22-Jul-2003 -- For anyone reviewing the DCP list of US states, Hawaii stands out as the only state with zero confluences visited. So when my extended family decided to go to Maui for our annual reunion, I knew I had to visit 21N 157W.
I began by searching for charter boats in Lahaina, which is the closest port to the confluence. I found what I needed at www.fishmaui.com, which is operated by Mike Crawford. After explaining that I wasn’t a fisherman, but rather an amateur geographer, he put me in touch with Jim Dixon, who skippers the 32-foot Kihei Boy.
In the summer, Hawaii experiences strong trade winds from the northeast. The day we went out the average wind speed was 17 mph, with gusts to 40 mph. This led to 6 to 9 foot seas, making the Kalohi Channel a "gnarly" (per Capt. Mike) place to be.
My own family declined to join me on this adventure, wisely choosing to remain in bed (foreshadowing alert!). However, I had the excellent company of Andy Weigand and family (wife Mary Jo, sons Erik and Nik) and Olivia Sedlmayr. Andy and Olivia make up two thirds of the best crew I’ve ever flown with. The other third, Jay Granzella, stayed behind getting his daughter SCUBA certified. Watch for these names as future confluence hunters because they are interested and go all over the world.
It took about 75 minutes to reach the confluence, during which time Capt. Jim told me about his fishing and racing adventures around the Islands over the last 30+ years. When we reached the spot, no "confluence dance" was required due to his piloting skills. I got the cardinal photos with Andy’s help and several shots of my GPS.
Up to that time, I was able to keep an eye on the horizon and felt OK. But when I had to take the GPS photos, I lost that anchor and more. Let’s just say I fed the fishes. On our way back to Lahaina, Capt. Jim swung a little to the south to show us a shipwreck on the north shore of Lanai. So many ships have run aground here that this area is called (you guessed it) Shipwreck Beach. I fed the fishes there too and even one more time for good measure.
If you are interested in doing another Hawaii confluence, 21N 156W is located about 20 miles north of Hana. Capt. Jim would be glad to take you there; he can be reached at 808-879-4879. If you don’t enjoy feeding the fishes as much as I did, Capt. Jim says the seas are much flatter in the winter time because the trades die down (storms excluded).