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#66 Kauai Reconnaissance

We want to move Eliana to Kauai in June.  It’s not far, about 100 nautical miles, but our preferred Kauai base anchorage is on the north shore at Hanalei Bay.  To prepare for the trip, we thought it would be a good idea to go there for a couple of days to check things out.  

Our nephew Kyle and his wife Stephanie were already vacationing on the big island with plans to spend a few days on Kauai, so this looked like the perfect opportunity.  We worked out a plan to have them join us for an overnight on Eliana anchored off Makua and in exchange we would go with them to Kauai for a look around.

I had no idea how incredible Kauai, the Garden Isle really is.  I’ll be able to report a lot more in depth once we get Eliana there, but for now I would like to whet your appetite by simply sharing a few pictures from our two day activities with Kyle and Stephanie.  Click to enlarge.


Hiking the Na Pali coastline.

Kalalau Trail.  One of the most beautiful, and top 10 dangerous hikes in the world.

Hiking up the Hanakapi’ai River.  Two miles up this river brought us to the 160′ Hanakapi’ai Falls.  It was difficult, but worth it.

Kyle and Stephanie at a park in Hanalei

Beautiful Hanalei Valley.  The bay where we intend to anchor is in the distance.

Hiking toward Wailua Falls with a guide.

On the way, we saw this overgrowth of Morning Glory.  It’s prolific with over 300 inches of rain per year.

Wailua Falls.  Waterfalls are so hard to photograph.

Makua
You may recall we spotted Makua Bay while hiking to Ka’ena Point a couple weeks ago.  Looked like a nice spot, out of the way and almost nobody there.  Since Kyle and Stephanie were on Oahu for one night, we thought having them aboard was the perfect reason to go up there.  The weather looked perfect with a 10 to 15 knot breeze and ocean swells less than 6 feet.  Here are some photos…


I often question the fly bridge, but today it was all worth it.  Man was it gorgeous.

Stephanie up front.  Just that kind of day.

Coming up on Makua Valley.

Sunset on Kyle’s camera.  It’s one of the new Sony’s and does a beautiful job.

Then back to Ko Olina for brunch.

The Lost Anchor
My projects don’t always go as planned.  In fact, this one went horribly wrong.  I’ll tell the whole story so you’ll have maximum sympathy for me.

Much like Mexico’s west coast, most Hawaiian anchorages are exposed to ocean swell.  We have found if Eliana is oriented bow or stern toward the swell, it is barely noticeable.  If, however, our beam is facing the swell it causes an uncomfortable roll.  Unfortunately, in most normal conditions, when wind is less than 20 knots, we tend to weather vane slowly.  That is, she slowly turns to port and then starboard crossing through just about every orientation to the swell.  

Now flopper stoppers help immensely.  We’ve gotten good at putting them out and will always put them out in Hawaii regardless.  But I decided to experiment with a strategically placed anchor off the stern which would still allow some normal rotation around the main anchor, but arrest the lazy turn before she goes beam on.  Trade winds are directionally consistent here, so if the concept works anywhere, it would be here.

I purchased a 21 pound Fortress anchor, 12‘ of 3/8” chain and 250‘ of nylon rode to conduct this experiment.  Then came time to test the theory.  We decided to try it off Kahe Point in about 40’ of water.  We set the main anchor with the bow directly in the wind.  We backed into the swell paying out 400’ of anchor chain in front.  At that point, we set the Fortress off the stern, then retrieved chain forward again until we had about 200’ forward and 200’ abaft, loosely tied.  There we set, eager to see how she worked.  

Here’s the good news.  The stern anchor worked like a charm.  Before Eliana could turn beam to the swell, the stern anchor “caught” the stern and started the rotation the other way.  She still weather vaned normally, but just not as far.  And it was easy to set.  Debbie and I were high fiving at what a great discovery we had made and decided to just stay the night.  Our celebration was premature.

