July 13: Hale’iwa to Hanalei (Photography Training)

I love my job. When I reflect on the past 17 years of sailing that I’ve been privileged enough to be a part of, I realize that shooting on board Hokule’a has really defined me as a photographer. Today was a big day for all of us at ‘Oiwi TV. Captain Bruce Blankenfeld was gracious enough to allow four of us onboard to shoot footage in preparation forthe World Wide Voyage.  Today was an important training opportunity for those who will help to staff photographer and communications roles for the  WWV. These are roles that have emerged as a critical piece of the puzzle as the voyaging society endeavors to utilize Hokule’a as an educational platform.

Hanalei from sea. (click on images to enlarge)

Our ‘Oiwi TV crew was a mix of experienced and green sailors. They included Maui Tauotaha who is no stranger to this vessel as his grandfather was one of the early crew members and canoe carvers from Tahiti;  ‘Aina Paikai our photographer for ‘Aha’i ‘Olelo Ola and Justyn Ah Chong a recent USC cinema Grad and full time photographer both of whom were on board to learn the ropes, literally and figuratively of what to do on the canoe.

Instructions from Captain Bruce

The weather even at the pier had some promise. The trade winds felt consistent and strong. By the time we left the pier and towed out of the harbor we were looking at solid wind of 25 knots. We cleared the head buoy, dropped the tow and opened the newly attached crab claw sails. (I would like to thank the crew who stayed the previous night to put  these crab claw sails on as they make for stunning photography) Uncle Maka put up the jib after that and we were well on our way to Hanalei Kaua’i. With just the front sail and the jib we held 7.5 to 9 knots pretty consistently. We would make the trip in quick time.

ʻAina, Justyn, and Naʻalehu

Captain Bruce gave the crew some instruction. The first rule, don’t fall off! After that, it was all about photography. Our crew moved around the canoe shooting on a pair of Canon 60d cameras. We brought with us a full compliment of lenses and a special apparatus affectionately called the “baby brontosaurus.” It’s a dolly and a jib all built into one. First time I’ve brought it on the canoe and it gave us stunning results.

Naʻalehu sliding

Naʻalehu and Justyn

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