Hōkūleʻa Update | March 13, 2016
Aloha mai kākou, i lā pule maika’i from the crew on Leg 18. We quickly settled into a fairly smooth pattern of watch shifts and time has flown by since leaving Saba Rock three days ago. For the first two days, the crew split into two six hour watches, 6-12 and 12-6. We had perfect sailing weather with the wind and waves at our back,. For awhile, we had the head sail and three stay sails up and were making some good time, consistently going between 7 and 8 knots. The nights have been beautiful and clear, with plenty of stars to sail by. The crew is light-hearted and joyful, everyone feels so blessed to be here together aboard the Hōkūleʻa en route to Cuba.
Mealtimes are bonding moments, which is a good thing because we spend a lot of time preparing meals and cleaning up afterwards. Our two cooks are amazing, whipping out curry chicken last night with local dry land kalo that we were gifted from Aragorn’s organic farm back in Tortola. A favorite lunch was the tuna and rice nori wraps, yummy! Tomorrow morning we are having chocolate, coconut, banana, oatmeal pancakes, how awesome does that sound?! We are all working to eat healthy, with fruits and veggies, but everyone gets really excited about cookie time after our meals.
During meal prep and afterwards, the rest of the crew helps the cooks and there is no hesitation about jumping in to clean the dishes afterwards. Dishes are washed with two buckets of saltwater, one with a bit of dish soap and then a quick rinse with clean saltwater. The metal silverware, pots and pans get an extra dose of fresh water to prevent rust.
We’ve seen some beautiful marine animals, yesterday a couple of what might have been pilot whales stayed alongside us for awhile. It even went under the canoe a couple of times. Today a humpback waved its huge pink flipper at us four or five times from about 100 yards away.
A pod of dolphins skipped across the sea next to Hoku just before noon. A twenty pound mahimahi ended up on our fishing line shortly afterwards. We will be eating that in the morning.
A funny moment happened on the first night when a noio bird landed on one of our crew’s head. “Do guys see a bird on my head?” he asked. We took that for a good ho’ailona.
Right now the Dominican Republic is off to our left about fifteen miles away. We should be nearing the eastern tip of Cuba around Tuesday morning. We will then sail alongside the island until reaching Habana. We are all looking forward to connecting with the poe of Cuba. Coming from Hawaii and Tahiti, this crew knows how important it is when malihini to our islands make an effort to use phrases and words spoken in the language of our pae ʻāina. To show our respect for Cuba, we are starting to work on Spanish language basics, like buenos dias, buenas tardes, and buenas noches – good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. Les mandamos muchas saludos y besos a todas nuestras families que nos esperan en Hawaii! Hasta entonces, que les vaya muy bien We send greetings and kisses to all of our families waiting at home, until then we pray all is well.
More than Adventure
Beyond a daring expedition, the Worldwide Voyage is quite possibly the most important mission that Hawaiʻi has ever attempted. As people of Oceania, we are leading a campaign that gives voice to our ocean and planet by highlighting innovative solutions practiced by cultures around the planet.
We could not have begun this great journey without your support, nor can we continue to its completion.