Hōkūleʻa Update | April 21, 2016

Mark EllisWritten by Mark Ellis

Another great day on the Intracoastal Waterways (ICW). We have been a crew for about 2 weeks now, and we really work well with each other. Most mornings start off with a crew call at 6am. Our tow line is flaked on deck, someone starts the hot water for coffee, teas and coco. We then single up the lines and make ready to pull away from the dock.


Each day we also rotate 2 crew members in to the American Canoe Association’s Subaru that they have loaned us. It is the land crew’s responsibility to secure the next marina, as well as doing advance work for Captain Bruce to provide him some local knowledge about the marina, where we will dock, which side we will tie up on, if there is a current running. Other items that crew members are waiting for are, wifi access codes, laundry facilities and bathroom codes, they also secure other resources as needed.


Back on Hōkūleʻa, dock lines are released and we start our way up north on the ICW. Breakfast is then started today we had corn beef and onions with pancakes. We stated our travels today with a 20 mile long canal system which water looked like black coffee. We then make our way to Alligator River went under a few fixed bridges and thru one swing bridge that we had to call in on the radio to have it open.


For lunch we had some fried mahi mahi that a local fisherman gave us the other day. We run our normal watch systems of three 4-hour shifts, taking care of steering Hōkūleʻa thru the ICW.

Today we connected via online video conferencing with a middle school class back home in Hawaii, and two crew member spent about 15 minutes answering questions and giving the students a tour of Hōkūleʻa.

At about 5pm, we are making our way into another marina. Today we also had to set up our sails (bend the sails), which required all of the crew working together to lower the spar, attach the crab crawl sails to spar and boom, raise them up and open and close them to be sure everything is fine.


We then have dinner and get updates and the plan for the next couple of days, including getting into Newport News to celebrate Earth Day on April 23.

The last event for the night is anchor watch for the night.

It’s now about 11pm and in a few hours we start up again.

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