27 July 2012 | Mala, Maui
We arrived in Lahaina in the wee morning hours of July 21. Our official finish time was 03:53:39 – first boat in the cruising division to finish! Earlier on July 20, we had very light winds and were at times making only 2knots over the ground toward Maui. We therefore estimated our arrival to be around 8:30 am, based on an average boat speed on 4.5 knots. A few hours later, however, we were reaching along with our asymmetrical at up to 8.5 knots – so we arrived at Pailolo channel much earlier than anticipated, at around midnight. (By the way, I recently learned that lolo means crazy!) We were sailing again! As we neared the finish line, the wind died again. It probably took us about an hour to get through that last mile …. We had called the race committee as directed about ten miles from the finish, and they seemed excited to hear from us despite the uncivilized hour of our arrival. They counted us down across the finish line – after which a chase boat approached us and inquired, “have you finished?” We responded that we had, and they said, “usually the crew cheers or something …” Right. It was a bit anticlimactic to be crossing the finish line in the pitch dark with no wind, so we forgot to cheer! The chase boat dropped Bear off on our boat – member of the Lahaina Yacht Club who would pilot us into safety for our party at the fuel dock. He boarded bearing beer, cool drinks, and a bottle of vodka! Still in a bit of a daze, we followed the chase boat towards the dock, hearing waves crashing on the reef right next to us, grateful for Bear’s directions. As we approached the dock, we were amazed to see a crowd of people waiting for us with chili, FRESH FRUIT, home-grown avocados, leis, cocktails, champagne, warmth and enthusiasm. I couldn’t believe so many strangers had gotten out of bed at 3am to welcome us! We met our official greeter Leeann, as well as Ashley, who we had met at the party in Victoria, and our volunteer hosts Christine and Dan. Everyone had been following our blog and knew more about our trip than we did! We spent some time at the dock before Nancy, the dock wrangler, directed us to our “slip” in the small boat basin. It would be a med-moor style docking – but there wasn’t actually much of a dock – our port bow line was led to the very end of the pier, and our starboard bow line to a bit of chain on the rocks of the breakwater. It was beginning to get light. Nancy graciously accepted to come on board to help us with the docking, and I ran along the breakwater to catch our starboard bow line. As the boat approached, Becky leapt onto an inflatable to make off the port bow – I heard a splash, and she was in the water. Nancy tossed me the starboard bow line, and I waded out to my waist in the water to get it and make it off to the breakwater – I looked over and saw Becky hanging from the pier, and Benjamin on the bow looking at me and Becky both in the water and laughing as hard as I have ever seen him laugh. We got the boat squared away and headed off to clear customs and take showers at the Lahaina Yacht Club.
Now we have been in Maui for close to a week. Christine and Dan had the crew over for a delicious dinner at their beautiful home. Christine took me to Costco for a preliminary provisioning trip, and Christine and Dan have lent us some bikes so we are settling in! The anchorage in front of Lahaina was pretty rolly for a couple of days so we spent a lot of time ashore seeing the sights and checking out some beaches, etc. Now we’ve moved to Mala, about half a mile north of Lahaina. Not sure it will be much better if the sea picks up, but for now things are quite calm. Becky and Bill left a few days ago, and Benjamin leaves tomorrow evening, shortly after the Vic-Maui banquet. We’ve still got a few projects to get done before we leave, but we are looking at setting off again maybe next Wednesday, weather permitting.
Thanks to everyone who followed our race, to those who welcomed us in Lahaina, and especially to Becky Bill and Benjamin for helping us get here. We couldn’t do it without you. Stay with us as we continue our journey!