Crew View: Saki

Saikou maoli no keia, guys!

Aloha everybody! Today is not really a good day because I have to finish my blog and turn it in…haha!  I started writing my first blog since my first voyage (sorry Heidi!), Aotearoa to Tahiti, so I am going to talk about leg 1.

Saki Leaping from Hikianalia for a Swim after Arriving in Tahiti

It was my first deep-sea voyage, and I was the baby on the canoe, so for me, everyone was my teacher.  I was just so excited about my first voyage, but at the same time I was really nervous.  Most of the time in Hawaiʻi, I had sailed with Kapu Nā Keiki. They are my waʻa sisters and brothers. They have been taking care of me since when I didn’t speak English at all until now.  This time they were not with me, and probably this is why I was really nervous.  Maybe this would be the time for me to grow up to be a crew member without relying on them.

However, after day 1, my nervousness got smaller and smaller, because all of the leg 1 crew were so awesome and really, really nice to me all the time.  I got great experiences and memories on that voyage.

My watch was 10-2am and 10-2pm with Uncle Kealoha, Kaleo and Brad. Uncle Kealoha was our watch captain. I had a bunk next to him and he made a big mess all the time! Haha!  But he is the best. He always made sure I was okay.  He taught me a lot about voyaging and canoes that I never knew before.  I like to listen his stories of voyages on Hōkūle‘a.

Every watch, we had language class.  I speak Japanese, Kaleo speaks Hawaiian, and everybody else speaks English.  They taught me a lot of bad English words, so I taught them bad Japanese words.  Haha!  We mixed all the languages together, so we talk Jawaiian English now.  Kaleo and Brad also play ukulele, and I liked to listen to the Hawaiian songs that they played.  My watch was just so much fun. They acted like a Bakatare and Hen sometimes, but they know all kinds of stuff about canoes, sailing, and voyage. Actually, Saikou maoli no keia, guys! 🙂

My favorite watch was the night watch, even though it was freezing cold (that is why I drank Milo every night.  You have to try Milo when you visit Aotearoa or Tahiti or Japan!!)!  Nights were usually only us and Uncle Bruce.  It was so much easier to learn and understand about stars and the night sky on the canoe, because there is nothing around the canoe and we wake up at the same time and are watching the same stars every night.  When there were stars, Uncle Bruce gave us star lectures, and when there were no stars, he talked about his experiences on Hōkūle‘a.

Another thing I would like to talk about is Uncle Gary.  He was the master cook!  I got a chance to learn how to cook on the canoe from him.  He made us all kine good foods.  When we caught a fish, he made 5 kinds of different things from one fish; he is amazing!!  Also he always gave me some samples when I was in the galley.  🙂  That’s why I was supposed to lose weight, but I gained weight!  Hahaha!

Saki Prepping Cabbage for Uncle Gary

The best part of the voyage was the connections with the people that we met because of the voyage.  I met a lot of people during these past seven weeks.  I met my little friend Tataiarangi; Magnus and Franky, who helped us to learn how to sail on Hikianalia; Nick and the people from Salthouse; Faafaite guys; ʻOhana in Tahiti; and the crew. Uncle Gary told us we can find lifetime friends through the voyage.  Hōkūleʻa always made us one big family, and now I know baby sister Hikianalia will as well.

I cannot thank the leg 1 crew enough.  It was hontoni great voyaging with them.  I am still baby crew, but I would like to grow up every voyage from now on.  I will never forget what my teachers taught me during my first voyage.

Now I am with captain Bob and the leg 2 crew to go back to Hawaiʻi.  Nikki, Darienne, Brenda and I are learning navigation from Uncle ʻOnohi.  I am a really slow learner, but he is teaching me really kindly and patiently.  I hope to share more about my experiences on this second voyage with everybody when I get back to Hawaiʻi.

The wind is strong and giving us good speed and heading right now.  We are getting closer to our home.

Mahalo Uncle Bruce and Nainoa for inviting me, and Heidi for all the work you did for me, and everybody who made this happen for me.  🙂

Makemake au e holo kai hou me ʻou kou.


Aia la!


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