DR THOMAS HACKETT USA SUCCESSFUL KA'IWI CROSSING SEPT 2016
Thank you for considering my escort boat services for swimming the Molokai Channel. I offer WOWSA certified swims of the Oceans Seven Molokai and the Ka'iwi Channel. It comprises 26 miles (42km) of deep open ocean water between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. This is not an easy task, especially for you 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 18 knots of wind, at my custom spot on the windguru Website. I am looking for a “one star” reading especially at 5am. This is very important. 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 of $300 per hour 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 manufacturer's claims as to the effectiveness of the device. I have used Ocean Guardian 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. The ride over takes 4 hrs and causes fatigue.
Q. What are the features of your boat? A. 31' ft Hawaiian Funai, with SEAKEEPER Stability device, toilet, 120v power (US outlets), USB outlets, running fresh and saltwater, accommodates the swimmer and 2 crew plus one paid passenger.
Q. What is a paid passenger? A. Please speak to Capt Mike about passengers. Don’t just show up on Kepuhi beach with extra people. They will need to fly back to Oahu if prior arrangements have not been made.
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. Currents in the Ka'iwi channel are very tricky and virtually impossible to predict. The Escort Boat navigates using a rhumb line course. The kayak follows the boat. The swimmer MUST follow the kayak. Using my instruments I can tell when a current is present and let the swimmer know what the current condition is in real time. The swimmer must fight the current to stay on the rhumb line. Swims become much more challenging if the swimmer strays more than 2-3km from the rhumb line.
Q. What about protection from sharks? A. Shark shield 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 other 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 4 hours long in challenging conditions 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. 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. First off - you need to bring your own feeder. I do not provide feeding services. Nutrition is vital while swimming the Molokai Channel. It is just as important as your mental and physical conditioning. Swimmers who use liquid carbohydrates and proteins 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. Do you provide a feeder for the swimmer? A. No. Please arrange feeding crew for your swim. Two person crew is best.
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 do we meet for the start on Molokai? A. The swim starts on Molokai's west side closest to Oahu. The meeting point is Kaluakoi Beach: Find the swimming pool at Kaluakoi Resort and come down to the beach area. ( The area is also named Kepuhi beach).
Q. Where can I stay in Honolulu? A. Here are some recommended Hotels, Air BNB and VRBO also provide good lodging.