Crew Blog by Haunani Kane
Aloha my name is Haunani and I will be your navigator alongside Brad Wong, and our kapenas Jason Patterson and Kaniela Lyman-Mersereau. Prior to coming up to San Diego we spent a lot of time with Uncle Bruce coming up with a sail plan and studying the stars down at the beach, and at the J. Watumull Planetarium at the Bishop Museum Planetarium (mahalo to the staff and docents!). Here is the sail plan that we have come up with.
A straight shot from Point Loma, San Diego to Hilo, Hawaiʻi is approximately 2200 nautical miles heading ʻāina kona, two houses (about 22o degrees) south of west. To account for a more northerly current at the beginning of our voyage we will steer half a house north, in between lā and ʻāina kona. Because our course has so much west in it, we will have the wind at our back. The stars will rise behind us and set in front of us. Hōkūpaʻa (north star) will be to the right of us.
Our crew has been super fortunate to learn from Uncle Bruce. Uncle Bruce is a genius in the most humble way. He has a way of breaking down complex concepts into ways that are simple and easy to understand. By teaching in this way he has made learning navigation more accessible to our entire crew. For example, rather than trying to memorize all of the stars in the sky, we are focusing first on the stars that set directly in front of us (e.g. Diphda in Cetus, Moanikeala in Capricorn, ʻAʻa– Sirius and Murzim in Canis Major) and rise directly behind us (Kapuahi– Aldeberan in Taurus, Algorab and Gienah in Meʻe). Rather than studying where the moon rises every night we have asked each of the crew members to look up their zodiac constellation (what we call birthday stars) and each night we have been watching how the moon moves through each of our birthday stars along the ecliptic.
Uncle Bruce also asked each of us to research a different navigator that travelled to and from Hawaiʻi during the early migrations. As we sail we will share what we have learned about our navigators. By setting up the navigation in this way, each of the crew members in some way or form has accepted some of the kuleana of navigating Hikianalia home. Uncle Bruce is teaching us to read the heavens and the ocean while also teaching us the importance of being open to new knowledge. In the words of Dr. Seuss, “It is better to know how to learn than to know.”
As we make our way home we would like to extend our aloha and appreciation to all of the families and friends both in San Diego, back home in Hawaiʻi and across the Honua that helped to prepare us for this voyage home.
Hawaiʻi we will see you soon!
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