Grave fears for iconic Hawaiian surf spot after super yacht runs aground on its pristine coral reef, “What happened at Honolua Bay is an environmental disaster!”

"Thanks elites. Your dream life fucks up our only life. Send dis guy back. With massive fines that go back to restoring land and water in Hawai’i."

A wild-looking 94-foot super yacht ran aground in Honolua Bay on Maui Monday morning after its mooring line snapped, sparking outrage on social media over the boat’s potential damage to the iconic wave and the surrounding marine environment.

Videos posted to social media showed the vessel, named the Nakoa, stuck on the rocks in front of where surfers paddle out to the world-famous righthand point. It came to rest about 700 feet out- side of the state Honolua-Mokuleia Bay Marine Life Conservation District at the part of the reef surfers call the Point.

“Such a bummer,” big-wave surfer Kai Lenny commented on one Instagram post.

“They need to be held responsible for every inch of reef,” wrote another user. “I hope they receive millions in fines by the looks of the yacht that they have.”

From another,

“Thanks elites…Your dream life fucks up our only life. Send dis guy back. With massive fines that go back to restoring land and water in Hawai’i. Too many fuck ups over here. We cannot overlook anymore.Barred. No can ever return.”

The vessel is one of two luxury yachts owned by Noelani Yacht Charters. With a top speed of 32 knots, the Nakoa has four bedrooms, five bathrooms and a full kitchen. Charter packages start at $9,801, according to the company’s website.

“While she’s well suited for day trips around any of Hawaii’s major islands, she’s more perfectly suited for unforgettable multi- day luxury experiences for guests who demand only the best,” the website states.

Reached by phone, Jim Jones, owner of Noelani Yacht Charters, said, “The boat’s in great shape,” although some “stabilizer fins” broke off.

Asked whether fuel was leaking from it as some Instagram users noted, he said, “There’s no leak at all.”

Jones was on a family outing when the mooring line snapped around 5:30 a.m., and the boat drifted onto the reef around 6 a.m., he said.

“The wind came up strong this morning,” said Jones. He had hoped the rising tide would lift it off the reef by 4 p.m. Monday, he said.

By 4:25 p.m. the boat could not be removed, according to Department of Land and Natural Resources spokesperson Dan Dennison.

The Coast Guard was still on the scene Monday afternoon. There was no leak of fuel or hazardous materials, he said.

Community members expressed their concern over the boat’s damage to the marine environment.

“The community is super concerned if another swell comes if the boat breaks apart in the lineup,” said Tamara Paltin, a Maui County Council member representing West Maui and volunteer president of the Save Honolua Coalition. “The Save Honolua Coalition has been trying for years to get the state to better manage the bay. The community is demanding full accountability from this company.”

“What happened at Honolua Bay is an environmental disaster,” Tiare Lawrence, a board member of the community group Ka Malu o Kahalawai, wrote in a text. “In these situations, commercial and mooring permits should automatically be rescinded.”

Day-use moorings have a limit of two hours, Dennison added.

Buoys of this kind are intended to prevent boats from damaging the reef with their anchors, according to the Malama Kai Foundation.

Jones, who owns the Nakoa, says he spent the night in the boat moored to the day-use buoy. “We were unaware that that was not allowed,” Jones said. “I get the locals are upset,” Jones said. “This is not intentional, and we apologize for being in this prime surf spot. We’re just trying to get off the rocks.”

(This story first ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and is Jackie Truesdale’s first story for BeachGrit. It ain’t the style he’d usually submit for BeachGrit and he did offer carte blanche to gussy it up a little. But who needs colour when you got someone who picks up a phone, am I right?)

Illicit lovers TJ Holmes and Amy Robach thumb cheating noses at World Surf League as they opt for PDA-filled Mexican beachfront bar session fueled by Pacifico!

Takes a cheater to know a cheater.

Things were going great for the World Surf League. Successes from last year’s “most ever watched” Final’s Day, which so far counts 8 million live viewers with that number still climbing, bled into this year with the just-announced multi-year partnership with an Australian ladder company.

The sky the limit, or at very least, ceiling?

It was looking that way until, that is, Good Morning America’s third hour hosts TJ Holmes and Amy Robach became entangled in a sultry affair, blowing up their marriages to other people, including but not limited to, Andrew Shue.

Do you remember him?

Playing the role of Billy Campbell on the 1990s hit Melrose Place, Shue… sorta also got screwed then too if memory recalls. Partners cheating on him left and right.

In any case, Holmes and Robach flitted off to Mexico’s deadly “Pipeline” after they agreed not to go back to work, though it was later revealed Puerto Vallarta was the location, as opposed to Escondido, and spent time walking hand in hand, gazing into the paparazzis’ eyes and canoodling at the bar while nursing cold Pacificos.

Gape here.

The World Surf League’s longtime partner Corona left on ice.

The aforementioned, though, has cheated on Corona much with Michelob Ultra, 805, Barefoot Chardonnay but to name a few.

What goes around etc.

More as the story develops.

Legendary surfboard artist steps away from industry to care for ailing dad, looks to grumpy locals for help!

Donate here.

Now VALs and/or post-Covid converts may not understand what actually goes into building a surfboard, as many and/or most are hard for softops, but we, you and me, know that the business is closer to art than commerce. Shapers, finishers, glassers, laminators etc. each toil at razor thin margins in order to allow us to dance upon the waves and those razor thin margins are no joke.

Surfers are generally, let’s be honest, cheap and do not like to pay anymore than absolutely necessary for our lollipops. All fine and good, capitalism gonna capitalize, but most of the aforementioned work without a safety net. No robust savings accounts. No trust funds.

