Hōkūleʻa Update | Feb 10, 2017
We departed Galapagos today at about 10:45am local time. Our paperwork for customs clearance and fumigation were the last items we needed to get before departure. We pulled up anchor and made our way out of the harbor, and said aloha to Santa Cruz Island.
We are currently under tow; the last land sighted was Espanola, which is where we started our reference course line. The moon is full tonight, washing out all but the brightest stars and planets. Venus and Mars set in the evening; Ke Kā o Makaliʻi is overhead including Orion, Makali’i, Sirius and Taurus. We are currently heading just to the East of South, and will continue this heading until we find wind that allows us to sail. That will likely be about 6-8 degrees South latitude. There are light winds at this time coming out of the East South East with a swell that matches the wind direction. Cloud cover is about 30% and mostly isolated to the horizon.
Our young and talented navigation team – Lehua, Haunani, Jason and Noe – have come together to embrace their kuleana as the latest in a very long line of traditional navigation. After being locked in their rooms studying for the last few days (they are amongst the few thankful for the delay in departure, as it allowed for last minute cramming), they have fully accepted the role and will use these next few weeks to put their years of training into practice.
As the nav team sets their sights on our next horizon, we also took a moment to reflect on what we are leaving behind. Departure day in Galapagos was filed with the same awe we have experienced every day in this sacred place. This is truly a place where the nature gets to be nature, as the iguanas walked through the harbor within feet of the crew, and the sea lions lounged on the benches usually reserved for people. The Galapagos was stunning at every turn, from the moment we arrived and the giant tortoises came into view, to the last full day we had at Tortuga Bay with the pelicans in the air and baby sharks in 8 inches of water; this has proven to be one of the most encouraging stops in the voyage. Encouraging because we can find these places that are filled with biodiversity and have the kinds of protections that give us hope for the future. But this hope and these protections are really embedded in the people. The people we met on this stop showed us true aloha. They helped us with whatever we needed and showed us that terms like mālama and aloha ‘āina are not lost on those who do not come from Polynesian islands. And so we said a hui hou to Champy, and Norman, and Scott and their families today, but we know we will see them again soon. And we thank all of them for helping to keep the Galapagos wild.
We’ll be standing by 72,
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