Training Sails on Hikianalia
METC, Honolulu Harbor —
By Karen Holman. As Hōkūleʻa brings the Mālama Hawai‘i leg of the Worldwide Voyage to a close, Captain Bob Perkins has been leading training sails on Hikianalia. These numerous opportunities allow crew to practice drills under a variety of weather conditions.
Three watch captains are appointed for each sail and are tasked with being captain for a portion of the sail, as well as leading 3 to 4 crew members under their watch. This two-tiered approach allows crew to be train at multiple levels simultaneously and practice skills such as docking, tacking, and jibing, as well as opening, closing, and changing sails.
We are challenged each day and learn the more delicate process steering the canoe solely by her sails, without the steering sweep, attuning ourselves to the wind and subtle shifts in the canoe. For now we sail in the familiar waters off Waikiki, where it is easy to get comfortable on a calm evening, with magnificent sunsets on mirrored water.
Despite the well-traveled waters of our training sails, we must remember that soon we will be traveling global and unknown waters and it is invaluable for skills to become second nature, and easily performed in the dark during a squall and high seas.
It has been inspiring to watch crew of varied experience levels guiding and supporting one another as we all deepen our skills as sailors.
Next Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will go into dry dock in preparation for the Worldwide Voyage before a series of final training sails in which the canoes will sail side by side.
Mālama Hawai’i Statewide Sail, May-November 2013
During the Mālama Hawai’i Statewide Sail, a staggering 20,000 school children visited Hōkūleʻa.
Crew participated in learning journeys, visiting sacred sites, participating in service projects, and growing deeply inspired about how local communities are caring for place.
During their visit children communicated their thoughts of Aloha ʻĀina and Peace on flags as messages to be shared with the world, stepped on board Hōkūleʻa in canoe tours, and learned about plankton.
The voyage is already having profound impacts. This morning a group of middle school students from Maui traveled to O‘ahu to teach students about voyaging, the star compass, and navigation. As students teach their peers and leadership trains the youth, mentoring grows across many contexts.
The display of community, learning, and stewardship we have encountered is astounding and we have yet to even leave home… imagine all that awaits.