Suddenly, just as the sun was setting, the wind shifted 70 degrees and increased to a steady 35 knots.  I was taken completely by surprise.  How could this be happening?  For a couple minutes, I thought it would switch back and calm down given it was getting dark.  But, no, it kept going.  I shifted my attention to the stern anchor.  The nylon line was groaning with strain and I did not have a marker buoy attached to it.  Didn’t matter, there was no time to rig one now.  I had to release it into the water while we rode out a gale force wind from the northeast.

The next morning we returned to Ko Olina and immediately got Sweet Charlotte rigged for diving.  I was certain I could find the anchor, but day after day, dive after dive, tank after tank, the search area kept growing to no avail.  

I was near giving up, when it occurred to me the anchor may have drug some before I released it.  While diving, I noticed that what looked like a sand bottom was really only about 1” of sand on a flat plane of rock.  Might hold on a rock irregularity, but when pulled hard may release and slide.  So I plotted a possible new target position based on wind direction, the heading I remember at the time of the release, and the angle off the stern the line was going.  

Then I solicited the help of Michael Cornell, our dear friend on the dock whom I’ve mentioned before in this journal to help search.  He brought out his dingy and hookah to help scan the bottom in my newly theorized target area.  Sure enough, we found the anchor and all the rode.  It was beat up, but Fortress has a lifetime warranty and is replacing the flukes at no charge.  

Lessons?  Just a few.  The stern anchor works great, but requires close tending if there is any chance the wind may change dramatically.  I wouldn’t leave one tied without being there.  Second, leave plenty of bitter end to release slack should the wind change.    The more slack, the greater wind change we can manage.  Third, tie a marker buoy on the line.  It’s a good idea anyway to keep other boaters from snagging.  Best of all, it allows us to release the line if needed, then quickly retrieve it again.


Preparing the Fortress anchor on Eliana’s swim step.

Debbie paying out rode on the stern while I take chain in forward.

Rigging stays on the rode to keep it from fouling in the swim step stanchions.

Stern tie working normally.

Preparing SC for search and rescue.

Me preparing to dive on a ‘new’ target area after a week of failed searching.

Michael Cornell (in the water) and I finally retrieving the lost anchor.


Before Closing

Recently, I realized one of my cameras needed cleaning.  So for the benefit of you photographers, I made the discovery that Canon has a service office right in Waikiki!!  Now that’s perfect.  They are so courteous and helpful.


What a luxury.  A nearby service office!

I continue to be amazed and humbled at the number of people who have registered to get Eliana’s Journal.  We are most appreciative to have you along.  It means a great deal to us to read the comments you post on our website at the end of each journal entry.  You can click on the link below to go directly there.  If you have questions, please post those too and I’ll try to answer them as quickly as possible.

Rick Heiniger
N7617 Eliana
Lying:  Ko Olina Marina
Mileage:  11,250 Nautical Miles

#66 Kauai Reconnaissance

We want to move Eliana to Kauai in June.  It’s not far, about 100 nautical miles, but our preferred Kauai base anchorage is on the north shore at Hanalei Bay.  To prepare for the trip, we thought it would be a good idea to go there for a co…

#66 Kauai Reconnaissance

We want to move Eliana to Kauai in June.  It’s not far, about 100 nautical miles, but our preferred Kauai base anchorage is on the north shore at Hanalei Bay.  To prepare for the trip, we thought it would be a good idea to go there for a co…

#65 Island Time

Eliana and her crew are preparing for a summer of boating in Hawaii.  It’s the best time of year because there are so many more anchorage opportunities, especially on the windward sides.  Our interest about all things nearby is rising.&nbsp…

#65 Island Time

Eliana and her crew are preparing for a summer of boating in Hawaii.  It’s the best time of year because there are so many more anchorage opportunities, especially on the windward sides.  Our interest about all things nearby is rising.  Noticeably, the old familiar itch to move on hasn’t hit us yet despite the positive reinforcement we get from sailors passing through.  One such traveler said, “If you think this is heaven, prepare to be blown away if you keep going.”  

I never really knew for sure what “Island Time” meant, but now maybe it’s beginning to make sense.  It doesn’t mean idle time.  We get up early and go to bed tired.  Rather than planning, planning, planning our next move, though, we’re possibly finding a more spontaneous curiosity with our surroundings.  

