This is an edited repost from Pono House:
Too bad we can’t take a Hobie with us on the tour. I’ve thought about the places I could store one, but it’s prety much out of the question. It’s really a remarkable boat and I think Diane would use it a lot. the rest of this article is lifted from the Pono House blog and shows why getting Diane into a boat is such a big thing for me.
I went to Makena Landing with Diane and Lane Mead, our friend and the caretaker here at Pono House. we took the Hobie Adventure Islands and my new Laird standup board since Lane wanted to try the Hobie and Diane wanted to continue her progression in using and sailing the Hobies.
We got them all set up quickly, I helped Diane launch then gave Lane a quick run through and sent him on his way. Diane was concerned about Sam the gay dog (she’s always worried that someone will steal him from the Jeep, whereas I’m always worried that he will trade the jeep for bacon) so I told her I’d take care of him and she should just sail. Once she was out sailing I started trying to get Sam to go out on the Laird with me. I put him in his float coat, stuck the leash on my wrist, and got him onto the board.
Turns out I could paddle pretty well on my knees with him on board, but as soon as I stood up he’d start wandering around and tip us over. He walked between my legs and stood on the very back of the board. Having 40 pounds of dog wandering around on your surfboard is a challenge. He couldn’t get much traction on the waxed board. So I went back in and bungied a towel to the nose. That helped, he settled in and I paddled him around for awhile. We made our way out to where Diane and Lane were sailing around. Once we got out there Sam wanted to get on Dianes boat, which he demonstrated by abandoning ship several times. Diane decided he should ride with her, and I suggested a sail to the Four Seasons for lunch–about two miles away.
Everyone agreed, so off we went.
At this point there are two reactions to this little story. People who don’t know Diane are simply reading along. Those who know her are stunned. Diane, sailing her own tiny boat! In the open ocean! They’d be less shocked to see her levitate.
Though she’s a strong swimmer, she is deathly afraid of being in water over her head. She clutches a boogie board when she snorkels and still has panic attacks. She won’t set foot on a boat less than 60 feet, and those only if they don’t tip. But she has taken to this Hobie Adventure Island. Every time she’s in it the experience is the most challenging she’s ever had. Today she sailed it in two foot swells, with a nasty side wind chop and gusty ten knot wind. She did extremely well and beat Lane and I back to Makena from the Four Seasons, carrying Sam in the cargo well.
There was a little drama getting her launched from the Four Seasons–the surf got the better of us for a second, but she hopped in and pedaled out with the mirage drive, popped her sail out, and she was gone.
I was very proud of her, and she’s beside herself with a feeling of accomplishment mixed with terror.
The Hobie is a very remarkable boat to give her the confidence she needs to use it alone, in a big turbulent ocean with her beginner sailing skills. I really wouldn’t want her to do anything like this with a lesser boat–she couldn’t handle emergency situations. But in the Adventure Island she has so much stability, and so many options for dealing with any problem, that I’m comfortable as long as I’m not too far away.
Of course I was on my stand up paddle board, but I beat the two of them on the first leg and I thought I’d be able to stay reasonably close on the way back since the wind would be helping me too. I didn’t count on how much Dianes sailing skills were improving even after just a few sessions. She zipped away from me and Lane and was back at Makena ten minutes before we were.
She might be a chicken, but she’s competitive.