We had also planned to visit Molokini on our way to our next anchorage. There are some advantages to having your own boat. Molokini is a snorkeling and diving mecca for the region, an volcanic crater rim with a crescent of the rim still above the surface there is a flood of tour boats visiting daily. We were advised to get there early! We had noticed that the first pickup for our neighboring tourist boat was at 6:30 and that the place was packed thereafter. We decided to be there at 6:00 the next morning.
We arrived at first light and were the first to pull into the crater. Again, I went into the water and retrieved the pendant from one of the moorings set six feet below the surface. Maryanne pulled Begonia over and passed me a line to thread through the pendant eye. We were both in the water by 6:15. We had the whole place to ourselves.
We enjoy a peaceful snorkel at the popular site, and depart just as the crowds begin to arrive for the day
There were lots of fish everywhere and they all seemed perfectly content to swim along with us as if we were the biggest, clumsiest members of the school. We arced our way around to the far side and almost all of the way back before we encountered resort guests milling around their boat.
We left just as about the fifth boat arrived. We dodged their swimmers, got into open water and hoisted the sails for the short trip to our next anchorage on West Maui. Almost as soon as the sails were up, the wind started doing funny things. It would grow and die and grow and die while swinging through the whole compass faster than we could turn the wheel to correct for it. We would give up and switch the sails over to the other side and re-trim them only to step back into the cockpit to find that all of our work needed to be undone. Fine. We’d undo it and find it needed redoing. Gaaarrghhh!! Our track looked like a toddler’s first attempt at spelling her name.
Eventually, we spotted whitecaps ahead and sailed into a nice, strong wind. Except that it was way too strong. We rushed on deck to reef. By the time we got back, the wind had shifted, backed the sails, and pushed us back into calm air, where we bobbed around helplessly as we watched a fierce wind whip the sea two boat lengths away into whitecaps. After a couple more figure eights, we made it back over there and had the exhilaration of moving fast for about fifteen seconds.
Then it started to get really treacherous really fast. Within five minutes, we had two reefs in both the main and the jib. We were now punching upwind through the waves and spray was flying everywhere. Our short little sail was becoming a really miserable slog into wind streaming down the hills ahead. We pulled into the little cove at McGregor Point battered and ready for it to be over.
Kyle snorkels out to check on the anchor at McGregor point (back on Maui)
Although it was windy, we were protected from the waves. The anchor disappeared into the sand and held fast. The sky was clear with long views of Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lana’i and little Molokini in the distance.