Sunday, June 24, 2012

Anchored in Hanalei Bay, Kaua'i

22° 12.621'N, 159° 30.118'W

I decided yesterday to finally leave my anchorage near the Heeia small boat harbor in Kane'ohe Bay.  I had done everything I wanted to do in the area and wanted to move along to Hanalei Bay as I had heard so many good things about it.  Before getting to that part of the story, here are some images from Kane'ohe.
The shoreline, looking NE from my anchorage in Kane'ohe Bay
Looking SW
Looking down
While I was here I was able to meet up with Jim Thomson who was one of my instructors at Windworks Sailing Club in Seattle.  Jim taught me all sorts of things, which I sorely needed as I started sailing as a neophyte - I am not one of the people you meet cruising who was born on a boat and have spent their entire lives on the water.  I spent the majority of my life landlocked unaware of what cruising was or that it even existed.  Jim moved out to Hawaii with his wife a few years ago and has a house a valley or two down from where I was anchored.  We met up and spent the day chatting while he showed me some of the sights.
Chinaman's Hat, taken on my island tour
Kane'ohe Bay is beautiful, lush, green.  The water has great color although it doesn't have great visibility.  There are a few places to anchor in the Bay, and I choose to anchor close to the Heeia small boat harbor.  There is a fuel dock here as well as somewhere to land your dinghy - landing a dinghy is apparently a problem in this bay as most of the shoreline is private.  From the harbor its a 2 1/2 mile walk into 'town', which is a mall with some places to eat, a Safeways and other assorted useful places for cruisers (laundry mat, post office, place to fill propane tanks, etc.)  Its not scenic or very attractive.  If it wasn't the most convenient place to the harbor there wouldn't have been any draw for me here.  The anchorage had a total or perhaps 10 boats (this was in one of four official anchorages.)  All but one of the other boats seemed to be there in storage, and the other boat with a person on board seemed to be a local with some social issues...

I also got into Honolulu for a visit to West Marine and to see that city.  This time I was guided around by Karen, a friend of Karen and Jim of Sockdolager.  Honolulu is a big city with all sorts of facilities and activities.  However while I was walking around, I realized that I was glad that I wasn't staying here as somehow staying in a big touristy city just didn't appeal to me.

So, Heeia at Kane'ohe is too small, remote and deserted, Honolulu too large and crowded.  I feel like Goldilocks looking for the anchorage which is just right.   I think I may have found it in Hanalei.  I'll write up more detailed impressions later.
Hanalei, Kaua'i
My sail here was in my top two favorite sails I've had here in the Hawaiian islands.  I started raising my anchor in Kane'ohe at 1pm, and finally exited the ship channel in the Bay by 2:30pm.  The final part of this leg was a little miserable - I was motoring directly NE into a NE wind blowing 20+ in a fairly narrow channel, 35' deep, into steep close wind waves that roll in from the Pacific.  Once I exited the channel and rounded the safe water marker I was able to raise my sails and start the more pleasant portion of the day.  The winds for the sail were 15 - 25 knots in 6 to 10 foot seas.  I sailed around to the north point on O'ahu by 6pm and then adjusted course for the NE point on Kaua'i, 80 miles away.  I rounded the NE point on Kaua'i near 5am the following day after a beautiful night of 'sailing' - it was really just going for a ride as the Monitor wind vane steered Luckness the entire way, without any tweaking required.  From the NE point the entrance to Hanalei Bay was less than 20 miles and three jibes away, and I was anchored in firm sand by 9am.  

This is likely to be my last anchorage before leaving the islands heading to Seattle in roughly three weeks.  I have most of my provisions onboard already, I'll buy fresh food when the time is right.  Luckness is shipshape, although I have a few small things I want to adjust before leaving.  

I'll update this blog before I take off.

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