Mike Delaney, anyhow, is a fixture of the art class, laminating boards for Matt Biolos, Panda, Doc, Cordell, Patterson, etc. and so many others for years upon years but his fortunes have changed, his family in need and I’ll let him pick up the story.

With a sad heart, I’m sharing with you that my dad, Richard, has been diagnosed with advanced Parkinson’s Disease. Being an only child, I need to make the move back to South Carolina to help my mom with the day-to-day care of my dad.

My decision was not easy, but I need to leave the surf industry I love to care for my family. It’s been an emotional decision, but it’s the right one to make.

This GoFundMe account is primarily to cover the expenses of my cross-country move. It will also give me some time to find a new profession outside of the surfboard industry.

Please pray for all of us as we adjust to this new reality. My family & I thank you for your help and appreciate your generous donation.


Dip in and feel good when you lay your head on that pillow tonight.

Donate here.

World Surf League CEO Erik Logan (left) informs surf legend Tom Carroll of the latest exciting partnership deal.
World Surf League CEO Erik Logan (left) informs surf legend Tom Carroll of the latest exciting partnership deal.

Pro Darts Corp., Pro Bowlers Assoc. look on in bitter jealously as World Surf League inks multi-year deal with ladder company!


Here we are, two events into the 2023 World Surf League Championship Tour season and it is difficult not to stand in awe. Oh, the waves were not perfect for either the Billabong Pro Pipeline or the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach but there were days that simply exceeded. Moments that drew our breath and made us feel.

Well, that momentum is certain to carry into the upcoming Australian leg which kicks off April 4th after a lonely stop in Europe for there, on Bells iconic shore, the World Surf League will unveil its newest partner.

Bailey Ladders.

Per the scintillating press release:

The partnership expansion is across the ‘23 and ‘24 seasons, with the ‘Official Ladder’ of the WSL seeing the continuation of the successful onsite activation, the “Bailey Ladders Leaderboard”, which will also continue on the live broadcast and across WSL’s social media channels.

“The WSL is happy to have Bailey Ladders increase their involvement to include the CT events in Australia for the next two years,” said WSL APAC President Andrew Stark. “We had incredible feedback from fans onsite and watching from home on the Bailey Ladders Leaderboard. We look forward to continuing this activation across four events in 2023 and 24, both onsite and online. We’d like to thank them for their ongoing support and for seeing the value in professional surfing.”

“Bailey Ladders is excited to expand our partnership with the WSL to include the two major Championship Tour events in Australia. We see this as a great opportunity for our brand, stakeholders and the WSL fans,” said Bailey Ladders Managing Director Asia Pacific, Scott Douglas. “Many surfing fans use our products every day, so I’m glad we can be part of the growth and excitement of the Australian WSL events.”

I have zero doubt as to the veracity of the “incredible feedback from fans onsite and watching from home on the Bailey Ladders Leaderboard” but am so curious as to how it presented.

Placards in the crowd reading “I LOVE LADDERS!” possibly?

Phone calls directly to the office of Mr. Stark sobbing over the beauty of ladders?

Incredible feedback from fans onsite.

It really doesn’t get better than that.

Billion-dollar wavepool, real estate and eco-resort development on Australia’s Sunshine Coast championed by Kelly Slater “no longer being pursued”!

Scuttled by government, by community activists or lack of interest by WSL?

It’s called the paradox of the environmental businessman. You want to save the planet but, hey, a buck’s a buck. 

Three years ago, the self-described pro-environment and wildlife advocate Kelly Slater urged the Queensland government to approve the WSL’s billion-dollar development on 510-hectares, or 1200 acres, of “highly constrained land” near the Queensland beach town of Coolum.

“This wave would become somewhat of a mecca and put the Sunshine Coast back on the (surfing) map…it will bring a lot of interest to the area and it will be a place that I know a lot of people are going to want to surf and have an ongoing impact on the local area…we have had so many people asking for so long where we’re going to build the next wave including Australia,” Slater told the local press.

In a series of stories for BeachGrit Longtom concluded, 

Drive-time from the airport is fourteen-minutes at a hundred k’s heading due north up the Sunshine Motorway. Glancing left at the site which is bordered by the road the presence of water on the ground, despite the drought, is startling. Fifteen hundred residential lots, commercial, retail, hotels plus the wavepool on some of the lowest lying floodplain in south-east Queensland.

What, as they say, could go wrong?

I put boots on the ground at the site. I know this country very well. It’s in my blood. My people come from the Queensland cane swamps. They are Danes, Swedes, Sicilians.

Practical people.

They would understand the necessity of bulldozing the bush to make way for jobs. But I do not. The developer’s eye eludes me. I see trees and bush. Birds, insects, frogs. I feel sad that surfers will be the ones behind the bull-dozers, erasing this wildlife, this bush from history.

From what I can see though, although there is ambivalence, distrust and even hostility to the Coolum wave pool development, that is unlikely to stop the bulldozers.

The greenwashing on the project will be immense.

Next level.

But I wonder, when Kelly thinks about what is being done in his name and looks in the mirror, does he still see an environmentalist looking back at him?

Now, after three years of lobbying, the development is dead in the water.

“The Queensland Government understands this development is no longer being pursued,” the Deputy premier and Minster for State  Development, Infrastructure etc, Steven Miles, wrote in a letter to the Member for Ninderry, Dan Purdie. 

(The Ninderry electorate takes in the proposed site for the tank.)

Now, what’s that say to you? 

It ain’t a formal rejection by the government, but reads like the WSL threw in the towel. 

Maybe too hard? Maybe too much opposition? 

Either way, you sad, would’ve been wild to see another Slater pool in the wild and to hell with the native fauna, or thrilled the WSL racked up another failure?