Ka’ena Point
The extreme northwest corner of O’ahu is the remote Ka’ena Point.  The Waianae mountains taper down to the water making it difficult to get to the point by any other means than hiking or helicopter.  We chose hiking the 5.2 mile path along the rocky shoreline.  This was the original route of the sugar cane train originating in Hale’iwa and ending in Honolulu for processing.  Today, the only remains of the railroad is some of the original bedding and ties.  

The point is unusual because it separates the windward side of the island with waves coming from Alaska while just on the other side is the leeward side with waves arriving from New Zealand.  Geologically, the rugged, volcanic landscape yields to a flat sandy area perfect for nesting Newell Shearwaters.  These beautiful sea birds live and feed far out at sea only coming ashore to reproduce in sandy ground burrows.  While Shearwaters can be found around the globe, the Newell’s are indigenous only to Hawaii with the greatest population nesting on Kauai.  Their populations have declined possibly due to predators on the nests.  The Newell Shearwater is on the endangered species classification.  We tried hard not to disturb them too much.  I hope you enjoy some pictures I took.  Remember to click on any photo you would like to enlarge.



Yokohama bay in the foreground.  Makua bay and valley in the distance.  Makua is an awesome anchorage with a beautiful beach and untouched landscape to wake up to.  As you can see, nobody is anchored there.  Eliana will be soon.

This path weaves between the rocky shoreline and mountain.

Old rail ties.  All that’s left of this section of the “Sugar Cane Train”.  As you can see, the sea erosion is cutting into what was the original path.

Nesting Newell Shearwater chick. 

Mama Shearwater is keeping a watchful eye on us while we investigate her nest.

USS Missouri   
The “Mighty Mo” was launched in 1944 near the end of World War II.  She was the largest and last battleship ever built.  The symbolism is fitting in that the floating battleship upon whose massive teak deck the Japanese surrender was signed is resting right beside the sunken Arizona that symbolizes the start of the war.  The Missouri is in excellent condition having been brought back into service for a brief time in the 80’s.  She was rearmed with Tomahawk missiles at that time.  Finally, she lies magnificently on Ford Island for public viewing.  When we got home, we had to break the news to Eliana there was another boat nearby with a Missouri hailing port!


The business end of the USS Missouri.  She could hurl 2,700 pound shells 23 miles.

Looking the other way, you see the Arizona memorial off her bow.

The Tomahawk missle command center was installed during the 1980’s recommissioning.  The  center itself is now designated an historical landmark.

Wish I had room to put pictures of all the fascinating aspects of the ship.  This one shows part of the main galley.

USS Bowfin
Another fascinating bit of history from the Pacific war is the USS Bowfin.  Launched in 1942 right after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Bowfin was nicknamed the “Pearl Harbor Avenger”.  She is diesel powered, tiny by today’s standards, but sank 44 ships when America needed it most.  It’s humbling to see how 80 or so submarine mariners lived and worked underwater in the middle of nowhere.


The forward torpedo tubes.  There were similar tubes on the stern.  Believe it or not, torpedo’s were pushed into the tube using a rope block and tackle.

Two large diesel engines kept large battery banks charged for underwater operations.

I thought the captain’s cabin was modest, but compared to seamen’s bunks, it is very spacious.  Notice the two dials at the foot of his bed.  Heading and depth appear to be the two most important things for him to see the moment he wakes up! 

The dive control center was very sophisticated for it’s time.  Every single hull opening had an associated electric green light to indicate it was closed and ready for dive.

It’s amazing this tiny galley prepared meals around the clock for 80 seamen.

Battle of Nu’uanu
Speaking of battles, the view from Nu’uanu Pali Lookout is gorgeous with Kaneohe Bay in the distance.  It’s hard to imagine this is the site of the bloody battle in 1795 that gave King Kamehameha control of O’ahu.  Kamehameha’s forces arrived on the beaches of Waikiki and drove the O’ahu army all the way up into the mountains to this point.  With no place to go, over 400 warriors were driven off the 1000 foot cliff to their deaths.  

