One of Oahu’s modern myths is that Waikiki and Oahu are synonymous. Nothing could be further from the truth. Oahu is mostly rural and a land of contrast, densely packed with interesting choices. Little by little, we hope to begin peeling the onion. We’ve got our work cut out for us! But then, sparkling on the southern shore with the island landscape as a backdrop is Waikiki tucked neatly at the foot of Diamond Head. There, within Ala Wai Harbor lies the Waikiki Yacht Club.
We decided to spend a weekend at the club docks with Eliana and our friends from Kansas, Jeff and Tonya Poe. One of the best things about Hawaii cruising is one can move from place to place quickly, even in a boat! The trip from Ko Olina to Waikiki was under 3 hours. Even with winter swell coming in from the north, the trip was comfortable.
Fortunately, Don and Sharry Stabbert were already berthed at the WYC with their beautiful 75’ Northern Marine, STARR. So the combination of good folks and good boats in a beautiful place made for a very special time.
Waikiki Yacht Club was founded in 1944. Imagine that. Just three years after Pearl Harbor, the war in the Pacific was drawing to a close. A small group of sailors decided to begin refurbishing older boats and once again take advantage of the wonderful Hawaiian waters to promote yacht racing. Still active today, WYC views itself as the premier yacht club of the Pacific.
Ala Wai Harbor, Waikiki
An early photo of the same spot.
Debbie and Tonya enroute
Eliana berthed at Waikiki Yacht Club
STARR next door.Blessing Of The Fleet
Every year, the club sets aside a day in February for the annual Blessing of the Fleet! The celebration is an all day affair with dozens of boats dressed up in all their colors. At noon the lines are thrown off and a procession forms to go out to sea where the Chaplain blesses each boat as it passes.
Eliana’s crew decided to join Stabberts on their boat. It was, as usual, a gorgeous day. STARR was blessed along with the rest of the fleet. The formality of the blessing was indeed moving and meaningful. I made a short movie of the procession out and the return back. Unfortunately, with the excitement during the actual blessing I missed the most important part. Oh well.
Getting lined up
Blessing Of The Fleet
Being in Hawaii, it’s easy to get caught up in World War II history, especially the Pacific front. There is a lot to do in that regard, but the USS Arizona Memorial is absolutely a must. The visitors center contains a wonderful museum you can visit with or without the audio tour headphones. Then prior to boarding the boat across the harbor, they show a movie reliving December 7, 1941 as historically accurate as possible. The trip out and visit of the actual Memorial is well done and touching. I have already visited three times and still look forward to going again.
An amazing map of the Pacific painted on the concrete at the visitors center.
Looking out over the east loch of Pearl Harbor toward Ford Island. You can see the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona Memorial through the trees.
The boats that take you over to the memorial are operated by the US Navy.
USS Missouri open to the public to tour.
The Arizona MemorialShoptalk
It seems as though we’re always learning something new. For this entry, I thought back just in the past few days and came up with three revelations. My more experienced colleagues already know this stuff, but for me it’s a victory each time some nagging problem is solved. Here’s a picture summary...
We learned in Mexico to keep our spring lines super tight at all times, especially when there is surge coming into the marina. By doing that we eliminate a lot of the fore/aft boat movement which, in turn, keeps the bow and stern lines from total havoc. The only downside is it can begin to chafe the two springs which are crossed together. My solution is to tie the two together with a ball bunge. No more chafing.
OK, here's where I have to retract an earlier statement. I had reported that in waxing the easiest method we found was to apply and remove the wax by hand. Well, I was wrong. I decided to reevaluate the orbital buffer and found that using it to apply the wax at least DOUBLED the speed of the job and probably increases the quality of the work. Use a soft sponge pad and set the speed dial to "3". Always route the cord from above rather than below. Apply the wax in two directions overlapping 50% at all times. This system takes ALL the work out of buffing. No more elbow grease just to scrub off the excess wax.
The engine room bilge has seawater in it at all times due to the dripping of the shaft packing. This isn't normally a problem, but the water was developing an odor and turning black after only a week or two. I had to scrub and clean the bilge with bilge soap all the time. I found an easy solution. By putting a couple tablespoons of household hydrogen peroxide in the water after cleaning, the water stays perfectly clear and without odor. In Closing
I can’t say it enough. Hawaii promises to be much more than we ever expected from a cruising standpoint. It’s a rich environment with dozens of diverse destinations not far away. The weather is beautiful year around. The water is warm enough to swim. Abundant sea life. So much to do, we’ll never do it all and probably won’t try.
Surprisingly, Hawaii is ranked 48th out of 50 states for number of boats per capita. That’s right, even Kansas has more boats per person. That means the island waters are pristine and uncrowded. We’re now absolutely certain we’ve got the right boat in the right place to keep us busy for awhile.
Thanks to our friends Jeff and Tonya for all their hard work aboard Eliana.
And most of all thanks to our faithful readers.
Lying: Ko Olina Marina, Kapolei, HI
Mileage: 11,174 Miles