Hikianalia Update | March 28 & 29, 2017

Kaipo KiahaUpdates by Kaipo Kiaha

March 28 Update
We have had a great first two days at sea and are relishing the feeling of being out here alone. It is an indescribable joy to look around and see the sky and the ocean completely surrounding the waʻa. Unlike yesterday’s overcast and rainy weather, we had some sun today. Most of the crew took the opportunity to bathe and there was a steady line to use the shower area in the aft manu.

Although there was full sun with little or no clouds, the 20-25 knot winds kept the temperatures on the cooler side, and some crew still wore jackets and other warm layers. Uncle Gary made his signature andagi for breakfast with granola mixed into the batter, and for dinner he made the last of the chicken papaya soup, while Jackie Meggs made some cole slaw.

Our captain and lead navigator Kalā Tanaka is currently calculating the estimated distance traveled and direction for the day based on the notes from our navigation team. She has stepped up into her role with ease and is leading our crew well. Morale is high and there is an emotional calm about everyone on board.

March 29 Update

Winds were up today but so were spirits. We have been reefing down our mainsail and shaking it out, a few times back and forth now. Our working jib has been reefed most of the day, and we continue to trim the main and mizzen to allow for optimal speed while maintaining our heading.

It’s been a wet and windy one today with our trusty canoe carrying us through a few squalls. We don’t mind the rain, but the squalls do mess with our wind a little, and we have to re-trim our sails to compensate. Even reefed down on the main and jib, we are maintaining a steady 7+ knots and a course of Manu Malanai and sometimes Noio Malanai, which is good as we are still trying to get easting on this first segment of our voyage before reaching the more unpredictable weather of the ITCZ.

There has been a good amount of action on board, especially since the watch change right before sunset tonight. Just as Uncle Gary finished cooking us chili and garlic bread for dinner, Lohiao and Ben were pulling in our fishing lines. When Ben let Jackie help pulling in the line on our starboard side, she remarked how it felt quite heavy – come to find out there was a fish on the other end! Uncle Gary and Ben got to work pulling in the fish, and Jackie helped Uncle Gary with cleaning and filleting the 15 lb mahimahi. Because we already had dinner for tonight, we are going to dry the fish tomorrow.

Just as this was happening another squall came in, and soon we were surrounded by clouds, blocking the setting sun and the rising Hoaka moon. As darkness fell, our Captain guided us through reefing our mainsail and trimming both the main and the mizzen in order to keep our waʻa pointed high into the wind – but not too high, because our jib was luffing.

We have quite a few of us staying up with the 6-10 watch right now as we are on the lookout for more squalls and they could use the extra hands. I think everyone appreciated the excitement today and it was a good test of our teamwork and seamanship to be able to complete these processes quickly and efficiently.

It’s going to be more cloudy and rainy tonight, and there aren’t too many stars out at the moment, so we will continue to rely on the wind and swells to hold our course, and reset when we see our pointer stars that we are using to check latitude (Hōkūpaʻa, Miaplacidus, Hānaiakamalama).

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