DR THOMAS HACKETT USA SUCCESSFUL KA'IWI CROSSING SEPT 2016
Thank you for considering my escort boat services for swimming the Molokai Channel. In conjunction with the Ka'iwi Channel Association I offer WOWSA certified swims of the Oceans Seven Molokai and the Ka'iwi Channel. It comprises 24 nautical miles (44 km) of deep open ocean water between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. This is not an easy task, especially for the swimmer, and I am in awe of your courage and determination to take it on.
Swimming the Ka'iwi Channel is completely dependent on the weather. Especially the wind. We do not go if the prediction shows more than 17 knots of wind. Certainty about the weather conditions only comes about a week before your swim window opens. Because of this fact, I’d like to welcome swimmers with a flexible schedule to sign up for alerts of favorable weather and optimal course. If no other swimmers are scheduled, you will have the chance to take advantage of epic conditions. Click below to join the short list!
As your swim date approaches I will update you with the best wind, tide and surf conditions within your swim window. Weather predictions are more accurate about a week before your swim window and have the most certainty about 48-72 hours before your swim. We will have a pre-swim meeting on my boat at Waikiki Yacht Club 1599 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu HI, 48-72 hours before your swim. We will discuss all the details of your swim and go over any questions or concerns you may have. Please prepare to make full payment at this meeting. Please be aware that there is an extra surcharge for swims at the beginning of the 18th hour. Please also be advised that I REQUIRE all swimmers to use shark protective devices while swimming in the Ka’iwi channel, and are included as part of your escort fee. This includes keeping 5 Shark Shield Freedom 7 units maintained, charged and attaching 2 of them to the kayak. Please understand that you are relying on the manufactures claims as to the effectiveness of the device. I have used Ocean Gardian Shark Shield devices on multiple swims and found them to function as advertised while the units were operational. Please contact me anytime with specific questions after studying the FAQ that are listed below.
SWIM FAQ Q. When is the pre-swim meeting? A. Usually 72-48 hours before the swim, at the escort boat. Q. Where is the boat moored? A. Waikiki Yacht Club 1599 Ala Moana Blvd Honolulu Hi 96814 Slip C 04
Q. Should the swimmer stay the night before the swim on Molokai? A. Better to fly over on the day of the swim.
Q. What are the features of your boat? A. 31' ft Hawaiian Funai, with toilet, 120v power (US outlets), USB outlets, running fresh and saltwater, accommodates the swimmer and up to 3 of the swimmers crew members.
Q. When is a good time of day to start the swim? A. The swim should start so that we arrive at Sandy Beach Oahu in daylight. The shoreline at Sandy Beach is not suitable for night landings. This means leaving Molokai in the late afternoon to allow ample time to get to Oahu before the next sunset.
Q. What about the surf at the start? A. If there is a swell larger than 4ft (Hawaiian) a start at Kaluakoi may not be possible. There is a secondary location for the start, but it is not preferred. Surf conditions will be assessed during daylight hours and those conditions will determine the start time and start location.
Q. How does the swimmers crew get on the escort boat on Molokai? A. All the swimmers crew must swim out to the escort boat, usually 100-200 yards offshore. The kayaker will help to load bags from the beach, best to have dry bags or place luggage in large plastic trash bags. Please load the majority of your gear on the boat at the pre-swim meeting.
Q. What is the best Tide to make the swim? A. The best tides for this swim are mild tides. Extreme tides can cause more current in the channel. Ideally the swimmer needs a falling tide when leaving Molokai and a rising tide when approaching Oahu. More important is the rising tide as we approach Oahu, as falling tides tend to create currents moving away from the island.
Q. What about currents? A. Currentsin the Ka'iwichannelare very tricky and virtually impossible to predict. There is a website: www.pacioos.hawaii.edu/currents/model-oahu/ I have found their predictions to be accurate only 30-40% of the time. Useless. The Escort Boat navigates using a rhumb line course. The kayak follows the boat. The swimmer MUST follow the kayak. Using my instrument I can tell when a current is present and let the swimmer know what the current condition is in real time. That's the best we can do. The swimmer must fight the current to stay on the rhumb line. Swims that stray more than 2-3km from the rhumb line usually do not finish the swim.
Q. What about protection from sharks? A. Shark Equipment is REQUIRED and included in your escort fee.
Q. What about the stinging creatures? A. There are Anti Sting repellents and remedies please visit WWW.STINGNOMORE.COM
Q. What safety equipment do I need for my swim? A. Also REQUIRED is a Red LED light attached to your goggle strap. (non flashing) Red is preferred because the stinging creatures cannot see red light. Green is also ok. Do not use white light.
Q. Can the swimmer ride on the escort boat up to Molokai? A. Because seasickness can be an issue, it is recommended that swimmers and their crew take the short 25 minute plane ride to Molokai. The boat ride up is challenging and causes fatigue.
Q. Can the captain take photos and videos of your swim? A. Yes. For documentation and media purposes there will be photography/video of your swim, however, hiring a professional photographer/drone pilot is recommended, as professional photography is not included in your escort.
Q. Where does the Swim start on Molokai? A. At Kaluakoi Beach west Molokai. Find the swimming pool at Kaluakoi Resort. The area is also named Kepuhi beach. This is where we start the swim. The cab driver will know where it is.
Q. When the escort boat arrives at Kaluakoi, do we start the swim immediately? A. No. The boat and crew need to be prepared for the channel crossing, it usually takes 45min - 1hr.
Q. How important is my nutrition (feeding) during my swim? A. Nutrition is vital while swimming the Molokai Channel. It is just as important as your mental and physical conditioning. Swimmers who use liquid carbohydrates have greater success than those who do not. Swimmers who start eating candy bars and drinking Coke or Pepsi one hour into the swim, usually do not finish the course. Study how the Iron Man triathletes feed. You need that. Your feeding regimen should be well planned and practiced. Please organize an effective delivery system for your nutrition. (Bottles, line, Poles with basket, etc.) Feeding normally occurs on the Starboard (right) side of the boat.
Q. What do we do at the end of the swim? A. The course has very specific end points Sandy Beach, Alan Davis Beach or very rarely at Makapu'u Point. Most of the swims have been ending at Alan Davis Beach. It is 2 km closer to Molokai and the currents are usually better on that approach to Oahu. It is advisable to swim back to the boat from Alan Davis because the walk to the parking lot is about 400 meters on a rocky trail. If you do walk out at Alan Davis be absolutely sure you have slippers or similar footwear to make the hike. At Sandy Beach the parking lot is very close. If you have people meeting you at Sandy Beach, you can ride with them back to Waikiki Yacht Club to gather your belongings. The car ride and the boat ride back to the club take about the same amount of time. The swimmer needs to swim back through the shore-break to the escort boat, if they wish to ride the boat back to WYC. If there is no car ride at Sandy beach, the escort boat will take the swimmer back to WYC Q. Where can I stay in Honolulu? A. Here are some recommended Hotels, Air BNB and VRBO also provide good lodging.