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 Post subject: Long South Point Workout
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:14 pm 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
And a long report too! :D

I had previously posted about getting caught in a wind shear line, breaking off a Sidekick ama, and huli twice.

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So I was interested in the AI response in not so bad, but similar conditions. Give the yak a wring out but not endanger myself. I also wanted to fish.

South Point is a great fishing area, but can be very dangerous. The launch point is east of South Point about a mile. It's also the start for Green Sands beach a popular spot to walk in a couple of miles or 4 wheel for locals and visitors.

South Point itself points due south so once your there you can hide behind the cliff. Underwater it extends out due south so to the east it's shallow, west quickly drops off to 600 fathoms + even within a hundred yds or so of the cliff. Not too comfy because the wind whips over the adjoining plane and dives down over the cliffs at you. Actually helps create an upwhelling as described by Ross in Fisherman's Ocean. See page 108.

Here's what the lady looks like when she lays down. Yes those are wind machines in the background.

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The winds blow out of the east or slightly SE. Got more than I bargined for with 18 knot winds, gusts to 22 (reported weather anenometer) windwaves 6-8 feet, and current combo.

Prior to launching as glad to see some local fishing boats had also launched.

So I started out slow. Reefed in pretty good.

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The above was enough to get me over the ~ 1 mile to the SP light in half a nanosecond. Also enough to get my first strike on an ono lure sans any bait. (I have the torn skirt to prove it). Although I had tried tacking sucessfully into the wind, before making this run, I had a troubled stomach thinking about the return.

Once around the light I switched to a bait (o'pelu) and ran along the cliffs. My heart wasn't in it as I knew the wind had come up to 150 knots or so, or at least my brain was trying to tell me it's going to be a long way back. So I went within 20 feet of the cliffs, furled up 100% and had lunch. Fuel for the return. I would need it.

I started back with the sail furled down over the lower batten.

Was pedaling along as best I could. Rounded the point into the teeth of the gale, and kicking myself for still having my bait out. Last thing I need then was to hook up. Which of course happened as I crossed over the drop off line.. Furled 00% struck fish. The threw my new Hobie drift chute over which helped somewhat to slow my drift away from the launch site which was now 100 miles away. Well add another half mile anyway. (My mental state was going to hell). The fish realizing I was in dire straights, and taking advantage of some slack I had inadvertently provided while wrestling with the drift chute hook up, freed himself.

I reeled in, and let the sail out to the level pictured above.

Tha amount was fine for tearing downwind. didn't do much tacking into it.

On the zig I made up ground very slightly. On the zag lucky to brekeven.

%$#@ Ok let the sail out to the first batten.

Moved pretty good on the zig.


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The zag at sometimes I broke even if I cheated pointing higher than I should and pedaled like mad.

So I made slow progress back. Unfortunately the zig was taking me offshore! Now I was almost two miles out.

I ended up taking shorter tacks . I was slowly gaining ground and had cut down the rate I was headed for the Marquessas.

I did not have a spray shield. Fortunately based on Bob's Maui friends complaining about cold Hawaiian waters I had some NRS splash gear, so hypothermia wasn't a problem (yes it happens here under certain conditions). But my glasses were being bombarded under the bill of my hat (secured by chin strap).

I'm pretty good at picking up two points higher up on the landscape to see if I'm making progress. and getting even further off shore couldn't see the shore line anyway.

Having to pedal like hell on the tacks, and the zags I was getting to be one pooped puppy.

I found I could really hold the zigs so started to head inside a bit. Where was the takout? Where was my truck?

After another hour (going on four since I started back) I saw a couple of hikers. Gotta be coming from Green sands I thought. Where is the takeout?

Another twenty minutes and I take off my dark glasses which I could barely see through anyway, and look around a bit closer. Hell Green Sands is over there! I'd spent the last hour overshooting!!:oops: :oops: :oops: :roll: :cry:

This time two nano seconds to run back to the takeout.

Couple guys helped me get the yak off the ramp. Thanks vistors, whoever you are.

Trip proved a couple of things.

I wouldn't go out in this stuff to fish.

Maybe sport for sailing IF you have some companions like Kayaking Bob.

The boat can help you survive getting caught out, but you better be sure you can catch the right tack. IE: start your trip in the right direction, know where the dangerous winds can come from.

See my comments on rudder elsewhere.

Yes I did have a GPS, but was too busy to think about it.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:40 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:57 am
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Location: Phuket, Thailand
blimey, sea looks HUGE!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:12 am
Posts: 419
Location: Florida
Dan wow! what a trip. :shock:

I would never go out in stuff like that. Been caught in 20knt winds but in the inshore waters (itercoastal) there are no 6' waves.

I have found that in order to get a tight tack upwind the sail has to be very flat. If you have the sail furled in too small, where it starts to wind the batten around the mast, the sail is not flat enough. So adjusting sail just so the entire first batten in free does help.

I assume you also were using your daggar board? I have found it to make a big difference making progress upwind.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 10:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2007 6:47 pm
Posts: 94
Nice job! Also, one of the hardest things to do is take pictures of the sea that represent how bad it really was. So I can only imagine.

