November 8: Photos of Hikianalia Under Sail (Aotearoa to Tahiti)
Nov. 7 Sunset
Easy steering in light winds; sometimes even tying down the handle of the hoe (steering sweep) and letting the canoe steer herself with the sail rig balanced.
We’re still being forced further west than we prefer to go, but we plan to keep the canoe moving as fast as we can with these light and northeasterly winds.
Today, we saw a second longline fishing vessel nearby, which we identified with our Automatic Identification System (AIS) on the laptop computer. The longliner was still working her gear off our stern.
We just finished a delicious dinner of ono sashimi, fried ono belly and bones, ginger ono and watermelon, topped off with Oreos. We caught two ono on a double strike – one for lunch and one for supper.
Sea Birds and Sea Life: the usual terns and boobies. Highlight of the day was a beautiful white-tailed tropicbird very close to the canoe for several minutes.
There are fewer squalls tonight as we sail gently toward more familiar stars of the Northern Hemisphere. Everyone is well, well fed and happy. Thanks for all the support!
- actual course: west of north, heading 348 degrees True, Haka Ho’olua. Preferred course: east of north as much as possible, 10 degrees True Haka Ko’olau
- speed: 5 to 6 knots
- weather: partially clear during the day with passing squalls not hitting us. Now, clear overhead with stars emerging. Cumulus on 360 degree horizon. No high clouds, warm, humid
- wind: east 10 to 15 knots
- sea state: North-East 4 to 5 feet (built to 6 feet then receded during the day), East 1 to 2 feet, South 1 to 2 feet, very gentle rollers.
Hawaiian Star Compass (Click on the link for an explanation of the names of the directional houses of the compass. Click on the compass for a larger image.)
Nov. 8 Sunrise:
The NE swell has increased in size again this morning. Steering last night was a new experience for many of our first-time long-distance voyagers. It is an amazing sight to see a large, double-hulled, Polynesian voyaging canoe making good speed over mile after mile, swimming free with the hoe (steering sweep) out of the water – running free and steering herself. This “autopilot” sailing is stress-free on the wa’a and restful for the crew.
As this is being written, the hoe is back in the water as we have shaken out the main and are trying to get as much speed on a good course as we can. So, Hikianalia has to be nudged a little to the course we need, rather than swimming free like last night. We’re making 8 knots and moving basically ‘Ākau (north). All is well aboard Hikianalia – both vessel and crew, physically, spiritually and morale-wise.
- actual course: north, heading 000 degrees True, Akau
- speed: 7 to 8 knots
- weather: Clear overhead, some cumulous (2/8 -3/8 coverage). No high clouds.
- wind: North of East, 15-18 knots
- sea state: North-East 5-6 feet (built a little overnight, slight white-capping), East 1 to 2 feet, South 1 to 2 feet, rollers less gentle.
Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases:
- 6 pm to 10 pm watch: Our heading at the beginning of the night was Haka Ko’olau. For a change, our watch had good stars available for steering. We used primarily Iwakelii (Cassiopeia), Makali’i (Pleiades); the Navigator’s Triangle of Pira‘etea (Deneb), Keoe (Vega) and Humu (Altair); and the stars of Ke Kā O Makali’i (Orion). One word describes tonight’s watch – autopilot. The mizzen and working jib were working in perfect balance to get us maximum available easting while Hikianalia swam unimpeded by human steering.
- The hoe was tied down all watch for us and the 10 pm to 2 am watch who continued to use the familiar constellations of the northern hemisphere to verify our heading and Hikianalia’s awesome tracking. Early in the night they could hold Hokulei (Capella) off our bow, and then, as she moved across the sky, they moved to the setting ‘Iwakeli‘i (Cassiopeia) that was off the port railing. The moon rose like a happy-face smile at 1:15am.
- 2-6 Watch – We continued on from the watch before us cruising at 3-5 knots Haka Ko’olau and Haka Ho’olua (N by E to N by W) with only our working jib and mizzen. In the early hours we followed the same friendly stars and planets as on previous watches: Makali’i (Pleiades), other stars of Ke Kā O Makali’i (Orion), Jupiter, Hokulei (Capella), Gemini, and Hānaiakamalama (the Southern Cross). Later in the watch, cloud cover became with 40-75% high cumulus and some dark, ominous regions. We managed to stay dry however, with the exception of the occasional salt water dousing over the rail (which we are getting better at dodging). Venus marked Hikina (east) later in the watch, however we weren’t able to spot Hikianalia (Spica) or see the sun rise over the horizon due to cloud cover.
- Animal Life: Three malolo (flying fish) were found on deck this morning.
For Complete Sail and Education Data, see the Tracking Map.