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Thread: Weather/Tactics Discussion (Part 6)

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    Default Weather/Tactics Discussion (Part 6)

    PART 6: THE FINISH

    The downwind sprint from Kauai Approach Point, "Pt.B" at 23N x 158W, is 100 miles at 225m to the Finish Line off Puu Poa Pt., just east of the entrance to Hanalei Bay. Land starts to become visible at about 20 miles. The island of Kauai has rugged mountains and ridges. Mt. Waialeale, at 5148 feet is one of the rainiest spots on Earth and rarely visible. Most higher elevations are obscured by tradewind clouds stacking up on windward flanks.

    At night, the loom of the main city of Lihue on the eastern shore will be visible to port, along with its rotating airport beacon. Almost dead ahead, and slightly to port will be the famous Kilauea Pt. Lighthouse, 5 miles east of the finish line. Kilauea light becomes visible at about 15 miles.*

    Except for the condos on the cliffs at Princeville, the North Shore of Kauai between Kilauea and Hanalei is predominantly dark at night. The anchorage and anchor lights of boats in Hanalei Bay will not be visible until after finishing. There are no navigational aids at Hanalei. Because there is land between approaching finishers and the Race Committee stationed on the Princeville cliffs, VHF contact with RC will likely be intermittent at 10 miles and not consistent until 5 miles or less.

    VHF Weather, and Channel 16 Coast Guard has good range, at up to 100 miles offshore. FM Public Radio station KKCR Hanalei is available at 90.9 and 91.9, and gives local news, weather, and surf reports.

    The run to the finish is straight forward. During late night and early morning, the Tradewinds die away near land (to 5 miles offshore), and the wind shifts to a more offshore direction. The strongest wind at the finish, usually 18-20 knots from the East, will be during the afternoon. Rain squalls are frequent but short lived on the North Shore. Night time rain can be intense for short periods, but electrical storms are non-existent in summer.

    If you cross the finish line on port tack, prepare to either jibe or put on the brakes, as there is not much runway ahead with reef extending north and eastward from the entrance to Hanalei. The sail into Hanalei Bay anchorage is a port tack reach during the day. And a light air beat at night. Entrance into Hanalei should be approached from the N, avoiding the reef and surfing spot east of Puu Poa Pt. You should not see less than 40 feet of water both on the approach to the finish, and on the entrance into Hanalei.

    The anchorage is in 25-40 feet of water, sand and coral bits, 1/8 to 1/4 mile off the eastern shore. The buoyed lane along the beach is reserved for swimmers and canoes, and should not be anchored in.

    Congratulations and Aloha Nui! You have not only completed the Single Handed Transpac. But arrived at one of the most beautiful islands and anchorages in the Pacific.

    * Kilauea Light, first lit in 1913, has certainly aided many Bug Lighters in their approach to Hanalei. But it is best remembered for assisting Lieutenants Maitland and Hegenberger aboard THE BIRD OF PARADISE, an Army transport plane. Just a month after Lindberg's historic transatlantic flight, the two lieutenants set off to attempt the first successful flight from the Pacific Coast to Hawaii.

    A new radio beacon had been established on Maui and was to guide the BIRD during the flight. However, 200 miles out of Oakland the plane's radio failed, forcing Hegenberger to rely on celestial navigation and dead reckoning.

    After twenty-six hours of flight, the crew was extremely fatigued. They were low on fuel and should have reached the islands by that time. In this moment of desperation, a flicker of light off the left side of the plane caught Maitland's eye. He banked left and directed the plane towards the light. After circling Kilauea Point while waiting for dawn, the plane continued on to Oahu where it touched down at Wheeler Field at 6:30 a.m. on June 29, 1927

    Kilauea Light had literally saved the lives of the airmen. Had the flash of light not attracted Maitland's attention, the plane would have likely missed the islands completely and eventually plunged into the Pacific.
    Last edited by sleddog; 05-20-2010 at 05:34 PM.

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