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 Post subject: Alenuihaha Crossing
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Weater permitting local dealer and I are going to try to cross the Channel from Big Island to Hana Wednesday.

Should be interesting Kayak Bob like experience.

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 Post subject: Channel crossing
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:51 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:59 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Danville California/Kahana Maui
I can't wait to hear the stories of the crossing, I keep staring at Molokai and thinking of making the trip on the AI.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:24 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Maui, Hawaii
On the right day (conditions), I'd join you.

They did make it. Left Wednesday from The Big Island to Hana Maui and returned Thursday back to The Big Island. I'm awaiting the tale.

Kayaking Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:10 am 
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Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
On Weds & Thurs August 20 & 21 Kelly Harrison the local Big Island Hobie dealer ( P&P Kayaks) and I made a round trip crossing of the Alenuihaha Channel from the Big Island to Hana Maui and return. It was the first time for Hobie's Adventure Island kayak sailing craft.

Here's a chart so you can follow along. You will want to zoom in so you have a view of the north tip of the Big Island from Kauhola Pt Lt east to Upolu Pt and around down to Mahukona. On the Maui side from Hana east to about Kaho'olawe.

http://www.charts.noaa.gov/OnLineViewer/19010.shtml

The most dangerous part of the channel with wind rarely dropping under 20-25 knots is midway on an approximate line from Upolu Point to Haleakala. We did not want to take a chance getting pushed in there. For more dangers experienced in a craft almost twice as big see:

http://www.explorebiodiversity.com/main ... ihaha.html

We had studied the weather for several days and it looked like a possible opening on the days we chose with winds under twenty knots as long as we stayed east of the line from Hana to Upolu point. We figured by leaving from Kauhola Point light the straight line distance would be longer, but we could avoid being set into the more dangerous part of the channel.

We actually launched from KeoKeo Park the night before. There was no camping permitted there so we had to go about 500 yards to the next small bay to get a camp site. There was some surf there. I don't normally land in surf so while Kelly got in Ok I managed to get caught sideways, pushed on a large rock, and busted up some stuff. Fortunately had all repair components aboard, but cost me a half hour of sleep getting the boat fixed.

Anyway off the next morning about 0630 or thereabouts. Wind around 18 knots and wind waves 2-4, sometimes bigger.

Off we go:

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Typical trough.I had one break on my head and lost my Hobie Fishing Team sunglasses when the cokie broke:

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Not to mention I also lost a paddle. The Hobie hold downs on the yaku are insufficent under these conditions and require at least a bungie on the rear clip. Kelly also lost his little bag of rudder pins. Had some air in it and evidently water pressure was enough to lift it out of his mesh gear bag in the tankwell.

Conditions improved and our target of Hana started popping up on the visual radar. The little in hill in the last shot hid the harbor. Took us about six to six and half hours. Kelly figured 30 miles straight line distance from Upolu Point about. 39-40 miles over all leaving from Kauhola Pt Lt and wandering a bit.

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Bob Getzen who was my stroker on Moloka'i Hoe in 2001 met us on the beach. He had procured some lodging for us so we didn't have to poach a beach somewhere. Some pupu, dinner, showers, and a bed were nice. Mahalo Bob!! :D :D :D

Part 2 coming.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 2007
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Great stuff! This is what the AI is all about IMHO!
Bring on Part 2! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:52 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Part 2


Next morning Bob met us on the beach with pinnaple and bananas. Here he is on right with Kelly.He had stored our gear for us overnight in his canoe shed. Lots of Hana aloha from everyone there.

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That's me with Kelly stealing a granola bar.


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We got off at 0700 expecting some rising winds in the early afternoon. But outside of Hana it was a nice reaching breeze. Here's Kelly. Note no white caps.

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Kayaking Bob the reason we went to Hana was precisely due these wind conditions. For the first three hours we had a nice reach instead of having to point up and risk getting pushed into the center of the channel.

We figured a straight shot from Hana to Upolu Point and then a following wind to Mahukona.We were able to fairly easily follow this course most of the way.

The rain showers stayed east in the center of the channel-fortunately with their gusty winds.

Image

The above shot was about three hours out. We stopped to pump. These babies will leak under these conditions, and you better bring one.You have to stop when pumping. Otherwise incoming will flood through the hatch. A pump hole connection, maybe through the hatch should be designed in.

A sign of things to come.

Image

On the way over Kelly had removed his drive and put in the plug. He was at least a knot faster then me with a drive in. Not to mention a better sailer (I'm a fisherman that sails). Going back we reversed this. I was able to keep up and sometimes watching tell tails closely lead for a bit. But you have to be careful rigged that way. A couple of times a swell caught me I was temporarily in irons with no pedals, and I would quickly lose several hundred yards.

But the Big Island was now in sight

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And the wind was picking up. Note rollers and furled sail.

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Note over last photos changing conditions as we got closer to Upulo Point. Once closer to there, about a mile or two we would turn right and run downwind to Mahukona.

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I put the drive back in. In the process I disconnected the Drive's safety leash. We stopped to pump and I thought somehow I didn't have enough furling line on the mast. Any instinct like that should be acted on right then. Don't hesitate.

