Saturday, June 9, 2012

Anchored in Kane'ohe, O'ahu


Here's a shot of Lahaina I haven't gotten around to posting yet.  The Lahaina Yacht Club is to the left of the white posts you can see along the sea front, maybe 1/3 of the way in from the left.  It provides a perfect spot to enjoy a beverage and some food while you look out at your boat.  If you have a boat in the area, this is highly recommended.

I arrived in Kane'ohe on June 6th.  I arrived from Papohaku Roadstead on Moloka'i where I stayed overnight after leaving Lana'i, finally.  If you're uninterested in sailor talk, skip over the next paragraph where I talk more about getting here.

My anchorage on Lana'i was windy and I didn't feel like getting beat up in my trip to Kane'ohe, so I was being patient and waiting.  The forecast for Monday June 4th looked good as did the rest of the week.  I waited on Monday in my anchorage and as the wind died off I was able to get into the water and clean the hull which was needed.  I also found that my max-prop zinc was in need of changing, which was a little surprising to me as I haven't been in a marina for ages and haven't been plugged into shore power since leaving Mexico.  I'll need to figure out why my max-prop zinc is being eaten so quickly, but that will wait until I return to Seattle.  As the weather on Monday corresponded to what was forecast I decided to leave on Tuesday.  I got up and was gone by 6:30am.  Leaving Lana'i I had a beautiful wind for most of the journey - it backed and veered as would be expected on the lee side of an island, but I was able to sail for the first time in a while which felt good.  As I was crossing the channel toward Molok'i, I was hoping that my day would end on the positive note I was living at the moment, enjoying the sail - but felt that it wasn't likely as my destination which was the Papohaku Roadstead on Moloka'i appeared to be roughly 7nm upwind.  As I rounded the SW corner of the island the east wind died.  I rolled in my genoa and started motoring toward my destination bashing into what appeared to be NE wind waves although there was no wind at that point.  Within 5 minutes the wind started to arrive and I ended up a little miserable, bashing directly into a 25 knot wind toward my anchorage.  As I approached the anchorage I started to enter the lee of some cliffs and the wind died down to less than 20 and I explored the roadstead for a suitable place to anchor.  The cruising guide describes the bottom as a mixture of rock and sand, which is what I found.  I looked for a sand patch to drip my anchor in and wasn't able to find one and so finally dropped my hook in 20' of water in a location where if I was to drag, I would drag out to sea.  My anchor skipped along the bottom for perhaps 30' which is hardly ever happens with this anchor, until it finally hooked something and was stopped.  I later dove on my anchor and found that the tip had run into a rock and gotten somewhat jammed underneath it, but the rest of the anchor was visible and sitting on the bottom.  This wasn't ideal, but I felt comfortable in that if the anchor suddenly released it would skid across the bottom again until it hit the next rock, or I ended up offshore.  With my anchor alarm I would know when I started to drag pretty quickly however.  The anchor ended up holding all night and I left the next morning for Kane'ohe, again at 6:30am.  The trip from Moloa'i to O'ahu was nice - I was able to sail all of the way in reasonable wind.  The wind was stronger on the Moloka'i side of the channel which is expected if you look at the island chain and how the trade winds would be funneled around.  I arrived to the entrance of Kane'ohe at 12:15pm having made good time for the 35nm.  Kane'ohe is a large bay protected by a coral reef.  Once you are inside the reef the water is quite protected and calm, outside the reef there are larger waves and swell.  Getting inside from outside consists of following many nav-aids, carefully, while making turns around all of the marked hazards.  Its an easy enough process, but you want to be paying attention...
At anchor in Kane'ohe Bay.  The green arrow marks my spot.
Coming into Kane'ohe from outside the reef was spectacular.  I came in while there was patchy sunshine, and when the sun lit up the mountain sides surrounding this bay the greens of all the vegetation are remarkable.  The windward side of this island is simply beautiful - steep mountains with many valleys all covered with dense vegetation in a wide range of shades of green.  This is what I expected when I think of a tropical paradise.  The bay I'm in is many shades of blue and with the scattered coral around, there are more textures and shades of blue/green in the area which add to the beauty.  Its visually a very pleasing place to hang out.
Luckness, at anchor in Kane'ohe Bay, O'ahu

I've been here for a few days now and have started my exploration.  From my anchorage I take my dinghy into the small boat harbor where I leave it close to shore but in the water off the canoe club.  (In the image of the bay, above, head north around the coral, then west and south west toward the marina, then west to shore.)  From that point, its roughly 2 1/2 miles to 'town'.  I'm not sure where the center of this town is, but 2 1/2 miles gets you to a mall complex with a Safeway, Starbucks, Macy's, Sears, restaurants, etc.  Another 1/2 mile gets you to a laundry and a place where I hope I can fill my propane tank.  I've been doing a lot of walking while here, which has been nice as I have needed it after being on my boat so long at Lana'i.  I'll take the bus over to Honololu soon as there is a West Marine over there where I can buy a few things.

The folks at the harbor masters office here passed along a little warning to me regarding my dinghy.  They  liked the place I found to moor it when I get to shore, but warned me that they have had many reports of stolen items (motors, oars, dinghies...) and mentioned that most of the thefts occur at night.  While I'm here I'll be on shore only during daylight hours...

When I was first planning my time in the islands I had penciled in three or four weeks in this anchorage while I got everything done on O'ahu that I thought I would need.  O'ahu is the best place in the islands to attend to boat projects.  As it turns out, I don't need to do very much work on the boat - Luckness is in good shape.  I think I'll revise my plan and only spend between one and two weeks here and then move along to Kaua'i, which from what I read and all reports I hear is spectacular.  Kane'ohe is a nice place to hang out - but after having spent three weeks in Lahaina among such great people and in such an easy place to walk around, I don't feel the need to be around a city too much at the moment.

Kaua'i will be the last island I visit in this tour - from Kaua'i I leave and return to Seattle.  I had planned on only staying at one anchorage on Kaua'i, but may modify that depending on a conversation I'll have with the small boat harbor staff next week.  In addition, I've been in communication with the folks at Shilshole Marina in Seattle where I used to have a slip for Luckness.  I applied for a new slip at Shilshole when I arrived in Hawaii and it sounds like I'll have a slip waiting for me to pull into when I arrive, which would be awesome.

It feels like my time here is starting to wind down.  However, I have something like 5 weeks left and am looking forward to them.

Addendum:  I keep mentioning my anchor alarm.  Here's a picture of its display, taken in Kalama Nui on Lana'i.  The winds here were mainly E - NE.  A few days had light west and south west wind.  The dots on the display are placed every now and then, giving you a history of where  you've been around your anchor.

A shot of my awesome anchor alarm.  Its also my AIS display.


  1. What slip you gt at Shilshole?

  2. I haven't had a slip assignment yet, but it sounds like I'll have one before I leave in mid July. I may need someone to walk around the docks to compare a couple alternatives when the time comes... :-)

  3. Thanks Elena. A week or so ago I got back into discussion with the folks at Shilshole to try to get a slip assignment. There were four slips that I had to choose from, and of those available I had a clear favorite. My new slip is going to be K-39.