I woke up to the early morning sounds of Hōkūleʻa’s hulls slicing through rising swells, which flowed from three different houses – Haka, Manu and Lā, all out of the Koʻolau quadrant of the star compass. The 2-6 watch, led by Uncle Snake Ah Hee of Lahaina, Maui, was still on, sailing the waʻa at about 6 knots. Puaita on the hoe uli and Justyn standing by to kōkua while the winds howled through the sails. I crawled out of my bunk pondering what to cook for breakfast and ready to start another beautiful day in the realm of Kanaloa. Uncle Snake called out “Okay, huli!,” letting everyone know the watches were changing. So the 6-10 watch led by David Komine of Kāneʻohe, Oʻahu took charge of the waʻa for the next four hours. Heidi is the first to the hoe uli, beginning the steering rotation of 20 minutes between three people, who each share the responsibility of keeping the canoe on course.
On the breakfast menu is fried rice with a little left over ono from last night’s dinner. So I called it “Da most ono fried rice.” As the rising sun slowly warmed up the deck of the waʻa, the wind begins to slow down as it flows out of the house of Noio Koʻolau, blowing at about 10-15 knots, sometimes 20 knots at its max.
As our watch slowly comes to an end, we see a few rain clouds in the distance, which on Hōkūleʻa is something we look forward to. When we see a rain cloud, instead of suiting up to stay dry, we welcome the greatest feeling ever – a fresh water rinse. The crew scrambles throughout the deck gathering their body wash, conditioner for the long-haired folk, and shampoo for the short-haired folk.
Our initial thoughts of a passing shower quickly turns into a rain storm for almost the entire 10-2 watch, led by Kawika Crivello of Molokaʻi. Throughout this non-stop blessing of rain from Ke Akua, Captain Kalepa calls the meal for lunch and shouts to me from the stern of Hōkūleʻa – “Brah!!…Saimin!!” I give my double thumbs up and reply with a simple “Rajah dat!”
As the rain continues to fall, I open up my box of tricks to the magnificent two burner stove and start boiling water to whip up some saimin. With my sous chef Kawika prepping green onions to add in and other fancy toppings, we begin the process of our wet ‘n wild lunch. The crew stands in the rain, licking their chops, waiting to dig into some hot saimin noodles. Needless to say, lunch was a success. The crew had massive smiles and filled opus while we wash the dishes and clean up as an ʻohana. With a big wet bearded smile, I tell them all “mahalo.” With big smiles and many shakas Kawika goes “Braddah Kua, it’s a kākou thing!”
To our pleasant surprise, the afternoon ended with a beautiful warm sunset and a fragment of a rainbow off of our starboard hull.
After a 20-month sojourn in oceans south of the equator, Hōkūleʻa has returned to the northern hemisphere in the blue waters of the Atlantic. Please, help celebrate our crew by supporting their journey.
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