Most of us Hawaii "locals" prefer to steer clear of Waikiki - and for good reason, but when you decide to head offshore, it's one of the nicest areas you will ever see. Due to a sudden change of plans recently, we were "stuck" sailing there - off Waikiki and Diamond Head.
My pal Gary had originally invited me aboard his TI for a day of fishing the deep water outside Kaneohe Bay, on the other side of Oahu. It's a fantastic place to live and a sailing mecca. Sleepy and uncrowded, most of the time. Like this:
But there was a MAJOR fishing tournament starting that morning, shortly after sunrise on the full mood weekend. The place was overflowing with 20-30 ft plus fishing boats. Big rigs with serious trailers in tow. There was NO parking anywhere.
Our original plan a bust, we had headed to town, where the tourists hang out.
Driving over the mountain to town, we found the Ala Wai boat ramp totally unused and we took our time setting up. Things were looking up. There was still time to do a little offshore fishing and test the boat's balance relative to some planned modifications.
After threading through all the half million dollar boats and liveaboards, you cross the popular surf spots and quickly find deep water.
(UPDATE - A couple days ago, the south shore was hit with a late summer storm swell that peaked well over 12 feet. This channel was closed to boats and even surfers were taking a pounding out there. It ripped the huge channel marker off its anchor and tossed it ashore..)
Some beautiful, drool worthy boats sail from this area, It's also where TRANSPAC racing yachts from California cross the finish line.
Sailing a little to the west, you will cross Honolulu harbor (our main commercial channel) where you'll encounter a lot of traffic, from container ships to coast guard cutters to cruise liners. Unfortunately, you'll also see dive boats and paragliding excursions choking the area.
Little plastic yachts don't want to hang around here too long.
Beating against the wind and waves we soon found ourselves off Diamond Head.
From here, you can continue along the coast to Kahala and Hawaii Kai. But it's a much nicer sail coming back, riding swells with the wind at your back.
We are in over 1000 feet of water here, though it may not seem it. Still no fishies, so we decide to open her up a little and blow off some steam on the downwind run.
And here's a video link of what that was like:http://gallery.me.com/huipro#100109/DSCF4595trimtest&bgcolor=black
So if you ever get the chance to head offshore at Waikik, jump on a snorkel boat or a dinner cruise. It's an amazing site, even for couple jaded locals.