We Are One at Sea
For those of us who voyage and feel at home on the ocean, sometimes things on land can be confusing and hectic. The past few weeks have been just that with a whirlwind of send-offs and last minute preparations. We had a beautiful ceremony that helped to re-focus everyone and now that the official festivities are over, the crew is in a kapu period (“off limits,” no public events) until the winds return so we can depart to Tahiti.
We only had two days to load Hōkūleʻa in Honolulu before her departure to Hilo due to the fumigation so although we did have everything loaded for the trip these few extra days are giving us peace of mind that we have all of the details and final preparations ready. The winds will return when we are ready and its time to go.
Each crew member has a kuleana (safety equipment, sails and line, food, water, cleaning supplies, etc.) and he/she must gather the necessary gear, supplies and equipment for their kuleana. As the Quartermaster for Hōkūleʻa, it is my job to account for all of these supplies that we will need on this leg to Tahiti and carefully plan where they will be stored. Everything is weighed before coming on board and we load our supplies in order to balance that weight on the waʻa throughout our voyage.
For a better understanding of the loading process, check out this video about the Hikianalia crew loading their supplies.
As we all focus on our kuleana (responsibilities) over these last few days and get all of our duties done, the words of master navigator Pius “Papa” Mau are resonating with me as we approach departure. He said to leave our worries on land. He said he is the father, the canoe is the mother, and we all go to sea as a family. If we listen to him we will find the island that we seek.
There are so many lessons in these simple words and many more that that we learn from the waʻa. We look forward to sharing them with the world through our personal experiences on this journey.
I want to say mahalo (thank you) for all of the aloha (love) that our friends, family and community here in Hawaiʻi have shown to us as depart on the Worldwide Voyage. I would especially like to mahalo my home island of Hawaiʻi and the community here in Hilo for taking such great care of us. Because of you we will leave home prepared and strong for our voyage. We are strengthened by all of this aloha and we will carry this with us as we sail the world on our mission to Mālama Honua, care for Island Earth.