More wind.

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Soon it was getting to Beauford 6- 7 in gusts. I was fighting it so hard no time for pics, but checkout the scale by scrolling down to the 6-7 level.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beaufort_scale_6.jpg

[Note 2010 edit of web page above from original post]

Both of us had sailed in the twenty+ knot wind range. Kelly running from Waipio Valley to Kawaehae, and myself at South Point Needless to say we wern't quite expecting this much of a blow . But Kelly had already started angling south east. About 10-15 minutes from getting in the lee of Upulo. All we had to do was reef in a bit more and it would be a piece of cake to hit Mahukona.

I couldn't do it. No more reef line.

Somehow I managed to get the sail wrapped around the mast, but between being slammed by a couple of swells things went arwy, and I ended up with sail wrapped up high with ~2 feet exposed. The mast the popped out and I was a dead duck,

The following is eating crow, and says something about what can happen in these conditions.Hopefully others will learn.

Kelly never straying too far (after all I had all the spare rudder pins now :>)) quickly seized up the situation. When I said I could pedal he replied towing would be faster. Connecting one tow line from his craft to him self he swam another tow over to my boat.

Alfonse and gaston act begin.The line fouled on the drive even though I had pushed the fins up against the hull. OK pull it. I did. About then the yaku cross piece popped up off it's button holder. Time for a full bath, the yak hullied.

Believe it or not I managed to catch the drive between my legs as I felt it slide down my waist. So there I am hullied in the water clutching life or $450 depending on your view point.

I quickly swam around to the collapsed ama side. The yak wasn't getting away from me as I was leashed to it. But with only one arm as I clutched the drive tightly in the other figuring if I could get back in, it would be my salvation, I was in no position to right the AI with one arm.So where is there a line I can tie it too.. Never fear Kelly was near, and dropped in to help me right it.Threw the drive in, followed it and secured the hold down nuts. Didn't lose anything as the rest of the gear had hold down lines.

Finally got the tow started. You can see from the photo how near we where to making this whole trip an easy one. Also how close we were to a Beauford 7.


Image


I'll spare the details of fighting the exposed two feet of sail. Couldn't pedal and turn, nor could Kelly tow across the wind. But he came by again. Figured two of us could get it out. Standing he was able to get enough leverage to pull the mast out, and I secured it in it's holders I had made on the yaku. Uneventful from there to Mahukona takeout.

Image


I made too many errors on this trip. But got through it because I had an experienced partner, and had done a little homework myself. It was quite a expedition. I think it fulfilled it's objective of proving what a tough little craft the AI is.

One big problem is hypothermia from wind when your being continually soaked.. I had on a NRS hydro silk shirt, NRS splash pants, and jacket and was shaking like a leaf on the way to Hana. Somewhat better on the way back when I added a cotton long sleeve over the hydrosilk, but not much. Kelly suffered too. Can't remember what he had, but he thought a light surf suit would have been more appropriate. Could also have use Kayaking Bob's Darth Vader splash screen.

If you try this be sure you check, and recheck the weather. BTW some time it goes glassy and you could end up pedaling the 30+ miles

Aloha

Dan

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Last edited by AlohaDan on Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 9:21 pm
Posts: 2229
Location: Maui, Hawaii
Great tale of a Great Adventure!

A couple questions.

What is the purpose of the rope going from one ama to the bow and back to the other ama?

What turned out to be the mast problem? Did the plastic spool part break free (glue failed) or did something get into the cup (loose bearing)?

I hope you recovered enough for fishing this weekend. :)

Kayaking Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
Posts: 2007
Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Truly a great adventure. 8)
Like Bob I didn't understand what caused the problem.
It sounds like you couldn't furl. Did the furling line break or cams fail?


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 8:54 am
Posts: 61
Location: Albuquerque
Looks like I'm going to be carrying my Northwater Sea Tec Upgraded Tow Line with float and shock cord along for any new trip just in case. The float would have prevented the line from going under and tangling in the drive. The waves must have been interesting to do the tow in which is what Sea Tec's shock cord system is supposed to help. Looks like it's also not a bad idea to add a front bow padeye quick attachment loop that may be beefier than the bow handle so that a quick carabiner clip in would be easier or would serve as a backup to the Hobie Bow/Stern Handle.

I can easily see why the tieoff from the bow to the amas was done. I was on a lake with some pretty short period 1-2' waves and had the shock cord holder on the front of one Ama pop off. If it happened to both shock cords on one side you could lose the Ama..on the ocean or going down river and up lake as I am planning to do in two months and going solo you could be in for interesting times.

Speaking of which...If the mast retainer ever failed.....would it be bon voyage to the mast?...I'm going to think up a backup plan for that one too Just in Case.

Loved the pix in Hana. Stood on the "beach" exactly where the triumphant voyagers did. FYI, the clothing optional beach was around that headland "Hill" that blocked the harbor...Red Sand Beach in Hana: Situated on the far side of Ka'uiki Hill south of Hana Bay, Red Sand Beach better know as Kaihalulu, is one of the prettiest Hawaiian beaches. The sand gets its red-black tinge from the crumbling of cinder cone hill that surrounds the coast. It's a bit of a scramble to get there...

