Hōkūleʻa Update | June 06, 2017

Naalehu Anthony      Crew Blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony

Aloha all,

Lots of action today. The anticipation of getting closer to land is fueling the energy on board the canoe today. The weather has stabilized, so we are now in the groove as we make our way these last few miles on this part of the course.

We had a pretty rare event occur today – all four lines went off at the same time. We sailed through a pile of fish, and they went for all four of our lures. The two port lines landed a pair of ahi, the starboard line got a small mahi, and the long starboard line must have gotten hit by something big cause it took the whole lure. The mahi was made into chowder and served up for lunch, and the ahi was marinated for dinner. Dinner was miso ahi, rice and vegetables. At this point I won’t chime in about which fish dinner was better than the last, as they have all been pretty incredible.

J- Boy, Parker, Kealoha, and Kawai have worked together to make some really great, creative, and nourishing dishes as we make our way home. Heavy discussion takes place every time we catch a fish to make sure they come up with the best way to use it. It has been great to watch this side of the cooking emerge as each dinner is a culinary step up from the one before. That process would not be complete without some pretty awesome desserts too. Kealoha brought back the crepe station for a hana hou – it was the perfect way to close out this segment of the course.

After dinner we waited for darkness to try to measure the Southern Cross and the North Star. The clouds were not cooperating for the navigation staff to measure the cross, but Hoku paʻa emerged for a couple of minutes and they got a fix. From that bearing, the crew decided to turn down and head west. From dead reckoning we know that are a bit high on the latitude mark, and a little more than a couple hundred miles east of Kumukahi on the Big Island. Weʻll sail through the day tomorrow, and then make a decision from there.

On a side note, the Big Island is one of the first really high islands that has been a navigational target for any crew that I have sailed on. While the formula says that you can potentially see Mauna Kea from 120 miles out (two degrees of latitude), Bruce will tell you different. He says that every time he has been on a crew looking for the Big Island, they have been much closer before sighting. Once, the only thing they saw were the lights of Hilo as the rest of the Island was totally encased in clouds. So this is the challenge with this particular high island – we get to look for very high mountains, but those mountains are almost always locked away in the protection of the heavens.

Point being, this isn’t going to be easy. The next 225 miles are some of the most important and potentially the hardest. The crew recognizes this and we are all committed to work together in the steering and the navigation to pull land from the sea and finish strong. We have worked hard to get to this point, and now this is where we have to put away some of the math and theory and trust in the mana of our kupuna and their teachings and just look for the signs.

Pō malie, everyone.

SB 72,