sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Guam sailors cruise to the remote Maug Islands
Guam sailors cruise to the remote Maug Islands


'Maug as seen from a satellite'    .

To most of us Guam is a remote island in the Mariana Islands somewhere in the western Pacific Ocean, best known as a US military base. But Guam, naturally, is not remote to the leisure sailors who live there. It's Maug that is remote - so remote that few sailors had ever ventured there, until Jim, Wayne and Bill, Guam sailors, set off recently in a 38ft Galaxie and told their story to Pacific Daily News.

On April 13, James 'Jim' Cafky, Wayne Baumunk and William 'Bill' Hagen left Guam's Agat Marina for the wild, mysterious and uninhabited island, which sits at the very top of the chain of islands which make up the Marianas, a 400 nautical miles voyage.

Guam’s three sailors who set off to discover the remote Maug - photo from Bill Hagen (left) -  .. .  

'Even to residents of Guam, Maug is somewhat a mysterious, faraway place, if it is known at all by residents,' Cafky told the Pacific Daily News. 'The sailing community of Guam is somewhat familiar with the island and pilots of the national airlines located on Guam fly over Maug routinely in the north-south shuttle traffic between Guam and Japan. However, Maug remains a faraway enigma to those of us who know of its existence. Maug is a name written on a scrap of paper that is placed in some folks' 'bucket list.'

Maug is the peak of a volcano and resulted in three islands that form a circle around a lagoon, called a caldera, more than a mile wide, Cafky says.

There are reasons why few sailboats or even powerboats make the trip up the Marianas -- especially all the way up to Maug, Baumunk says.

'It's more of a challenge,' he says. 'Sailing ... is more difficult because you have to sail into the wind to go there.

Packed with provisions, the crew first had to stop and declare entry into the Northern Marianas by way of Saipan to get permission to go to Maug. It took two days to get to Saipan and a few hours to get permission to sail north.

Maug location. Guam remote? No, but Maug IS. -  .. .  

Three hour watches at night made sure they would not encounter ships, but they saw just one large commercial sailing vessel, far in the distance, during the 12-day trip, Cafky says.

And there wasn't much of any life up the chain, Baumunk says. 'I've gone fishing on Guam for many years. You usually look for the white birds or the black birds or any school of birds,' he says. 'There was none.' After a long while, they finally spotted a school of birds, about 400 yards ahead of the sailing boat.

When the wind died down the crew was forced to run the boat's engine for a while. 'It was a hurt,' Baumunk said. 'Sailboats aren't designed to go motoring.'

On the way up, the crew passed all the northern islands, some inhabited by small populations or research crews.

'We passed several of the islands at night, but we were fortunate enough to sail by and view several during the daylight,' Cafky says. 'Islands along the way first appeared as dim shadows on the horizon and slowly surrendered their details as we approached. One of those islands, Pagan, held a special interest for us: Pagan is an active volcano and was belching smoke and fumes high into the air as we passed.'

Five days after leaving Guam, the Galaxie was in the caldera of Maug. Finding a safe and shallow spot to drop anchor was a challenge. They settled in the central shallows of a plateau and dropped a 35-pound plow anchor with 140 feet of chain down.

Maug with Galaxie anchored - photo by Bill Hagen -  .. .  

'The initial impression after anchoring that evening was of the silence, the isolation, the overbearing rugged nature of the surrounding islands,' Cafky told Pacific Daily News. 'Maug was unlike anything we had ever previously observed.'

He describes the interior walls of the three islands as vertical surfaces likely too steep to climb.

'They present a striking appearance, one that must be seen to be believed,' Cafky says. 'Striations of sedimentary rock rise vertically up their surfaces. We would need the explanation of a geologist to understand the patterns of these surfaces in their formations.'

Once daylight broke, Baumunk and Hagen jumped on a folding dinghy to explore the island while Cafky stayed back for maintenance.

'And, I confess, to consume some celebratory beer,' Cafky says. 'It's my practice to never consume alcohol underway; however, after the hook is dropped, the drinking light is lit.'

Maybe he didn't say it, but leaving a boat unattended in a strange anchorage is not what good seamen do anyway unless conditions are ideal.

Cafky later explored the north and east islands of Maug and said you can't exactly use the term 'shoreline' to describe the island's edges.

'Rugged rocks from the size of golf balls to small cars are the exclusive characteristics of these Maug island shorelines.'

With their visit complete, the men set sail back home, first stopping in at Rota to check out of the CNMI.

About the Pacific Daily News:
The Pacific Daily News, formerly Guam Daily News, is a morning edition newspaper based in Hagåtña, in the United States territory of Guam. It is owned by Gannett Corporation and is published seven days a week. Joseph Flores, later the Governor of Guam, founded the newspaper. www.guampdn.com is the online version.


by Lacee A.C. Martinez, GuamPDN/Sail-World

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=109652

12:02 AM Mon 20 May 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Adventure Cruising

Related News Stories:

20 Mar 2013  Another cruising sailor sets off - then another and another...
22 Feb 2013  Sailing Tale: A first week in Cuba
12 Feb 2013  Italian sea-change sailor plans another adventure
08 Feb 2013  Sailing Tales: A yachting life in the Arctic
06 Feb 2013  Chance Encounters - sailors and whales
13 Jan 2013  Deaf solo circumnavigator, rolled in Southern Ocean, stops in Hobart
11 Dec 2012  Of dreamers who went sailing and the puffin which inspired them
11 Dec 2012  Of dreamers who went sailing and the puffin which inspired them
06 Nov 2012  Receding ice made Northwest Passage record possible
29 Oct 2012  Indonesia opens its heart to long range cruisers
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World















Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind gears up in Alicante by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


























Soling North American Championship concludes on Lake Erie by Canadian International Soling Association,


























ISAF Sailing Worlds - Four champions crowned as racing wraps up
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - USA finishes Top-10 in 4 classes
Outteridge and Jensen – What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott wins Gold
Santander Worlds - 49ers Burling and Tuke clear ahead
ISAF Sailing Worlds – Live broadcast - Medal races
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5
WMRT Chicago Match Cup 2014 – GAC Pindar through to the semi-finals
Bart’s Bash 2014 at Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Victoria Harbour
Bart's Bash: First event in at Wakatere in New Zealand
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander 2014 - AUS Laser and 470 Medals + video
2014 Patriot Regatta - U.S. Coast Guard team wins
2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 9 highlights
2014 Etchells North American Championship – Day 2
Chicago Match Cup - Top four tour teams tackle tomorrow in semi-finals
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 49er and Nacra 17 world titles claimed
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Caleb Paine through to Finn medal race + video
ISAF Worlds - 49er, 49erFX, Finn and Nacra 17 Rio 2016 spots taken
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Women's medal race images by Thom Touw
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Scott all set to lift Finn world title   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - 470 Men's medal race images by Thom Touw   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Aussies and Austrians claim 470 gold   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: 470 awards images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - 470 medal race images by Jesus Renedo   
Annapolis-to-Newport Race - 'What to Expect' Seminar to take place   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day   
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights   
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off   
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1   
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight   
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight   
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT