After collecting info from local boaters and internet weather forecasts I decided to go to Molokai via Maui. That left me the most options for stopping points and timing the channel crossing.
You might be starting to see a theme here. Many of the channels between the Hawaiian Islands are no joke. I like to cross them in darkness or at least be out of them before noon. At first light the winds start to speed up and after a couple hours the waves get close together, steep and scary looking.
Anyhow, I ended up leaving Manele Bay about 7pm as several well wishers watched the crazy guy in the tiny boat row out with one oar. It was a slow sail to Maui but at least the very light wind was coming from a reasonable direction. Arriving at Mala wharf about 1:30 am I hooked onto the first mooring I could see with my spotlight and slept until 3 am before heading to Molokai. Once again the winds started building at daylight and I was glad to be at Kamalo Harbor about 9am.
Kamalo Harbor was once a main freight harbor for Molokai before Kaunakakai took over. Only a few pier footings remain from that time.
As I entered the harbor it was still blowing like stink even though there were no waves due to the huge protecting reef. I wasn’t sure how to get inside the inner reef so I anchored and called somebody who did. The anchor seemed good for about 10 minutes before suddenly letting go. With the strong winds I was against the reef in what seemed like seconds. I was shocked but managed to get the rudder up to keep that intact. After retrieving the anchor and chain I jumped onto the reef and tried to figure out how to fix this problem.
Well sometimes it’s good to have a small flat bottomed microcruiser. I tied a bridle to bow and stern cleats then started pushing and pulling the boat along the edge of the reef until I could find a deep enough path to the inside. All this time the wind is still blowing 20 knots which certainly didn’t make it easier.
After hand setting the anchor in two feet of water I inspected the hull to find only superficial scratches instead of the major damage I expected. Score one more point for the Paradox design. As it turned out getting the rudder up was the most important thing to get done.
One picture is me anchored behind a tree in 2 feet of water. The other was just to good not to take.
The wind continued to howl the rest of the day even mixing in some rain for good measure. During the night the wind slowed and I had a planned grounding as the tide lowered.
5am start, timing both the reef exit and channel run. I had scouted the way out the previous day and pulled my boat into deeper water before sailing out. Waiting for daylight to safely navigate the reef meant that there was already plenty of wind waiting for me in the channel.
I arrived at Kaunakakai around 9:30 am and would not have wanted to be in the channel by 11am. Pretty ugly looking.