Friday, October 21, 2011

Maui's West Coast: Lahaina to Honolua

We ended up spending 11-days in Lahaina Small Boat Harbor. Chris milked the S swell surf while it was there. We actually implemented a boat project (one of the first since crossing over) when we decided to utilize the days not using the anchor to protect our chain with a layer of rust proofing cold galvanization (basically spray painting several coats). We did a week straight of yoga at Bikram Yoga Lahaina, visited one of the owners, Jessica Tepora, whom Shawn went to teacher training with, and Shawn even taught a couple classes. We rode the bus around most of the island, amazingly only $2 for an unlimited ride daily pass! We made it a mission to get to the windward side of the island, home of the world famous surf break “Jaws” as well as Bikram Yoga Kahului another very welcoming studio. We traveled all the way to Haiku, and checked out the Kahului Harbor stopping long enough to watch rainbows pop over docked cruise ships on our way back to the bus and home to Lahaina. Another day we took the bus to its terminus along the west side of Maui, with a stop on the way home to provision at the local Safeway. We did not make it to the mountainous, Haleakela, or Hana side though we still have hope of possibly visiting when we next pass Maui.

Our time in Lahaina Small Boat Harbor drew to a close as the south swell had diminished and the boat that lives in our slip was returning. We untied the dock lines early October 14 and with no pre-dawn wind, motored out of the harbor and around the W end of Maui toward the windward side of the island. We watched a squall march down the Pailolo Channel toward us, bringing rain then culminating in a full rainbow connecting the islands of Moloka’i and Lanai. Our hoped for destination was Honolua Bay on the NW edge of Maui, just under 10-nm from Lahaina. With no wind still at this early hour, we continued to motor. Only 1-nm to go to reach the foretold protection of Honolua Bay when the seas jacked up and became rough as the currents of the Pailolo and Auau Channels collided around Hawea Point. We were prepared to turn back, though it would have been quite frustrating. Swell was up from the N and the anchorage waypoint we were ever-so-slowly making our way toward appeared from our perspective an open and exposed to predominant wind and seas. Still, we pushed on, and as we motored past the world class surf break, we finally reached the protected paradise that so many people had described. We were welcomed into the anchorage by a turtle, the first of many.

Honolua was the first time Shawn had ever seen 4 people riding 4 perfect waves at the same moment. “That’s a point break for you,” was all Chris said, though he was having trouble focusing on anchoring while drooling over set after perfect set rolling in. Luckily Chris hurried out into the surf because it was the best our first day there. This amazing bay has the world renowned point break on the northern point, a gorgeous reef from the north to the center of the bay, then a huge patch of sand on the southern half making anchorage perfect for safety and ease of paddling into the surf. One of the four days had no surf at all so we spent it snorkeling and watching the spinner dolphin shows, crowds of cars lining the cliff checking the surf, catamarans motoring in and out with their boatloads of snorkeling tourists, and the entrance to the lumpy-looking Pailolo Channel from our safe spot. Chris' final surf session was exciting when he was first visited by an endangered monk seal and soon after his leash snapped allowing his board to make its way to the rocky shore. A board in need of repairs and a lull in the winds/swell ushered us to the next leg in our journey. We grabbed the chance to cross the Pailolo and visit the rarely glimpsed windward side of Moloka’i.

1 comment:

  1. wow, you guys were on my home island!! surfing my home-break (honolua!) i love that wave. used to live a 5 min drive from it for a few years! God bless you guys :)