Hikianalia Update | Nov 15, 2018: Leg 4 Crew Has Arrived

By Shawn Mālia Kanaʻiaupuni

Itʻs Thursday, and the crew is humming along as we busily prepare for Hikianaliaʻs voyage home. After arriving late Tuesday night to San Diego, we headed straight to the canoe and started getting oriented to where she is docked after having traveled down the coast of California. Our excitement is palpable, shared energy that you can feel. We are all thrilled and honored to finally arrive after weeks of preparing for our upcoming journey across the deep blue Kanaloa to bring Hikianalia home again.

We sleep and eat on the canoe, getting ourselves sea-ready. The nights are chilly, but the sun quickly heats everything up throughout the day as we busily inventory food, sails, canoe supplies, water, safety and medical equipment, and more in preparation for the coming weeks at sea. Everyone was pre-assigned their duties before arriving. The last of Leg 3 crew, Michi and Hiapo, reviewed notes with us as they transitioned the canoe to our crew. Each bin and storage area is examined carefully and lists reconciled. Missing items will be purchased before we leave. Under the hot sun, everyone jumps in willingly as we organize our routines and carry out the duties we had planned for at home.

Iʻm so grateful to this stellar crew and to be a part of this unique sail. Itʻs a pivotal time for several new leaders including two “next gen” captains, Kaniela and Jason, and navigator, Haunani. Chef Gary is coaching Kauaiʻs own Leilani so she can pick up some of his awesome cooking style. A few other crew members will also be making their first deep sea voyage on this fabulous Leg 4. Our first meal is corn and turkey chowder, garlic fried chicken, rice and a huge salad (my contribution). This morning we had french toast, magically delicious omelettes with our coffee…and more salad.

Hikanalia floats peacefully, nestled alongside the ruins of a giant Soviet submarine, B-39. The Maritime Museum of San Diego is our gracious host. All around us are giant ships, in fact, the largest collection of historic sailing vessels in the world. Part of the Museum itself sits on the 1898 ferryboat, Berkeley, just down the dock from immense sailing vessels that regularly make cameo appearances as pirate ships in Hollywood movies. And, they still sail! We stare with mouths open at the Star of India, flying our own Hawaiian flag high above the tallest building in the area. Word on the street is that she sailed during the days of the Hawaiian kingdom and was once owned by Hawaiians in the late 1800s.

The days are bright, dry, and hot. Surrounded by big boats, we work and study the flight of the sun. Passersby stop and say hello every so often. Tonight we will wake up at the start and end of our watches to study the stars, 6pm-10pm, 10pm-2am, and I will be paying particular attention on my watch times from 2am-6am. We’ve been doing nav training with Haunani. For the most part, weʻll be sailing ʻāina/la kona, 16 deg south of komohana, hikina at our backs, weʻll see Hōkūpaʻa on on our starboard side. The first celestial bodies visible each night will be planets, Saturn and Mars, Venus in the morning, near Hikianalia, which happens to be my birth star. Hikianalia and Hōkūleʻa will both be rising in the morning. We all have researched the constellation of our birth stars and memorized the stars that reveal them.

I canʻt wait to get out to sea, close your eyes and imagine our red sails high on the rippling, shimmering blue ocean, wind whipping with no land in sight, fiery sunsets and golden yellow sunrises…until we reach ka pae ʻāina Hawaiʻi.

Signing off for now, mahalo a me ke aloha,

Shawn Mālia Kanaʻiaupuni

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