This was the last major battle as it persuaded the kingdom of Kaua’i to surrender thus, for the first time putting all the islands of Hawaii together under one rule.  King Kamehameha finally achieved his goal of uniting and organizing the various Polynesian cultures together.


The spectacular view from Pali Lookout to distant Kaneohe Bay. 

A painting depicting the battle of Nu’uanu Pali.

No, you don’t want to get pushed off the edge.

Before Signing Off
Meanwhile all is peaceful at home, aboard Eliana.  The nearby leeward coast is an excellent place for keeping her exercised with good anchorages, snorkeling and diving.  We wash her every week or so using our own water.  The bottom gets cleaned every 60 days when we check the zincs and through-hulls to make sure they are clean.  


Eliana’s quiet little back yard abode on G-dock.

Hawaii’s state flower, the Hibiscus from nearby garden.

Thank you for reading Eliana’s Journal.  If you would like to post a question or comment, please follow the link below to our web site.  We wish you and yours all the best.

Rick Heiniger
N7617 Eliana
Lying: Ko Olina Marina, Kapolei, HI
Mileage:  11,198 Nautical Miles

#65 Island Time

Eliana and her crew are preparing for a summer of boating in Hawaii.  It’s the best time of year because there are so many more anchorage opportunities, especially on the windward sides.  Our interest about all things nearby is rising.&nbsp…

#65 Island Time

Eliana and her crew are preparing for a summer of boating in Hawaii.  It’s the best time of year because there are so many more anchorage opportunities, especially on the windward sides.  Our interest about all things nearby is rising.&nbsp…

#64 Springtime in O’ahu

Crazy to say, but the season is definitely changing.  Winter is giving way to spring providing an occasional taste of how predictably glorious summer boating will be in Hawaii.  Debbie and I have been busy with guests and some travel commitme…

#64 Springtime in O’ahu

Crazy to say, but the season is definitely changing.  Winter is giving way to spring providing an occasional taste of how predictably glorious summer boating will be in Hawaii.  Debbie and I have been busy with guests and some travel commitments, but are now ready to get back at it.  Our goal is to explore the whole state, land and sea.  After spending some time cruising around this island, I’m convinced Eliana is perfectly suited for Hawaiian waters and anchorages.  I’m working through a couple modifications to our routine which I’ll report on later.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy a few of our day trips on land!  Remember to click on photos you want to enlarge.  Several are hard to see the detail unless you do.


Meet Hale’iwa.  I named her after the town, pronounced “Holly Eva”, or just Holly for short.  She has been a welcome, permanent addition to Eliana’s bridge.  I’ve noticed she is happily agreeable to everything I say!

The small town of Nanakuli in the distance.

Hale’iwa
Wintertime on the North Shore is beautiful and spectacular.  Winter waves can be gargantuan.  It’s a surfer’s paradise unless the wind is also blowing hard, then it gets too dangerous.  A narrow two lane highway follows the pristine coastline all the way around.  Other than a couple of isolated developments, the North Shore is still rural and beautiful.

As we drove northeast up state route 99, Kamehameha Highway, we crossed the fertile O’ahu central plateau.  Then as we crested a slight rise from high elevation, a view emerged of blue sea to infinity and what appears to be a frothing white band separating water from land.   Soon we arrived in historic Hale’iwa.  “Hale” means house in the Hawaiian language and “iwa means Frigatebird.  Don’t ask, it’s a long story.  

Hale’iwa is nestled at the intersection of Anahulu River and Waialua Bay.  The original hotel is long gone, but the town is quaint with B & B’s, restaurants and a few friendly residents.  The landmark to look for is the Rainbow Bridge which crosses the Anahulu River.


Hale’iwa Joe’s is situated right at the small harbor and serves some of the best fish around.

The famous double arch “Rainbow Bridge” crossing the Anahulu River.

Some big waves, too messy to surf or swim due to wind.

The beaches were closed.

Diamond Head
Overlooking Waikiki is Diamond Head mountain.  We love to hike, and Diamond Head boasts the most visitors each year due to it’s proximity to the tourist district.  We went up just to say we did it and came away more impressed than we expected.  We arrived by car through a tunnel leading to the volcano’s crater where the hike begins.  

