PBO's resident YouTube aficionado Kass Schmitt shines the spotlight on Wilderness of Waves' latest video, shot in Lahiana – a town on Maui that needs support to rebuild following a devastating wildfire

This month I am very happy to share with you Wilderness of Waves, a channel that has brought me more joy than any other in recent years.

The 39 year old Arkansas-born filmmaker, tv producer, writer and U.S. Coast Guard 50-Ton Master certified captain Olivia O. Wyatt who says she ‘makes ethnographic films that focus on preserving the traditions of communities that are on the brink of extinction as well as creating abstract works of a psychedelic nature’.

She first appeared on my radar as a guest on an episode of Sam Holmes Sailing in 2019, when he jumped onboard Juniper, her 1985 Ta Shing Panda 34’ cutter for a cruise from Oahu to Kauai and back during which they compared notes on their respective solo passages from California to Hawaii.

I remember thinking at the time that Sam was okay, but I was really keen to see more of Olivia’s adventures on screen, especially after she released a music video she produced for one of my favourite artists, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, in which she and her boat play a starring role.

Instead I had to make do with following her written blog (no hardship, as it’s great) as she cruised the South Pacific solo.

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That was, until last year, she started releasing videos about her adventures, starting with one of the most entertaining boat tour videos I have ever had the pleasure of watching, and working her way through the highlights and challenges of her journey so far.

The most recent video follows a passage she made from Lanai to Lahaina, Maui with a couple of freediver friends (who would eventually sail with her to Tahiti). Her mission was to repair her bimini with the help of sailmaker and windsurfing legend Barry Spanier.

There are laughs aplenty, but what makes this episode especially poignant is that fact that Lahaina was almost completely destroyed in the wildfires in early August. In the video description Olivia provides links to fundraisers to help the victims.

Having followed her story so far via her blog, I can’t wait to see how she presents it on the screen. Even more exciting is the strongly hinted-at possibility she will enter the next Golden Globe Race, scheduled to start in September 2026. Hang on, I think it’s going to be a wild ride.

Enjoyed reading Channel Hopping: Wilderness of Waves?

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