Hōkūleʻa Update | November 11-14, 2016

After Hōkūle‘a splashed back in the water once her dry dock was complete, she continues to move south on Leg 25 down the East Coast to Miami, Florida. Each day, crewmember Kaipo Kīʻaha faithfully documents the crew’s work, the weather (frost!) and more. These 4 days of updates begin in Hampton, Virginia.

Day 2 : November 11

The theme for today was “keep pushing,” as we spent the whole day working on the waʻa.  There are still quite a few small projects for us to finish before Hōkūle‘a is ready to leave again.

The morning started with tying on the safety lines on both sides of the canoe, the shower curtains were lashed on as well as the safety lines, and the safety knives were lashed on too.  Much of the day was spent inventorying the entire canoe’s supplies and provisions. The tool boxes, line boxes, all the deck boxes, and the makana were reorganized and every hatch was manifested and lots of stuff was moved around.

We ate all three meals on deck today and Tamiko was an awesome cook. Some of the crew was lucky enough to go on a shopping trip this evening to Bass Pro, which is an awesome outdoor shop.  It is still quite cold here but it warmed up to 60 degrees at the hottest point today around noon.

Tamiko Fernelius cooking dinner for the crew under moonlight and headlamp.

Tamiko Fernelius cooking dinner for the crew under moonlight and headlamp.

We did not get to bending the sails or offloading the extra sails but that is on the to do list for tomorrow.  We are keeping all the main sails (crab claw and Marconi) as well as the smaller headsails.  Randy is coming in tomorrow as well and Moani will pick him up and drop off the vans.  Kalepa and Randy will meet and discuss the sail plan tomorrow.  Departure is looking like Monday or Tuesday, with Tuesday being the better option for weather.

Day 3 : November 12

Today was blistering with wind and cold, as we continued our work on Hōkūleʻa. The main and mizzen sails were tied on, Keala Kai worked on some of the kiʻi lashing with sennet, and we finished up some of the
manifesting and inventorying on board.  Most of the donuts got whipped as well, and we flipped the canoe around so the bow is now facing south. Randy Rickard arrived at Hōkūleʻa in the afternoon today, and we were visited by Bob Puakea as well.  The moon rise was beautiful, near full, and was a nice sight to see before night fell upon us. Tamiko cooked us some Tsampa soup which helped keep us warm.

The plan for tomorrow is for the crew to visit Bob Puakea’s house for dinner, after we spend the morning finishing the lashing on some of the canvas, and finish whipping the donuts.  Kālepa and Randy spoke about the sail plan, and now it looks like we will be leaving Monday at 6am for Coinjock, North Carolina. After that we should have about 5 days of good weather which we will use to keep moving south, day by day.

Day 4: November 13

Early this morning, while still dark, our crew was shocked to find the entire canoe frosted over with ice. It was thick enough where you could hear the crunching under your boots when walking on it. Most of us didn’t stay out long and huddled back into our bunks until the sun came out.

The mizzen sail tied on and opened after we finish tying it on.

The mizzen sail tied on and opened after we finish tying it on.

Once it did the weather was quite pleasant indeed as there was light to no wind most of the day. We finished up all of the work we needed to get done today before our deadline time of 3pm. Hokulea and our crew are ready to go at dawn tomorrow. We will be pulling off the dock around 5:45, and heading south to Coinjock. There will be one lock and one swing bridge that we will have to pass through. The lock opens on the hour and the bridge on the half hour. This first leg will be about 60 miles, so tomorrow will be a long day. We are about 10 miles north of the beginning of the Intercoastal Waterway, or Mile 0 as it is called. By the time we reach Miami we will have traversed the entire length of it.

At 3:00, Bob Puakea and friends picked us up and took us to the Mariners Museun where Hōkūleʻa was dry docked. We took a couple hours to explore the museum, which was rich with history and exhibits on maritime culture. Our crew thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit on Polynesian Voyaging which heavily featured Hōkūleʻa and the Worldwide Voyage. We are now headed over to Bob’s house for dinner with some of his ʻohana, then heading back to the canoe to rest up for our early start in the morning.

Day 5: November 14

Today we departed Bluewater Marina in Hampton, Virginia. This was our first time moving the waʻa since the end of dry dock.

After departing at first light this morning, at 0600, we made landfall at Coinjock Marina in North Carolina, at about 1700 hours. The tow over was definitely cold, but enjoyable, with lots of sights to take in, from the industrial city of Hampton to the countryside of southern Virginia. We were blessed with some light rain and slacked wind as we made the roughly 60 mile journey south down the Intercoastal Waterway. After going through one lock and a couple of bridges, we arrived in Coinjock right before nightfall. From there we gathered our gear together and enjoyed a delicious prime rib dinner at the Coinjock Marina restaurant.

Tonight we have some of the crew staying in a house right at the marina, with the rest of us sleeping on Hōkūleʻa again. Tomorrow morning at 0600 we will continue on to Dowry Creek, South Carolina. According to Randy Rickard, our escort pilot, this is the nearest reasonable/feasible stop for us. However, it is a long trek at a little over 80 miles. As long as we continue to have good weather we will keep pushing south everyday.


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