This is the story of a recent day trip we took to Lanai with a birthday group. There are always adventures to be had, but there is much more to a boat and the happenings onboard than the photos reveal. To take a tour out to sea is to embark on a series of different projects and dreams; to tell the story of the journey is something of a singular view. Every time one goes on the water, a new story is in the making. Here’s one to start.
We began on a mooring in Lahaina, Maui. It was a warm and sunny Friday, and Captain Kim wanted to do a few repairs before heading off into the blue. I flew in from Oahu, and she was there to pick me up, dinghy and all. The ocean was calm as we made it through the harbor on onward to the catamaran, gently floating there in front of the green valley and mountains of Maui. My first step from sea to stair was a treat, it always is, but I know how much work is to be done before the guests arrive.
She told me the tender’s (dinghy) wooden block was coming undone where it rests as it is hoisted. This piece was only holding on by one huge bolt. She walked over to the wood and pulled it up. We couldn’t leave without it being secured unless we wanted to tow the whole dinghy, but with the wind conditions, such the undertaking would be difficult. So, call around I did, to the many hardware shops. Eventually, we scored the right tool, plus a new supply of 5200 (supreme boat glue). Before the sun set, the repair was mending and the day following could be planned.
The boat was cleaned the from top to bottom, so we could leave on schedule. The captain
had planned a trip to Lanai. A group of several adults were to join us. They told us they were cliff-divers from Oahu. One of the guests wanted to celebrate his 30th birthday. In the morning, there was a slight rainfall over the Lahaina hills, but that didn’t stop us. The guests came aboard to a shipshape vessel and the mooring lines were untied shortly after.
Shortly after arriving, the girls poured champagne in little glasses and enjoyed their first views of the boat. As the glasses clinked, we, the crew laid the course out of Maui and across the channel to Sweetheart Rock and beyond on Lanai. There were gusts of 25 knots and sweeping sideways waves, yet the Blaze II bounced up and back accordingly. No one even noticed how rough it was! The fishing lines were sent out by yours truly, and from the top deck, Lanai became closer and closer. Some rocking oldies played on our radios and everyone was on the lookout for whales and dolphins.
As we drew nearer, the rocky cliffs which adorn the coastline seemed to look back at us. The waves calmed down as we were protected behind the mountains. At the time, the captain prepared snacks for everyone which consisted of a beautiful plate of cheese with crackers, chips, salsa and freshly cut pineapple. The party people were overjoyed. Not only could they observe the coastline, but now they had good food. And this was only a snack.
She planned to take our guests to a secret cove on the back side of the island for a full day of ocean activities, so the more food the better! As we sailed by Sweetheart Rock, the music was getting louder, the dancing less restricted. The guests did back-flips on the trampolines, began yelling and singing, poured more drinks, enjoyed more food and took some selfie with the ocean and the ever changing rock formations behind them.
A few hours passed and we had reached our spot which is a favorite on this boat. We were on the very back with sea cliffs on one side and caves built into the rock on the other. The water was crystal clear, so much that one could see the living coral on the bottom from the top of the boat. The boat was firstly secured to an underwater mooring which is always a fun first dive in (you’re welcome). Once we were stuck, the divers of the group immediately put their gear on and swam over to check the rocks under one certain cliff.
With their “okay,” the jumpers swam over from the boat and crawled up on the rocky beach. They began their walk to the precipice. On the top, we watched each jumper ready themselves enough to hop off a rock face of over 70 feet high. On the way down, one man flipped his body eloquently then straightened out to dive straight in. This takes practice, so don’t try it at home! This was the exact spot hundreds of years ago where ancient kings and their people dove off to show their courage to family and friends.
After cliff jumping, free diving, and due wandering, the group settled in to have lunch on the stern of the Blaze II. That’s right, more food! We had cranberry salad, roasted mahi mahi, ahi (tuna) salad, and chocolate cream pie all with a spectacular ocean view. After a long day on the water, Kim always makes the best meals, plus they are (all) homemade in our galley. “Open the next bottle of champagne!” One guests exclaimed, and the party was rejuvenated for the sunset sail ahead. Food, drinks and friends on the water is what we love to see. The crew picked up the mooring, untied us, and we were off once more with howling winds and warm ocean spray. There was one gust blowing 35 knots! I had to stand on the bow to fully enjoy the ocean’s power.
The sun set was slow and miraculous turning the sky a deep orange with reddish pink streaks that cast it’s light on the ocean around us. It seemed we were sailing through a patch of fire. It was only a day charter, so back to Manele Bay we sailed. Everyone enjoyed the colors of the sky together from the upper deck as we made it through the windy seas. Once again, the boat made everything steady even in weather.
Thanks were said all around, and the day will not be soon forgotten.
It was dark when Blaze II crept into the harbor. As we said our ‘mahalos’ and ‘alohas’ to the guests as they stepped off to take their leave, the night was around us. Birds sang their last songs and the other boats at the docks were quiet. We were glad to have a short break within the breakwalls, but the next day called us out to the big, open blue once more. Lanai is always a great choice for a birthday party or any other day. We hope to see you on our next trip!