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Travel Blog #174 - An Afternoon Sail with America II


The America's Cup is a sailboat race that begins on the mainland before racing across the pacific to Hawaii. In 1987 the America II completed this race, generally the boats that compete in this race are only used one time and then retired. This was the case with the America II, after it completed its race in 1987 the boat was retired and has been offering sailing trips ever since. We thought that going on a sail would be fun so we made our way down to the Lahaina Harbor go on a ride onboard the "America II". After we checked in while we were waiting for the other passengers to arrive I took the opportunity to get a closer look at the America II sailboat that was tied up to the dock. It was a very large white sailboat with massive sails that were all bundled up. Inside the boat were three rows of seats and two steering wheels. Once the rest of our group had finally arrived the woman who checked us in explained what we should be ready for during the trip. Today the wind was very light. She seemed to think this was a very good thing and she told us that we shouldn't expect a fast rough ride but instead a smooth sailing boat ride. Next she explained that we should take our shoes and slippers off before boarding the boat.

One by one we showed our tickets

One by one we showed our tickets and were cleared to made our way onto the sailboat. We took a seat and then the Captain and Deckhand introduced themselves to the group. They explained where they were originally from and how they got a job working on the America II. They said that as we made our way out of the harbor we were not to allowed to stand up because of harbor rules but as soon as we had reached the open ocean we were free to move around the deck. Once out of Lahaina Harbor the Captain and Deckhand called upon the group for "three strong volunteers". Before I could raise my hand three others had already volunteered. These volunteers and the crewman hoisted the sails and within a few minutes the wind filled the sails and then the boat began to move forward.
After the sails were set the Captain informed us that we were now allowed to walk around the vessel. As we began to move around the sailboat the Captain began listing off some facts about the sailboat. The captain explained how the vessel initially took more than 10 million dollars to build and it was a featured contender in the 1987 America's Cup Race. He also said that the sails need to be replaced every 2 years and the cost for the set of two is around $28,000. These Sails are specially made for this specific sail boat and are custom made by a company that is based out of South Africa.

After gazing at the islands

After gazing at the islands of Kahoolawe, Molokai, and Lanai we were offered a selection of drinks. The drinks included a variety of ice cold soft drinks and water. As we enjoyed or beverages we were free to talk to the Captain and Deckhand and ask any questions about the sail boat or the islands. The crew had so much knowledge about their boat as well as sailing in Hawaiian waters that they did not have the slightest problem keeping everyone entertained with interesting facts and stories. After we made a large lap up the coastline we eventually made a one hundred and eighty degree turn to begin to head back towards the harbor. Soon enough he had made our way back to the Harbor. As I looked around at the other people who were on the boat it seemed like they all had happy expressions on their faces. Everyone on the sailboat seemed like they had a great time (and the crew did too!). Once we got back near the harbor we let our sails down and made our way to the dock were the woman who had checked us in was waiting to assist us in getting off the boat. It really was a first class experience!

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Travel Blog - Articles #170 to #179

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Related Information

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