Crew Blog | Eric Co: Everyone Knows You’re Here

Eric CoWritten by Eric Co
Pulling in to Saba Rock

Pulling in to Saba Rock

Virgin Gorda is one of many tiny islands that comprise the British Virgin Islands. But just off shore is an even smaller one no bigger than an acre in size, a resort sitting on its entirety. Called Saba Rock, it is a bastion of aloha in an otherwise very new landscape.  This is because it’s owner, John McManus, is from Hawaii. He flew all the way from home to greet us, and in true aloha spirit he and his staff have hosted us with more kindness and generosity than could ever be hoped for.


For the past few days this place has been home for us.  A comforting dock from which to explore this new location.  As far as the eye can see, this ocean is dotted with what can only be assumed is one of the most impressive collections of modern-day vessels anywhere.  Wherever you look you find some of the largest, sleekest, most technologically-advanced yachts, catamarans, and sailing vessels in the world.  And nestled amongst them all, delivered only by the elements and guided only by its heritage, sits a small, simple, unpowered traditional sailing canoe from Hawaii.

Hōkūleʻa in the British Virgin Islands at Saba Rock

Hōkūleʻa in the British Virgin Islands at Saba Rock

At dock, Hōkūleʻa certainly looks out of place.  But one commonality we all share here is that we are venturers of the sea.  And word has spread quickly of our stay.  Hundreds of visitors have come to visit Hōkūleʻa in the short time since we have arrived, many in wonder at a worldwide voyage with a mission of worldwide implications.  Compared to the high-powered boats around us, a double hulled sailing canoe finding itself two thirds around the world with no motors was enough to leave some in disbelief.  Still others were amazed at her spartan amenities and foreign lashing.


Yet we also met some who have followed the voyage closely online, taking the time to understand our purpose, and become fully aware of just how important Hōkūleʻa is to Hawaii.  And we have discovered that Hōkūleʻa and her current mission are now also important to people even as far as this.  “Everyone in the British Virgin Islands knows you’re here, and we’re all very proud of and impressed with what you’re doing” said one visitor today.


It is night now, and the moonless sky is littered with floating lights.  Only these are not stars. They are far too bright, large and close. They are anchor lights peering watchful from atop the thousands of boats around us. From the darkness of Hōkūleʻa’s deck these lights look like we are in a city, or perhaps a stadium.

And in their gaze we float.

Happy Birthday, Hōkūleʻa!

Help us celebrate Hōkūleʻa’s 41st birthday by becoming a member, or gifting membership to another!

On March 8, the iconic deep-sea voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa celebrates her 41st birthday! Our master navigators use the stars, waves, wind, and birds to find their way, following in the wake of their ancestors. Hōkūleʻa has journeyed more than 150,000 miles over the past 41 years, and a new generation of navigators is sailing around the world to explore how people and communities are working to Mālama Honua – care for our Island Earth.  We need your support to keep us voyaging – please visit to help.

Contribute Now

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