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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:42 am 
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Mammoth effort. I can't imagine not being able to physically or mentally relax for 12 hours+.

If only I were younger.......I'd watch that video again.

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:50 am 
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Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Mainlanders should have seen him last year zipping around in a hang glider contest at .....18,000 feet.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 am 
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Here's how Kelly returned the yak back to Island of Hawaii. Some real lessons in here.

I made another Alenuihaha Crossing last Sat. This time coming from South Maui but upwind, upswell made it tough and really long. Here is the details...

Hey Maui Sailors,
Nice to meet those of you that were able to get over to Bob's... and fun sailing with those that made it out to last Saturday's sail. I thought that I better post up a recap of my (Saturday's) channel crossing just to make sure people didn't think that it was a cakewalk and think they might like to follow in my footsteps....
Because I'd classify that crossing as closer to torture than an enjoyable sail. And compared to my previous Hana crossings (to or from Maui) I'd say the Hana run was more of a Blue Square, intermediate challenge (of course depending on wind and weather conditions) and the La Peruse to Big Island was more of a Double Black Diamond on this day.
So, going in I knew that returning from La Peruse would be a more upwind task than my previous crossings, to or from Hana. And the forecast was for the NE Trades turning more Easterly which would make it more difficult than the same strength North Easterlies.
And that was definitely the case but it was worse than I thought. Entering the trades I was steering an upwind course of 180 degrees (straight South) which wasn't even close to getting me nearer to the Big Island. But I was confident that the Easterly winds would kick in as I got deeper into the trades and get me on a heading that would land me somewhere along the West Coast of the Big Island.
My goal was to make Mahukona which had a twofold advantage. One... It makes the shortest distance to a landable point. And two... The Trades almost always blow very close to Mahukona. One might lose the Trades a mile from Mahukona but it should be either sailing right in or a short distance pedaling compared to every point going South where the Trades get blocked by the higher mountains.
So the early part of the crossing looked bad for making Mahukona and I was battling upwind and upswell as high as the boat could point, only making 4-6 knots, with the sail furled three wraps in the continual 25 knot winds. The wind improved enough to get me headed at 150 degrees which had me more confident in hitting the Big Island but with no idea how far South I might end up or what distance I would actually be doing.
I was being a bit cautious because I didn't want to be dealing with broken parts while being blown away from the Big Island. I did have my upwind ama collapse. I heard a snap and thought that my bolt holding the Aka Brace Ball had snapped. I rectified the problem with lines to keep the ama open (actually got that part on video) and then I realized that it wasn't the bolt that had snapped. It had just unscrewed itself from the pounding, likely partially unscrewing from my earlier (Big Island to Hana) crossing. But when I went looking for the ball that I had stashed in my mesh pocket it had already gotten flushed away. But I think the lines holding the ama worked better anyway since I was just one less plastic pin that I needed to be concerned about breaking.
The conditions were beyond challenging. They were downright torture getting continually pelted directly in the face with spray and quite a bit colder (heading into the strong winds and seas) than the Hawaiian waters normally are. But it could have been a lot more comfortable had I been wearing goggles or a mask. And I did have a wetsuit that I could have put on (actually wish I would have had it on the whole way) if I really felt hypothermia was a danger.
So somewhere about 18 miles into the trip the winds finally came around to Easterly and I was able to get on my 120 course (sometimes higher) that would have taken me to Mahukona. But the delay in that Easterly Wind had me following a course15 miles from Mahukona (at 6:20pm) but that put Mahukona straight upwind so I had a choice of alternate landing points down the South Kohala Coast which added about 15-25 miles depending on where I wanted to head.
So I chose Kawaihae which was closest to my home and hopeully would have the trades continuing closer to the island than the alternatives. And when darkness fell the waves lessened since I was getting protection from the Big Island. It was actually easier to navigate because the lights of South Kohala were easier to track than watching the compass, and the stars were out, the phosphoresence was sparking all around the boat so the night portion was quite a bit less hectic, and actually more enjoyable, than the earlier hours.
But the Trades petered out around 9 miles from the coast. So I got to pedalling and luckily had a few wind gusts that greatly improved my progress but it was still 12:30am when I finally made my Kawaihae landing.
So it ended all good except for the memory of handling quite a dose of torture. It wasn't until Monday that I noticed that I had 2 black (and swollen) eyes from taking so many spray blasts to the face. And somehow I took an impact to the top of my hand (no idea when it happened). After the fact it felt like a hammer blow that probably came close to breaking bones but it is now on the mend.
So after 3 hours of sleep, Sunday morning arrived all to early and had me dealing with vehicle logistics and getting my TI and other boats loaded and on the road for our Kona Demo. It wasn't until Monday morning (when I had to get a container unloaded) that I actually got enough sleep to feel like a fully functioning human again.
So I'm sure at some point in the future that I'll find myself in a similar, or worse, situation, but in the near future if I have a choice between repeating that sail or say participating in "water boarding", I think I'd try the water boarding just to see how it really compares with that crossing...
So if anyone is ever thinking about sailing an Island to the Big Island.... I'd think long and hard about making that crossing from South Maui, especially during Easterly winds. Departing from Hana gives a much better wind angle with higher sailing speeds and more options as to course and landing points...
I'll be getting the video together soon....


Kelly Harrison


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 1:35 pm 
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Great read. Thanks Dan.

Please ask Kelly what led to the Aka break on the first trip. It's important information to those of us in open water.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:15 pm 
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Use of metal pin for brace I believe. Only thing he could get in Hana stop.

Other factor may have been design of brace leading aft, versus fwd for AI.

I'll see what he says . Bob may have discussed with him already. :P

Note for this return his use of lines when ball brace unscrewed. Looking fwd to his video of that safety measure.

Aloha

Dan

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:27 pm 
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I'd like to see that too.

We had figured that the metal pin contributed. That leeward Aka had a really hard day at the office,..

Maybe brass vs steel could have helped?

Your point about the TI brace vs AI is a good one. Given the same stock pin materials, I've been curious what the relative "pushing" vs "pulling" breaking points are.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Very interesting story. I can get a rough idea of the trip from Google earth, but it would be great to have (see) his gps track--does he have one? Can it be uploaded to GE?

Keith

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:09 pm 
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Just saw Kelly.

Video (Bob is working on edit) shows him sailing with ama partially collapsed, then being pulled open by his arranging holding lines.

According to Kelly the yaku break on the way over was right where the support rod pin holder is welded to the yaku. Almost like the weld broke out of a hole. He has discussed this with Hobie engineers during his trip to the mainland.

Best bet for now is to use the plastic pin that breaks first and have two holding lines rigged to ama.

Also something to consider is that Kayking Bob caries a complete support rod with extra pins. Believe he's been doing this since AI came out.

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