Hōkūleʻa Update | May 14, 2015
Today we continued our final preparations continued today before our departure for Sydney. We made repairs to the canvas that shelters our sleeping area, rebuilt the rescue ladder that is used to climb back onboard the canoe from the ocean, made some final runs to town for money exchange and hardware supplies and overall readied the canoe for departure. The bustling whirl of supplies on deck slowly made its way back into the holds and designated places. More people from the public come to visit the canoe and talk story. It is always beautiful to watch their faces launch into the realm of the imaginary, envisioning all 14 of us sailing across the Tasman Sea on such a small platform. They are struck by the mana of the canoe and by the magnitude of the voyage.
Our friend Henry, who is docked alongside us, has been planning on changing the name of his boat, but not anytime soon. The presence of Hōkūleʻa nearby changed his mind. What he intended to happen months from now was quickly assembled in the moment, but with great care and thought . He humbly invited us to join the renaming ceremony of his vessel from Anabelle to Honu (‘sea turtle’ in Hawaiian). We could clearly see how deeply he put his heart into the ceremony. He began by invoking the gods of the sea and the heavens, he made offerings of wine, and even had a young girl break a bottle of champagne on the bow. At the end, his kind eyes seemed almost to weep as he thanked us in the way that it is apparent when so much depth dwells beneath the simple words of ‘thank you’.
In the evening we gather for our last shared dinner before tomorrow’s departure. We reflect on our time in Coffs and plan for the morning’s activities of cleaning out the apartment and stowing our gear away on the canoe. The wind howls and depending on the weather, we shall determine if it is safe to make our way to Sydney tomorrow as planned. We send out a big mahalo to the people of Coffs Harbour for their hospitality. A hui hou!