Crew Blog | Miki‘ala Akiona: Washing Machine

Mikiala AkionaCrew blog by Miki‘ala Akiona

These past few days have felt like we are churning inside a washing machine. The swells are coming from different sides, the wind is gusting, and our priority is safety. We have learned that we are in the middle of a storm cell. The main and the mizzen are reefed (to make a smaller triangle in the sails) and the storm jib (smaller jib) is up just to give us some momentum as we focus to quarter the swells from the forward port side of the canoe when steering.

During our watch, we have been working in pairs at the hoe and always clipping into the jack line. All the safety practices are emphasized over and over, especially at night. We are using as many hands as are available to help adjust the sails, working in pairs when moving to the forward deck, reviewing emergency protocol, and reminders to stay hydrated. When the sky is clear and there are enough navigational cues, we do what we can to hold our course line.

It hasn’t rained that much, but the deck continues to be wet. The swell splashing over the bow and starboard sides keeps everyone on their toes. Those of us sleeping in the starboard hatches are extra cautious when opening and closing the hatch. We do our best to time it so the water doesn’t drench us in the stairwell. Our cook even stopped cooking at the galley box on the starboard side of the deck after being splashed one too many times.

Everyone is pitching in to kōkua, especially during meals, so that we can be efficient from setup through cleanup. When we’re not on watch or helping out, the only other thing to do really is to go down to our bunks for some rest – hardly anyone can find a dry, shady spot on deck. Aside from a little nausea, we are keeping our spirits up and an eye out for each other while riding out this part of the cycle.

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