Crew Blog | Kaipo Kiaha: Leg 24 Crew Arrives in New York


At 7am on October 3, 2016, we, the “Final Four” crew members on Leg 24, arrived in New York. We came to join up with the rest of the Leg 24 crew who were already here and to overlap with the outgoing Leg 23 crew. The nature of these East Coast legs is a quite unique experience for a voyager of double hulled sailing canoes. Hōkūle‘a has gone through numerous locks and inland waterways, many of them freshwater, over the past 6 months or so since arriving in Florida. The route our Leg 24 crew will take will begin in New York and end in Hampton, Virginia, where the canoe will be hauled out of the water for a three week long dry dock at the Mariner’s Museum. Her last dry dock was in South Africa nearly a year ago.

This past summer, halfway across the globe from Hōkūle‘a, Hikianalia underwent her own dry dock on O‘ahu. It was here where many of our Leg 24 crew happened to bond and get to know each other. Leading Hiki’s dry dock was Captain Bob Perkins, who will be captaining Hōkūle‘a for the first time on the Worldwide Voyage. He will also be one of the captains leading Hōkū’s dry dock immediately following our leg in mid October.

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Hana Yoshihata tending to the donuts at Hikianalia's dry dock.

Hana Yoshihata tending to the donuts at Hikianalia’s dry dock.

Volunteers at Hikianalia’s dry dock.

Working under Hikianalia at dry dock.

Working under Hikianalia at dry dock.

img_1584First time Worldwide Voyage crew members include Manuel Mejia, Matt Caires, Jackie Meggs, and Hana Yoshihata. For myself, Kekaimalu Lee, and Kula Barbieto, this will be our first leg on Hōkūle’a for the Worldwide Voyage. We had all previously crewed on Hikianalia on a few of the legs in 2014 and 2015. Keli Takenaga, img_1585Nakua Lind, and Kaʻai McAfee-Torco, who were crew on Leg 23, will be continuing on with us on Leg 24. Mark Ellis, first mate, watch captain, and outreach coordinator for the leg, was previously on Leg 19 – Florida to Virginia.

Upon arrival in New York, after a couple hours of transit from the airport to the Haverstraw where Hōkūleʻa is docked, we met up with the rest of our crew mates. For me, it has been almost two years since seeing Hōkūleʻa. I played the moment in my head over and over before seeing her again, but when we were reunited, it was like seeing your family after being apart for a long time – instantly familiar again, like you were never apart.

We brought down our sails and are preparing for some rough weather ahead, but we will still be doing learning journeys and outreach. Having the Leg 23 crew here to help transition is also a huge help, and they made sure we were up to speed on all the happenings on the canoe. After getting settled in, some of the crew talked to school groups in Hawaiʻi over Google Hangouts. After finding some kalo at a small town grocery store in the area, Waimea, Sam, Nakua, and Matt prepared paʻi ʻai with the papa kuʻi ʻai and pōhaku kuʻi ʻai on board. One of their last meals on board will be one of our first, and the fact that we were able to find our kūpuna plant in New York is pretty remarkable. As we spend the next few days in Haverstraw we will continue to keep you all updated on, so keep following!

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Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.

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