The beautiful mountainous backdrop to the harbour was certainly a welcome view, after anchoring up in the designated area in the commercial harbour the wind returned and blew 15-20 knots almost from the moment we arrived. We had quite a big shock when we relaunched the dinghy, discovering Joy had picked up and nurtured a nice crop of gooseneck barnacles on the five week sail, we have never seen anything like this before!!
The harbourmaster and his staff welcomed us and encouraged us to stay a little longer than planned, they organised a place for us to leave the dinghy in the restricted commercial docks and allowed us to use this every day as well as park our rental car inside the secure compound. What delightful staff, everyone has been so friendly and helpful and our thanks go out especially to Shayna in the harbour office who went out of her way to assist us, what an absolute star. So we stayed four nights and this enabled us to reprovision, get the essential SIM card for our internet connection and explore the island by car. With two shopping malls and at least four supermarkets close to the harbour we were able to find everything we needed, it was great to have fresh produce again including locally grown salad leaves and pineapples.
We left the harbour on Saturday morning after watching the canoe races off the small beach here, these guys have been practising all week and I got quite worn out just watching them. They row around the large harbour dozens of times battling against the strong winds and choppy sea, super fit people. Our next anchorage was on the north of the island in a beautiful bay called Honolua, the sail there was lively with a capital L. With 25-30 knots of brisk trade winds and some pretty heavy swell these waters give some exhilarating sailing conditions. After doing some research on where to refuel, not many places in the islands have fuel docks instead you have to use jerry cans from the fuel station, I found a marina in Oahu who had a fuel dock and a good price so we made the decision to sail over to Oahu the following day. Another very lively sail down the channels in-between the islands, Molokai to the north of Maui and Lanai to the west, then across another channel to Oahu and around to Waikiki Beach just south of Honolulu. More 30 knot winds and breaking waves as the water is forced up between the islands into shallower water. A great 12 hour sail, we arrived off Waikiki Beach just as the sun was going down.
After an awful night rolling from ear to ear, side on to a southerly swell, we moved on to the marina further up the coast to refuel. A much more sedate sail in 15-20 knots on the lee side of Oahu was pretty awesome and we found our last anchorage at Makua. We now have some organising to do and the dinghy and outboard to put away as we have a semi-reasonable weather window for the next passage to Sitka, Alaska. It’s been a very fleeting visit to these beautiful islands and I really hope one day we get to return.