Crew Blog | Duane Desoto: Sailing in the Now

Duane on the hoe as the sun sets.Crew blog by Duane Desoto

Today we sailed along the east side of Rangiroa around 10am. This was our last visual marker prior to heading Manu Kona for Tahiti. Winds were steady and the sea was calm.

Kaleo, prior to our closeup look at Rangiroa, had us look at the color of the clouds on our starboard bow. To our amazement, the clouds where a beautiful shade of blue and green. “Rangiroa is over there,” he said. The reflection of the lagoon and the trees caused the clouds to change colors. Land was barely visible, if at all, but the color of the clouds were very distinct. Kaleo’s has the eye for the subtile changes around us.

In our daily life at home it’s very easy to start seeing everything around you as the same. Days seem more similar then different sometimes because we are so busy and distracted. At sea for a month I’ve begun noticing the subtile change in winds and the mixture of crossing swells. No wifi or cellular data has allowed me time to immerse into waʻa time and space. Repetition day after day focusing on looks and sounds of the sails, lines, wind, waves, movement of stars and the moon, sounds of the waʻa, where and how birds are flying, how the waʻa is rocking and many more finite details of voyaging on Hōkūleʻa. Everyone should go on a technology fast once in awhile to remember what it is like to live in the now and appreciate the wonderful blessings that surround us.

Sailing in the “now” has allowed me to lots of time to think. All I tend to think about at sea is my ʻohana. Of course I hope everyone is safe but it’s not that. Hōkūleʻa for some reason makes me think deeply about how I’m handling daily situations with everyone I love. My flaws seems to standout more than ever and it’s apparent how much I need to better myself as a husband, father, uncle and son. Making these changes are easier said then done but the fact that I am able to recognize and acknowledge the areas of need is a great step towards making life at home better for all those whom I love.

Mahalo to the Polynesian Voyaging Society and all of their founders for having the incredible vision in 1973 of a better Hawaiʻi. Mahalo Nainoa Thompson and ʻohana Thompson for the commitment, sacrifice, and creativity that fueled the legacy of Hōkūleʻa in which we are all beneficiaries. Mahalo to all the volunteers of PVS who have worked endlessly to keep all of our waʻa sailing. Last but most importantly, mahalo to all of our kupuna who have laid down their lives to create the paths in which we are all thriving and benefiting from in beautiful Hawaiʻi nei.

Mālama pono and aloha nui,
Duane DeSoto

Homecoming - Save the Date - Banner Feb 17 Update

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