, noisy and dirty city of Honolulu. Tired of seeing homeless people everywhere. Living in tents in all the parks and in vans or junk boats at the harbor. I could not go out alone at night to do night photography, it was too dangerous with my expensive equipment. Having said that, it's not much better on any of the islands. I don't see many people living in tents here, but in their cars in the harbor. They use the facilities here. That's why in all the harbors there are facilities we pay for with our fee but we refrain from using them unless we have to. Very ugly and filthy.
Anyways, I was so happy once we set sails towards Molokai. I have always wanted to go there. No, we did not go to the (little) tourist place and no we did (unfortunately) not go to the rim of the north shore to look down on where we would sail by a couple of days later. We stayed in that little harbor Lono, I had posted pictures. It is not particularly pretty there. No real beach, muddy water, just a simple old harbor which is falling apart. But it kept us safe from the outside swell and - due to the mountains - safe from most stronger wind. So we found peaceful time to relax and come back to our boating life. And only one family living in a tent there so I felt safe to go out ­čśÄ The most exciting part definitely were those sailboats leaving the harbor on a rough day with high waves breaking over the entrance. They had to time their exit right so that they would leave in a lower set of waves. They all manged to get out ok, sometimes turning back inmidst of the attempt of going out because a huge wave came in. And because of the wave breaker wall they could not possibly see what's coming until they were basically in it. So they made it out ok. Then the smallest of them picked up the anchor and left. They must have not followed everything that was happening because they went out without even looking. As fortune works of course they got a huge set rolling in knocking them pretty bad to the side. The people were sitting easy in their cockpits, no life vest on, and a guy even standing on deck (no life vest) as they drive out and got knocked several times. Too bad I was filming the others with my drone and not them. I filmed from the inside but all we could see was the boat coming up high on a wave and next the mast being almost horizontal. Boy, that was scary. Especially knowing that there is the reef they were knocked close to...

After a joyful 5 days we set sails for Lahaina - it was calm with little swell and no problem driving out. The channel between Molokai and Maui is known for some pretty bad winds and rough conditions even in just normal easy tradewind conditions all around the islands. So it happened that we started of with flat sea and motoring on that beautiful morning. As the wind picked up and our sails were out we wanted to finally get some video of Alita sailing under full sail. We waited until it calmed down a bit and then I flew him out. Of course once he was up the wind really picked up and healing Alita challenged my balance as I was still controlling Charly with both my hands. But I believe I wrote about that before. We got beautiful footage from that.

When we arrived in Lahaina we could not find an empty Lahaina Yacht Club morring. All the marking on them was gone. We tried anchoring but the anchor, as expected, found no holding. So we picked up one mooring which we thought could be one of the Yacht Club's. Until today we do not know if it was or not. While Marcus stayed on the rockin and rolling boat I drove into the little harbor, tied up the Dinghy and walked to the Harbormaster to sign in. They could not tell me which buoy is whose. Great. But the lady was very nice and despite it being past her closing time she checked me in. But the cashier was already closed, I should pay next morning. It would be a crazy day because it's Cruise Ship day but I'd be able to finish the process. Ok. So I trotted on to the Lahaina Yacht Club hoping for some information. The responsible office lady was there, checked me in and copied all the boat papers and my ID but she was not able to tell me if I am on one of their moorings. And by the way, the moorings are all reserved, there should be none left. And they are expecting one more sailing vessel. But wait, it was already there and checked in. I received the phone number of the Vice Commodore who is responsible for the moorings and who can see the mooring field within a couple of feet from here house. Of course she did not answer the phone. So I left and prayed we would not get kicked off the mooring. I went to the grocery store to get some stuff and went back "home". Around 10pm in the pitch dark a sailing vessel which we had seen in Honolulu before, "Under the pole", came in and looked for a mooring. We believe we were in theirs. It's about a 60ft steel expedition boat with a couple of young people on it. Going for the Northwest Passage? Well, no one complained.
Early next morning I went in to the harbourmaster again and wanted to pay, but they weren't receiving me because of Cruiseship day. I managed to talk to one of the responsibles and she said they are short in staff and we're ok with no pay. So one night for free­čśÄ. Yay. I went to to my business, got some more fresh produce and off we went to the famous bay of Maui.
To get there we had to go through - or better said - against the channel. So we motored all the way against about 20knots of wind (36km/h). But it wasn't bad and really scenic. We arrived at a beautiful and calm anchorage, unfortunately it was overcast and rainy. Couldn't believe that were 6m waves on the same spot a couple of weeks before. I did post picture of both days before.
I posted that magic next morning when we left for Molokai north shore which is famous for its spectacular cliff drops of up to 3000 ft (1000m) and all those waterfalls. This happens over a bit less than 1/2 of the north shore of Molokai and basically ends at that old town which is known as the lepra colony. Ill people were brought there to be separated from the healthy people on land. They were bound to die there. At least it is beautiful there, call it paradise. Most people did not survive their 50s. The old colony is located on the east of this north peninsula. Nowadays there is a village close by, on the west of the pensinsula, near the lighthouse. Spectacular cloud/ sun scenes let us not be sad that of course the clouds came in and it was raining most of the time we drove along the north shore. We still got some footage with Charly, just before it started to rain. I still have mot developed that material.

From the peninsula on we got to sail and had a really enjoyable sail up and over to Oahu. We were so unexpectedly fast that we could still make it to Kaneohe Bay in daylight even being able to get fuel and water in this charming harbor. In that harbor time has stood still. As we drove by the front side of the pier I could hear Iz's Hawaiian music playing from somewhere, no one talking, old men, a family and a couple all involved in fishing. That scene already sent calming energy over to me. Energy of traditions, simple life, hunting and peace.
It was a bit hard in the conditions to dock and there were no cleats in good position so that I could throw the lines. A local guy, seemingly with lots of Hawaiian blood, came over. No words. He took a line from me and walked front, fixed it (not professionally) on a cleat. Another guy, who seems to eat a lot (and crap) who sat there in the side if the pier fishing answered to my question of fuel availability with "oh yeah, I can do fuel". We still did not see any fuel hose. Once I had tied Alita up a friendly guy came, opened a little door in that little shed and pulled out the hose. He runs the "communication center" there. Diesel station, cafe, fridges with drinks, souvenirs, TV and a food stand which sends its smell of old an cheap frying oil all over the pier. Some people were coming and picking food up. Hamburgers, sausages, fries. Every body dressed like on the country or polynesia. Knee long shorts (with pockets) and T-shirts for men, more or less dirty and worn. Leggings and T-shirts which both seem at least 2 sizes too small for girls. Laughter, chatting can be heard and a young parrot who is not yet able to talk overlooks the scene and learns. In the harbor itself are smaller, cheap and mostly rotton boat. I am sure most of them - at least the motor ones- are still in use for fishing. Typical, original, simple, charming. Loved it.