Crews from Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia got right to work today to prepare the waʻa for departure this week. Everyone is in good health and high spirits as we begin the last push to go, offering words of thanks and praise to all of those who worked so hard last week to turn over the canoes in such great shape. We all have our work cut out for us; checklist after checklist has to be consulted to get through the multitude of last minute checks and rechecks that allow us to be considered “ready to go”.
The quartermaster kuleana is one of the hardest on the canoe. No matter what the master manifest has written on it, everything – I mean everything – has to be verified that it actually exists and is in its proper location on board. A whole team has spent the bulk of the day re-manifesting the canoe gear and everything on board. Our floating island has to be equipped with everything needed to cross this distance of water safely and without incident – we have back up radios and extra batteries, a whole set of tools on board along with a sail repair kit, and things you wouldn’t necessarily think about like surveyors tape (they make great telltales) or spare pieces of fire hose (good for chafing gear for dock lines). Shucks, we even have a defibrillator on board, complete with spare batteries.
All of this gear prep is critical to the success of the voyage and to health and safety of the crew. But most important to this process are the crews themselves and the attitude that they bring with them to this space. Our fourteen crew members on board Hōkūleʻa will have to work together to solve every challenge that comes our way, from the weather that can shift in an instant, to solving some of the toughest equations that life can throw at you. In the face of all of that and more, our greatest asset here is the collective knowledge and experience of the entire crew. And so the greatest lesson we need to find success in our journey comes from one of our greatest teachers, Papa Mau. As he simply taught – stay together.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
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