Hōkūleʻa Update| May 22, 2017
Blog by Nāʻālehu Anthony
Today was a great day of sailing. We have pretty consistent trades and great weather from last night, which held for the conditions that we are seeing right now. Trades are lightening to sub-15 kts. We have more than 800 sq ft of sail area up to keep to our 5+ kts as we make our way to Hawaiʻi. At sunrise we were a little over 400 miles on our course and we are banking easting to where we are now about 30 miles east of our course line.
Today was action packed. Early this morning, before breakfast, the port fishing line went off and the snap of the fish was so powerful, it broke the line off of the swivel connected to the green cord that connects to the canoe. Bruce saw the fish and called it a big ahi. About 30 seconds later, the starboard line hit and buried deep. Kawai and Bruce landed the fish, a 49 pound ahi. The fish was plenty for us for the day. In fact too much – because we do not have any refrigeration, we either need to consume it, share it or dry it. In this case, we did all three.
Bruce and Kawai broke down the fish, letting nothing go to waste. The head, collar, and other parts went for the fish chowder for dinner. Haunani worked on the bones, which were scraped of all their meat for spicy ahi rolls. The main quarters were broken down for any number of other fish dishes, that for us included sashimi and fried ahi. The boys filled the drying rack, but there was still more — so now we have fish on our clotheslines and fish in pans all over the waʻa. Even after all that, we still had huge quarters to deal with, so Kealoha bagged some the fish, tied the bag to an empty water jug, and sent it to our travel companion, the Okeanos canoe, for them to enjoy.
All in all, a really enjoyable day, and a great lesson about what mālama means out here on this tiny floating honua.
Meticulous is the word I would use to describe how the fish was broken down. Nothing was wasted as the quarters were removed, and the translucent protein came to fill container after container. We only take what we can use and so the lines came in for the day. And whatever gift we are given, we honor with using it to the utmost for the crew AND for the collective that is out here sailing with us.
Our fish today was a gentle reminder of the fragility of this environment. Be it overfishing, climate change, or any of the other stresses that shift what we are experiencing as people of ocean or land, most will agree that our environment is shifting. The baseline for these stories seems to shift each decade or so to the point where I wonder if my kid’s kids will ever see a 49 pound ahi in the wild like this.
Maybe if we all adopt some principles of mālama honua – take only what you can use, share what you can, and make sure there are some left for tomorrow – they just might.
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