Sorry for the delay on getting this out, been busy catching up these last two weeks. I wanted to share with you, the Kawaiihae adventure, in hopes that more will join us next year! (Or possibly a destination sail later this year??? – stay tuned)
First the specifics; I believe 5 sailboats (4 club boats) 12 sailors 3 ground crew. Frank sailing Fiesta In A fleet …First Place! Alicia, Daniel, Rhonda sailing Koa’e in B fleet …First Place! Followed by Casey, Krisha and Andor sailing Mahina Pua for Second Place. I think the other boats motored some, understandably so, as it was fun to sail with everyone anyway!
Sails puffing in the wind, unsteady and bereft of purpose, circling the green buoy for the 9:00am start was a challenge to gauge.
Light winds out of the southwest made slow, a journey to the north. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young made good a promise of the coming day. Radio blasting, full of adventure, slow it may have been, the cruise to Keahole point was fast, time kept short, with the best company a skipper could ask for.
Round the point, dead down wind, we rode the airport escalator nearly to Kawaihae. The north setting current gave way to the best speed over ground lest the anorexic wind. Kawaihae harbor grew out of the vog laden path ahead, we could see our mark and the entrance to our anchorage for the next 24hrs.
It was tempting to start up that motor and cruise but the vog cleared and a drive to finish what we started, crept in. Greetings from shore with smiling faces, and the sound of an opening beer bottle top rang out with wide eyed sailors and land support waving.
Ushering us to come dock up beside them like a large sailboat flotilla, Bow and stern lines cleated, motor off, a familiar face jumps in handing us that freshly opened cold gold liquid that I have almost forgotten about.
Amazing people, a common interest, no judgement and passion for fun — TEAMWORK. This is why I sail….This is why i am a member of THIS club!
Once we got our life together again we made it to shore and a beautiful sight to behold. Tents up, coolers out and Dorian the grill-master serving up a meal so good, Poseidon himself came lurching out of the ocean to grab a plate!
Thanks Dorian, you da man! Judy and Taylor worked so hard setting everything up and a beautiful job you did. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and I hope everyone else thanks you too! The real winners of this race were you two, seriously though, you guys are amazing! We all sat fat and sassy after dinner talking story and reliving the sail – talking about past adventures and goals for the future.
We hear a rumbling dockside, people are gravitating there, laughing and music playing, its Peters 50 birthday! The after party. “Make me an angel, that flies from Montgomery” echoed off the water, a song originally made by John Prine, but sang so well by the band playing waterside for the party. What a sight to see… Strangers mingling, old salts dancing, kids running along the dock. A mosaic of love and friendship painted against the backdrop of a Kohala mountain sunset.
I dream everyday could be like this…
Thank you Peter for sharing your 50th with us. What a blast! In the early am, we experienced the biggest wind we have had this adventure. Unfortunately, this untamed tempest, uprooted and thrashed about the tent lent to us by Liz Crabtree. We are dearly sorry for bringing it back wrecked. A lesson for the future to take it down before the rum takes us down. Thank you and we will reimburse you.
The morning was quiet and relaxing, people haphazardly awaking from their slumber, a humorous delight, watching a fellow sailor find his way out of the jib sheet he slept in the night before. A few hours in, the smell of coffee and Huevos Rancheros cooking, people start springing back to life.
Another great meal shared in good company, I enjoyed eating my breakfast off my lap as another 30 sec. long micro-burst layed waste to our camping area. Presumably karma for laughing at our fore mentioned jib tangled sailor.
Hey, Mother Nature has a sense of humor too!
The day was sweet and somber as some left after the morning brunch. Some stayed to paddle board, relax and get ready for a moonlit sail back to Kona.
We started our sail back during the afternoon sunset. Courses penciled in above the compass, chartplotter on. We were nervous this time as darkness was setting in. A night time cruise never attempted before. Excited, though, to test ones skills. A thick layer of clouds later gave way to an (almost) full moon. Parting as if on purpose to help light our way. The water was glacial, a stillness rarely seen even for Kona.
Yes we motored… most of the way back but their were simple pleasures to enjoy along the way. Seldom can you look to the horizon and see stars and the twinkling lights of Kona at the same time. Seldom can you look upon the moonlit glistening water and watch dolphins come up to greet you only few meters away and disappear as gracefully. No longer were we nervous.
When we were lucky enough to turn the motor off, the silence was profound.
No words to describe the beauty of sailing at night, gliding over the water, looking at your tell tales or windvane via moonlight. Awestruck by this momentous occasion, we didn’t even realize the Keahole point escalator, experienced the day before, didn’t work in reverse.
Dad wakes up eyeing the airport for the second time, “I think you threw a prop!” The radio crackles and Alicia calls out to warn us of a strong current. Well, this will be an adventure after all! Two and a half hours later, we round the point. Tired and 2am, its time to get the hell home.
Seeing the green buoy with its blinking light was spectacular. A wonder that something so simple can be so sublime. Coming into the harbor under darkness, we made it, we are grateful, we are home.
Hope you liked our story and would love to hear yours. Sailing is a menagerie of work, fun, stress, relaxation and emotion. A lifestyle with a community of people from all walks of life with all types of backgrounds. A resource to share and friendships to endure. Glad to be a member and see you on the water soon.
Krisha & Casey