Hikianalia Report: October 13, 7:40 PM HST, winds abating, steering east, a whale underwater, a big-eye tuna …
The strong winds of the last two days have gradually abated and backed to westerly with a northern component, excellent for us as we make our way east.
We caught a nice big-eye tuna (ʻahi) today and turned it into sashimi and fish curry. Mahalo Kanaloa.
We are steering Hikina (east). This direction and current conditions are very gentle on the canoe and crew. If we can keep this up all night, we can pass 170 W latitude tomorrow. Our eastward goal is about 160 degrees west, when we can probably turn north toward Tubuai and Tahiti. We are staying south to take advantage of good winds and to avoid going north too soon where we might get becalmed near the center of a high pressure system (the Horse Latitudes around 30° S).
Prevailing Winds: Hikianalia is at 34° S, in the Westerlies. The Horse Latitudes are an area of variable winds mixed with calm lying to the north, around 30° S). North of the Horse Latitudes are the SE Trade Winds that Hikianalia plans to ride to Tahiti.
Today, we were steering by the wind direction and the swells. The wind tends to change so the helmsman must be aware of those shifts. At the start of the day, we wanted the wind on our port beam (the left side of the canoe). In the afternoon after a rain squall passed us, the wind shifted more west and we need to keep the wind more on the port quarter (the back corner of the canoe). We also use the direction of the swells, which are more constant. Today’s swells are northwest so we keep them hitting the aft port manu. We can also use shadows on the deck to keep us steering straight, such as lining up the shadow of a shroud on the corner of a deck box.
- time: 2012-10-14 05:40 UTC/GMT (19:40 HST Oct 13)
- position: 34 degrees 11.4 minutes S 172 degrees 32.5 minutes W
- course: 090 degrees True
- speed: 6 to 7 knots
- weather: mostly cloudy, some clear patches
- wind: just north of west, 12 to 18 knots
- sea state: NW swells 6 to 8 feet, N swells 3 to 4 feet, wind chop W 2 to 4 feet
- vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
- Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: sun only
- Animal Life: Bruce saw a large whale pass underwater near the hoe. It didn’t surface so we don’t know the species. We caught a nice big eye tuna today and turned it into sashimi and fish curry. Mahalo Kanaloa.
- Sea Birds and Sea Life: We saw an albatross and a petrel.
- Marine Debris: None seen today.
- Tracking Map
- Crew List: Aotearoa to Tahiti
- On Wayfinding (star compass and traditional navigation without instruments)
- Hawaiian Lunar Month (Moon Phases)
- Hawaiian Star Lines (Hawaiian names for stars and constellations)
- Stellarium, a free desktop planetarium at stellarium.org.
- Fish, Birds, and Mammals of the Open Ocean
- Predicting Weather: Reading Clouds and Sea States
- Non-Instrument Weather Forecasting
- Hawaiian Voyaging Traditions (History of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and Hōkūle‘a)
- Voyaging Proverbs from Mary Mary Kawena Pukui’s ‘Ōlelo No‘eau