Lahaina Sailing World
My husbands bucket list included learning how to sail. After taking an incredible five day sailing course by the San Diego Sailing Academy which is affiliated with the American Sailing Association, we received worldwide recognized certification that will allow us to rent bareboat sailboats most places around the globe. It’s like Budget Rent-A-Car for sailors, but you have to have the certification. The San Diego sailing Academy is run by a father son team, Nick and Mike Monastra. Mike was our main instructor and he was fabulous. He is a wonderful instructor and he has a “be cool” approach to sailing. No matter how badly we messed up he always said that’s cool, don’t worry, and he would show us how to do it correctly. He made us feel comfortable and we’re able to learn in a very comfortable environment. San Diego Harbor is busy! There was everything from rowboats to Navy destroyers running around in this harbor. What an incredible experience. We really came away with a lot of practical experience and a lot of confidence, and the certification papers. I would recommend these guys to anyone.
We had joined the Lahaina Yacht Club to learn how to sail and because of the certification we have access to their 30 foot Olsen sailboat named Snickers. It is a nice little racing boat. We have spent several wonderful Sundays out on the water enjoying one of the most beautiful places on earth. The view of Lahaina and the West Maui Mountains from the sea is simply breathtaking. We love it. What a way to relax and prepare for the following week’s work. As with any new interest in life you begin to notice things going on around you that you had no idea were happening before. For example, the Vic Maui 2014 yacht race from Victoria Island Canada to Maui just finished. A 35 foot racing yacht called Longboard, owned by a Canadian named Peter Salusbury won the race. It arrived at about 11 PM on Thursday. Over the next few days all the boats eventually made it to port. On Sunday we went to Lahaina Harbor to see what was going on. Turicum, another Canadian vessel, owned by Warren Hale, had just arrived, 11th overall. They were wined and dined and leid at the Pioneer Inn after their long journey. It was quite a scene.
The Lahaina Yacht Club recommended a really interesting app called Yellowbrick where you can follow any number of boat races around the world. You can purchase to view a race for a few dollars and track all of the boats. It gives the skippers, the type of boat and it tracks their course by GPS throughout the race. Very cool.
If you’re interested in learning how to sail, you can call the Lahaina yacht club and find out about their classes. Some of the classes are open to the public at certain times of the year. Visit Lahaina Yacht Club at 836 Front Street, Lahaina.
2014 Vic Maui
Saturday night was the celebration banquet for the Vic Maui sailing race from Vancouver to Maui. The race took approximately 2 weeks and the party was to commemorate and honor all of those involved. All but one of the boats finished and one of the boats was demasted in rough weather from tropical depression Wali. By the time it got near Hawaii it was very downgraded and produced some shearing difficulty, but it was minimal. At our table we happened to sit next to the crew of the last but not least boat to arrive, Kinetic, a Beneteau First 47.7. One of the crew members indicated that their crew was rather inexperienced. Due to work schedules, many of the regular seasoned crew was unable to make the two week journey. Experience does make a big difference. Even though they came in last they were upbeat and happy to have been part of the race and celebration. It was really interesting meeting these guys and their wives and girlfriends. The guy that sat next to me was a neuroscience researcher who did a lot of work in spinal cord injury. My husband, a neurologist, had a great conversation about spinal cord injuries and surfers myelopathy. This particular crewmember convinced us that we should take a water safety/man overboard course that they run in Vancouver. Their simulation includes actually getting into the frigid water, climbing into a life raft, activating flares and so on. Anyone making a blue ocean crossing should be prepared for the worst. There is still a lot of tsunami junk floating around the Pacific and you never know what you might hit in the middle of the night.
Everyone got some kind of an award and all the people involved were honored for their hard work and long hours to prepare for this once every two year event. Because it is international, customs and passports needed to be cleared and checked. All the proper forms and bureaucracy needed to be satisfied. It is a fairly complicated endeavor but it mostly came off without a hitch. Some of the specially imported Canadian wine ended up in Honolulu but half of the bottles did arrive in Maui. One thing about the Lahaina Yacht Club, they do like their fermented and distilled beverages. The Sheraton put on a great outdoor buffet, sunset included. The food was excellent and setup was comfortable. There was only about a 15 minute interval where it was really hot between the wind shifting from mauka to makai. We will definitely be there again in two years. Maybe one day we will actually make the crossing ourselves. It will definitely take a lot more practice before that happens. And we do enjoy the practice.