There is nothing quite like a balmy day at sea of the cost of the Big Island of Hawaii. We had the opportunity to take a day with Maile Charters on their Gulfstar 50 sloop rig and go sailing in Hawaii. It was an incredible day of sailing, snorkeling and whale watching. Here’s the video about our day on the Maile. Read on for more details.
When we drove up to the dock in Kawaihae, we didn’t know quite what to expect, except for an anticipation of a great day at sea on a Gulfstar 50. Twenty minutes later the boat was at the dock and our shoes were coming off as we climbed aboard this classic boat. It didn’t take long before we were out of the harbor, the sails were up and our eyes were peeled for any kind of whale spotting. They the whales leave “footprints” on the water after they surface. It’s usually a larger circle of perfectly smooth water. By the time the day was done we figure we saw about 8-10 whales. All were off in the distance, but we heard one directly below us without any sonar which means, it was close, real close.
As we talked with our experienced captain he told us that the Gulfstar 50 is a very heavy boat but when the wind picks up it can cruise and gain some speed and hold at an easy 7 knots. Our wind that day was fairly mild, we held at a constant 2-3 knots for the 6 hours we were out. As far as accommodations go on the ship, it had just about all you could want and more for a day sail. The cabin was all wood downstairs, it had a full galley, two bedrooms and one head. Plenty of storage and a bit of escape if you needed to get away from the sea and sun for a few minutes.
On deck, the seven of us had plenty of room to wander back and forth from the bow to the stern. A swim deck off the back allowed easy access into the water with all of our snorkeling gear on. The steering wheel surprisingly took a bit of practice after being so used to the tiller. The wheel had about an 2-10 second delay, so finding that sweet spot of turning just the amount you wanted it to go took a bit of patience and practice.
All in all we couldn’t have asked for a better lazy day at sea off the Kona coast. We interviewed Tania, the woman behind Maile, a few months ago, if you want to read more about Maile Charters here’s our first post. Special thanks to her and our captain for a great day. Can’t wait to get back and go again!