Gung Ho Sailing

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Story by Kyle Ellison | Photography by Ben Ferrari

Maui sailing adventure
If you’ve done an ocean cruise or two and want a more hands-on experience, climb aboard the Gung Ho and Captain Keahi will teach you what you need to know to log some time at the helm.

We’re a half mile off the West Maui coastline, and Keahi Ho is completely unfazed by the fact that our boat is now sideways.

That’s what monohulls do in the trade winds — heel sideways, cruise at an angle, and make you feel like you’re flying.

Keahi captains Gung Ho, a thirty-six-foot, kauri-wood Lidgard that’s based in Lahaina Harbor. Unlike other Maui boats that mostly do snorkeling charters, Gung Ho offers classes where groups — and couples — can learn how to cruise with the wind.

I, too, have a captain’s license, but it’s for catamarans, which don’t heel over, and have two hulls instead of one. Plus, it’s been a few years since I’ve hoisted a sail, and my skills are definitely rusty. When Maui Nō Ka ‘Oi offered me the assignment of writing about a sailing lesson, I jumped at the chance.

When I learned that the story would run in the magazine’s romance issue, I asked my wife, Heather, to join me.

Heather worked on a boat here in Lahaina Harbor, but that was years ago, in our “pre-kids” era. In fact, this town is where we met, started to date, and took the first steps toward our present life of packing lunches, changing diapers, and cleaning up cups of spilled milk. Taking a cruise on Gung Ho, and brushing up on our maritime skills, seemed a fun way to bring back the memories of the halcyon days of our courtship.


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