A simple day of sailing off Lahaina last week turned out to be more than any of the crew anticipated.
The catamaran Tom Cat left Lahaina Wednesday morning with owner Elaine Wood and four friends aboard.
That afternoon, according to passenger Mary Alice Powell, Mrs. Wood suggested they continue on to Kona on the Big Island.
At that point, Mary Alice Powell and two men on the boat-Eddie Furtado and Frank Harrison-decided it was time to jump ship.
So they did.
They swam about one quarter mile to shore, near Olowalu. Mrs. Wood and her last passenger, a man named Fred from Lahaina, continued sailing.
That night, a friend of Mrs. Wood's alerted Lahaina police and the Coast Guard to the fact the Tom Cat had not made port in Lahaina or Maalaea.
But the next morning, the red sailboat was spotted off Kihei. And the boat sailed "back and forth all day", according to a man at the Maalaea Coast Guard station.
Finally, at 7 p.m. Thursday, the Tom Cat made it into Maalaea harbor. Mrs. Wood, a sailing novice, appeared suprised that anyone was interested in the whereabouts of the boat. She said the boat simply had been driven south by winds.
She said they anchored the Tom Cat off Kihei Wednesday night, and fought the winds back up to Maalaea on Thursday. She indicated there was never any intention to go to Kona.
"We simply went out for a day sail," she said, "and it just didn't work out that way."
Buck Quayle at the Maui Lahaina Sun bureau circa 1970
Reporter/Photographer Buck Quayle in 1971 in Maui with the Cartagenian in the background
Another Day At The Office Haleakala National Park