Hōkūleʻa Update | January 5-6, 2017

On Leg 26, Hōkūleʻa voyages south from Florida to Panama. In this update, Lohiao Paoa explains some of the kuleana while in port and recounts a few crew funnies.

January 5

Blog by Lohiao Paoa

We are all individuals. Most of us on this current leg have never met prior. Even with our individual foibles and responsibilities, each and every crew member must help one another accomplish even the simplest tasks. From washing dishes to dropping the spar, Hōkūleʻa has the tendency of tying individuals into one crew, and it starts with knowing your role. Do what your supposed to, nothing more, nothing less.

One of the most important kuleana on Hōkūleʻa is the Quartermaster. The Quartermaster is in charge of knowing where everything is on board. Everything! I had the honor of helping Uncle Gary quartermaster for Leg 16, and was somewhat relieved to have canoe supplies, towing gear, and rescue swimmer second time around. Communication is key when being a Quartermaster because when captain needs something or when things can’t be found, weight will fall on the quartermaster. Just one of the pieces to the puzzle.

January 5th, 2017, consisted of sail repair, cleaning, and quartermastering for Leg 27. From Miami to Panama, jibs and genoa’s 7, 9, 13a, 15, 17a, 21, 24, and 26 were the sails used, coupled with the primary big boys, the 28 and 30 triangles and 28 and 32 crab claws. Typically, numbers of the sails correlate with the square footage of the sail. 7=70 square feet, 15=150 square feet, etc. The so called motors of our waʻa must be treated with tender loving care, soak um, lube um, and rub um down.

Like Ice Cube would say, “today was a good day.”

Funny story of the day: Nakua decided to start a conversation with Captain Bruce asking him “Uncle Bruce, how many stars do you know?” Cap proceeded by pulling out his star chart and pointed out over 200 stars on the spot, 219 to be exact. He knows more I’m sure.

January 5

Blog by Lohiao Paoa

Last night was open mic at the local marina bar. Hōkūleʻa crew stole the show as we sang songs of our homeland. The key is confidence.

This morning was an active morning. The Dugong watch (10-2) made some bacon, eggs, and French toast that was quickly devoured. We then turned the waʻa around to set up side tow with our potential escort, the DWS Linda. After about an hour of moving lines and fenders, we got the approval from the Canal officials. Mahalo to the DWS Linda. Estimated time of departure from Shelter Bay is still pending.

Hōkūleʻa is in pristine condition, so that allowed us to have a few hours of free time. Some of the crew went to San Lorenzo point, a scenic park that still had forts that were built in the 1500s and had views similar to ones in the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. Some crew had time to jump in the pool near the marina and others just enjoyed a peaceful nap. Our navigator, Brad Wong, lost his left slipper two days after leaving Key West. He was able to duct tape cardboard and some line together to protect his left foot from the Panamanian terrain.

Days are hot and winds are minimal. Everyone is healthy and excited to carry on through the canal. It is my nephews fourth birthday today, Happy Birthday Kolohe! I’ll be sure to eat a couple extra Oreos for you.


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