IMG_3202 This is a very fast sailboat!

In fact, it is the fastest production line sailboat ever made in her class!

Many times in our travels we have stumbled into fantastic situations without any planning whatsoever! We believe serendipity occurs when you put yourself in position for magic. That is the beauty of being “home free”; you are simply more apt to be there!

We were walking along Front Street, the iconic main of Lahaina and decided to check out the piers where the fishing and whale watching charters dock with the intention of booking a fishing charter when we spotted this sleek sailboat.IMG_98461  Stephanie, the gal making reservations was charming, that always seems to work, so we took some information with a plan to possibly reserve a sail. On our way back we chatted with her some more and I mentioned that the boat looked very fast.

She replied, “Oh yes, she is fast. In 1982 this boat won the Victoria, BC to Maui yacht race by more than 24 hours”.  That particular race covering over 2300 miles was the last of these races made without any electronic navigation! That hooked me and raised some concerns with Karen as the heeling of a sailboat in high winds gets her pretty uncomfortable, even though she is an excellent swimmer. We decided to book a sunset cruise as the winds are often lower as the sun sets.

We did not know until we boarded that the captain and crew were all female. Also, very pretty and exceptional sailors who really made this boat perform.DSCN1852DSCN1822 DSCN1819

We sailed not only in search of the sunset but also to get up close to the humpback whales that winter in Hawaii each year. We saw dozens of whales, some breaching entirely out of the water. A pair of whales swam right in front of the boat and treated us to a shower from their blowholes as they passed.IMG_2187 The crew advised us to wipe our faces as their spray often has loads of bacteria. In the excitement we did not get pictures of the breaching whales as it happens so fast. Sonoma Susan, another passenger on the trip shared some of her pictures.DSCN1860 Captain Kirsty really put this boat in high performance!

She did not actually let me sail the boat but did allow me to dream!DSCN1829

The photos below are archive examples of these magnificent creatures:maui-whale2whale-Maui We saw many jumps like this but must rely on better photographers for these shots. We have been on many whale watching cruises but never have we seen as grand a performance as these whales gave us this day.

The crew served wine and champagne along with chocolate covered macadamia nuts to celebrate this marvelous cruise.DSCN1870

JANUARY in Maui, The Start of a new Travel Adventure!

IMG_1675One of the most important things to NOT DO prior to embarking  on a five month trip is to stay up after midnight playing cards with your grand daughter (who wins anyway) two nights in a row, and then go to an SMU basketball game (even if they are undefeated)and then go to a friends home for after game cocktails getting to bed at 1:30 prior to a 5 AM wake up call to catch a flight to Maui. But we did it anyway; It was a blast!

Karen does the packing of the suitcases and she has it pretty much down pat.IMG_1678All that we will require until we return stateside in May is in two medium checked bags, two carry on bags, and the document  briefcase. In these bag are all medical needs for six months, clothing for the several climates we will visit and even formal wear for dress up nights.

Our first destination is the Hawaiian Island of Maui where we will spend the first month our journey this year.IMG_1692We are staying this time in another VRBO vacation home on the beach in Kihei about a half hour south of the Maui airport. Kihei is pronounced “Key-Hay. Hawaiian words are similar to Swedish in that you have to try it first and then wait for the locals to burst out laughing as you butcher their languages.

IMG_2172It is equipped with a balcony overlooking the pool and the Pacific Ocean which is perfectly suited for cocktail hour and sunset watching.IMG_3201

One of the top things on our bucket list for Maui was to do the bike ride down Haleakala Volcano. We are avid cyclists and this was a must! There are many different companies from whom you can book this tour wherein they haul you in a van to the top and then one of the guides leads you down while the other guide drives the van and screens cars protecting your rear as you ride the bikes downhill for roughly 6500 feet over 20+ miles. We selected Maui Easy Riders as they were by far the highest rated tour company in Trip Advisor, which we use extensively .DSCN1811Their equipment is first rate, their attention to safety is outstanding, and the owners, Billy and Billy are hilarious.DSCN1810

It tends to be a bit chilly at 10,000 feet so you dress appropriately and peel off layers as you go down the slope. The road is well paved and  with a fairly wide bike lanes in most places.IMG_3200What you will not see here are photos I took while cycling down sometime 30+ MPH; I was holding on. The first two or three hairpin turns were a bit of an adrenaline rush but after you get used to the bikes it flows and goes. If you are an alpine skier, imagine a 25 mile long, well groomed, double diamond slope!

The views from the top of Haleakala are stunning!

IMG_1706 - Copy

IMG_1714Which is why NASA placed their equipment to track all of some 8000 pieces of stuff that mankind has place into orbit above our world. Some of the best things to see are always natural though. This is a beautiful example of a silversword.IMG_1705

The next post will cover a marvelous sailboat ride on the “Scotch Mist II” a superb yacht that won the Victoria to Lahaina race in 1982 by more than 24 hours.IMG_3202