Diamond Head was the last active volcano of O’ahu, most think about 100,000 years ago.  It’s only about a mile up the trail, with the summit at 761’ over the ocean and Waikiki.  

The bonus for me was the artillery batteries built into the volcano rim.  Apparently these were put in about 1910 for defense of Honolulu Harbor.  There are a total of 5 bunker levels making up the total fire control station.  They are almost invisible when viewed from the ground, but artillery would have excellent range.  You have to hike through a 225’ tunnel, then up 99 steps before entering the service tunnel on the lowest of the five bunkers.  Very interesting.


The view of Honolulu from the rim of Diamond Head.

Artillery bunkers were almost invisible from a distance, but offered a clear shot across the leeward shore of O’ahu.

Diamond Head lighthouse is the main navigational aid approaching Honolulu.  Just beyond the reef we saw Humpback whales cavorting in the water.


Manoa Falls

I may have already mentioned O’ahu’s annual rainfall ranges from less than 10” / year on the Southwest side of the island, up to 280” / year in the Ko’olau mountain range on the eastern side.  It’s no surprise that just north of the desert like Diamond Head is the lush Manoa Valley.  Within 10 minutes of driving, we were amazed at the change in climate from arid to rainforest.  

Centered in the beautiful Manoa valley is the University of Hawaii’s flagship Manoa campus.  The town is also well known for its marketplace and farmers market since much of it is richly vegetated and has a history of sugar cane, coffee and produce of all kinds.  

The head of the valley is defined by Manoa Stream which begins at the 160’ Manoa Falls.  I thought it would be interesting to hike up the trail to the falls, maybe a mile and a half in.  Wow, the rainforest was beautiful and appropriately was raining the whole time.  I got back with muddy shoes, but invigorated.


U of H, Manoa Campus.

The trailhead going up to Manoa Falls.

The trail is very muddy from rain.

The 160′ Manoa Falls at the head of the valley.

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, Aloha Stadium puts on a swap meet completely encircling the stadium.  It’s unbelievable, really.  Venders line two sides of a track that seems to go on forever.  These are the best deals in Hawaii on everything from Ukelele’s to Kava Root.  The facility works perfectly because it has all the stadium parking adjacent, and restrooms just inside the stadium doors.  Weather’s almost always nice!


Beautiful Aloha Stadium

Prospect trying out a Ukelele.

Woven wind chimes hand made entirely of shells.  They were pretty neat.

Hawaiian fabrics.  Debbie liked this one to make a table cloth.

Before Signing Off
We would like to thank you for following our blog.  If you have questions or comments, I encourage you to follow the links below directly to our web site to post.  I try to answer all questions and appreciate having your comments permanently attached.

Rick Heiniger
N7617 Eliana
Lying: Ko Olina Marina, Kapolei, HI
Mileage:  11,198 Nautical Miles

#64 Springtime in O’ahu

Crazy to say, but the season is definitely changing.  Winter is giving way to spring providing an occasional taste of how predictably glorious summer boating will be in Hawaii.  Debbie and I have been busy with guests and some travel commitments, but are now ready to get back at it.  Our goal is to explore the whole state, land and sea.  After spending some time cruising around this island, I’m convinced Eliana is perfectly suited for Hawaiian waters and anchorages.  I’m working through a couple modifications to our routine which I’ll report on later.  In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy a few of our day trips on land!  Remember to click on photos you want to enlarge.  Several are hard to see the detail unless you do.


Meet Hale’iwa.  I named her after the town, pronounced “Holly Eva”, or just Holly for short.  She has been a welcome, permanent addition to Eliana’s bridge.  I’ve noticed she is happily agreeable to everything I say!

The small town of Nanakuli in the distance.

Hale’iwa
Wintertime on the North Shore is beautiful and spectacular.  Winter waves can be gargantuan.  It’s a surfer’s paradise unless the wind is also blowing hard, then it gets too dangerous.  A narrow two lane highway follows the pristine coastline all the way around.  Other than a couple of isolated developments, the North Shore is still rural and beautiful.

