The Ocean Blues Again…

The Sailing Vessel Sapien and her crew of two set out once again on the Ocean Blue. At 1600 hours on Friday the 13th day of April in the year 2007 we tossed off the mooring at the Honokohau Harbor (position: 19°40’08.30 N, 156°01’61.44 W) with our bow pointed at 300° NNW. We motored on that heading across glass water for 10 hours with not a breath of breeze. The change came quickly. At 0200 on Saturday morning we hauled all yards in a perfect 15 knots of steady ocean wisp. At 0230 we put the first reef in the main and by 0245 the second reef came down and we hauled in the jib to a five foot storm reefing. Within 45 minutes the winds went from 15 knots to 40 knots with the seas pounding us with a 10 to 20 foot chop! We had entered the ‘Alenuihāhā Channel. Between the island of Maui and the Big Island of Hawai’i to the South lies a channel that is only 12 miles wide, 40 miles long and 12,000 feet deep called the ‘Alenuihāhā! The winds, waves and currents in this channel are notorious to sailors the world over, in other words, she kicks up a bitch on a daily basis. Now, the crew of the S.V. Sapien was well aware of this viscous strait of ocean before we took off on this leg of our global circumnavigation but being “aware of” and being “prepared for” are two totally different ways of thinking, to be sure! Let me be more specific: We got our asses kicked and licked for 10 hours and there is nothing that can prepare you for that kind of a beating. Speaking of beating, that’s exactly what we did for the first four hours of the[…]

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