Out Through the Molokai Channel and Into the Pacific

Everyone's favorite seats in the pilot house.

Everyone’s favorite seats in the pilot house.

24 hours at sea and several of us look like its been a lifetime. Departure from Honolulu at 4:30 HST was idyllic, surfers on the big waves, crystal clear water, Diamond Head rising over the beehive of Waikiki, Sarah’s ti leaf and ilima lei attached proudly at the front of Laysan. As we motored out the channel, one of the large Waikiki Yacht Club power boats came roaring by, everyone waving a goodbye. Rounding Diamond Head, our friend Stefan called and told us he could see us from his house with some ginormous telescope. Sarah and I waved vaguely toward the mountains and a goodbye to Stefan.

Within the hour, idyllic gave way to short steep waves giving their best impression of a washing machine; needless to say, a very unpleasant feeling. Heading out through the Molokai Channel and into the dark, we began discussing watch rotations. Since watch becomes the center of life, the determination of watches is an essential task. Opting for a 2 1/2 hour watch rotation through the night and a 3 1/2 watch rotation through the day, we wrote down the various shifts, voted on our favorite, negotiated the ties …

8:00 pm to 10:30 pm and 6:00 am to 9:30 am Sarah
10:30 pm to 1:00 am and 9:30 am to 1:00 pm Kathleen
1:00 am to 3:30 am and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm Naomi
3:30 pm to 6:00 am and 4:30 pm to 8:00 pm John

A moon lit night made the watch a bit easier, but the boat was rolling, wave spray splashing the windows, white caps rolling by outside. 4-6′ seas with wind waves created boat motion such that sitting is the absolute best option since walking requires the spider dance, always holding on to some fixed surface as you lurch from point to point. To give some idea of the unpleasant conditions, I will confess I was ill last night, the first time on any crossing including the western Pacific and the Hawaiian channels. Not nice, not nice at all.

Today is a better day, sunny blue skies, seas of 4-5 feet, occasional birds on the water. As we approach the high pressure system, the seas should become calmer. Here, here to that idea.


22 47.9 north 156 30.9 west
16:30 HST
Heading 47


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7 Responses to Out Through the Molokai Channel and Into the Pacific

  1. Steve says:

    Nice first post. I was thinking about that high that generates our trades. Today, I was thinking that the Douglases are heading towards it and its glassy waters. Guess I wasn’t far off in my speculation. As we sit in our offices, I know at least I am awaiting your posts with great anticipation. That may be a Rocky reference. To adventure and beyond. But I know from your perspective, the less adventure out there on the Pacific, the better.

  2. Penny Noufer says:

    If Kathleen felt ill last night, it must have been terrible. In our almost 50 years together, I’ve never known her to become seasick. Safe travels. Looking forward to your posts. Love to all.

  3. Mike Powers says:

    Safe travels to you all my friends. Looking forward to reading your posts!

  4. Mike Powers says:

    Great post! Looking forward to many more!

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Steve says:

    Honolulu Advertiser said today that there’s a couple of Tropical Depressions southeast of us which have the potential to get nastier. Good that you’re heading in the other direction.

  6. Sybil Saito says:

    You made it through day 1 – keep on sailing! Looking forward to more posts and praying for calm seas with nice tradewinds. Safe travels.

  7. sandie says:

    Sorry about you getting sick Kathleen. That would have been me while still in the harbor at Ala Moana. Hope the seas get friendlier. Big brush fire here on Kauai this morning. Closed the highway out of Kapaa to Lihue from 5 am to 8am. You can imagine the havok this caused. Lucky, my girlfriend that I walk with, heard about it on the news and called me before I left to go and get her for our walk. We are going with friends this afternoon to Hanalei and then dinner up there. Have not been there for months. You know how far it is!!!!! Will be lovely to walk that beach and see the view. We also still have a $200 certificate at a dinner place up there from one of our clients, might as well use it.
    Liking retired life.
    Love to all, Sandie

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