Interested in just what happened to pop the mast. Fastlane in San Diego mentioned that with a bit of bounce you could have the mast receiver move due to some hull deflection to where the mast would not seat properly requireing a readjustment of the V-Frame. On open water that would be REAL interesting.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 1:57 am 
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Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 7:23 am
Posts: 12
Location: La Coruña, Spain
Great adventure!

I own an AI too, and although i'm an absolute beginner at sailing, i think the AI is not suitable for use in rough seas.

I sailed one day at beufort force 7, and never want to repeat it.
The aka crossbars are not strong enough for resist heavy waves, i think.

So now i sail only if wind conditions are force 5, 6 max, or less. Yesterday sailed 30 km with force 3-4 and that is perfect for me. I think the AI was designed for calm seas or lakes, not for use in open sea.

Regards.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Bob

Yeah after fixing everything went out Sunday for last day of contest. Smooth waters, very light winds, but steady so was able to maintain ~3 knots. Dry as a bone coming in! Leakage is defintely something to do with rough water and following seas.IMHO the rudder lines should be redesigned to exit the hull at the steering yoke, and the yoke itself mouted exterior to the hull (covered with a cap that is slit) so the rudder line tubes when filled with water just lead it off into the cockpit to drain to the drive well. OC-1 design.

I'm still thinking through what happened with the sail. It was so fast.

Guessing this :?:

With the furling line not wrapped enough (see mistake in basic thread)I got it completely furled by hand, but when I tried to let it out somehow in the high wind too much slack and the top of the sail wrapped leaving a 2-4 ft square section up there. Just that little bit up high created all kinds of problems. If you look at a closely reefed sail the exposed part of the sail is low.

That little piece sticking out contributed to the tow line fouling the Mirage Drive. My boat was drifting faster then Kelly's so after he hooked me up, the yak drifted over it. (The line did have the little baggie thing).

The furling piece did not come unglued. I believe the pressure from the small section of sail up top, and a swell slam might have popped the mast up that ~ one inch. Don't know.

I do know the curved handle lock mechanism exhibited the following trend on dry land. I could put it in a position so the mast would relese. Only if I pushed it fwd after the mast was inserted would it lock the mast down. This could be a lube problem. I'll see over the next few outings.

The line from the bow does keep the ama from drifting off if you lose the bungie hold down. But the bungie system is a beautiful design. You don't want a rigid connection there. For OC-6 boats in Hawaii we use line wrappings. They give slightly which is what you want in these conditions. However if I were going on a long range expedition I would carry a spare or two and the tool

But Kelly put that line on to keep the ama from collapsing aft if the cross piece popped off. Which it did, but I honestly do not know which way the ama collapsed to. I believe fwd , but I was wrestling with the drive.

I would not go looking for a Beauford 6-7 again deliberately, but the boats seem to be able to handle it for a couple of hours anyway if you make no mistakes. I think they are pretty darn tough.

BTW Kelly's sailing tip. When furling in a high wind point up close to a luff to take pressure off furling sheet. Makes it easier to furl the sail up.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
Posts: 2407
Location: Escondido
Dan, great adventure and I'm glad you're back to tell about it! Your excellent pictures really augment the narration. It sure looks like some place I wouldn't want to be!

If I read this correctly, it sounds like the bottom of your sail furled but the top section of the mast spun and the top of the sail didn't complete the furling. So you were out of furling line with the top still out. Does that sound about right? If so, perhaps epoxying your mast halves together might be a solution?

Mast engagement can be a problem if the turnbuckles become loose and get out of position or if for some reason, the spool assembly slips vertically. If there is any tight fit or difficulty locking, have a close inspection of those areas. 8)


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 Post subject: just awesome
PostPosted: Thu Aug 28, 2008 5:34 pm 
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Location: New Jersey
AlhoaDAn - awesome report

I to was cold from the continual soaking from the waves on my bay crossing

On all future extended trips a drysuit will be standard gear for me

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:10 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2007 6:14 pm
Posts: 1886
Location: South Florida
A-Dan,

Excellent report. I'm on a slow link, but when I get back to my home base, I'm going to have to study it--lots of good info. Tying the amas on is something I would have never thought of.

Keith


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2008 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:04 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Hawaii, Big Island
Roadrunner

No the top of the mast did not spin.

What Kelly thinks is I did not pull down when attempting the hand furl. In which case there was enough slack high for the top to wrap.

One possibility on the furling line was the knot had come out and I lost some before reinserting. But that's a HAG. I don't recall that occuring. I never will know (or remember) what really happened there. Can just conjecture on my other habits/procedures. The whole situation was human error IMHO.

Needless to say one lesson is furl early!! If the wind is coming up it's liable to get higher.

I do check my turnbuckles fairly frequently. I even put locktite on them as I discovered they were lose after examining the mast when it was moving slightly in light winds. That's the tip I think that they have lossen.

OK I have confessed to everything I can think about.

I feel better now.

Aloha

Dan

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