Friday, July 15, 2016

Waikiki, Oahu

Diamond Head
Waikiki Beach July 4th
The Three Musketeers

Waikiki is a vast menagerie of deluxe resorts, hotels, restaurants, high-end shopping centers and fine sand beaches, visited by a host of nationalities. Japanese come to tie the knot along with a plethora of Pacific Rim countries. Hawaii is a harmonious blend of many peoples, including the native Hawaiians, Polynesians, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Portuguese and Italians. With Patrick and Michelle alongside we played tourists and enjoyed drinks poolside, lounging by the lagoon, swimming, and boogie-boarding in the surf at Waikiki Beach.. Music abounds everywhere and we even danced on the beach at the famous Duke's Bar to a live band. Our friends stayed at the Ilikai Resort Hotel. Once the grandest resort on Waikiki, it has hosted the likes of Debbie Reynolds, Elvis Presley,and President Kennedy in the 60's, and a myriad of stars such as Michael Jackson and Beyonce in recent years.

Partying Hawaiian style
     The Ali Wai Marina is enormous and proved to be a good place to catch up on some boat maintenance. Art Nelson stitched up the sails, Rich McCreedy tuned the rigging and Dave and Sarah fixed a pesky window leak over the navigation station. Surfing is big here and Daragh learned to ride the waves with a lesson from Don at the beach.
The Duke Abides

Hurricane warning!
     A tour of the island of Oahu led us past the incredible scenery of the west shore with soaring, lush mountain peaks and wild blue-green waters with crashing surf beaches. The north shore brought us to the elegant Turtle Bay Resort for luncheon and more dramatic scenery. The week flew by and before long we were saying 'Mahalo' at the airport and planning for the next crew change and the long journey home. Chantey is in top shape but Hurricane Celia and Darby remind us who's boss when it comes to departure dates.   
Turtle Bay
60's Waikiki

Elvis Mania

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Lahaina to Lanaii and Molokai

The days drifted quickly by as we toured Maui with Teresa, Ted and Sean. The Kanipali Villas Resort was a perfect haven from which to enjoy the pool and the famous Kanipali Beach with its' golden sand and turquoise waters. The snorkeling here is some of the best in Hawaii with actual live coral reefs and multi-coloured fish. Daragh even came face to face with a giant turtle! Our visit concluded with a hearty dinner at the Lahaina Yacht Club.

   Early next morning we set sail for Lanaii, a small dormant volcanic island off the coast of Maui. The trade winds were up as the day unfolded, but we entered the tiny, sheltered harbour of Manele Bay and tied to the dock before luckily scoring the only empty slip nearby. We spent the day in Lanai City, a quaint village really, started by the Dole Company. This entire island was, up until recently, an enormous pineapple plantation. The industry eventually could not be supported as the cost of labour rose and relocated to other countries. Mr. Dole gave all his employees the opportunity to retrain in the new tourist industry and the result has been an overwhelming success for Lanaii.

The old Dole Hotel
     A short walk from the marina is the scenic Hulopoe surf beach and the very grand Four Seasons Hotel, which we checked out briefly but skipped the $30 lunch. Surf was definitely 'up' with a wicked undertow so a swim was out of the qustion. Next stop Molokai.
Lanaii Harbour

       Molokai is a sleepy, lozenge-shaped island noted for being an isolated Leper colony during the American colonization period. It was a sad chapter in the lives of those individuals who were banished and lived there, including Father Damian, who was only this year commemorated as a Hawaiian saint by Pope Francis. The passage between these islands can be rather boisterous, with steady winds of 25 knots plus, and big seas as the afternoon trade winds picked up. After a 9 hour ride at 6-7 knots we finally spotted the prominent headland of Diamond Head looming in the distance, and sailed briskly into Mamala Bay.
Diamond Head

    One of the most interesting gastronomic finds is the prevalence of SPAM. Hawaii residents consume the most of this canned meat per capita in the entire USA. In fact there is a whole festival Spam-Jam dedicated to everything SPAM!

     Our first grandson Ethan celebrated his second birthday on June 28th. He was looking very handsome in his Hawaiian shirt and matching shorts!
Surfer Boy!


Waikiki Beach and Honolulu

       The imposing vista of skyscrapers off Waikiki was a welcome sight as we dropped sail and headed into the calm waters of the Ala Wai Boat Harbour. Daragh checked in with the Waikiki Yacht Club and a day later we moved to a quiet slip at the Ala Wai Marina on X Dock with all of Waikiki in the backdrop. We spent a few days on the inevitable boat repairs, laundry, cleaning and provisioning for the new crew, while awaiting the arrival of our pals Michelle and Patrick at the Ilikai Resort next door.

Preparing for the crew

       Duke Kahanamoku was the world reknowned Olympic athlete winning awards in surfing, swimming and paddling. He is also a beloved mentor for the Hawaiian people. Duke encouraged his people to treat each other with kindness and respect in all they do. Here is his creed....

                                         Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit
                                          of true hospitality, which has made Hawaii a
                                          world center for understanding and fellowship.
                                           I believe in it, and it is my creed.
                                           Aloha to you!
                                                                    Duke Paoa Kahanamoku