Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Kaluapapa, Moloka’i

[Kyle]The anchorage at Wailau Valley was beautiful, but it was starting to get a lot of swell as the wind picked up and moved a few degrees further north of east. We decided to leave in order to spare us having fitful nightmares about dragging onto the beach at night.

We planned to move a few miles along the coast to Okala Bay, which seemed like it may offer a little bit more protection behind a couple of giant rocks protecting the little indentation. It was only five miles away and we could see it from the anchorage at Wailau Valley.

There wasn’t enough time to even shut down the engines between anchorages, so we unrolled the jib to help with our speed and fuel economy as we motored, leaving a reef in for gusts. We hugged the bottom of the world’s largest sea cliffs (about 4,000’, 1,600m). Overhead, several helicopters flew by, darting in and out of valleys that looked like where they filmed the opening scene for Jurassic Park III. Wait a minute; this is where they filmed the opening scene from Jurassic Park III! Well, that’s just super cool!

Enjoying the stunning views of the worlds tallest sea cliffs and this beautiful, wild, coastline.

Along the way, Maryanne got a signal on her phone for the first time since leaving Maui, and was able do download her email. We got half a message from Fountaine Pajot. Our rudders were finished and ready to be shipped, but it was unclear whether they actually had been or not. We got a tracking number from DHL, but the message also said the charge didn’t go through and they were holding the rudders for shipment.

Ugh! Our credit card company is always trying to protect us when some suspicious charge comes up from some weirdo location. The thing is, that’s the only kind of charging we ever do. Apparently other people don’t buy groceries a thousand dollars at a time, or place charges from multiple states and even countries on the same day. The card companies have been pretty good lately. They seem to have finally figured out we’re in Hawai’i, but now somebody has tried to buy a jet ski or something from some boat company in France, so they put a stop to that. They actually have an automated system that calls us within a few seconds and asks if the charge is legit but, of course, we had no signal to receive the call.

All of this meant our nice downwind sightseeing tour was put on hold as we rolled up the jib and turned upwind into the waves trying to maintain our elusive cell phone signal. We both did a lot of standing on tippy-toes on the cabin top waving our phones way over our heads with no effect.

We tried for a while and then gave up and headed back downwind to Okala. We figured we might be able to get a message out on our ham radio later to at least keep the rudders headed this way.

The anchorage was gorgeous, with a big valley curving up and away behind the beach and several towering rocks to seaward. We stopped and hovered for a bit. There was a lot of swell here, too. The anchorage was smaller and the bottom looked like it had only patches of sand here and there. We wanted to stay, but decided it would be more prudent to skip this one and head to the next one at Kaluapapa, which lay on the west side of a two-mile long peninsula that would be sure to protect us from the swell.

We were not allowed to land at Kaluapapa, so we continued on and tucked ourselves as far as we could into a deserted sandy beach just beyond. We found flat seas, plenty of sun and wind and long views of Moloka’i’s northern cliffs as well as the village of Kaluapapa.

Landing at Kaluapapa is restricted because it still houses a number of patients with Hansen’s disease, formerly called Leprosy. The town used to be a colony. Now the Park Service runs it and even today is only accessible by aircraft or a very steep mule trail that switchbacks up the cliffs behind and then only with a permit.

As I tidied up after our sail, Maryanne found a weak phone signal and was able to sort out our rudder problem. It appears they had been sent even though the charge had not gone through. That was very good of them to do. The same thing happened when we gave them the initial deposit for the order, so I’m sure they think it will be sorted out quickly like the last time.

Sitting in the cockpit afterwards, we spotted a line of horses and donkeys walking along the beach carrying what appeared to be guides and a few tourists. They were starting the journey back up the hill toward the road that runs along the ridge. Way at the top, I could see through the binoculars where it emerged at a scenic pullout, where people were standing on the edge snapping photos. I may have to try to figure out how to get up there…

Visitors leave the settlement on foot, or in this case on donkey/horse to climb back up the mountain. All were gone by Sunset.


KSAMAOS said...

Came across your pages by accident while researching Gemini cats. Would appreciate some of your time and experience re Geminis as there is a wide band of opinion out there about the boats. Since you have loved and sadly lost one and now sail something else I was hoping you could give some balanced views if we could do this outside your main blog.



SV-Footprint said...

Marc - I'd be happy to give you our 2 cents worth to throw in with all the other opinions... Just send us your email address to correspond with.

KSAMAOS said...

For some reason my last post did not seem to come out.
Email is marcslatter99@gmail.com