Crew Profile

Hōkūleʻa Update | January 21, 2016

Bruce BlackWritten by Bruce Black

“Red sky in the morning, sailor heed warning.” We have a huge red cloud coming up behind us with the sun, which was a perfect red ball and seemed to stare back at us.  The seas have big cross swells swinging us around, and it is challenging to keep the canoe straight. We do our best to hold our line by using the two side-sweeps.  The winds are about 18 mph and, we are making fairly good time, maybe 6+ knots. 

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After an overcast morning, the sky cleared and we had a not nice hot day of sailing. The wind was solid into the afternoon and we ran a big spinnaker, 17 jib, then back to a smaller spinnaker. At noon we got another double mahimahi strike. That is our 11th fish this trip. We are all very thankful.

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It was Lohiao’s dad birthday, the late great crew member Melvin Paoa, known to many as Uncle Mel. To celebrate the day, Gary baked him a cake. What made the day even more special was that Uncle Mel was with us. His amazing presence was witnessed by the whole crew. A noio bird was flying around last night when we came on watch. We were whistling at it, and it sang back. This afternoon it returned and Lohiao walked to the back of the canoe and raised his hand and it landed on his hand as if visiting an old friend.  We were all blown away. It hung with us for a while, checked us all out and then took off. Thanks for coming by and checking in on us Mel! It was a special day, indeed. 


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