The East Coast engagement for the Worldwide Voyage has been the most intense set of stops the crews and logistics teams have ever had to plan for. The fact that we are in a port almost every single night and that sometimes we have departure and arrival ceremonies in the same day means that the planning team in Hawaii and locally works around the clock to make each transition as smooth as possible. And then the weather changes, and things shift by a day or two. For the most part people understand, but we try hard to meet the commitments that we agree to, even though it is extremely complex moving a 12-ton canoe with no auxiliary power.
Nonetheless, from the start of the East Coast engagement in Florida heading up north through Washington DC and New York, all the way to Maine and Canada, we have met thousands of people and interacted with many thousands more on the web and social media in these areas. The teams have worked hard to balance the safety of the canoe and the crews with the timeliness of the port visits and the potential educational outreach in these communities.
But on Leg 22, besides the trip to Canada, we are in the mode of delivery to New York rather than that of engagement and outreach. Our trip was built as a series of overnight hops to cover several hundred miles in a little over a week. Our time in Salem, Massachusetts was only 36 hours to hold over for some expected bad weather. So Captain Kālepa said that we would do community engagement from the National Parks Dock on the one day we were in port. The only trouble was it was supposed to rain all day. This might be the only time the weather people were right (besides Hans our weather guru – he is always right). But right at 10am the rain came in full force just as forecasted. By 2pm when the tours were supposed to start, the rain had turned back on and was not showing any signs of letting up. We set up our tent and waited to see if anyone would brave the rain and come and visit. To our astonishment, dozens came, with undampened spirits and many questions about our mission and our craft.
Thankfully the weather got a little better before we finished up at 5pm, and people got to walk around the canoe and come out from under our awning that had been the only semi dry space around. Curious onlookers from as far as Kāneʻohe and San Francisco asked questions of our knowledgeable crew as we showed them around. We talked to National Park Service staff who were incredibly interested in the rig and the sails, as they wanted to compare what we did with how they rigged their tall ship. And we talked with more than a few people who drove over an hour just to come see the canoe. All in all, it was a great time and everyone who came to visit had a genuine interest in the canoe. So we want to thank everyone for coming out and braving the elements in Salem to learn a bit about our canoe and our Mālama Honua mission. We may not always get to port on time, but when we say we will hold canoe tours, we do so rain or shine.
Help fund the Voyage as we sail the East Coast
Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.
Celebrate with us by pledging your support to the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage.
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