Kicking it in Maui

Time flies when you’re having fun, right? Well, we’re having a blast here in Maui, being kept busy by all the great people we’ve been meeting with true aloha spirit.

It all started last Thursday, when we first arriving in Maui. We were met by Serena’s mum, Ming, on the dock at the Lahaina Harbour. As you can imagine, after 17 days at sea, you begin to crave certain foods, fresh ones in particular. Well, there was one thing everyone was craving, especially on the particularly hot afternoon that we arrived on: smoothies! So when Ming arrived with four large mango smoothies, a cheer went up from the crew! Wow, that might have been the best tasting drink I’ve ever had.

One key lesson we’ve learned on this trip is the importance of connecting with locals to really experience the best of a place. And the great thing about sailors and sailing, is the universal spirit of camaraderie and good will that they share. So when we contacted the Lahaina Yacht Club about possibly doing a presentation to their junior program, they came back with an offer of temporary membership, use of their mooring bouys, and were generally more help than we could possibly have imagined. Wow, how perfect is that. In fact, as we were arriving in Maui, one of members of the yacht club, Curtis, was out sailing and recognized Khulula, so he directed us in the channel and showed us where to moor.

And, as luck would have it, last week was their summer sailing camp for kids. So on Friday Curtis from the Yacht Club invited us to speak with the kids about our trip and plastic in the ocean before they hit the water for the day. As usual, the level of comprehension amongst all the kids was very high, and there were excellent questions asked by all. Then the excitement of the day began: racing! It was the final day of the week long sailing camp, and all the kids were charging. They were sailing Opti’s and a racy little boat by Bic called an Open. Bryson and I were enlisted to help the kids rigging the boats and bailing them out when the capsized. We charged around in a kayak and small dinghy, mostly just watching in amazement as the little boats were skippered masterfully around the race courses. Even the kids who hadn’t ever been in a boat at the beginning of the week were deftly tacking and gybing around the course. The whole trip we’ve been talking about trying our hands at sailing these little dinghys, as fun challenge to test our ‘sailing’ skills. After lunch, when the races were wrapping up and a few of the kids were loosing interest, we finally got our wish. Bryson hopped in an Opti, and I squeezed onto an Open. We both started promptly capsizing them. After a few more tries we were off around the buoys, tacking back and forth with the grace of elephants, occasionally getting stuck in irons, and often being passed by the kids still on the course. We had a blast, but unfortunately because neither of us could manage to make it around the race course in the right direction, we didn’t get to claim a victory over the other. And I never did figure out how to gybe with out flipping the boat over.

Once again, sailing season and surfing season isn’t lining up for us, so we are left searching high and low for waves in less than stellar conditions. Luckily we met up with Carlo, an amazing guy who took it up himself to show us around the island last weekend and search for some swell. We checked out a couple classic north shore spots and had a few waves, but more importantly, so some beautiful parts of the island.

Maui is amazing in how diverse this climate of on the island is. There are temperate areas, near deserts, lush tropical forests with world rainfall records, and vast volcanic landscapes that resemble the moon.

Up next: Khulula goes on a mission to a nearby island for waves and what the trade winds washup on the shores of Maui…

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