Hōkūleʻa Update | August 8, 2016

Leg 22 of the Worldwide Voyage has the perfect mix of veteran and new crewmembers. Since we started the voyage, more than 250 crewmembers have participated in the 21 preceding legs. This provides for a pretty good chance that some of our crew have sailed together before.

But no matter if you are a seasoned mariner or a newcomer, we consistently emphasize safety training to get everyone up to speed with the latest procedures that we have implemented for the Worldwide Voyage, especially the man overboard drill. We have refined how the system works and what to do in case someone falls over. We also went over the drill in case there is a fire on board, and we practiced opening and closing the front and back sails with the crab claw sail set. Even though many of us have sailed many miles on this canoe, things are always a bit different when we get back on board. Practice. Practice. Practice.


While the safety aspects are the most important to the success of the voyage, there is also time needed for crew to get their bearings on board.  Even for myself, I need to take the time to get my sea legs and remember all the parts of the job that I have to do.  Moving into the bunk takes effort to set up all the gear and pelican cases in Starboard 4, and the media box that used to be sovereign territory for the ʻŌiwi TV crew has now been named “The Nav Room” with a sticker being placed unceremoniously above the latch.  I tried to peel it off but to no avail. So instead I put blue tape with the word “Not” above it. So it really is a different experience for each person as they get on board and get acquainted with the canoe and find their rhythm.


But it was also a reunion for many on this leg of the journey.  The crew pool is so big that sometimes we don’t get to sail with people we know or we haven’t seen them since the last time we were all on board. I did a quick check today and found out the following:

  • The last time Kala was on board was in the Pacific in 2014. 
  • Hye Jung has not been on board since Australia
  • Timi and Tamiko last sailed in South Africa 
  • Nakua was last on board for the US Virgin Islands and Cuba leg.
  • For Zane, Keala, Art, Kalepa and myself, we were all part of Leg 20 that came up the coast from Virginia
  • And we have a fresh set of new crew members who are sailing their first leg of the Worldwide Voyage: Niko, Hina, Kaʻai  and Trissy.


The stories of the different ports come out along the way.  The more seasoned crew share tips and tricks for the younger ones. There are a multitude of lessons embedded in the tales of crossing the Pacific or the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Luckily, some of this crew are great storytellers.  Not only is this the perfect mix of crew but this is also the perfect training ground for the new crew and a great leg for the veterans to hone their skills. As we get ready to embark on this next journey back down the coast we are reminded how lucky we are to be here with the mama canoe taking part in this epic voyage.  Mahalo to everyone at home who supports each of these crew members.  We will keep each other safe and travel carefully to the next stop. 

Until then well be standing by 68.


Help fund the Voyage as we sail the East Coast

Hōkūle‘a’s visit to the eastern United States is a historic milestone in her 40 years of voyaging.

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