Hikianalia Report: October 14, 6:44 AM HST, smooth sailing, gentle steering, settling in to Hikianalia
With the lighter winds and seas settling, it was a night of smooth sailing, with relatively easy, gentle steering. We are making good progress on a good line to the east. We are “latitude sailing” due east to set ourselves up for the final reach northward toward Tubuai and Tahiti. If we tried to make a direct course for Tahiti, we would risk entering the center of a high-pressure area to our north that would certainly slow us, and might becalm us completely for some time.
At this latitude, the water and air are certainly cooler than the tropics we are used to, but it is manageable, moreso because we have had warmer northerly and westerly winds. Should southerlies bring cold Antarctic air our way, even more layers of clothing would be required. For the moment, we are all cool but fine. We can see a band of weather approaching from the rear (Komohana or west) associated with the passing of a front and the first small rain squall just passed.
Salthouse Boat Builders delivered a fine, well-built vessel, but, the crew is enjoying our chance to customize her during this voyage. Using PVS’ unique experience voyaging over the past 37 years, we are able to tailor Hikianalia to our operations. The crew is constantly making little changes and improvements, mostly for safety, but also to make her user-friendlier. Handholds have been added at strategic points. Cleats and rings have been moved out of walkways. Reflective tape has been added in front of toe-stubbers and drop-offs for night safety. We are moving stowage to improve balance. All of this activity reflects the crew’s desire to learn and to be active participants. We all come out here seeking to learn and experience this wonderful opportunity. The Captain has said that everyone is standing watches well. Techniques, especially steering, are improving day by day.
It is appropriate to remember that there are 14 lucky persons on board sailing, but it took the efforts of hundreds to enable and support the voyage. One particular segment of the larger crew back home spent well over a year planning the logistics – especially the food plan – that are so vital to any voyage. They developed a food plan based on nutritional value, stowability and weight, shelf life, etc. The task was not easy and they did a remarkable job. So did those members of the crew who took on the kuleana of last-minute provisioning in Aotearoa, prepping and stowing the galley under the leadership of watch captain Kealoha Hoe.
Most of our food is dried, with some canned goods. We leave port with some fresh produce, which lasts, according to the item, from two weeks to the whole voyage. The last link in the food chain is the cook. We are lucky to have long-time Hokule’a sailor and cook, Gary Yuen, handling the cooking for this crew. Imagine preparing three meals a day, plus snacks, for 14 hungry sailors, in a rocking-rolling-bucking, closet-sized enclosure. We all say Gary is the most important member of the crew!
All of this is the perfect example of the old saying, “It takes an ahupua’a to launch a canoe”, remaining true today.
Launching Hikianalia in Aotearoa and sailing her home has also afforded us an opportunity to test and learn procedures that will be challenging during the Worldwide Voyage. We will be visiting many countries unfamiliar to us. Their laws and regulations will vary greatly regarding biosecurity of what can be brought into their countries. Customs, immigration, air travel, lodging, transportation, reprovisioning – all on a scope we have never encountered before – are going to be challenging and require the efforts of many back home.
Another wonderful learning opportunity on this voyage is the presence aboard of Magnus Danbolt. Magnus has been associated with the Te Mana O Te Moana (TMTM) voyage for the past three years. Their voyage was carried out by seven “vakas”, as they called them, very similar to Hikianalia. They traveled between 30 to 40,000 nautical miles, a remarkable distance in such a short span of years. Magnus was captain of Hine Moana and tasked with coordinating the fleet of seven vessels, therefore, their “admiral.”
It is safe to say no one on Earth knows more about sailing this family of Salthouse vaka moana than Magnus. It has long been a mark of good seamanship and deep-sea voyaging to seek local knowledge when entering unfamiliar waters. That’s the role Magnus is fulfilling for us. He is invaluable in answering all our questions and providing us with lessons learned from the TMTM voyage. In addition, Magnus is an unbelievable sailor and mariner, a trained and experienced marine biologist (specializing in cetaceans), a complete gentleman and one of the nicest people you could hope to meet. It is a wonderful gift to have him aboard.
- time: 2012-10-14 16:44 UTC/GMT (06:44 HST Oct 14)
- position: 34 degrees 07.3 minutes S 171 degrees 07.6 minutes W
- course: 090 degrees True
- speed: 7.0 knots
- weather: mostly low overcast, patches trying to clear; light squalls in the area
- wind: N of W, 15 to 20 knots
- sea state: NW swell 6 to 8 feet, W swell 4 to 6 feet, NE swell 3 to 4 feet
- vessel and crew condition: all ok (Faafaite also)
- Celestial Observations, Navigation Stars, Planets and Moon Phases: To help keep our course on Hikina (east), the 6 pm to10 pm watch steered by keeping Hanaiakamalama (the Southern Cross) and Kamailehope and Kamailemua (Alpha and Beta Centauri) on the back edge of the mizzen boom. The 10 pm-2 am watch, used various stars throughout the night. The main stars and constellations used were Hanaiakamalama as it pointed straight up and down showing us south. Kakuhihewa (Scheat) and Keawe (Markab), part of Ka Lupe O Kawelo (the great square of Pegasus), were to our north and showed us north when they pointed straight up and down. We also used the other two main stars in Ka Lupe O Kawelo, Manokalanipo (Alpheratz) and Pi’ilani (Algenib). As Orion (in Ka Hei Hei O Na Keiki) was rising, we used Mintaka and most of the whole constellation to maintain course as clouds covered the sky from time to time. The 2 –6 am watch used those same stars as well as A’a (Sirius) and the planet Jupiter.
- Animal Life: A tiny ika (squid) was found on deck this morning.
- Sea Birds and Sea Life: Fewer are seen this far out to sea in this area.
- Marine Debris: None observed overnight.
- 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