Crew Blog | Hye Jung Kim: Anakala Gary

Crew Blog by Hye Jung Kim

It’s August 24th – we are currently on watch and everything is pretty uneventful. We are holding our heading and monitoring the swells. I come back and forth from the navigator’s standing area to the middle of the waʻa where I can check for speed. The hoe is down and the sails are trimmed to steer in the right direction.

Anakala Gary is reading his book. I am not sure what book it is but it looks kind of old and worn. It is the first time in a few days that I have seen anakala Gary sit down and rest for a bit. He is always busy in the galley preparing awesome meals and snacks for us to have. Always selfless, always smiling, always not taking credit for the delicious meals that we are so lucky to have.

I take a photo of him with the camera that I am holding. He has no idea that I am aiming my camera at him. He is immersed in his book and is hyper focused to fade away his surroundings. I think to myself that it must be a really good book. A few minutes later, he packs it away in his bucket that he has and begins to get busy again. Anakala Gary is in high demand as we are all in different stages of making the necklace from the gift that he gave us a few days ago. We all ask if we are ready for the next step and how to start the next step. He helps another few crewmembers and then recruits other crew members to help those who are just starting. He is such a patient teacher and all of us are incredibly grateful to have him.

After uncle checks on everybody and sees that I am just sitting and monitoring the weather, he says “come, I have something that you can do”. We sit down on the port side benches and he takes out his bucket. He takes out that book that he was reading earlier and opens it up to show me the pages. There are so many lines of dates that are written in the front few pages of the book. He has documented all of his travels since 1968. At the very end of the few pages, it lists “Honolulu to San Francisco”, the trip that we are currently on. Our crew is now part of his book. Written down in history of his travels. I feel very fortunate and grateful.

He tells me to document the trips that I go on to remember it when I get older. He says that he reflects on his trips by looking at the pages of his poetry book. He shares with me two poems. One is titled:

“The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” by Francis William Bourdillon

The night has a thousand eyes,
And the day but one;
Yet the light of the bright world dies
With one dying sun.

The mind has a thousand eyes,
And the heart but one;
Yet the light of a whole life dies
When love is done.

I feel so special that anakala Gary shared his story and his book with me. He told me that I could borrow his book anytime to read the poems.

Now a day later, I go to the galley and ask him if I can borrow his book. He opens his bucket and hands me the book, which is inside the ziplock. It is way to special for me to have in my hands and I bring it back into the hale so that it is shielded from the elements. I open up the ziplock and it smells like anakala Gary’s pipe. I carefully open it up to page 8 where the poem shared above is written. I check all the trips that he has listed and am ready to hear more stories about the trips that he has taken. Thank goodness we have more days on this waʻa! I have more time to hear his travel stories!

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