HAWAII is the southernmost state of the United States situated in the North Pacific Ocean, 3,700-km (2,300 miles) from the mainland USA. Also known as the Sandwich Islands, it is the longest island chain in the world, continuing to grow in area because of active extrusive lava flows, most notably from Kilauea (K’lauea). Hawaii’s tallest mountain, Mauna Kea, stands over 4,000 metres.
The Hawaiian Archipelago comprises eight islands and atolls extending across a distance of 2,400 km (1,500 miles). Of these, eight high islands are considered the “main islands” and are located at the southeastern end of the archipelago. These islands are, in order from the northwest to southeast, Ni’ihau, Kaua’i, O’ahu, Moloka’i, L’na’i, Kaho’olawe, Maui, and Hawaii (by far the largest and called the “Big Island”).
The isolation of the Hawaiian Islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, and the wide range of environments to be found, has resulted in a vast array of endemic flora and fauna. Hawaii has more endangered species per square mile than anywhere else. Local climates vary considerably on each island, (divisible into windward and leeward areas) based upon location relative to the higher mountains. Windward sides face the Northeast Trades and receive much more rainfall; leeward sides are drier, with less rain and less cloud cover.
Superyachts frequently visit Hawaii in order to cruise the beautiful region, receive services in the main ports and to stopover for fuel when transiting between the US West Coast and the Western and Central Pacific. However it is necessary to submit ‘Notice of Arrival’ via NVMC, and Customs must issue a cruising permit. Fishing for Marlin and Wahoo is a popular sport, as is surfing, given Hawaii is the birthplace of boardriding.
Captain’s log: Hawaii – A Superyacht Captain’s Guide to Hawaii