Crew Blog | Ryan Hanohano: Make Ready
I was just here in Aotearoa a few months ago helping to bring Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia from Samoa as a crewmember on the Worldwide Voyage. Though I’ve been sailing since 2011, it was my first time as watch captain onboard Hikianalia. I didn’t think I would find myself back in Aotearoa so soon.Pulling lines, raising jibs, setting sails, and steering the waʻa are things that come easy for me. But now that I’m back on the waʻa, more is required. When I got the call to join this leg of the voyage, I was told that my kuleana would be canoe coordination. I knew I had the skills to do the job, but I was still a bit nervous about being in a leadership position.
So I had to “make ready” myself.
We were told that our captain would not arrive to Aotearoa until a week after we landed. In the meantime, there was a list of things that needed to be done to mālama Hikianalia and to help the current crew familiarize or refamiliarize themselves with the canoe before a sail under the direction of a local captain and ʻohana waʻa friend from Aotearoa.You could imagine the pressure I felt knowing that I would be relied on heavily to make sure that all the provisions would be ready for Hikianalia: the sails, rope, safety gear, radio, power, and crew. Here I was, a mere crewmember, now challenged with the task of helping my fellow crewmembers ready ourselves and the canoe for a sail. Again, I had to “make ready” myself so that I could give the best support to my ʻohana waʻa.
Like any crewmember, my kuleana is never done. I was presented with another challenge that enabled me to think of other ways and perspectives on how we “make ready”. In this portion of the voyage, I’ve been asked to oversee a lot of what happens on the waʻa and to participate in some of the education outreach. So I learned many new things about Hikianalia in order to help with canoe tours and educational activities on the waʻa herself. Speaking is not one of my biggest strengths. In fact, it’s probably one of my weakest traits. But growth happens when opportunities are given to us that require us to stretch beyond what we already know.The Worldwide Voyage is not just about the canoes sailing around the world. I’m learning that this journey is also about developing leadership – leaders of the canoe, leaders of education, leaders of cultural protocol, and much more who are seen and unseen. I am grateful for this learning opportunity and time of growth. Hikianalia is clean, provisioned and cared for by a ready crew. I look forward to the upcoming sails with our captain who has just arrived.