As we drove northeast up state route 99, Kamehameha Highway, we crossed the fertile O’ahu central plateau.  Then as we crested a slight rise from high elevation, a view emerged of blue sea to infinity and what appears to be a frothing white band separating water from land.   Soon we arrived in historic Hale’iwa.  “Hale” means house in the Hawaiian language and “iwa means Frigatebird.  Don’t ask, it’s a long story.  

Hale’iwa is nestled at the intersection of Anahulu River and Waialua Bay.  The original hotel is long gone, but the town is quaint with B & B’s, restaurants and a few friendly residents.  The landmark to look for is the Rainbow Bridge which crosses the Anahulu River.


Hale’iwa Joe’s is situated right at the small harbor and serves some of the best fish around.

The famous double arch “Rainbow Bridge” crossing the Anahulu River.

Some big waves, too messy to surf or swim due to wind.

The beaches were closed.

Diamond Head
Overlooking Waikiki is Diamond Head mountain.  We love to hike, and Diamond Head boasts the most visitors each year due to it’s proximity to the tourist district.  We went up just to say we did it and came away more impressed than we expected.  We arrived by car through a tunnel leading to the volcano’s crater where the hike begins.  

Diamond Head was the last active volcano of O’ahu, most think about 100,000 years ago.  It’s only about a mile up the trail, with the summit at 761’ over the ocean and Waikiki.  

The bonus for me was the artillery batteries built into the volcano rim.  Apparently these were put in about 1910 for defense of Honolulu Harbor.  There are a total of 5 bunker levels making up the total fire control station.  They are almost invisible when viewed from the ground, but artillery would have excellent range.  You have to hike through a 225’ tunnel, then up 99 steps before entering the service tunnel on the lowest of the five bunkers.  Very interesting.


The view of Honolulu from the rim of Diamond Head.

Artillery bunkers were almost invisible from a distance, but offered a clear shot across the leeward shore of O’ahu.

Diamond Head lighthouse is the main navigational aid approaching Honolulu.  Just beyond the reef we saw Humpback whales cavorting in the water.


Manoa Falls

I may have already mentioned O’ahu’s annual rainfall ranges from less than 10” / year on the Southwest side of the island, up to 280” / year in the Ko’olau mountain range on the eastern side.  It’s no surprise that just north of the desert like Diamond Head is the lush Manoa Valley.  Within 10 minutes of driving, we were amazed at the change in climate from arid to rainforest.  

Centered in the beautiful Manoa valley is the University of Hawaii’s flagship Manoa campus.  The town is also well known for its marketplace and farmers market since much of it is richly vegetated and has a history of sugar cane, coffee and produce of all kinds.  

The head of the valley is defined by Manoa Stream which begins at the 160’ Manoa Falls.  I thought it would be interesting to hike up the trail to the falls, maybe a mile and a half in.  Wow, the rainforest was beautiful and appropriately was raining the whole time.  I got back with muddy shoes, but invigorated.


U of H, Manoa Campus.

The trailhead going up to Manoa Falls.

The trail is very muddy from rain.

The 160′ Manoa Falls at the head of the valley.

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet
Every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, Aloha Stadium puts on a swap meet completely encircling the stadium.  It’s unbelievable, really.  Venders line two sides of a track that seems to go on forever.  These are the best deals in Hawaii on everything from Ukelele’s to Kava Root.  The facility works perfectly because it has all the stadium parking adjacent, and restrooms just inside the stadium doors.  Weather’s almost always nice!


Beautiful Aloha Stadium

Prospect trying out a Ukelele.

Woven wind chimes hand made entirely of shells.  They were pretty neat.

Hawaiian fabrics.  Debbie liked this one to make a table cloth.

Before Signing Off
We would like to thank you for following our blog.  If you have questions or comments, I encourage you to follow the links below directly to our web site to post.  I try to answer all questions and appreciate having your comments permanently attached.

Rick Heiniger
N7617 Eliana
Lying: Ko Olina Marina, Kapolei, HI
Mileage:  11,198 Nautical Miles