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Thread: Weather/Tactics (Conclusion)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Weather/Tactics (Conclusion)

    Throughout its 32-year history the Singlehanded TransPac Race (SHTP) has earned many epithets - courageous, heroic, masochistic, insane. . . In 1998, after 14 days in the cramped confines of his Moore 24, Greg Morris characterized our odd contest with his own irreverent spin: "This race is like a bug light for weirdos with boats."

    And overheard at Tree Time, "With all the time and money you've poured into your boat, you can't just do this Race once ....."


    HANALEI to KEEHI and ALA WAI Small Boat Harbors (120 miles).

    Electing to ship your boat home post SHTP means crossing the Kauai Channel from Kauai to Oahu to deliver your yacht to Keehi Marine Center at Honolulu for haul out. This overnight passage is normally a rugged upwind crossing. Especially if there are Small Craft Advisories for the Kauai Channel.

    Begin early morning. It is 6 miles to Kilauea Point. The wind likely will be light offshore until trades fill near shore about 10 a.m.

    After passing Kilauea Light, parallel the shore (port tack) and assume a course of 115 - 120 magnetic. The tradewinds will fill and increase to 20-25 knots from 075 m. as you leave the coast of Kauai astern.

    It is 93 miles from Kilauea Point to Barbers Point ( approximately 20 - 24 hours). If you fall SW (to leeward) of rhumbline, no worries. You will get lifted as you approach Oahu.

    Bailout is Lihue/Nawiliwili, dead downwind at 21 57' x 159 20' W. (bright aero beacon at Lihue Airport just North of the main harbor.). Nawiliwili Harbor has an anchorage and small boat marina inside.

    As you approach Oahu and leave Kaena Point to port, the wind will fair and ease and the vociferous seas will calm in the lee of Kaena Pt. There are several brightly lit radomes on the ridges high above Kaena Pt.

    Kaena Point's lee and consequent reduction of wind and seas begins when Kaena Pt. bears approx. 60 m. Although the effect of the lee of Kaena Pt and the high mountain ridges of Oahu can be felt for 20-30 miles out into the Kauai Channel, the closer to Oahu you get, the smoother the seas.

    Once past Kaena Point, seas will be smooth. Afternoon seabreezes from the SW prevail in the lee of Oahu until near Barbers Pt., where the tradewind (NE) windline again kicks in.

    Along the SW shore of Oahu, in flat water and light winds, you will pass the Waianae (Pokai Bay) Small Boat Harbor, then Ko Olina Harbor—both good bailout spots. Ko Olina has a full service Marina, and lies just North East of Barbers Pt.

    Try to arrive at Barbers Pt after dawn. The windline begins again at Barbers Pt. Stay outside restricted oil tanker buoys, but not too far out—trades will be gusty here, but the water relatively smooth with afternoon wind chop. Little or no swell.

    It is now a 16-mile beat to Keehi/Ala Wai along the South Coast of Oahu. Long port tack legs. Shorter starboard tacks into smoother water. Do not approach reef closer than 1/2 mile or depth less than 50' (light blue water).

    You will pass 1) Pearl Harbor, 2) Honolulu Airport 3) Keehi Lagoon 4) Honolulu Harbor and 5) Kewalo Basin before Ala Wai. All these entrances are dredged passes through the off lying reef.

    Do not attempt to enter Keehi Lagoon or Ala Wai after dark*. Lights of background are confusing. Ala Wai Channel is only 100' wide. You can sail into both Keehi and Ala Wai during daylight hours.

    Entering Ala Wai, the Hawaii Y.C. is to starboard and Waikiki Y.C. is to port. HYC is always welcoming. You can tie up at guest dock for shower, ice,and good meal.

    * If you arrive at Keehi or Ala Wai after dark, try to get a tow or lead into these harbors from a passing boat. Without local knowledge, the background lights and narrow, dogleg channel are too confusing and dangerous for safe entry after dark.


    1.Kaena Point 21 35' x 158 17'
    2.Barbers Point 21 17' x 158 07' W
    3.Pokai Bay Small Boat Harbor 21 27.5' x 158 12'
    4.Ko Olina Marina 21 19.6' x 158 07' Phone: (808) 679-1050 Harbor master
    5.Lihue/Nawiliwili bailout 21 57' x 159 20'
    6. Keehi Lagoon Entrance 21-17 x 158-53
    7. Keehi Marine Center phone 808-845-6465
    8.Ala Wai Harbor entrance 21 16.58' x 157 50.8'
    9.Honolulu Coast Guard Phone: (808) 842-2640
    Last edited by sleddog; 05-21-2010 at 05:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Hi Skip,

    Again thanks for a great and very detailed discussion. We will miss you in Hanalei this time!

    John H
    Dream Chaser

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Skip, I second John's (and everyone else's) thanks. I have some idea now how to plan my race!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007


    Skippers, don't print these out - they'll be in your binders. Save a tree.

    Which somehow reminds me of my favorite movie as a kid: "Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines." At the last minute, the German general has to fly his subordinate's plane in the race because a competitor slipped a little something in the German pilot's drink, giving him the runs - big time. Problem: The German general doesn't know how to fly. So he gets ahold of "The Book of Instructions!" (spoken with German accent).

    So you see, Skip's articles are the "Book of Instructions!"

    As my 14 year-old would say, "Dad, that was random."
    Last edited by BobJ; 09-02-2019 at 08:43 AM.

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