Lake Michigan has its days where it kicks up pretty good. One day last summer I sailed out to the 4 mile crib and back next to a couple of sailboats that were reefed pretty good. 8-12 foot waves easy and a day that powerboats would never go out past the break wall. It was the kind of 8-12 footers that really aren't bad because they aren't crashing into you, but rather you just go up and down them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:45 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Yak

Dagger Board? Always. As the saying goes "Don't leave home without it." Probably could have used a longer one! Maybe two? :lol:

You guessed right on the first batten ad flat sail. Took me a couple of tries to get that, but in that wind you have to be a fast learner.

Interesting when I got back to Keauhou and talked to one of the guys in our club he had been caught in a similar situation off Molokai in a 44 foot sail boat.

Went an hour and half on a zag, and when he came back on the zig had only made up a half mile. Lot of it depends on your direction you want to make good versus wind giving you the tacks to get there. I'm not that experienced, so from gaining knowledge about what the AI could do, and not do, it was a good day for me.

Too bad they don't have sailing classes in strong winds. Going to have to give Kayaking Bob a call and see if I can get over to Maui for some tips. I'm sure he's seen rougher days.

jzk The large swells are generally OK. Had no problem with them that size with Sidekick rig. But wind was only 10 knots or so. The first pic, however, the wind with the Sidekick rig was pushing 20, but waves were small enough so I squeeked back to the landing site pictured.

I can tell you from racing the Molokai Hoe you don't want to be caught in the big buggers when the tops start rolling unless it's for pure sport with a power boat backup.

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 Post subject: you will get it dan
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:33 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:55 am
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Location: North Shore Oahu Hawaii
one thing i do dan especially if i go out and in the same spot is head up wind first. in the morning when the winds are light head into it and go that way. when the winds come up turn arouund and head home. sounds like you did it backwards. we sail in big winds big waves all the time. when its real windy i will do very long down wind runs. if you have a girl have her drop you off at south poing and sail into kealakakua. this would be a fun down wind run. I am lucky i have a beautiful women who supports my fishing. she will drop me off in places and then pick me up 20 miles away. tacking in rough water sucks and is a long hard beat. try going up wind first. if you find a place like back yards oahu, famous wind surf spot, you will find the wind side shore. this is your ideal condition because you can go out and in with little effort. keep it up dan i know your going to nail a huge monster soon. aloha Boogie-D
can you believe jim sammons wants to compare mother shipping with kayak sailing. i would like to see him do what you did above.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:35 pm 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Here's a chart for those wishing to follow the discussion. Start by blowing up the South half of the Island:

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/19320.shtml

boogie

Kealakakua ? Heck Miolii is 24-26 miles away, and would be a bit of a stretch for an solitary old man. Two-three mo betta for safety. Winds would be pretty light the last 8 nm also.

I know what your saying, but your method requires some logistics, other than a day sail I was doing.

Going west than north closest point to take out would be Road to the Sea. ~12-14 nm. Just south of Kauna point which can be pretty bad in it's own right.

Beach is pretty step and beat me up pretty bad last year at high tide. Requires 4WD support.

The closer black sand beaches at Ranchos have been closed off by the land owner (boo!!!). You can always land there, but would have to camp without land support.

If you want to make that trip check with John Enomoto at Go Bananas. He's done it camping.

I'll go if I am here.

Want to do Waipio Valley to Hawi first though.(north end of island other readers) Did you know Kelly (Hobie dealer-good guy)did it non stop all the way to Kawaihae? Said Upolu point was fierce. AI makes a great expedition boat IMHO[would be better with a closed off rear and large hatch]

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 Post subject: aloha dan
PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:55 am
Posts: 96
Location: North Shore Oahu Hawaii
right on dan. . its hard sailing in rough sea's. a lot of work and not so comfortable like a ship. I would really like to do the northern tip waipio run some day. i have heard from friends who live there that, there are some big boys in that water.

I am always checking the coastal wind observations and it seems as if south point and upolu always have the heavy winds. i am sure the currents are nutty there as well. yeah that trip kelly did was pretty crazy. what an animal.

I am so lucky my girlfriend is so supportive off what i do and gives me rides and picks me up. at the last yak attack i wanted to do the northern tip but swell and wind shut that down. the monday we left the big isle we went and checked waipio lookout for a few pics. the weather had turnd and it was absolute glass. it looked perfect for the paddle around.

some day i want to do a channel crossing in the hobie AI with a back up boat. I think she would make it. if i can handle that much i do not know. right on dan cant wait to see more of the fish your going to catch. i just got a 28 pound kahala i will post pics at the aqua hunter site soon. aloha Boogie

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 5:56 am 
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Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Wow Dan,
That was some trip in those wind conditions--many congrats! You're living the dream of many of us leeward side yak sailors. Keep up the great reports!
Best,
Dick

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 6:38 am 
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Location: Indianapolis, IN
I visited South Point last summer. BEAUTIFUL and awe inspiring place! The waves and currents there are so strong, the native Hawaiians tied tethers on their fishing boats, so they could be pulled back to land. Otherwise there was no guarantee they could ever get back. (Some of the old ropes are still there.) And if you do get swept out to sea, there is nothing between you and Antarctica!

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