Hikianalia Report: October 17, 6:00 AM HST: another starry night … with the Milky Way and Magellanic clouds clearly visible
Steering was stellar all night, by all watches. The 2 am to 6 am watch was very clear, with the Milky Way and Magellanic clouds clearly visible.
Magellanic clouds are bright patches appearing in the sky in the southern hemisphere. They are two irregular dwarf galaxies. (Image and text from Wikipedia.)
- time: 2012-10-17 16:00 UTC/GMT (06:00 HST Oct 17)
- position: 32 degrees 12.5 minutes S 161 degrees 56.0 minutes W
- course: 090 degrees True through the night
- speed: 4.0 knots
- weather: air dry and cool
- wind: SW 5 to 10 knots
- sea state: swells from the SW built slowly to 15-20 feet
- vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
- Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases:
Last night was the best opportunity to steer by the stars that the 6 to 10 pm watch has had on this voyage. We have had mostly cloudy evenings, but last night was open and clear, especially behind us to Komohana (the west). To our southwest were Kamakaunuiamaui (Scorpius), which currently surrounds the transient planet Mars, and Pimoe (Sagittarius). To our northwest was the Navigator’s Triangle of Piraetea (Deneb), Keoe (Vega) and Humu (Altair). We had so many stars to steer by, any course errors were clearly our own fault! The Hilo moon was the merest possible sliver, but the dark side of the moon was clearly visible. We had several long lasting, strong, bright shooting stars. Kaleo Wong pointed out Corona Australis to us.
For the 10 pm to 2 am watch, our heading for the night was due east towards Hikina. Canopus was on our port side to the south, and we used it off of one of our benches again. Orion was used putting the belt on the side of the mast. As clouds passed through, the glow of Jupiter on the water was extremely bright, so we used that for a while as well.
Finally the north pointers Sheratan and Metallah were kept on our beam when they stood upright indicating north.
“Sheratan and Metallah lined up above due north.” Sheratan is the second bright star from the top, above due north; Metallah is the relatively bright star below it, between Sharatan and the horizon. The brightest star in the graphic, just to the east (right) of north is Almach. (See Meridian Pointers to North)
The 2 am to 6 am watch started very clear, with the Milky Way and Magellanic clouds clearly visible. We kept the due east heading, with A‘a (Sirius) directly to the starboard of the mast. After less than an hour, the clouds came in and swallowed the sky.
- Animal Life: Nothing sighted overnight.
- Sea Birds and Sea Life: None noted.
- Marine Debris: None observed overnight.
- Progress Report: The crew did really well.
- Tracking Map
- Crew List: Aotearoa to Tahiti
- On Wayfinding (star compass and traditional navigation without instruments)
- Hawaiian Lunar Month (Moon Phases)
- Hawaiian Star Lines (Hawaiian names for stars and constellations)
- Stellarium, a free desktop planetarium at stellarium.org.
- Fish, Birds, and Mammals of the Open Ocean
- Predicting Weather: Reading Clouds and Sea States
- Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting
- Hawaiian Voyaging Traditions (History of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Hōkūle‘a)
- Voyaging Proverbs from Mary Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No‘eau