Friday, July 15, 2011

West Maui

Yesterday morning, we went on a road trip around the western part of Maui. This road is much less traveled than the "Road to Hana" on the eastern side, and for good reasons: the first hour of the trip is a very narrow, winding, and often steep road that more often than not is just one lane. Additional hazards include falling rocks and slick roads after rainfalls. For me as the driver, this part of the trip required just as much concentration as sailing in 30+ mph winds and high chop - so it sure was fun, even though I often had to slow down to 10 mph. I did not see much except for the road, but the girls took some pictures:

Judging by their exclamations and the pictures, this was indeed a very scenic drive. Of course, we stopped a few times so I could have a look, too. This is a rock formation that we usually see from the other side when windsurfing:

We also had to stop at the "bell rock", which supposedly makes a bell-like sound when hit hard and at the right place:
It did not ring a bell for us - perhaps this is just something the Hawaiians use to make fun of tourists? Maybe there's a little web cam somewhere, linked to an address that only the locals know...

I mentioned the rock fall hazard, didn't I? Here's a picture of what was lying on the street at various locations:

Fortunately, this was where the road was wide and straight again. Something like this in the one-lane parts of the road, with nowhere to turn around, could have caused some serious problems.

The coast line was quite dramatic, so here are a few more pictures:

Close to the tip of the island, the road got bigger and more boring, with lots of other cars on the road. we stopped in Lahaina for breakfast on the beach, and then made it back home and finally to Sprecks. 

The sailing was close to perfect. I was on a 5.0, just powered at first and fully powered at the end of the session. We met with our friend Scott and took some pictures and videos - here are two pictures:

That's me in the picture above. Not sure if it was I or the board who decided to take off there; in either case, I need to work on getting the back leg up and sheeting in some more.
In the picture below are Nina on the right and Scott on the left:

Today, my daughter and I went to an arcade for some fun, and later drove out to Sprecks to meet Nina and Scott. Arriving at Sprecks at close to 4 pm, I had to pick a bad parking spot, and we needed plenty of helping hands to push the van to get it back out later. Fortunately, the windsurfers at Sprecks all seem nice and eager to help, so we eventually made it out again. My thanks to all the helpers!

In between, I took the 4.5 that Nina had rigged for a spin, together with my 93 l Angulo (no way Nina would let me touch her custom!). Just about then, the wind had picked up a lot, and I was overpowered on the 4.5. I had been to lazy to take my usual 30 in harness lines of my boom, and just slapped 28 in lines on. To cut even more time, I went barefoot, instead of in booties as usual. These two changes were just too much, things felt uncomfortably out of control. At some point, I lost the rear footstrap in the air, and came down on the board with my ankle for a nice scrape. After going back to get the booties and move the boom lower, things got better, and I finally had a few dry (if ugly) jibes. Speed was slower than yesterday, though, even though the wind was stronger. The wind direction was a bit different, though (more easterly today), and there were no breaking waves to create nice ramps and flat water for speed runs. Looking at the GPS data at home, I discovered that Nina had beaten me in the 2 and 10 second top speeds. I think this is a first, usually I am about 3 mph faster. Her new Angulo custom board sure is fast!

With my daughter returning home today, the vacation part of our trip will come to an end. We'll have to work more now, but we should get an hour or two of sailing in most days. It will mostly be at Kanaha, though - no more late trips to Sprecks for me!

1 comment:

  1. We have taken that road trip, and the views were worth the danger! Thanks for sharing!